Best maintenance guide for the air conditioning of your car
Arrival of summer make us to remember the importance of air condition. We may have used it sporadically when it was cold and we wanted to quickly defrost the windows of our car. But it is in the summer months when we will use it the most.
In addition to being a comfort element, air conditioning plays an important role in terms of safety, as it helps keep the cabin at a good temperature, essential to reduce fatigue and drowsiness behind the wheel.
Like any other element of the car, it must also be checked and kept in good condition. And, because they are becoming more sophisticated, they require more maintenance.
Air conditioning, always ready
It may happen that when high temperatures arrive and you are about to connect the air conditioning, you check that it does not work, does not cool enough or even generates a bad smell. To avoid minimizing this problem, it is recommended to activate it once a month for at least 15 minutes every month of the year. In any case, before starting a car trip for vacations, it is important to tune up the vehicle, including the air conditioning system.
To ensure proper operation it is necessary that the air conditioning filter (also recognized as the pollen filter) is in good condition, since if it is very dirty or clogged it will not filter well, and it will work worse.
On the other hand, you have to check the air load and, for that, you will need to go to a professional workshop.
Time and Price of Car air conditioning recharge
This system of refrigeration, and air conditioning of the car, works through a closed circuit where a gas is stored that is cooled by mechanical processes, changing its state from gas to liquid and vice versa.
When the air conditioning does not cool, the solution may be to recharge and, for this, it is necessary to use a charging station that is programmed according to the car model, since it depends on the amount of refrigerant you need and the amount of oil.
No need to recharge every year. Manufacturers recommend doing it every two years or so, depending on its use, but it can last longer, it will all depend on the temperature and humidity of the area of residence. If you need to recharge the air frequently, it could hide a fault or a leak of the refrigerant gas. Therefore, what is recommended is its review every year.
With the arrival of summer, the offers of the workshops and repair centers multiply and you can choose to recharge the air conditioning from 60 euros. The final price will depend on the workshop you take it to and the model in question. In some cases, shops often include recharging in their maintenance offers.
There are also recharge kits for you to perform the operation, but it is advisable to use the appropriate gas to avoid electrocution. Our recommendation is that this operation be carried out by a specialized professional who, before recharging, will also do a general cleaning of the entire circuit and add an antibacterial treatment.
Air conditioning should not be confused with climate control
They are very similar systems, but they are not the same. To understand it, we can simplify it as the air conditioner is an evolution of the air conditioning system, which allows you to control the temperature of the car more accurately and thus passengers will be more comfortable.
Air conditioning, as its very word says, conditions the environment. That means that it cools (thanks, among other things, to a compressor for the car) or heats the cabin from the gas that is normally stored under the hood without having a temperature control. At most, the passenger can change the speed of the fans that let air into the vehicle. But using this system, who has not happened that begins to feel too cold? That is because we cannot constantly measure the air entering the car. In short, it is very difficult for us to manually control the temperature.
It is precisely here where we give way to air conditioners. They are systems that do the same as air conditioning, that is, they put hot or cold air into the car’s interior. The difference is that this time we can select a temperature, and it is the vehicle itself that is in charge of constantly regulating it thanks to sensors. Let’s say that, on this occasion, the system is somewhat more ‘ready’ and knows how much air must be introduced for passengers to travel peacefully.
A further step in air conditioners are the so-called two- zone or multi-zone, which capture the temperature of various parts of the car and are capable of adapting each area of the vehicle to the degrees that we indicate. When buying a car, it will be interesting to consider, if possible, the purchase of the car with air conditioning or the air conditioning for the car, since its price is different, the latter being more expensive.
In any case, having air conditioning is essential for us to have a safer driving, since the heat or cold reduces us when reacting properly to any unforeseen event on the road. Of course, remember to use it correctly and travel at a temperature between 22 ºC and 24 ºC.