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Auto Air Con Parts - News

  • Why is my car aircon compressor not working?

    Why is my car aircon compressor not working?

    We get this question a lot. Especially after a long, cold winter where most people never think to use the car's air conditioning. So why might the aircon compressor not be working?

    There might be one of a number of reasons, for example:

    • The A/C system is low on refrigerant
    • Faulty pressure switch
    • Blown fuse or relay
    • Too much or too little A/C oil in the system
    • System Blockage
    • Faulty compressor

    We'll look at each possibility in turn

    The A/C system is low on refrigerant

    It may be the system is low on refrigerant. A car's air con needs refrigerant to function. One of three types are used, R12 used on cars pre 1992, R134a used on car from 1992 to the present, and the newer R1234yf used on most new cars now replacing R134a). So you may be low on that. Either its leaked out from a hole or worn out condenser, or just naturally over time, especially if the car has never been recharged.

    So first thing to check, do I have enough refrigerant.

    Faulty pressure switch

    In theory if the system is low on gas the pressure switch realises and tells the compressor not to work. But that pressure switch might be faulty, and therefore cannot do its job. So check the switch works as even if the system is full of refrigerant, a faulty pressure switch will stop the compressor working.

    Blown fuse or relay

    Similarly to the pressure switch, if you've a blown fuse or relay controlling the compressor, it won't work. So just make sure all electrical issues are ok, check the fuse box.

    Too much or too little A/C oil in the system

    This is a common issue, especially on older compressors that have never been serviced or on newly installed ones where the installer either didn't add enough aircon oil or added too much.

    On many cars, the oil in the compressor has never been changed. Much like the oil in your car it needs servicing, and an oil changed. Leaving it for years means it gets dirty and slowly dissipates. So adding a little oil might help. Alternatively many mechanics and garages when fitting a new compressor do not install it correctly. You must always flush the system first, with a flush solution, and that means the compressor removed from the car, to ensure its clean of debris. Many mechanics think just vacuuming the system or forcing nitrogen through it is a flush; its not, that does not remove debris and oil. Only when flushed so you have a clean, oil and debris free system can you then fit the compressor and add the correct amount of oil. If you just fit the new aircon compressor how do you know how much oil to add as there is still some in the system? This often leads to overfilling which in turn means the compressor has to work too hard to do its job, and fails, OR, they don't add any, and again it will fail.

    So please check you have the correct volume of oil in the A/C system.

    System Blockage

    If your aircon system is blocked, it won't work. The gas cannot flow.

    This, as mentioned above means the system must be flushed out to remove any debris from the system. This requires specialist flushing equipment and a flushing solution. On many occasions if a compressor has failed, you need to find out why, because if its seized, then debris from that compressor remains in the system unless removed, and contaminates the new compressor so a few weeks after the new one is installed, that too fails.

    This is very common with poor installation and untrained aircon specialists who claim to know what they're doing.

    Faulty compressor

    Finally, it maybe your aircon compressor has just given up, failed, dead. It happens. They get worn out. But before heading for an expensive job in replacing it check all the above first, and find out why the old one failed so you know it won't happen again.

    You can prolong the life of your car's air conditioning system from a regular aircon service where the car is recharged and compressor oil changed. This should be done every 2-3 years. Also, make sure you use the aircon in the winter months, just for 10 mins a week or so to keep the oil flowing and the compressor working. Aircon is not just for cold air, you can use it for hot air and its perfect from removing condensation on the windows


  • How to maintain your car air conditioning over winter

    How to maintain your car air conditioning system over winter

    Hard to think about now, when it's cold and frosty, but come the first hot day of the year in 2017 and you need to put the air conditioning on, you might find it doesn't work. Why?

    The reason is simple. In most cases the car's A/C has not been used over the winter months, so it's seized up. One of the major components of a car's air conditioning system is the compressor, or pump, which takes electricity to power itself and push the refrigerant around the system, using oil as lubricant. However through lack of use this can seize up, the clutch plate and pulley on the outside can also seize from lack of movement and lubrication. So what can be done?

    Firstly, make sure that once a week you run the A/C. Just for 10 minutes. Air conditioning is not just for hot weather it's also great for removing moisture in the air and de-misting windows and you don't have to have it set to cold. Set it to hot if needed, let it run. This lets the system lubricate, all the working parts get to move and ensures a nice working car air system when you need to use it regularly next summer.

    It may be worthwhile, like you do with your home central heating, to have the car air conditioning system serviced at this time of year, in preparation for the summer. Often A/C service prices are much cheaper this time of year as the technicians are less busy and you won't have to wait days for an appointment. I'd recommend a call to our friends at Cool Car, where their fully trained and qualified technicians can assist and visit you at your home or place of work.

