Is Your Car’s Air Conditioning Ready For Summer?

Car air conditioning

With summer 2021 truly here chances are you’re going to reach out to turn on the air conditioning more often while driving. Whether you’re planning a weekend trip or even a routine grocery haul, we recommend checking your car’s air conditioning so you don’t get caught out struggling behind the wheel on a hot summer day.

To help keep you cool while driving during the summer months, we have launched a range of new air conditioning jobs. If you haven’t had your air conditioning checked this year, then now is probably the time.

Remember, most car manufacturers recommend that the air-con system is regassed (also known as a recharge) every 2 years. A regas can help ensure the system can perform optimally and can even help improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

  • Why carry out an air conditioning anti-bacterial clean & health check?

    Factors such as moisture, dust and other impurities in air-conditioning systems can encourage bacteria. Foul smells and poor air quality can aggravate allergies and infections. Doing an anti-bacterial clean of the air-conditioning system regularly not only reduces bad odours but also protects the health of your vehicle.

  • Do I need an air conditioning regas / recharge

    A tell-tale sign your car needs an air-con regas is if the air from the vents is blowing warm air or is not as cool as it used to be. Even if you don’t use it as often, air-con systems need regular servicing and maintenance. Most manufacturers recommend an aircon regas is carried out every two years, so if you can’t remember the last time you did it, it’s worth getting it regassed. Ultimately this can help improve the performance of the air-con system and can contribute to improving your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

  • How much does an air conditioning regas / recharge cost?

    ClickMechanic offers air conditioning regassing across the UK at a fixed price, which depends on whether your vehicle takes R134a refrigerant gas or the R1234yf refrigerant gas found on newer vehicles:

    • R134a regas: £69.99
    • R1234yf regas: £134.99

It’s super easy to book with ClickMechanic. Just tell us about your car, input your postcode and pick a time, date and location. You’ll get an instant fair price to book an air conditioning regas service by a vetted mechanic.

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How Often Should You Change The Pollen Filter?

How often should you change the pollen filter?

A pollen filter or cabin air filter keeps the air that flows into the cabin clean. What it does is filter out any pollen or dirt that flows into the car. This is not only great to keep the air clean for any passengers inside the car, but it will also keep the system clean. The downside to this is, the more you drive the faster the filter gets blocked and you will find yourself soo in the situation when you will have to replace the pollen filter. The upside of keeping the pollen filter clean is that you can help improve the performance of your ventilation or air conditioning system.

How Often Should You Change The Pollen Filter?

The pollen filter is a part that would regularly need to be replaced. The more you drive the car, the dirtier it will get. That’s why it should really be replaced at regular intervals. Your car’s service schedule will give advice as to when it needs replacing. How often it is needed as such does really depend on the type of car you have and how much you drive and where. After all, driving in traffic or in heavily polluted areas will mean that the pollen filter needs replacing more often. As it will be more affected by grime and dust.

How Can You Tell If The Pollen Filter Needs Replacing?

The pollen filter’s main job is to stop the dirty air from entering the cabin. But if the air ventilation system is not performing very well it’s possible that it’s dirty. Over time lots of dust, grime, twigs, leaves, and even insects can accumulate across the service of the pollen filter.

The filter traps dust, pollen, and other foreign particles, essentially cleaning the air before you breathe it in. Often you may be able to remove some of the bits and pieces that have nestled itself in the filter. Like all filters, they need at least cleaning when they become clogged or start to smell. At some stage, though, a pollen filter replacement is inevitable.

Checking the condition of the pollen filter can be left to the mechanic for your next service. Usually, the pollen filter replacements will be covered by your service schedule which is recommended by your manufacturer. These scheduled services are important to the maintenance of your car and will prolong life for many years. There are multiple signs of a pollen filter that just isn’t working anymore, here are a few now.

Sign 1: Poor airflow

The most common issue with pollen filters is poor airflow, as more and more debris clumps together to block the filter. This will obviously mean that you don’t actually feel much, despite you speeding down the motorway. Opening a window hurts your MPG so this small breeze is a bit more of an issue.

Sign 2: A bad smell?

