When was the last time you had your AC System Serviced?

For many people the response is usually, “Never” or  I need to get my AC Serviced?”

If your response was similar to those, or you’re wondering if you should get your Car’s AC Serviced, we’ve outlined a few reasons why it might be time to book in your AC Service and will explain how you’re AC system works. 

Why get your AC Serviced Regularly?

The air conditioning system in your car is made up of many different components, so regular maintenance can prevent expensive and avoidable repairs. Over time, your vehicle will lose its refrigerant – up to 10% per year. O Rings and seals shrink, rubber hoses can come porous. Not to mention the state of your condenser and evaporator with all the dust that’s about.

Condenser and evaporator servicing in North West NSW is particularly important, especially in the current conditions. A dirty evaporator or condenser will create excessive moisture build up, causing components to corrode and leak – not to mention restrict air flow.

 We recommend getting your car air conditioning serviced every two years, and machinery annually  to keep your system at peak performance.

What We Do During an AC service:

An AC service than just a simple regas. During our Air Conditioning Service, we:

  • Check the Temperature of the AC
  • Check A/C system pressure levels
  • Inspect for leaks (if UV dye is present)
  • Recover all gas from the system
  • Pressure Test
  • Evacuate System
  • Re-gas system with R134a and UV dye.

In addition to the standard AC service, we can also provide replacement cabin/pollen filters and antibacterial treatments.

Why can’t we just top up the system if its low on gas?

The gas that is inside a car’s AC system is known as R134a. R134a is an ozone depleting substance and synthetic greenhouse gas and if released into the atmosphere, it can damage the ozone layer and have a negative impact on the environment, it also can be harmful to your health if  handled incorrectly.

 If your system is leaking, putting more gas in the system is only going to release more harmful refrigerant into the atmosphere or worse into the cabin of the vehicle. As ARCTick Licenced technicians we are required by law. We will always advise you of a leak and offer a quote if you wish.

Common AC Problems

Low gas is a common reason for an AC system to not operate as it should. The air conditioning system in your car is meant to be a completely sealed unit, so in most cases, if the system is low on gas there is a leak or fault somewhere in the system.

Some vehicles lose up to 10%  of the gas in their system annual.  Over time components age, and deteriorate with use or infrequent use causing small leaks to occur, which reduces your A/C’s performance overall.

Sometimes it’s a simple replacing a seal or could be a major component.  Some of the other most common issues people have with their car’s AC are:

  • Weak airflow, low or uneven air pressure
  • AC is not blowing cold air
  • AC is blowing hot air
  • Odour coming from vents
  • Fluid leaking
  • Clunking or rattling noise when the AC is switched on

There are a number of different causes for these issues including damaged components, leaking hoses, electrical faults, blocked valves and many, many more.


How does a Vehicles A/C System Work?

 A vehicles’ A/C system is much like fridge; taking the hot air inside the car, removing the moisture and heat, leaving behind cool air.

All car and machinery air conditioning systems are sealed systems with a high-pressure side and low-pressure side. The fluid that is used in the system is called refrigerant.

Your car’s AC is made up of 5 key components, plus hoses, o rings, seals, valves, pipes and electrical wiring to keep it running.


The compressor is the workhorse of the car air conditioning system. When the aircon system is turned on, the compressor pumps refrigerant vapour under high pressure to the condenser.


The condenser changes the high-pressure refrigerant vapour to a liquid. The vapour is condensed to a liquid by the force of high pressure created by compressor, which generates heat. This heat is then removed from air, flowing through the condenser.  (Hence why it’s important to make sure your condenser is not blocked up)

Receiver Drier

The now liquid refrigerant moves to the receiver-dryer. This acts as a filter for the liquid refrigerant, removing any moisture and other containments that may have leaked into the refrigerant. Desiccant bag driers are also becoming popular as the drier of choice for European vehicles, in place of the receiver drier.

Expansion Valve (also known as a TX valve)  & Accumulators (Orifice tubes)

What the thermal expansion valve and accumulator both have in common is that they prevent any moisture from leaving the evaporator and causing havoc in the system.  Both also use a type of desiccant to clean up the refrigerant before air is blown out from the AC system.

Now, how are the accumulator and expansion valve different?

Expansion valve opens and closes according to the level of coolness you’ve set. At the same time, it also moves on its own based on its sensing bulb to ensure that the refrigerant is cool enough for the temperature outside the A/C.

Orifices tubes, on the other hand, don’t move. You are stuck with the same size until the time comes for you to change to a new orifice tube. The compressor and also several additional parts to ensure that the flow is adjusted to your demand and need.


As the cold low-pressure refrigerant is passed through the evaporator, it vaporises and absorbs heat from the air in the passenger compartment. The blower fan inside the passenger compartment pushes air over the outside of the evaporator, so cold air is circulated inside the car.The compressor then draws in the low-pressure refrigerant vapour to start another refrigeration cycle. The refrigeration cycle then runs continuously and is regulated by the setting of the expansion valve.


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Carve Up Auto, provides fully mobile Quality and experienced A/C repairs for all Cars, 4WDS, Trucks and machinery across Narrabri & North West NSW. From RedDot and Icepack installation to Car A/C servicing, there’s no job to big or small.