Welcome to the frequently asked questions section of our website.
Why do I need to have my A/C system serviced?
All vehicle air conditioning systems leak to a lesser or greater degree. The losses occur when refrigerant escapes through the pipe joints as a result of vibration and ageing of rubber hoses and 'O' ring seals, as well as through the seal on the front of the compressor shaft.
How often should the A/C system be serviced?
An annual check and service should be sufficient to keep the A/C system operating correctly. Auckland Auto Air can provide a comprehensive check and service. Your Filter/drier should be changed every 2 years for best performance
What are the symptoms of a poorly performing system?
You may notice that the air from the vents is not as cold as it was. The A/C system should be able to produce a flow of cold air. If not, then the system could be low on gas. Also, if the windows remain misted up in the winter even with the A/C switched on then a service will be required.
What are the benefits of a well looked after system?
When is the best time to have the system serviced?
The A/C system can be serviced at any time of the year. Most problems arise when the air conditioning is switched on for the first time in the summer. If the air conditioning has not been regularly operated during the winter the gas escapes through dry seals and joints.
Is it true that my Air Conditioning should be run regularly throughout the year?
Yes, this helps to keep the system well lubricated and sealed.
Why should my Air conditioning be run regulary?
The refrigerant not only cools the passenger cabin, it actually carries the oil that lubricates the system, and most importantly the compressor. It also keeps the seals and hoses moist, preventing them from drying out and cracking leading to leaks.
Why is looking after the compressor so critical?
This is the main component in the A/C system, replacements typically cost $600 - $1200, but can be as much as $2500, plus labour costs to remove and replace. A seized compressor will normally result in other components getting damaged and the A/C system will certainly need to be flushed to remove debris.
What is involved in a service?
Auckland Auto Air measure the static and operating pressures in the system, check quantity of refrigerant present and check all functions. Then we recover the refrigerant and vacuum the system down to a very low pressure to remove any moisture that might be present. Since most systems leak, a pressure test is carried out to confirm the integrity of the whole system. The system is re-charged with virgin refrigerant and lubricant.
Why can't I service the system myself?
This is difficult not only because specialist equipment is needed but most importantly the refrigerant present in the system must be recovered. It is ILLEGAL to vent the refrigerant into the environment. The system is also under high pressure and needs pulling into a deep vacuum to remove any moisture. The refrigerants themselves have a very low boiling point and will cause freezer burns if they come into contact with skin or eye tissue.
Why put Ultra Violet (UV) dye in the system?
The UV dye shows up under a bright UV light source. So any leaks present in the system can be easily identified either during fault finding or if future leaks were to develop.
Why use Nitrogen for leak testing?
We use Nitrogen for leak testing. It is illegal to re-gas a system to use the refrigerant as a means of leak detection. The pure form of Nitrogen is a naturally occurring gas in the air that we breathe and so is safe and legal to use. The Nitrogen is inserted into the system under high pressure thus simulating a system in operation and revealing any leaks in the system.
What should I do if I suspect my system is faulty?
If you are in any doubt, call Auckland Auto Air. DO NOT SWITCH ON THE AIR CONDITIONING. The oil carried in the system lubricates the moving parts of the compressor, which pumps the refrigerant around. If there is no oil the compressor could seize causing a costly repair.
My car was manufactured before 1993; can you still service the A/C system?
Cars built before 1993, that have not been serviced, are most likely running an R12 system. R12 is a CFC based refrigerant that was eventually banned in 2000, and all new cars manufactured after 1993 use a new refrigerant called R134a. If your car runs on R12 you can retrofit to R134a. This would include a new filter drier & retro adaptors on service fittings.
How long does the Standard Service take?
In most cases, where no major faults or leaks are present, the service can comfortably be carried out in approx 60-90 mins. This allows time for initial checking and pressure readings, de-gas, pressure testing, deep vacuum, re-gas, and operating checks.