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Car Air Conditioning FAQS

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Noel Burke Motor Repairs are well placed to take care all of your Vehicle Air Conditioner Re-gas, Repairs, Service or Inspection needs.

Car air conditioners use refrigerant to withdraw the heat from the air in the car to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air behind to be redistributed. It is important to regularly carry out an appraisal of the condition of the rubber seals for any signs of leaks or wearing which could be an indication of a loss of refrigerant.

To compensate for this issue the refrigerant in your Automotive Air Conditioning system should ideally be refilled completely within four years of the manufacture date and every two to three years after that.

Your vehicle should be inspected by a qualified workshop such as Noel Burke Motor Repairs (AU33497) on a regular basis to make sure the air conditioning system continues performing at its best as well as having the mechanics check out the condition of the whole vehicle.

Repco Authorised Service mechanics perform a 65 point Vehicle Inspection with every service and are usually able to warn you about any items that may need renewing in the near future or those that are already worn beyond repair.


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Noel Burke Motor Repairs (AU33497) care about the environment and have Arctick Authorisation to reliably and responsibly conduct automotive air conditioning service in and around Narrabri and the surrounding areas.


Air Conditioning FAQ's

How does a Car Air Conditioner cool a vehicle?

A car air conditioning system could be seen as having four basic parts - a belt driven pump known as a compressor to compress and circulate gas, a radiator like unit called a condenser to release heat and condense gas to a liquid, an expansion device, known as a thermal expansion valve (TXV) or an orifice tube (subject to the sort 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.

An automotive air conditioning is designed to absorb the heat from the air within the interior area of the car and transfer it to the outside, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be redistributed. 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.

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What comprises a car air conditioning service?
A typical air conditioner service may include some of the following items:
  • Air vent temperature check

  • Evaluate condenser temperature

  • Check suction line temperature

  • Corrections of pulley and drive belt

  • Ensure that valves and thermostats are operating correctly

  • Validate cleanliness of the condenser fins

  • Ensure good condition of components and hoses

  • Evacuation and recharge of refrigerant (where required)

  • System line and component evaluation with electronic tester

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Why do I need a car air conditioner system service?
The oil level in the refrigerant needs to checked & replenished to prevent the compressor from seizing up. If the air filters become clogged with dirt and bacteria it will affect the performance of the entire system and it can even cause it to break down completely. In addition to reducing air conditioner efficiency, dirty air filters can cause all kinds of health problems too.

A vehicle air conditioner should be examined yearly for any signs of problems with the seals, hoses and connections and ensure refrigerant is not being lost over time. Regularly servicing your car 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 minimises fuel usage.

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Why does the car air conditioner need to be serviced?

An automotive air conditioning is designed to absorb the heat from the air within the interior area of the car to the outside, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be redistributed. 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 difficult operating conditions and being operated occasionally rather than being 'Always On' can cause problems on the connections, seals and hoses. Your 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.

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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.

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What is the source of the bad smell in car air conditioning?

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. Newer type evaporator units tend to be more efficient, yet have increased capability to trap moisture and allow for micro-organism development.

Noel Burke Motor Repairs mechanics have access to specialised ultrasonic technology to take care of any micro-organisms possibly causing any unpleasant odours or health concerns.

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.

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