    Remember, to maintain your car air conditioning, A/C on, at least once a week for 10 minutes at a time.

  • Types of Air Conditioning Refrigerant

    Types of Air Conditioning Refrigerant

    Have you ever wondered how your air conditioning refrigerant can impact the environment? We all are aware of the ozone layer that protects the earth’s atmosphere from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. So how is your air conditioning refrigerant related to the ozone layer?

    In the mid 1980s, it was identified that air conditioning refrigerants commonly used in cars had a negative impact on the ozone layer. Back in the early days, refrigerants were popularly known as CFC and HCFCs. Both forms contained harmful chemicals that caused the deterioration of the ozone layer. This brought about the agreement of the Montreal Protocol of 1987, where 180 nations agreed upon replacing CFCs and HCFCs with suitable alternatives by 1995 and 2030 respectively. We have looked at these issues before in an earlier blog post about carbon dioxide refrigerants.

    Currently, you will find four commonly used air conditioning refrigerants for air conditioning, which include:

    • CFCs
    • HFCs
    • HCFCs
    • Refrigerant blends

    CFC Refrigerants

    These refrigerants date back to over 70 years and pose a great threat to the ozone layer as well as our respiratory systems. The production of CFC refrigerants stopped back in 1995 but unfortunately they are still used for a number of residential air conditioning units since such equipments have a lifetime of about 30 years. Refrigerants found in today’s units have been taken out from reclaimed units that are no longer in existence. Widely used CFC refrigerants include:

    • R-11
    • R-12
    • R-113
    • R-114
    • R-115

    HCFC Refrigerants

    These refrigerants are partially halogenated since they also include both ethane and methane along with a blend of chlorine and fluorine. Although they have a reduced impact on the ozone layer they have a shorter lifespan. They can be considered as a temporary solution to a completely ‘free from chlorine’ refrigerant. The production of such refrigerants will be discontinued by 2030. Commonly used refrigerants are:

    • R-22
    • R-123

    R-22 is generally used for residential, commercial and industrial units.

    HFC Refrigerants

    These refrigerants are chlorine free and less destructive to the ozone layer with a small impact on global warming. General HFC refrigerants include:

    • R-134a
    • R-125

    Where R134a is the most commonly used refrigerant in vehicle air conditioning systems, and is only now being replaced by more environmentally friendly R1234yf (a synthetic HFO refrigerant). According to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, R-134a is one of the 6 greenhouse gases that needs to be eliminated however, there has been no phaseout date for this and it is heavily used in the HVAC industry.

    Refrigerant Blends

    Also commonly known as ‘azeotropic’ and ‘zeotropic’ they are slowly increasing in demand due to their environmentally friendly nature. The only setback experienced for this type of refrigerant is that production costs are quite hefty. Nevertheless, as manufacturers turn their attention to this kind of refrigerant and increasingly use it, the cost will eventually come down. Commonly used refrigerant blends are:

    • R-410A
    • R-407c

    R-410A has replaced the old refrigerant in residential air conditioning applications, while R-407c has replaced R-22.

    The government has passed several laws regarding the release of CFC refrigerants and necessary steps that need to be taken include recovery, recycling and reclaiming. What type of refrigerant does your car use? In case, you have an old refrigerant that doesn’t comply with the regulations, you will have to ask your mechanic to replace it with a refrigerant that is environmentally friendly.


  • Investing in a Good Electronic Leak Detector

    Investing in a Good Electronic Leak Detector

    Air Conditioning leaks can be not only hazardous for your health, but also for the environment as a whole. Therefore, it is essential to invest in a good electronic leak detector, which will instantly inform you about any potential leaks in car air conditioning systems. Rather than trying to find potential leaks manually in the air conditioning system, a better alternative is buying an effective electronic leak detector. But deciding on a particular electronic leak detector can be a daunting task. Don’t worry, read through this article and get an idea of which detector is best suited for your particular refrigerant.

    How to Determine Which Electronic Leak Detector is For You

    Amongst several electronic leak detectors, the heated diode type like the Yokogawa is considered to be the best selection. Its accuracy is second to none and has lesser false alarms. On the other hand, some prefer using the corona discharge. Either way, finding the perfect electronic leak detector can be a daunting task. There is an increasing and comprehensive range of detectors, which can be found in varied styles and types. Certain detectors might chirp, beep while others are bright or dull. You might also observe that some detectors are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to reduce false alarms and others have U.V lights or other features installed in them.

