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  • Just the Ticket team

Keep your cool: Important signs your car air conditioning needs attention

There’s less than 100 days until the official start of summer. So why not use this time to get ahead and make sure your air conditioning is in working order?

We might not be spending as much time in our cars right now, but that’s all set to change. Thanks to the government’s four-stage roadmap, staycations and road trips are set to soar. Not to mention how many more of us will be getting back behind the wheel to travel to work or see loved ones.

Whilst you may have already had your car serviced, the gas levels and general performance of your air con are not something that gets checked as part of this standard procedure.

Why is air con so important?

Air con is not just about keeping your car cool. It’s also about the quality of the air in your vehicle. Air conditioning systems also dehumidify.

In fact, during cold weather bouts the quickest way to demist your screen is actually to switch on the heat and the air con.

How often should you get your air con checked?

Manufacturers generally recommend servicing your air con and re-gassing every two years – as natural seepage can occur.

Here at Just the Ticket, we are proud to announce that we have taken delivery of a new air conditioning machine. We now have three in total, so there is lots of capacity in this Department.

Signs your air con could need changing

Unfortunately, in many older cars, there’s not a warning light to let you know if there’s a problem with the air con. Plus, in some cases your air con needs servicing before it reaches the two-year mark.

Signs that your air conditioning may need to be checked:

· It starts to smell – this could be down to a dirty pollen filter or build up. When we service the air conditioning, we include an antibacterial treatment and we check the pollen filter.

· If it blows cool instead of cold

· If water leaks

How does car air conditioning work?

Without getting too technical – air cons have their own compressor pump, condenser and refrigerant system. Air con works by using a refrigerant inside the heating and ventilation system to cool the air in the car.

The refrigerant is a gas which needs refilling regularly. If the gas drops below a certain pressure, the air con won't work. But even a slight drop in gas can put extra pressure on your compressor and condenser and generally stress the car.

The different types of gas

There are two types of gas when it comes to air conditioning for cars. R134A and R1234Y. R1234Y is the newer, more environmentally friendly option. The specific type of gas used in your air conditioning is down to the make and model of your car. You can't cross gasses. This means therefore have to replace the gas with whatever was in there in the first place.

Generally speaking, cars manufactured before around 2014 to 2015 use R134A. While those manufactured after re more likely to use R1234Y.

Just the Ticket has machines for both.

How we top up the air con

The first port of call with most air con problems, is to re-gas it. During this process, the machine sucks out all of the gas in the air conditioning system and measures how much has been removed. We then compare that to how much should be in there.

We then run a pressure test to highlight any major leaks. Minor leaks are more difficult to pick up and the only way to fix the problem is to re gas the system with the full amount of gas required for the make and model of your car. We then retest.

But obviously there is a cost attached to this.

The cost

If your car runs on the old gas then re-gassing is a fixed cost of £78 (including VAT). For the newer gas the cost is per gram of gas that we supply.

The good news is that we measure exactly what comes out of the car and so then only charge you for what we have to add to bring it up to the appropriate level. We do not charge you for a full gas replacement.

Have you noticed your air con isn’t working? Or would you like our skilled mechanics to check the levels? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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