Seven essential steps of an AC Service

Like any other system in the car, air-conditioning needs regular maintenance to ensure good performance and prevent expensive repairs. DENSO takes a look at the seven basic steps to follow in order to carry out a complete vehicle air-conditioning service.

A thorough air-conditioning service will take between 45 minutes and one hour. Below are the minimum required guidelines for an efficient air-conditioning service:

The 7 essential steps:

  1. The first and very important step is to confirm operation and performance of the air conditioning system. When receiving the car from your customer always confirm whether there are any complaints or problems such as noticeable decrease in performance, noise or bad smell in the interior. Check A/C cooling performance by measuring the air outlet temperature in order to have a precise reference value for later when performing the final check.
  1. Check if the vehicle is equipped with an interior filter and if this filter needs replacing. Timely replacement will prevent reduction of airflow into the car’s interior and in some cases, blockages.
  1. Check the state of the system parts. Check if there is any damage, such as stone hitting or corrosion, which might give problems later and check whether the condenser or radiator surface is polluted with dirt, which can restrict air flow.
  1. Identification of the refrigerant inside the system. ‘Drop in’ or imitation refrigerants can easily reduce performance and damage the system components, such as your compressor.
  1. Identification of the quality of the refrigerant and oil. Many times improper oils are used and improper or too much UV leak detection fluid is used, which can reduce lifetime of your compressor and is one of the main reasons why compressors fail.
  1. Check for refrigerant leakage. There is no one perfect method for identifying leaks and best practice is the combination of two or three different methods.
  1. Test air-conditioning system for proper operation. When checking the system operation, you not only test performance, but also check for noise, operation of condenser fan and air flow, air mixing (heating and cooling) and, bad smell in the interior when in A/C mode.

The benefits of a properly maintained and serviced system include:

  • A longer lifetime, which means fewer or no expensive repairs.
  • Lower fuel consumption because the system does not operate at maximum capacity all the time.
  • Environmental benefits because of lower exhaust gas and refrigerant emissions.
  • Higher comfort because less noise, cleaner air, better controlled temperatures and humidity, benefits the driver’s health and safety.
  • Warranty cost reduction on previous repairs or services given to the same customer.