Kevin Thorpe | Tuesday 3rd June 2014 3:30pm
It was unexpectedly warm in many parts of the UK last weekend but we weren’t complaining. In fact it was a rather pleasant surprise… until you had to get into that sweltering hot car. Luckily, a lot of modern cars are now fitted with air conditioning but that doesn’t mean a never-ending supply of cool air on hot days.
Car air con systems, like most parts of a car, require regular maintenance and our research shows that four out of every five motorists are ignoring the manufacturer’s recommendation to have their car air con recharged every two years. Which means on hot days like last weekend, there could be no respite but to wind the window down.
At Kwik Fit we offer a complete car air conditioning recharge service at more than 600 centres across the UK. No appointment is usually necessary and you can book your air con recharge online.
So why exactly does your car air conditioning system need recharging? To answer this, we need to understand in a little more detail how a car air con system works.
The very first in-car air conditioning systems were introduced some 81 years ago by US car manufacturer Packard and, in truth, the basic concept has changed very little in all this time.
The basic components of a car air conditioning system comprise a compressor, a condenser, a drier, a thermal expansion valve and an evaporator. The gas, which needs refilling every two years, is a refrigerant and starts life in the compressor. When the car air conditioning system is switched on, the refrigerant is compressed to become a very hot, high-pressure gas. It then travels to the condenser where it meets fresh air from the outside of the car. This causes the refrigerant to liquefy and lose its heat. Next, the liquid is stripped of impurities by the drier and travels to the expansion valve. This controls the flow of liquid to the evaporator and is what you are controlling when you change the air con temperature setting on your dashboard. The evaporator is the last stop for the cool liquid which is turned into vapour as it travels through the coils of the evaporator and then blown into the cabin as cool air. While the cool air is circulated around the car, the refrigerant, which has returned to its low-pressure gas form, heads back to the compressor to start the process all over again.
Although this process is extremely efficient, around 10% of air con gas permeates from the system each year. Without the gas, the above process cannot operate efficiently. So not only will warmer air be blown into the cabin but your car’s air con system is working harder in an attempt to produce cold air which places greater strain on the engine and uses more fuel.
Kwik Fit’s trained technicians will show you the difference in your air con system before and after recharge and if we can't reduce the temperature by 10% or more, we won't charge a thing.
Why not book your air conditioning recharge online now or call in to your nearest Kwik Fit and have your air con system recharged today?
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