Summer is here – annual car air con check time

The sun is out, it’s hot, the sky is blue and clear as you walk to your car. You open the door and bam! Blast of hot air. You can’t get inside yet, it’s too hot. So you wait a while thinking well I can get the aircon going and I’ll be nice and cool. Meanwhile the kids are whining and you want to get going. So you get in the car, start the engine, wind down the windows to let more heat out and turn on the aircon and as you drive away wait for that soothing cold air. But nothing happens. Hot air comes out, and doesn’t get any cooler. Oh Fudge. Now what do I do? Simple, get an air con check.

Have you had your annual car air con check?

Your car’s air conditioning has been sat there doing nothing all winter. It doesn’t like that. It needs to work. It needs to be used. At the end of the day refrigerant needs to be pumped around a series of pipes, valves and other cooling units by a compressor, which if not used for extended periods of time can seize up. The compressor is the heart of your systems air conditioning; it pumps the refrigerant but to do that needs oil, like any motor does. So sitting around for 6 months of the year the internal components don’t work, don’t get lubricated so when asked to sometimes they refuse.

That could be one issue, the compressor, sometimes known as the aircon pump. But equally it could be the air con condenser that’s the problem. You may have lost all your refrigerant either through a leak, or just naturally as you do lose around 15% of refrigerant each year. So once it gets below a certain level there is not enough to perform the cooling. So is it leaking? Does it have a hole in it? Maybe it’s rotted over time.

Could it be electrical? Maybe a fuse, pressure switch or relay? Maybe after all this time it just needs a simple air con regas or recharge, to top up the refrigerant (known as R134a) and then it’ll work. When was the car’s air conditioning last serviced? Has it had an air con check? Many people assume it’s done with the annual car service but it’s very rare for the aircon to be serviced then, that’s not normally included. It’s an optional extra, ask next time you take the car for a service what does this include?

So, now you’ve got home and you’re hot, sweaty and the kids are driving you nuts you need to think about how to get the aircon fixed. Where do you take it? Local tyre dealer or car parts supplier? Maybe, but are they qualified to service a car’s air conditioning amongst all the other things they do? Do they just top up and recharge the aircon or can they actually diagnose a problem, advise a solution and then fix it? Doubt it, not many places do.

But; there is a solution. Give us a call here at Cool Car air conditioning specialists. We’ve been servicing aircon for almost 30 years now through our growing network of fully qualified, franchise technicians. More importantly we come to you, at home or place of work, and we CAN diagnose any issues, advise AND fix them as well as supply any parts that maybe required. You can find your nearest aircon specialist from our contact us page.

It’s also worth remembering to not leave your car air conditioning unused all winter. Run it for 10 minutes a week to let the oil circulate, and the seals lubricated. Air con doesn’t have to be just about producing cold air it can give out hot air and is great at dehumidifying the car and demisting windows. Make sure you get the car aircon regularly serviced with a proper air con check. We can help with that too.


Simon Parker

Director & Partner of Cool Car Limited. Owners of and