Why Is My Car’s Air Conditioning Not Working?
Air conditioning in vehicles can sometimes lose their cool and become less effective than they once used to be. There is a range of issues that can affect the air conditioning in a car with an automatic transmission, including not cooling, losing power and emitting bad odours.
There are a number of reasons for these air conditioning malfunctions, such as system leaks, belt drives failing, lack of use, or compressor or condenser failure. While it might seem like a sensible option to top up or change the refrigerant gas; the issue might not be that straightforward.
Identifying Air Conditioning Issues
If you think there is an issue with your vehicles air conditioning because it has a strange smell or isn’t blowing cold, it is worth getting your car thoroughly checked. Just like with any other part of your car, such as the automatic gearbox, your air conditioning will require an inspection to determine the problem.
These inspections on air conditioning units will check the temperature, the refrigerant, for any leaks and an examination of the key components such as hoses, drive belts and the compressor and condenser. After an inspection, you should have a good idea of where the issue lies. A mechanic will be able to re-gas and service your refrigerant or recommend additional repairs that could be required.
If your car requires the gas to be topped up, the type of gas needed will depend on the vehicle you drive.
What Air Conditioning Gas Do I Need?
There are two main types of gas manufacturers use for air conditioning in vehicles; there is R134a gas for older vehicles and 1234yf gas for newer models. The type of gas your car requires can be found in the vehicle handbook, and it is vital that you get this right.
The reason for these two gas types is because of a new law introduced in January 2017. From this date, all vehicles were required to use 1234yf gas. This is as it is more environmentally friendly. 1234yf gas actually produces 98% fewer climate-damaging pollutants compared with the older R134a gas.
While the law came in in 2017, many manufacturers were fitting the new gas from 2013. This means that many cars made from 2013 onwards use 1234yf gas. However, some may still use the older R134a gas, so it is important that you check. Sometimes air-con refrigerant is just in need of a recharge instead of completely replacing.