As you know, there is always a bit of shrinkage. In the case of refrigerant in the car air conditioning system, the is around ten percent per year. It should therefore be maintained regularly. This is done with a service device. For the check, the specialist in the workshop connects two hoses to the air conditioning circuit one at the low pressure side and one at the high pressure side. Ideally, the pressure gauge shows a balanced result. However, to determine whether there is still enough refrigerant in the system, it must also be pumped out and weighed.
Checking for leaks
Finally, the service unit in the air conditioner creates a vacuum for ten minutes to catch the last of the refrigerant. Once everything is out, it checks for leaks. If it has a leak, it must not be refilled. That's what the law says, and the service unit is programmed accordingly. Finally, don't let the refrigerant go uncontrolled into the environment. If everything is tight, the refrigerant that has been pumped out and filtered in the service unit can be pumped back into the system. What is missing is filled up. There is also a little oil.
Because in addition to the refrigerant, there is also oil in the system. Therefore, it is important that the whole mixture circulates regularly. If the compressor is not properly lubricated, the piston seizes up – analogous to the car engine. While the battery can go flat in the winter when it's freezing cold, the air conditioner can stretch its wings in high temperatures in midsummer. Namely, when it needs to perform at peak capacity, but there is not enough refrigerant left in it. But where does the money go? After all, it is a closed circuit. In fact, small quantities of. Over the years, a considerable "shortfall" can occur.
The air conditioning service takes about an hour. For this you have to reckon with an average of about 150 euros depending on the amount and type of refrigerant. The bottom line is that a visit to the workshop always pays off. Because if the system runs dry because there is not enough refrigerant in it, it will break down. Then it gets really expensive.
Tip: An air conditioner is one of the few things that wears out when it's not running. Even in winter it should therefore go. To be switched on again for a short time. Even if it switches off again quickly at an outside temperature of five degrees Celsius or less – the climate cycle gets going. This also helps against fogged windows.
By the way, the little sister of climate maintenance is the climate check. Thereby the interior filter is changed. And if it smells like wet dog in the car, it doesn't necessarily have to be because of the four-legged friend in the trunk. In an air conditioner, which works on the same principle as a refrigerator, the humidity condenses. The air shaft becomes a paradise for fungal spores, bacteria, and even algae. So-called mycotoxins could even endanger health. The only thing that helps is a professional disinfection of the system in the workshop.