Car Air Conditioning FAQS


Temby Auto Service are well placed to take care all of your Automotive Air Conditioning Re-gas, Repair, Servicing and Inspection needs.

Automotive air conditioner systems use refrigerant to remove the heat from the air in the vehicle to the outside, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air behind to be redistributed. It is important to scrutinise the condition of the rubber seals regularly for any signs of leaks or deterioration which may indicate a loss of refrigerant.

For optimum performance the refrigerant in your Automotive Air Conditioner should ideally be replenished completely within four years of the manufacture date and every two to three years after that.

You should drop off your car to a reputable workshop such as Temby Auto Service (AU06087) on a regular basis to ensure the air conditioner system continues performing efficiently as well as having the mechanics evaluate the condition of the whole vehicle.

Repco Authorised Service mechanics perform a 65 point Vehicle Inspection with every service and are usually able to warn you about any components that may need to be replaced in the near future or those that are already worn beyond repair.


Temby Auto Service care about the environment and have Arctick Authorisation (AU06087) to reliably and responsibly conduct automotive air conditioning service in and around Eltham and the surrounding areas.

Air Conditioning FAQ's

How does a Car Air Conditioner remove heat from a vehicle?

An automotive air conditioning system contains four basic parts - a pump driven by a belt, known as a compressor (to compress and ciculate gas), a radiator like unit called a condenser to redistribute heat and condense gas to a liquid, an expansion device, which could be a thermal expansion valve (TXV) or an orifice tube (dependent on the kind of A/C system used). Systems using orifice tubes also have an accumulator before the compressor to remove moisture from the refrigerant while TXV systems have a receiver-dryer before the evaporator to perform the same crucial task. Both the accumulator and receiver-drier are also used to store refrigerant.

An automotive air conditioner system is designed to take the excess heat from the air within the interior of the vehicle and transfer it to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air behind to be redistributed. Hot air is passed across a gas filled evaporator, where the heat is easily absorbed by the refrigerant (in gas form), effectively removing the heat from the air in the car.

The now heated gas is pulled through the compressor where it is further heated (via compression). The next stage involves the refrigerant being forced through the condenser to quickly extract the heat from the refrigerant. The refrigerant, now condensed to a liquid, then moves through the expansion device (either a TXV or Orifice tube), which regulates the flow of refrigerant going to the evaporator, changing the high-pressure liquid to a low-pressure mist (gas). A fan blowing over the cold fins of the evaporator produces the cold air being blown into the car and the entire process then begins all over again.

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What is included in a car air conditioner service?

A typical air conditioner service may include some of the following items;

  • Air vent temperature test
  • ensure condenser temperature ok
  • Suction line temperature inspection
  • Adjustments of drive belt and pulley
  • Validate correct operation of thermostats and valves
  • Cleaning the condenser fins
  • Confirm adequate condition of components and hoses
  • Evacuation and recharge of refrigerant (where required)
  • System line and component inspection with electronic tester

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Why do I need a car air conditioner system service?

The oil level in the refrigerant passing through the compressor must be checked or changed to avoid it seizing up. Should the air filters become plugged with dirt and bacteria it will affect the performance of the entire system and it can even cause it to quit working completely. Aside from reducing air conditioner efficiency, dirty air filters can cause all kinds of health problems too.

Your vehicle air conditioner system ought to be checked for problems yearly for any signs of problems with the connections, hoses and seals to make sure refrigerant levels have not diminished over time. Regular service of your car air conditioning system keeps refrigerant at optimum levels meaning the system does not need to work as hard and this in turn protects the system from damage and reduces fuel consumption.

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Why does the car air conditioner need to be serviced?

An automotive air conditioner system is designed to take the excess heat from the air within the interior of the vehicle to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air behind to be redistributed. This is achieved using a special compound called refrigerant, capable of readily absorbing heat as a gas and quickly losing heat as a liquid.

Being exposed to the elements and very intense operating conditions and being expected to function intermittently rather than being 'Always On' can cause issues with the seals, hoses and connections. An air conditioning system should be examined on a regular basis to ensure there are no problems or refrigerant loss due to failure or leakage from these points.

Simply by cooling the air in your car under normal running conditions, the filters of the air con get dirty and intermittent use can cause seals to dry and crack, allowing them to leak. Even without leaks, the gas in a car air conditioning system will eventually begin to degrade or evaporate over time and should be recharged where required to keep the air con system in peak running condition.

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Can I service my own Air Conditioner?

Only qualified mechanics with the appropriate training should attempt to service a car air conditioner. Specific licences are required to be able to service or repair some types of car air conditioning systems, especially where regas (recharging of the refrigerant) is concerned. Strict guidelines and procedures must be adhered to when handling certain refrigerants, which must always be fully recovered and not allowed to escape into the atmosphere during servicing.

Refrigerant can also pose serious health risks if handled incorrectly. Specialist equipment is also required as the air conditioning system is under extreme pressure and must be pulled into a deep vacuum to remove any moisture, to avoid seriously damaging the system. You can find out more about licensing on the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) Website.

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What causes a bad smell in car air conditioning systems?

The moist environment inside the evaporator core can promote the development of microbes, bacteria and even fungus growth. This can lead to nasty smells and possibly even be bad for the health of any vehicle occupants. While modern evaporator units may be more efficient, having more fins means they are often more likely to trap moisture allowing microorganism growth.

Temby Auto Service mechanics have the capability to use special ultrasonic technology to actively target any micro-organisms that may be causing unpleasant smells or health concerns.

Just ask about our MIST service, which will kill any bacteria that may be lurking in your Car’s Air system. These bacteria can cause odours and even make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A MIST service doesn’t just make your car smell better - it makes it healthier for you and your family.

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