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Car Air Con

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Feb 23, 2018
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Way back I had a Ford Ka with Air Conditioning - ignoring the fact you had to turn off the A/C to pull away with any sense of urgency it worked fine, until you didn't use for the winter. Then it broke. Had the car from new for about 3 years and the A/C was always broke. Had the A/C regassed on my last car once in 7 years. I always put it down to the car's under-tray protecting the gubbins from stones etc.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Many years ago I picked up a hire car at Dulles. It was a Chrysler K car automatic and quite compact fir an American car. After a short distance I felt it keep hesitating so as I’d got a long journey south I returned to Avis to check it out. To some ribbing the desk staff told me it was only the aircon kicking in or out as the weather was very hot and humid and K cars lacked a decent V8😂
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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It’s not really feasible to say how much extra mpg aircon takes unless there are controlled test regimes. I have read papers that have measured a 90% increase in heavy slow moving traffic and hot weather. Conversely it seems to be agreed that above 55 mph driving with aircon is more fuel efficient than driving with the window open. Not using the aircon you are still hauling a sizeable weight around with its drive still operating but not engaged, that impacts to some extent on mpg. So it’s all rather academic in the absence of up to date information based on trial data. I subscribe to the view that it makes driving in warm weather more pleasant and safer. Plus as modern cars don’t demist as well as the oldies the aircon demisting is a blessing even with a heated front screen.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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200 K on two Sorentos only required four regasses, one new AC Condensor. In truth towing the caravan , the AC never made a noticeable difference to the mpg. Note in ACC setting the aircon comes on immediately in sub zero temperatures to help with de icing. Weird , but there is method in the madness as many know.
The Sories aircon is super cool . They were built and designed to operate in pacific rim countries with high weather temperatures. Chill out Steve. You will be 😎
 
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Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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The Kia aircon is still working ok today, so if there is a leak it's a slow one.
The discussion about the effects of air con or open car windows is interesting, but if I had to worry about a couple of less mpg because I put the aircon on in the car it would be time to pack in driving altogether.
I've never been that interested in exactly how many mpg the car does when towing on holiday, it uses what it uses and when the fuel tank is nearly empty I fill it up again, simple as that.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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I have one sight niggle, if it is one, is that on a long journey I get a very dry mouth.
Carry a few Tic-Tacs to suck on, when needed.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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As we have decided that we really like this car and it fulfils all our needs we intend to keep it. The air con works fine but I know from old that re-gassing gives it a boost. So I am having it done on Monday. I am using a Groupon deal £42 including anti bac through the vents. At ATS who have always provided a good service.

Even if a system is working, I am told the gas absorbs moisture and the lubricant element deteriorates over time. So a worthwhile thing to do I think.

John
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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I just remembered that shortly after we bought the Jeep in Oct 2018, a leak was found in the radiator for the air con and they replaced the radiator so would have had to replace the fluid. The vehicle has done about 19k miles since then and the air con is left permanently on even in winter. So I would think re-gassed less than 3 years ago
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I can’t find any reliable advice Re how often regassing should be done but it’s not just topping up, they vacuum drain, remove moisture, check weight and work out any loss, then replenish with new gas and lubricant.

RAC suggest every 2 years, I think I might go with about 5 years. Unless it’s not working as it should.

John
 
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May 24, 2014
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Thats how it should be done rather than just refilling it. I was always told that the system should be run once a week on max then min for at least 5 mins. In all honesty, I have never actually done that.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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If it’s working perfectly leave it alone. You must use it every week even in winter. It is a sealed pressurised system so unless there is a leak it’s hard to see how the fluids will deteriorate annually?? Think about your domestic fridge. Anyone had it regassed?
 
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Feb 23, 2018
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For these kind of things I subscribe to the "fix if broke" mantra. If the A/C blows cold, all good.

Re:MPG, I have no idea if using the A/C impacts your fuel economy, but I do recall someone testing A/C vs open windows at motorway speeds, and the increased drag of having the windows open was worse than using A/C.

One car I owned had only 2 optional extras [I think], front fog lights (which actually looked stupid on this car) and A/C. The original owner chose neither. So I would stare longingly at the single blank switch on the dash which would have been the manual A/C as I was baked on summer motorway commutes.
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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If it’s working perfectly leave it alone. You must use it every week even in winter. It is a sealed pressurised system so unless there is a leak it’s hard to see how the fluids will deteriorate annually?? Think about your domestic fridge. Anyone had it regassed?
Just sold my 20 year old American type fridge. Still apparently working well. But I believe the difference between vehicle air con and a domestic fridge or freezer might be that with the fridge freezer the compressor is encased in a fully sealed unit. With a car the drive goes via a bearing and seal. The seal can leak both ways.

Tech explanation here.

In my experience of having systems re-gassed in the past, is, how could they have been working perfectly when re-gassing make a big difference.

Mine is never off. 8 years old with air con working well. It is being serviced on Monday. I will see if there is an improvement with this car.

John
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Just sold my 20 year old American type fridge. Still apparently working well. But I believe the difference between vehicle air con and a domestic fridge or freezer might be that with the fridge freezer the compressor is encased in a fully sealed unit. With a car the drive goes via a bearing and seal. The seal can leak both ways.

Tech explanation here.

In my experience of having systems re-gassed in the past, is, how could they have been working perfectly when re-gassing make a big difference.

Mine is never off. 8 years old with air con working well. It is being serviced on Monday. I will see if there is an improvement with this car.

John
Assuming the drop off in AC performance is with age, Humans are notoriously poor at detecting such slow changes. Look at brakes, and tyres, we may think their working great, but you still notice the difference when they are changed.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Assuming the drop off in AC performance is with age, Humans are notoriously poor at detecting such slow changes. Look at brakes, and tyres, we may think their working great, but you still notice the difference when they are changed.
I suggested that to SWMBO Prof. Doc says my black eye will take weeks to heal😁
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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As we have decided that we really like this car and it fulfils all our needs we intend to keep it. The air con works fine but I know from old that re-gassing gives it a boost. So I am having it done on Monday. I am using a Groupon deal £42 including anti bac through the vents. At ATS who have always provided a good service.

Even if a system is working, I am told the gas absorbs moisture and the lubricant element deteriorates over time. So a worthwhile thing to do I think.

John
To update. I had this done today. The quantity of coolant had depleted to 63%. But it was working quite well. But it is now noticeably improved.

928BADE5-6019-4128-A6EE-01F595FCFEED.jpeg

John
 
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Aug 24, 2020
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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.
Same here - my Jeep is just over 13 years old, I've had it for ten and the aircon has never been gassed since I've had it - although I was thinking yesterday that although it was pumping out chilled air, it may not be as efficient as it once was so maybe it's time I had it looked at?
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Same here - my Jeep is just over 13 years old, I've had it for ten and the aircon has never been gassed since I've had it - although I was thinking yesterday that although it was pumping out chilled air, it may not be as efficient as it once was so maybe it's time I had it looked at?
See post #37 for correction. Our previous Jeep was 13 years old and had never been re-gassed as I had all the previous service documents and the air con was still quite effective.
 

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