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The Threat of Air Con: Who knew?

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air con

There’s one topic you can always get us Brits waxing lyrical about, the weather!

This is especially the case when the sun comes out, sun glasses are dusted off and you debate whether your 99 ice cream should have one flake or two. Getting out and enjoying the sun, whether it’s a trip to your local park or a day trip further afield often means you and your family will hop in the car to reach your chosen destination.

We all know being stuck in a hot car isn’t always pleasant especially with kids asking ‘are we there yet?’ or your navigator losing their spot on the map. But these won’t be the least pleasant aspects of your journey if you aren’t careful. When you switch your air-con on a build up of bacteria and pollen means that there could be more than just fresh air flowing through the vents.

Most cars should be serviced every 10,000 miles or every year but did you know that an air-con service isn’t included in your car’s regular service schedule. As with all things mechanical this system needs to be serviced on a regular basis to keep it operating at optimum performance.

But why get your air-con serviced?

1.       Checking for leaks.

Daily encounters with pot holes and road conditions, coupled with travelling at speed and differing engine temperatures makes a very hostile environment for your air-con. A result can be that refrigerant gas (the gas required to cool the air) leaks out of the system over time. Flexible pipes and seals helps to absorb some of these vibrations however it’s through these seals and pipes that gas commonly leaks with the average system losing 10% of gas per year. Eventually the pressure will be reduced to a level whereby the system will no longer operate.

2.       Your air-con hasn’t been used for a while.

When the sun comes out many drivers reach for the air-con button for the first time in months and discover the system doesn’t work. The majority of drivers don’t realise that the system must be used on a regular basis to keep the seals moist. Mixed within the gas is lubricating oil to keep the compressor unit running smoothly.

As with all oil it should be replaced regularly so as part of your air-con service the system is drained under vacuum removing any gas, oil and moisture from the system. When recharged with gas and new oil the system will run more efficiently.

3.       Bacteria build up.

It’s far from a nice thought to think of all the bacteria built up in your air vents. Ever wondered what that stale smell is when you turn on your air-con? This is a smell usually associated with a dirty pollen filter and build up on bacteria. The pollen filter is a key component in your car’s air-con system as it filters air before it enters your vehicles interior. These germs and bacteria have been linked with asthma and respiratory problems.

Within your regular air-con service will be an antibacterial clean removing any nasty odours and germs so that all you get when you turn on your air-con is fresh air.


Have we convinced you to get your air-con serviced?

air-conJust remember not to confuse an air-con service with an air-con ‘recharge’. A recharge is where the gas in your system is topped up to the correct level. Although fine as an interim solution, the ideal solution is to fully drain the system, remove moisture, renew the oil and gas along with giving your air-con an antibacterial clean. The full monty you get when taking your car for an air-con service.

It is highly recommended that you service your air-con every two years and get the pollen filter replaced. That way you can enjoy some summer road trips in the cool, calm environment of your car but unfortunately we can’t guarantee that perfectly working air-con will not stop your kids repeatedly asking if you’re there yet!


Written by Anna Stanley @ Dunlop www.dunloptyres.co.uk 

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