Another symptom of a blocked up pollen filter is a foul-smelling breeze. As dust builds, so does bacteria and fungus. These microorganisms will release a lot of pungent smells that no scented pine will ever protect you from. You might not notice it if you drive often, but newcomers to the car may just plug their nose as they struggle to breathe the ‘clean’ air.

Sign 3: Is that a WRRRR CRCH CRCH SSSSS sound I hear?

If there is some blockage, you may hear odd noises or just a loud low tone sound. This might alarm your passengers if you can even hear them over the sound of air being squeezed into your car. It definitely puts a slight dampener on any relaxing drive.

Particularly in the city, it is important to have a functioning pollen filter as there are plenty more pollutants in the air which you need to avoid. In urban environments, you may want to get your filters replaced more regularly due to the stop-start nature and heavy traffic. We recommend sticking to your scheduled servicing per your manufacturer’s guidelines, as this will keep the filters and the rest of the car in prime condition.

If you think there is a problem with your pollen filter then get a certified Clickmechanic to come out and inspect the problem with your airflow system.

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Why Is My Car Heater Not Working?

Why is my car heater not working?

The heater system is very important to stay on top of to keep yourself and your car warm. Especially during the winter months the heater in your car is vital to stay warm as well as safe. After all, the heater also helps demist and defrost your windows. Getting heater problems sorted before it gets cold is therefore key. Luckily, there’s only a couple of parts that can cause problems.

Heater matrix

The heater matrix is one of the heater parts most prone to failure. The matrix is a little radiator that heats up the cold air from outside before it flows into the cabin. If it is clogged up with debris it will mean that it won’t be able to heat up the air passing through it enough.

Over time the heater matrix core can also start to leak due to corrosion. This too will have an impact on how much warmth it can generate. Which is not what you want in winter!

Heater blower motor

Another part to check is the blower motor, which helps to distribute the warm air into your vehicle. Over time it’s possible that the motor’s strength will weaken or fail completely. Check the different blower speeds to see if the blower strength changes. If there is no change then the blower motor or the blower motor resistor is faulty.

Finding out which of the two is faulty can be tricky and often can only be done by removing the parts. The resistor more often than not fails due to corrosion caused by moisture in the system. An increased electrical current through the part can also lead to a resistor failure. Often this happens due to a failed blower motor or one that can’t spin freely.

Heater inspection

If you’re not sure what is actually faulty it’s always advisable to get an inspection first. So that a mechanic can check exactly what is wrong before any parts are replaced. Remember, replacing heater parts can be quite labour-intensive. Sometimes large parts of the dashboard need to be removed to get to the parts. This can get expensive, especially if it turns out that it’s just a small electrical problem and not the heater matrix.

Can My Car’s Air Conditioning Make Me Ill?

Can my car's air conditioning make me ill?

In a word – yes. It may seem unlikely but there is strong evidence that your car’s air conditioning can actually make you ill. The air that is pushed into your car’s cabin may seem cool and fresh but there can be a lot wrong with it. And often that problem is mould.

Mould can grow on the air conditioning’s evaporator deep inside the system, where it is dark and wet. The evaporator cools the air that comes out of the air vents inside the cabin. The evaporator gets wet in the process and provides a surface on which mould can develop.

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How Your Air Conditioning Can Make You Ill

The air that travels through the evaporator into the cabin will pass any mould that has developed. The bacteria there can make you ill. In some extreme cases the mould can lead to an infectious pneumonia – however this is extremely rare. If you do have mould growing in your air conditioning you’re more likely to experience minor respiratory issues, such as a slight tightening of the chest. Other people may cough or sneeze.

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How Do I Know If There Is Mould In My Air Conditioning?

If there is a strange smell coming out of your air conditioning vents, then it is most likely due to a build up of mould. There other causes, such as a build up of residue from cigarettes, however in most cases this is due to mould. If this is the case, the best course of action is to get your car air conditioning professionally cleaned, as this will help to kill the bacteria.

The best way you can protect yourself from mould build up, is to keep you car AC regularly serviced. Ensuring that you’re AC filters are renewed regularly will help ensure that dangerous levels of mould don’t build up.