Merlin5

Air Con doesn't seem very good

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Hi guys.  Isn't air con supposed to produce really chilly cold air? Mine doesn't seem to blow much colder than a regular non air con car fan. And also,  it's exactly the same whether I push the aircon button in or not. It sounds powerful enough on maximum fan speed setting and is blowing air powerfully enough but isn't actually  that cold.  Yesterday was hot weather and I was getting cooler with the window open. 

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Aircon is meant to be colder than normal fan air.

Sounds like yours when you press the Aircon button does not activate the compressor to kick on.

You might need to a Aircon shop for the system to checked out and tested.

Sent from my SM-A307FN using Tapatalk

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Thanks Motheo,  I've got a car electrics guy I've used before who I'll ask to check it next week.

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Sounds like you need a re-gas...can you hear your A/c compressor kicking in and out.? (change in engine revs.?)

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8 minutes ago, RUToyota said:

Sounds like you need a re-gas...can you hear your A/c compressor kicking in and out.? (change in engine revs.?)

Certainly sounds that way. As said see if compressor kicks in momentarily. Should do until low pressure switch, stops compressor running. Also may need shimming. Also make sure to get it tested for leaks. Best really to use an AC specialist as found some just refill and 3-6 weeks later lost all refrigerant and costly as £50 wasted.

On my 2006 Lexus IS220D I paid for a re-gas and supposedly passed the pressure test and 3-6 weeks later, no AC. Called a company out called Cool Car and for £30 visited my home and pressure tested the AC. Got a sniffer out and went around the AC components and when got to the condenser rad it went mad as detected a leak. I bought a new condenser and fitted it myself and got it re-gassed. 15 months later car scrapped as head gasket went!

Another thing I discovered is some garages with AC machines wanted to charge you even if your AC system failed the pressure test. I only use the ones that offer a no charge if it fails the test. 

James.

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Thanks  guys.  I just took it to a mechanic and first thing he said was it needs re-gassing which will be £70 to do. He said he puts a dye into the coolant to see if there's a leak. He was reasonably confident re-gassing should sort it. 

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As others have said, it looks to be low on refrigerant which would stop the compressor kicking in. You should see the revs rise slightly as the compressor engages and then fall again as it cuts out. 

Do you leave the A/C on all year round? (you should) which keeps seals lubricated and prevents leakage.

 

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Mooly, no because I only just bought the car last month. When you say leave it on all year round, surely not when it's winter and I want hot air?

By the way, does a/c consume much fuel?

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When you turn on air con at max cold settings and to blow mid section of dash at max speed fun put a thermometer on the air vent and you should get readings between 4-6C. If anything above 8C or more the air con needs regas. 
 

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After much experimenting with the air-con in a Mondeo that I had the misfortune to own, I discovered that the higher speed you run the fan, the warmer the chilled air is.

Basically, the fan can run the air through the evaporator faster that it can be chilled.  If you use a slower fan speed, the air will be colder.

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Thanks Stivino and Tony. Well according to that article, I can set the heater to warm in winter while running the air con for 10 minutes, so I'll do that.

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the job of aircon is to remove moisture from the air you then have dry air that can be heated or cooled,

i dont know why people only ever think aircon produces cold air,

offices have aircon airports too and they are always nice and warm in winter without there being any radiators present.

 

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Using air con coupled with heat in winter helps provide faster demisting - 

For a number of years now, we have just kept our air con on the whole time, whether we have climate control or manual air con.

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as i said all aircon does is create dry air

this is why your windscreen can demist quicker in the winter months

using your aircon system 

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Thanks for the info guys. How long should coolant in a car air con system normally last before needing re-gassing, or might it never need replacing if it's run all year round? 

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7 hours ago, Merlin5 said:

Thanks for the info guys. How long should coolant in a car air con system normally last before needing re-gassing, or might it never need replacing if it's run all year round? 