    Regardless, the many ranges of detectors, there are only two different types that are commonly used: one is the heated diode and the other is a corona discharge. To begin with, corona discharge models detect anything that breaks through the corona barrier such as moisture, dust, solvents or refrigerant. These work best in finding leaks for R12 and R22. The heated diode models function quite differently from the corona discharge models. They tend to be less prone to moisture, which generate false alarms and stop chemicals. Heated diode detectors work best with R-134a. When both detectors are compared, corona discharge models struggled to find leaks in R134a systems, making heated diode detectors perfect for the purpose.

    The Increasing Need for Electronic Leak Detector

    As a workshop, you might receive a number of cars that come in for air conditioning service. In order to stay ahead of your game and efficiently resolve issues, you might want to consider investing in a good electronic leak detector that is effective and reliable at the same time. This will enable you to pinpoint the exact place of leak and you can have it fixed in no time. Although, this is an expensive investment, in the long run you will be able reap many benefits. Leaks in the air conditioning system can be extremely hazardous for both your customers and the environment. Therefore, it is highly advisable to get such leaks fixed immediately to avoid any negative implications. We here at autoairconparts.co.uk and our partners at coolcaraircon.co.uk use UV dye in the A/C system to visually see the leak, but to help with that and pinpoint the area where it might be leaking from we use this leak detector, the R134a and R1234yf electronic leak detector, mainly because it detects leaks in the new A/C systems.

    It is always best to make sure that your car’s air conditioning system is functioning at its optimum to avoid any mishaps. While doing so, you will be aware of any malfunction and leaks that need to be resolved.

  • All You Need to Know About Automotive Air Conditioning

    Everything You Need to Know About an Automotive Air Conditioning

    Have you ever experienced sitting at a traffic light in the middle of a July afternoon and sweat dripping from your neck all the way down your back, creating a damp spot between you and the seat? That particular feeling can be quite uncomfortable. So you wonder, what’s missing from this picture? Obviously, your automotive air conditioning isn’t functioning properly, which is why you feel uneasy. It is a horrible thing to have your air conditioning break down on you during the summer heat. Therefore, it is best that you have your car air conditioning serviced by a licensed mechanic so as to avoid the unnecessary discomfort.

    The first ever automotive AC was introduced back in 1939 by Packard and it was the first car company to offer it in 1940. Ever since then, the air conditioning system has worked very much the same way. However, the refrigerant used in the early cars, called R-12, CFC-12 seem to have negative impacts on the ozone layer and were ultimately banned and replace with a substitute known as R-134a or HFC-134a. The automotive air conditioning functions through three main parts – the compressor, condenser and evaporator.


    The compressor is basically the pump, which is attached to the engine’s crankshaft through a belt. Initially, the compressor is at a low-pressure gaseous form when the refrigerant is drawn into it. As the gas is pumped into it the compressor comes to life. The function of the belt is to put pressure on the pump, which releases gas into the condenser. Keep in mind that the compressor cannot condense liquids, only gases. There are other parts of the air conditioning system that capture the water and prevent it from entering the AC loop.


    The condenser is characterised as a radiator, which exudes heat out from the system. As mentioned earlier, when the refrigerant is drawn into the condenser, it creates pressurising gas from the compressor. This pressure creates heat, but it is instantly cooled off because of the air flowing around the twisting tubes of the condenser, transforming it into liquid again. It is very similar to the concept of cooling down steam and condensing it back to water. The liquid refrigerant has now transformed into a high-pressure liquid, which is used to cool the car.


    Before the liquid reaches the evaporator which is situated in the cabin, the refrigerant needs to be prepared for the evaporator. As the liquid exists the condenser, it is transported through a small reservoir known as the receiver-dryer where desiccants, tiny granules attract water. Similar desiccants are found in shoeboxes as well. This is where all the water is removed, preventing it from entering the system. In case the water is released into the system, it will form ice crystals, which can harm the air conditioning system. The liquid travels through an expansion valve before entering into the evaporator.


    This is where all the magic takes place. While all other components are situated in the engine compartment, this particle part is located in the cabin and looks similar to a radiator as well. Its job is to attract heat rather than dispel it. The liquid enters the evaporator at a temperature of 32 degrees and although the refrigerant doesn’t freeze, it has a very low boiling point. The heat within the cabin of a car is quite adequate for the A/C refrigerant (eg R134a or R1234yf) in the evaporator to heat up and transform into gas. This gas is then released in the passenger compartment and the fan blowing on the outside of the evaporator coil releases cool air.



