• Click here to view guides for helpful forum features.

Car Air Con

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,045
1,027
40,935
I wrote elsewhere on the forum that I considered upgrading my 2009 Mk1 Kia Sorento tow car.
It drives and tows well, but the air con / climate control had stopped working which made longer motorway trips rather noisy and a bit uncomfortable because of the need to have the drivers window open to cut down on the heat inside.
I took the Sorento to a tyre and exhaust place that regassed vehicle aircon last year but the fitter said that he couldn't do the job because of a leak in the system.
I found a local aircon specialist workshop today, after forgetting about getting the aircon tested for almost a year and he pressure tested the system and reported that there was no leak.
The aircon guy said that there might be a very slow leak, so he added the gas and some dye to my aircon system and told me to use it as often as possible.
If there turns out to be a serious leak they will investigate further.
It was a blissfully cool drive home, aircon on, windows shut.
Today's aircon technician mentioned that the valves were a bit awkward to get to under the bonnet, and I can't help wondering whether the less experienced fitter from last year took a look, decided that the job was too fiddly for him to bother with and reported a leak?
We're off to St Ives again at the end of this month, and if the aircon is still working properly during the long tow down I'll be a happy man. 😅
 
Mar 14, 2005
14,162
987
40,935
C:sweatsmile::sweatsmile:L man!!!

There are numerous seals in an AC unit and if the AC is not used regularly some seals can begin to dry out and leak.

If that's all that happened, then sometimes regassing the system floods it with the new fluid and it can sometime regenerate them enough to make them work.

Just make sure you use it regularly.

The big problem can arise if the pipes have separated enough to allow debris into them. This contaminates the system and can involve major work to flush out repair and ragas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Parksy
Jun 16, 2020
1,515
490
1,935
I just leave mine on all the time. (Unless Windows are open, which is about never). Just a nicer atmosphere. Car is now in its eighth year, I think I will get it topped up soon, it gives it a boost.

John
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,045
1,027
40,935
I just leave mine on all the time. (Unless Windows are open, which is about never). Just a nicer atmosphere. Car is now in its eighth year, I think I will get it topped up soon, it gives it a boost.

John
The technician today said that if the aircon continues to work, take it back every 18 months for a re-gas.
The problem might have started because I have a Fiesta runabout for local journeys, so the seals might have dried out on the Sorento.
Because the majority of our groceries are delivered now and my granddaughter has changed schools so I no longer collect her, I might sell the Fiesta instead.
 
Jul 15, 2008
3,313
188
20,735
.......regular regasing to check the level is best practice as is regular ocasional use throughout the year.
Keeps everything lubricated.
I have been told that if the level gets too low most systems shut down to protect components.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dustydog and Parksy
May 24, 2014
3,188
472
20,935
On my wifes Volvo, the aircon rad is mounted very low at the front of the car and is hit by nearly every stone that gets thrown up. Eventually the aircon lost its ability to chill, and we had it regassed, only for it to revert to type in a couple of days. Eventually we had the rad replaced and car regassed again, £200 all in. Been in it all day today after its been stood for nearly 18 months, only very occasional short journeys and the aicon is still tickety boo.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Parksy

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,045
1,027
40,935
For a pressure test, re-gas and dye I paid fifty quid.
The more I think about it, the more I feel that the initial failure on the Sorento was due to lack of use.
I've used the Sorento more recently because the auto gearbox is easier on my sciatica than the manual Fiesta.
Which reminds me, I haven't used the Fiesta for about a month.
I must run the aircon on the Ford in the morning 🤯
 
Jan 3, 2012
5,248
923
25,935
From day one i use the air con on my car and it was checked last Monday it got go back to have a air con service end of this month if it needs to re gas we have it done.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Parksy
Oct 8, 2006
1,139
170
19,235
Just remember that under normal use the air-con will increase your fuel consumption by about 3-5mpg.
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,045
1,027
40,935
Just remember that under normal use the air-con will increase your fuel consumption by about 3-5mpg.
That's true Woodentop, but on a long tow on a warm day it's worth it for us.
I'm not one for detailed conversation when I'm driving, but with the air con keeping us cool and the car windows shut at least I'll be able to hear when Herself says something, without losing concentration through straining to hear over the ambient motorway noise when I'm towing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: otherclive
Jun 16, 2020
1,515
490
1,935
Just remember that under normal use the air-con will increase your fuel consumption by about 3-5mpg.
About 1 to 1.5 is normally quoted. And around my findings. But small engined cars seem more adversely affected.

