Air conditioners: operation and maintenance

Air conditioning is hardly an integral part of the car today. What many do not know how to use it properly - and how important is their regular maintenance. Here are the answers to the most important questions about the air conditioning service.

08/22/2014 Luca light
What types of air conditioners are there?

First and foremost, a distinction is made between manual climate control and air machines. While the machines can be set to a desired temperature and automatically adjust the cooling capacity based on the measured internal temperature, the cooling power can be set for manual air conditioning systems only.

Why is the air service so important?

Since air conditioners work in a closed system, many manufacturers write the Air Service not available and leave it in the context of customer service at a visual inspection of the refrigerant item and the filter change. Especially in older cars, it can cause problems when the system is operated with too little refrigerant. According to Christian Spiegel, Bosch expert in air conditioning service units, the investments lose hoses and other system-related leaks annually up to ten percent of the refrigerant.
Can you do the air service itself?

The air service must be performed by a specialist workshop, since this technical requirements as a climate service unit, a leak detection system, various oils and expertise are required.

What happens when Air Service?

When air service the cooling liquid are sucked out of the system and separate the refrigerant-oil mixture. The refrigerant is then recycled, disposed of the oil. In order to remove any residual moisture and to check the tightness of the system, a vacuum pump is connected. After passing the leak test via the existing vacuum, the previously discharged amount of oil as a new oil and specified by the manufacturer amount of refrigerant to be filled. Finally, following a printing or functional test of the plant.

What components are defective in general, and how does this happen?

Concrete wear limits for the entire system does not exist. However, experts advise to have to perform a C service every two years. Here fall leaks on aged or porous hoses and seals as early on as broken air capacitors. Particular latter are often exposed to falling rocks or saline spray water in winter. With such mechanical damage or rust damage in the capacitor must be replaced. In older models, it happens also that air compressors overheat if the coolant level is too low, there will be lost with the refrigerant and lubricant. Modern vehicles, however, are usually equipped with a low pressure switch that turns off the air conditioning at too low level for safety's sake.

How much maintenance and repair?

For the Air Service euros are usually less than 100 due. however, repairs are significantly expensive. For a Golf VI, for example, only the air conditioning compressor can cost more than 400 euros, for a capacitor together with the associated dryer are depending on the model around 200 euros. Along with the installation quickly several thousand euros come together because depending on the vehicle and the extent of damage.

What helps against bad smells, and where did they come from?

With its warm and moist surface of the evaporator is an excellent breeding ground for fungi and bacteria that can cause foul odors. Remedy sprays and prolonged operation of the air conditioning. In addition, it helps to turn off the system always five minutes before the end of the journey, so that the evaporator dries. If that fails, the system can also be professionally cleaned and disinfected in the workshop.

Operating the air conditioning right?

When boarding first open the doors and the sliding roof so that the accumulated heat to escape. Manual air conditioning switch beginning to recirculation mode, since the inside cools more quickly. Later You can change back to fresh air. The air vents should always be fully open, as partially closed nozzles increase the back pressure, slow cooling and thus increase the demand for energy. In addition, air conditioners should be set to medium temperatures. Experts recommend a year-round setting of 22 degrees. Especially older air conditioners should run in summer and winter once a month for at least ten minutes so that the shaft seal of the compressor is lubricated and not leaking.