Car Air Conditioning FAQS


Bens Auto Repairs and Service Centre are well placed to take care all of your Vehicle Air Conditioner Re-gas, Repair, Servicing and Inspection needs

Your vehicle ought to be taken to a reputable workshop such as Bens Auto Repairs and Service Centre (AU46457) on a regular basis to make sure the air conditioning system continues performing efficiently as well as having the mechanics go over the condition of the whole vehicle.

Repco Authorised Service mechanics perform a 65 point Vehicle Inspection with every service and are able to provide a warning about any items that may need to be replaced in the near future or those that are already damaged beyond repair.

Bens Auto Repairs and Service Centre care about the environment and have Arctick Authorisation (AU46457) to reliably and responsibly conduct automotive air conditioning service in and around Orange and the surrounding areas.

Air Conditioning FAQ's

Car air conditioning - how does it happen?

A car air conditioning system could be seen as having four basic parts - a belt driven pump called a compressor to compress and circulate gas, the condenser to redistribute heat and condense gas to a liquid, an expansion device, known as an orifice tube or a thermal expansion valve (TXV) (subject to the kind of a/c system used). Systems using orifice tubes also have an accumulator before the compressor to remove moisture from the refrigerant while TXV systems have a receiver-dryer before the evaporator to perform the same crucial task. Both the accumulator and receiver-drier are also used to store refrigerant.

A vehicle air conditioner system is designed to absorb the heat from the air inside the car and transfer it to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air behind to be recirculated. Hot air is passed across a gas filled evaporator, where the heat is easily absorbed by the refrigerant (in gas form), effectively removing the heat from the air in the car.

The now heated gas is pulled through the compressor where it is further heated (via compression). The next stage involves the refrigerant being forced through the condenser to quickly extract the heat from the refrigerant. The refrigerant, now condensed to a liquid, then moves through the expansion device (either a TXV or Orifice tube), which regulates the flow of refrigerant going to the evaporator, changing the high-pressure liquid to a low-pressure mist (gas). A fan blowing over the cold fins of the evaporator produces the cold air being blown into the car and the entire process then begins all over again.

What takes place in a a car air conditioning service?

A typical air conditioner service may include some of the following items;

  • Evaluate air vent temperature

  • Confirm condenser temperature correct

  • Ensure suction line temperature correct

  • Adjust pulley and drive belt

  • Confirm correct operation of valves and thermostats

  • Clean the fins of the condenser

  • Assess condition of components and hoses

  • Evacuation and recharge of refrigerant (where required)

  • Electronically test system lines and components for leaks

Why do I need a car air conditioner system service?

By checking or changing the oil level in the refrigerant you protect the compressor and avoid it seizing up. If the air filters are plugged with dirt and bacteria it will affect the performance of the entire system and it can even cause it to quit completely. Along with inhibiting air conditioner efficiency, dirty air filters can cause all kinds of health problems too.

A car air conditioner needs to be checked for problems once a year for any signs of decay of the seals, hoses and connections and confirm refrigerant pressure is being maintained over time. Regularly servicing your automotive air conditioning system keeps refrigerant at optimum levels meaning the system does not need to work as hard and this in turn protects the system from damage and reduces fuel consumption.

Why does the car air conditioner need to be serviced?

A vehicle air conditioner system is designed to absorb the heat from the air inside the car to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air behind to be recirculated. This is achieved using a special compound called refrigerant, capable of readily absorbing heat as a gas and quickly losing heat as a liquid.

Being exposed to the elements and very extreme operating conditions and being expected to run occasionally rather than being 'Always On' can cause issues with the connections, hoses and seals. An automotive air conditioner should be examined on a regular basis to ensure there are no problems or refrigerant loss due to failure or leakage from these points.

Simply by cooling the air in your car under normal running conditions, the filters of the air con get dirty and intermittent use can cause seals to dry and crack, allowing them to leak. Even without leaks, the gas in a car air conditioning system will eventually begin to degrade or evaporate over time and should be recharged where required to keep the air con system in peak running condition.

Can I service my own air conditioner?

Only qualified mechanics with the appropriate training should attempt to service a car air conditioner. Specific licences are required to be able to service or repair some types of car air conditioning systems, especially where regas (recharging of the refrigerant) is concerned. Strict guidelines and procedures must be adhered to when handling certain refrigerants, which must always be fully recovered and not allowed to escape into the atmosphere during servicing.

Refrigerant can also pose serious health risks if handled incorrectly. Specialist equipment is also required as the air conditioning system is under extreme pressure and must be pulled into a deep vacuum to remove any moisture, to avoid seriously damaging the system. You can find out more about licensing on the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) Website.

What is creating the bad smell in car air conditioning systems?

The moist environment can promote the development of microbes, bacteria and even fungus growth inside the evaporator core. This can lead to nasty smells and possibly even be bad for the health of any vehicle occupants. Although modern evaporator units may be more efficient, having more fins means they are often more likely to trap moisture allowing microorganism growth.

Bens Auto Repairs and Service Centre mechanics have the capability to use special ultrasonic technology to destroy any micro-organisms possibly causing any bad smells or health issues.

Just ask about our MIST service, which will kill any bacteria that may be lurking in your car’s air system. These bacteria can cause odours and even make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A MIST service doesn’t just make your car smell better - it makes it healthier for you and your family.

Specialist Car Services