Summers are getting hotter here in the UK, meaning drivers will be reaching for the air con button more often. But did you know that over time, your car’s air conditioning can stop working as it should? This is all down to the old refrigerant inside the system getting clogged with particles, dirt and moisture, and it will need a regas if you want to enjoy a nice cool cabin again.
In this guide, we cover the ins and outs of air con regassing, including how to tell when your car needs it and whether it’s better to fix the problem yourself or call in the pros. We also provide some additional tips on keeping your car’s a/c healthy and well-maintained throughout the year.
- What is Air Con Regassing?
- How to Tell When Your Car’s Air Con Needs Regassing
- Regassing Your Car’s Air Con: DIY or Call in the Pros?
- Useful Tips for Better Air Con Health
What is Air Con Regassing?
Air con regassing means removing the old refrigerant from a car’s air conditioning system and replacing it with a new one that helps the system perform better to keep the cabin cool.
Over time, refrigerant gas can become clogged-up with fine particles and moisture, meaning it can’t cool the cabin as it did when the car was new. It’s important to maintain your car’s air con regularly so that no excess strain is placed on the engine when it’s trying to keep the system running.
How to Tell When Your Car’s Air Con Needs Regassing
There are a couple of signs that tell you when your car’s air con needs a regas. Firstly, the air being blown out of the vents won’t be as cool as it used to be, and you might find that the car struggles to get down to a nice cool temperature on very warm days.
And secondly, the air con may give out a bad, musty smell. This is due to the moisture, dirt and particles collected in the refrigerant gas, so it’ll need replacing if you want to enjoy a cool, fresh cabin again.
If you aren’t sure what the problem is and you’re reluctant to start poking around with the a/c system, get in touch with a specialist. Often, they can offer a free diagnosis, so you at least know what the problem is, and from there you can choose whether to have a go at fixing it yourself or leave it to the professionals.
Regassing Your Car’s Air Con: DIY or Call in the Pros?
There are two options when your car’s a/c system needs regassing: fix it yourself or take it to a specialist mechanic. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of each to help you make the right decision.
DIY Air Con Regas
Regassing the air conditioning system is possible on your driveway, and you can buy special kits which help you with the process. These starter kits are specially made for this type of job, so once you’ve found the a/c refrigerant inlet and set up the equipment, it should be reasonably simple.
However, there are several downsides and things to note about regassing your car’s a/c yourself. Firstly, DIY regassing kits can be expensive, so by the time you’ve forked out for one, you may have been better leaving it to the pros. Refrigerant can also be dangerous stuff to handle, and you could easily end up with a freeze burn if the stuff comes in contact with your skin.
Another thing to remember is the possibility of the a/c system having a leak, which you may miss when regassing it yourself. If you put new refrigerant into a leaky system, you run the risk of passing refrigerant straight into the open air – which could land you a fine under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
While historically it was difficult to find a mechanic with the expertise to fix air conditioning systems, nowadays most cars have a/c so the majority of garages offer air con maintenance and servicing – and it isn’t as expensive as you might think.
Depending on where you take your car, a professional regassing should cost around £50-£100. They should offer a free diagnosis before carrying out any work, and will also be able to check the system for leaks – which saves you the trouble of finding problems later on when regassing the system yourself. Mechanics use a refrigerant with a dye formula, so that they can see exactly where the gas is leaking from in the system.
So, not only are you getting the peace of mind that your car’s a/c isn’t leaking and has no underlying problems you’re not aware of, a professional mechanic should have the right tools and expertise to get the job done quickly and safely.
Useful Tips for Better Air Con Health
Regular maintenance is crucial in keeping your car’s air conditioning system in good health, so you can enjoy a cool cabin feel no matter how high the temperatures get. Here, we offer a few tips on how to take care of your a/c system throughout the seasons.
- Always keep your windows closed when the a/c is on – Having the windows open means air-conditioned air is being lost outside, so the fuel needed to power the a/c unit is simply being wasted.
- Run the a/c once a week, even in winter – This will maintain gas pressure, meaning the a/c will be working perfectly when summer comes around.
- Have the system serviced by a professional every 2 years – Like all other areas of your car, the a/c system needs servicing at regular intervals to keep it working at its best.
- Remove bad odours with an air con refresh product – Holts Air Con Odour Bomb cleans the air con refrigerant in under 10 minutes, removing bad odours and freshening the system, so you don’t have to put up with lingering musty smells.
At Holts, we offer a wide range of DIY maintenance products that can help you take better care of your car. To view our complete range, visit the homepage today.