But the benefits out way the negatives IMO. Years ago, aircon was marketed as a safety feature. You don’t seem to hear that now.


John
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dustydog
Jul 18, 2017
3,351
698
6,935
Our Jeep will be 9 years old at end of year and I doubt if it has ever been re-gassed. I have had it 3 years and have not re-gassed it. Our Corolla is 26 years old and there is no record of it ever having been re-gassed and air con works perfectly. I think I have only had to re-gas an air con system once and that was over 30 years ago!
 
Oct 17, 2010
839
131
18,935
My air con is on auto all the while, summer or winter, never switched off.
Apart from increasing fuel consumption A/C also eats into your horse power.

Anybody any idea how much?
 
Jun 16, 2020
1,515
490
1,935
Our Jeep will be 9 years old at end of year and I doubt if it has ever been re-gassed. I have had it 3 years and have not re-gassed it. Our Corolla is 26 years old and there is no record of it ever having been re-gassed and air con works perfectly. I think I have only had to re-gas an air con system once and that was over 30 years ago!
We had a car a short while ago and I thought the air-con was fine. A local place had a great deal on so I got it done. France was very hot that year and the improvement was marked.

John
 
Jun 16, 2020
1,515
490
1,935
My air con is on auto all the while, summer or winter, never switched off.
Apart from increasing fuel consumption A/C also eats into your horse power.

Anybody any idea how much?
Air-con switches on and off. In my car you can’t tell it’s happened and it feels no different. But logically some power is used.

On low powered cars you feel a jar when it comes on and really feel the difference. I know of people that turn the air-con off to go up a hill.

So HP used as a percentage of HP available will be very different.

John
 
Oct 17, 2010
839
131
18,935
Air-con switches on and off. In my car you can’t tell it’s happened and it feels no different. But logically some power is used.

On low powered cars you feel a jar when it comes on and really feel the difference. I know of people that turn the air-con off to go up a hill.

So HP used as a percentage of HP available will be very different.

John
The only indication I have is the increased in air flow at the start of a journey, either cooling or warming,
 
Nov 11, 2009
11,455
2,001
40,935
BTW what is the difference between air conditioning and climate control?
Air con you have to turn the controls and it doesn’t self adjust. ACC automatic climate control is self adjusting around the set temperature and will normally self select recirc mode if required.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JezzerB
Mar 14, 2005
14,162
987
40,935
Leaving the car windows open increases fuel consumption more than using AC would.

Air is colder too !
That has a lot variables and it can go either way depending on how wide open your windows are, how many are open and how fast you are going


My air con is on auto all the while, summer or winter, never switched off.
Apart from increasing fuel consumption A/C also eats into your horse power.

Anybody any idea how much?
This also has a lot of variables. When you turn the AC on you are only telling it you want it to cool. but it has operating limits just like a fridge and once the AC system is cool enough it stops using power until it has warmed up a little. How quickly this occurs is dependant on how much heat you are asking it to move.
How it affects fuels consumption and available power for driving depends on the rating of the unit. I have seen quite a range of quoted power consumptions for car AC units from as little as 3kw (4hp) to 15kW (20Hp) How that impacts fuel consumption is difficult to calculate, becasue the AC usually does not use power all the time.

I am sure it would be more noticable in a high mpg small car than a bigger lower mpg vehicle.


BTW what is the difference between air conditioning and climate control?
AC is simple the unit that transfers heat. It has a secondary function of being able to remove humidity.

Climate control is an over all system that measures the "climate" (usually temperature and humidity) and decides whether to add or remove heat and sometimes to add heat as well as trying to remove humidity at the same time. They often also have some automation of which outlets to use in the car
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dustydog and DaveA1

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,045
1,027
40,935
My Kia has climate control that will maintain the temperature dialed in, but when it's turned down to mininum temperature it is air conditioning.
There's never been any problem with warming the car interior, the heating side of the climate control has always been very good.
We get properly cooled air now with the re-gas.
 
Jan 3, 2012
5,248
923
25,935
My Kia has climate control that will maintain the temperature dialed in, but when it's turned down to mininum temperature it is air conditioning.
There's never been any problem with warming the car interior, the heating side of the climate control has always been very good.
We get properly cooled air now with the re-gas.
I hope it gives plenty of cool air now after the re-gas and for many years to come;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Parksy

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts