Hot Weather and Leaks
During hot weather, we see a massive increase in leaks in car ac systems. Your car's air conditioning can be working fine, then the next day it is blowing hot air. This is usually caused when the weather gets hot the Refriderant in the AC system increases in pressure due to the ambient heat outside and from the heat from the engine to top this off the AC system works harder to remove all the heat from inside the car, so the pressures can exceed 300 psi on hot days.
Any potential weak parts in the system can start to leak due to the high pressures, this is especially true for the condenser (This is the big radiator-looking thing behind the grill of your car) This is continually exposed to stones and salt and rain from the road and becomes weak over time, so any weaknesses can suddenly start to leak. The majority of all leaks we see are from the condenser. Most condensers only have a lifespan of 8-10 years. Also, condensers get very hot and expand and contract and small micro porus holes can open up when hot allowing the gas to slowly escape.
Even insects that hit and get lodged in the condenser can cause leaks, not only just from the impact, but when they decompose they give off an acid that reacts with the aluminum and causes it to oxidize and leak.
When we do a leak test we pressurize to 300 psi with Nitrogen gas which shows most leaks, but leaks can appear at any time, as the system can be at pressures higher than 300 psi on hot days, or you can even get a stone hitting the condenser causing a puncture in the condenser. Over time the condensers oxidize due to being exposed to harsh environmental factors and become vulnerable to leaks. It is best to leave your car ac on all of the time if it has climate control, as modern compressors do not use much fuel at all, and if does not have climate control turn it on for around 10 minutes a week. Doing this will keep seals soft and prevent them from drying out and leaking, and you will also know if the ac system stops working before the hot weather arrives.
We have all the latest leak detection equipment, but this will not show weaknesses in the system, that could potentially leak at any time, especially in the hotter weather, so please bear this in mind when booking an appointment with us. If we find a small leak then the Extreme Leak Sealer will fix 90% of leaks. If you decide to have the Extreme Leak Sealer and it does leak we will only charge £15 plus the price of any extra gas needed for a period of 6 months from the date of the service.
The average condenser from us costs around £200 supplied and fitted, most garages charge around £400 to fit, and dealers around £700!
Please look at our page for more info on condensers by Clicking Here.