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How long should car air conditioning last?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lookingfornemo, May 15, 2011.

  1. I had it renewed or filled up or whatever they do to it, about this time last year. I thought it was meant to last a long time, but this past week it hasn't been cold at all. Am I supposed to have it topped up every year? It is quite a new car and I use the air con quite often. I'm not even really sure how it works!
     
  2. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    It's effectively a refrigerator in the car and the system shouldn't need recharging unless the car is left unused for some time. Perhaps you have a leak in your system.
     
  3. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Our local independent garage reckons that AC loses about 10% of the gas per year and that it should be topped up every 2 years according to most manufacturers. I'd expect it to last 3-4 before it needs doing.
    Sounds like you have a leak in the system somewhere.
     
  4. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    depending on how the car is set up, there will be an air filter in there somewhere which might be blocked and full of **** which will need changing.

    As Harshie said, it can run down if not used for a long time, which is why it is a good idea to run it once a week for a few minutes even in the winter.
     
  5. I use it quite often - and yes probably most days, even in winter. I wondered if I might have used all the stuff up - whatever it is that cools it down. Is it gas? I will go and google changing the filter. Thanks
     
  6. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    No, the coolant doesn't get 'used up'.
     
  7. The A/C systems on cars were converted from old R12 gas to 134a gas around 1988 due to ozone problems, this gas runs on higher pressures through the condenser (air conditioning radiator), and therefore causes leakage mostly through this component, your system needs topping up once every 2 years and if this period is not achieved it indicates leak in the system and most probably in the condenser. It is advisable to replace the condenser with a good quality brand since the more expensive parts are internally zinc coated to reduce the effects of 134a gas. (coldstar.co.uk)
     

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