By: Ross Brunyee (Glenrands Director and Land Rover Fan)
In this addition of our Know Your Land Rover (KYLR) series I thought I’d write about understanding your cars air-conditioning system. I will highlight why maintenance is so important and what is involved in a Land Rover air-conditioner service.
Glenrands Land Rover has invested in two new flagship Mahle A/C machines. These industry leading machines help us provide the best quality air conditioner service for your Land Rover. For more information about the Mahle group, visit their website here. (https://www.mahle.com)
Which refrigerant gases can we work with?
We have invested in both recharge machines. This means that we can work on the air-con systems of vehicles with the older R134a refrigerant and the new R1234yf. R1234yf was introduced on some vehicles from 2011 but was a compulsory replacement for R134a on vehicles manufactured 1st January 2017 onwards.
How does the air conditioning system on car work on your Land Rover?
Your Land Rover air-conditioner has 5 main parts that make up the system.
The compressor is at the heart of the air conditioning system and is similar in size to an alternator. It is normally situated low down in the engine bay and is connected to the rest of the air conditioning system by 2 hoses. When the air conditioning is turned on inside the vehicle it electrically operates the clutch on the compressor pulley causing refrigerant gas to be pumped through to the rest of the system at a very high pressure. At this point, due to the pressure, the refrigerant gas is very hot.
The condenser is a radiator, normally with one or more of its own electric cooling fans. The condenser cools the high-pressure refrigerant gas coming from the compressor and transfers it in to a liquid. This expels the heat in to the atmosphere.
The receiver dryer sits in line with the outlet from the condenser and captures any moisture or contaminates which, if left to circulate in the system, would cause damage to other air conditioning components.
Next in line is the expansion valve. This part reduces the pressure causing the refrigerant to be reverted back to a gas from a liquid, which causes rapid cooling.
This part is buried deep underneath the dashboard and is where the now highly cooled refrigerant absorbs the heat from inside the vehicle by way of the air being pushed over the outside of the very cold evaporator and blower.
How often should I recharge my Land Rover’s air con system?
We recommend that you have the system recharged every 2 years. Consider having a Land Rover air-conditioner service done with your regular service that coincides with this period. This is in line with most manufacturer recommendations.
Why does it need to be recharged?
Most modern vehicles have an air conditioning or climate control system and that is just as important to maintain as any other system on the vehicle. Around 10-15% of the systems refrigerant can be lost naturally every year. Air conditioning repairs can be costly and largely caused by a lack of regular maintenance i.e. low refrigerant. Low refrigerant can result in the compressor being asked to work much harder than it’s designed to do in order to maintain the required pressure to run the system. Running an air conditioning system with low refrigerant is like running your car’s engine with low engine oil, which results in high friction levels and prematurely worn parts.
How long does a Land Rover air-con recharge take?
With our state of the art Mahle equipment, a system recharge/re-gas normally takes around an hour to complete.
I think my system has a leak. Can you help?
Yes, we are fully equipped to investigate air conditioning leaks. If the performance of your air con system has deteriorated we would first suggest having the system recharged which will determine how much refrigerant was left in the system and also perform a vacuum test for major leaks.
Should a major leak be present then the system will require a Nitrogen leak detection test, which can also be carried out by our in-house certified staff at Glenrands.
If the system passes the vacuum test then a recharge will be carried out and a UV leak detection dye will be added. If you feel the system start to deteriorate again then we can then inspect the components with a UV lamp to trace the cause of the leak.
Do you carry out air conditioning repairs?
Yes we do. All repairs are individually priced so please contact us for information.
Are your staff qualified to work on my vehicles air conditioning?
Yes, all of our staff are qualified. We are certified to the legally required standards and hold current IMI Awards or City & Guilds qualifications in Mobile Air Conditioning Refrigerant Handling. The refrigerant used in a vehicles air conditioning system is very dangerous if handled incorrectly and harmful to the environment. It is imperative that anyone working with such a refrigerant is properly trained and qualified to do so.
If you feel your air conditioning is not performing properly, please get in touch with us for your Land Rover air-conditioner service. Our contact details are available here. (https://glenrands.co.uk/contact-us/)
Glenrands Land Rover aims to provide its customers with independent best quality advice and service to its Land Rover and Range Rover clients. Our service guarantee is founded on providing Genuine Land Rover Parts and Land Rover Trained Technicians,. Glenrands is Hampshire’s Top Rated Independent Land Rover Service Specialist.
For more information on what services we offer, visit our Services page here. (https://glenrands.co.uk/services/)