It's refrigerant gas (different types dependant on car/age of car). It's not uncommon to need a top up/regas maybe every 3 years or so, but also not uncommon to last for 10 years with no regas.  It's luck of the draw, but using it regularly prevents the seals drying out thus prolonging it's life.

Lots of different views on air con and whether it causes the car to use more fuel etc, so people can be hesitant to use it all the time.  Personally I haven't owned a car (since a/c became common) that it made any difference to whatsoever, and mine is either set to auto or on all year round.  

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aircon has come a long way since its early days 

in the early days you use to hear a cluunk and see the revs drop and feel the engine slow down

when the AC was  turned on due to the load put on the engine

nowadays you dont feel anything like that

if your driving a hybrid i would say it doesn't effect the mpg as its an electric

pump driven from the hybrid Battery so no extra load on the engine and the battery 

is always being charged up .

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19 hours ago, Merlin5 said:

Mooly, no because I only just bought the car last month. When you say leave it on all year round, surely not when it's winter and I want hot air?

By the way, does a/c consume much fuel?

Others have pretty much answered this... but yes, you should keep A/C on all year round. It doesn't stop you getting hot air, but what it does do is remove a lot of moisture from that incoming air making things both more comfortable and also preventing any misting.

A/C uses some fuel no matter what the vehicle technology... and the energy ultimately comes from somewhere, it's not free... but it's difficult to find exact info on 'how much' as that depends on the conditions and usage. For example a slow crawl through heavy traffic on a hot day will see a far worse mpg hit with A/C vs without A/C than doing 70mph in similar temperature conditions and with and without. 

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There was a question and answer on Honest John this week re air con, and the answer was -

Most air conditioning problems in cars are caused by lack of use, usually because the driver has switched the system off during the winter/colder months. Air con systems in cars are not designed to be used in this way. They should be switched on 100% of the time, otherwise the joints dry out and allow the refrigerant gas to escape. In the worst cases (if the air con has been switched off for a very long time) the compressor will seize and fail.

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So it looks like it needs to be on 100% of the time all year round and not just for 10 minutes every 2 weeks. 

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51 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

There was a question and answer on Honest John this week re air con, and the answer was -

Most air conditioning problems in cars are caused by lack of use, usually because the driver has switched the system off during the winter/colder months. Air con systems in cars are not designed to be used in this way. They should be switched on 100% of the time, otherwise the joints dry out and allow the refrigerant gas to escape. In the worst cases (if the air con has been switched off for a very long time) the compressor will seize and fail.

Who is the author of that?

The opinion of experts says  "You should run your car’s AC for ten minutes in every couple of weeks."

There is plenty of opinions either way.  My car is 12 years old, the air con is perfect and I only use it occasionally so I take that as proof that it doesn't need to be used all the time.

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12 minutes ago, Stivino said:

Who is the author of that?

As stated it was a response to a question asked on the Honest John site this week, which should still be visible on that website

As I previously said, we've been leaving our air con on in our cars for a number of years, going back to 2009 - which includes two Auris, three i20's and an Aygo. 

We had our first air conditioned cars back in 1998. Prior to 2009 those with manual systems we ran the air con every week throughout the year for at least 15 minutes a time (Corolla, Primera, Mazda 323, Mazda Premacy, & Mazda 2) and for those with climate control, the system was left on permanently (Primera and Corolla).

It was back in 98 when we got our first new Primera, we were advised by the dealer to use air con with the heater for better demisting.

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24 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

As stated it was a response to a question asked on the Honest John site

Exactly, it was a response.  So, it could have been from anybody, not necessarily an expert.

It is a fact that it aids de-misting, after all, it is designed to dry air.  But there doesn't seem to be any hard evidence to say that leaving it on all the time will improve its longevity compared with having it on for ten minutes a month.

As I previously said; My car is 12 years old, the air con is perfect and I only use it occasionally so I take that as proof that it doesn't need to be used all the time.

 

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