  • Importance of the Evaporator in Your Car's Air Conditioning System

    Importance of the Evaporator in Your Car's Air Conditioning System

    Your car’s air conditioning system is made up of several components. Each part has to work in conjunction with the other for it to work properly. One of the most essential components of your car’s AC is an evaporator. Also referred to as the evaporator core, it is generally found in the passenger compartment, deep inside the instrumental penal. It is quite similar to the heating core, but obviously serves the opposite function. Some vehicles may have two evaporators, the other one is located at the rear end of the vehicle.

    Evaporators are made of aluminium and are quite similar to radiators. Just like radiators, they also contain flow paths that carry fins to let the air pass freely. The passages in the evaporator carry refrigerant which is a substance used as coolant. Typically, the refrigerant “Freon” was used until 1994 but due to its dangers as an environmental hazard, it was replaced with a different refrigerant named “R-134a”. Generally, the refrigerant enters the evaporator and absorbs heat. It passes through its fins and tubes and makes the passenger compartment cool. As the refrigerant completes its journey through the evaporator, it moves on to the air con compressor.

    Functions of the evaporator

    An evaporator has several functions in your car’s AC. Let us take a look at two of its most essential functions:

    Heat removal

    The basic task of the evaporator is to remove heat from the passenger compartment where it is housed. There is a metering device that controls the temperature of the unit by keeping the flow of refrigerant in check. The metering device decreases the temperature resulting in the cooling affect for the car.


    The evaporator also acts as a dehumidifier removing the moisture from air. As air passes through it, some amount of heat is expelled leaving water molecules on its surface. It collects the moisture and dislodges it out of the car through a drip tube. This is the reason we see dripping when the AC of a car is turned on.

    As you may have noticed, your car’s air conditioning does not actually make your car cool, it just removes the heat and humidity from it. And the evaporator is a crucial part of this process.

    How can your car’s evaporator malfunction?

    It can generally malfunction due to leakage. Leakage can occur because of a variety of reasons. One of the most common cause of leakage is corrosion. Leaves or other organic materials from the environment find its way through the evaporator case towards its surface. The moisture in the evaporator results in the decomposition of these organic substances making way for corrosion to occur. It can also vulnerable to clogging from leaves and other substances and often prone to that smell you sometimes get when the air conditioning is on, which is due to mould buildup on the evaporator and should be cleaned as soon as possible as the bacteria it releases can be harmful. Easily cleaned though with a cleaning solution.

    Being an essential part of your car’s air conditioning, a faulty evaporator needs to be replaced immediately. While it is not a costly part in itself, repairing it may require a lot of time and hence, a lot of cost. However, frequent maintenance may save you a lot of trouble.



  • Truck & Agricultural Vehicle Air Con Parts

    Air Conditioning Parts for Cars, Trucks and Agricultural Vehicles

    Here at AutoAirConParts.co.uk we have expanded our range of air conditioning products to now provide air conditioning parts for cars, trucks and agricultural vehicles. We now have over 50,000 aircon parts available, including compressors (air con pumps), condensers (air con radiators), driers, expansion valves and much much more. All come with up to 2 year warranty and FREE delivery next day providing spend is over £40.

    Traditionally we have concentrated on car air conditioning parts, but as we expand our list of quality suppliers we have been able to gain huge discounts on air con parts for not only cars, but trucks, lorries and agricultural vehicles. All with the same huge discounts of manufacturer prices even though many of the parts we sell are indeed original, brand new; the exact same as you can buy from the main dealer.

    Truck and Agricultural Vehicle Parts

    For example we can now provide an air conditioning compressor for a JCB Excavator, brand new Sanden unit with 12 months warranty for under £150. Or a condenser for a Scania Truck for only £75.

    It's now increasingly common for air conditioning to be available in agricultural vehicles, not just cars and trucks that can do very long distances. Agricultural vehicles, whilst often slow and perhaps ploughing fields or digging up roads are in use almost constantly so despite doing less miles still need air conditioning. So we're glad to be finally able to offer these services to this growing market and at the same time maintain our reputation for outstanding customer service and satisfaction.

    Of course we cannot provide everything in the air conditioning world, but we do our best, so if you cannot find what you need, then give us a call and as ever we will do our very best to find it.

  • Common Problems with Your Car Air Conditioning System

    Common Problems with Your Car Air Conditioning System

    Your car air conditioning system is an indispensable part of your car. Nobody wants to drive long hours uncomfortably. If you asked drivers about the most important part of their cars, they would probably say air conditioning (yes, even ahead of the engine!). Problems with your car air conditioning systems are quite common. From noisy aircon compressors to faulty car wirings, there is a huge array of issues that might occur. Understanding these problems will give you a better hold over your car AC’s functioning and will surely help you in rectifying them. Let us take a look at some of the most common problems that occur in your car’s AC:

    Dust Leakage

    The car air conditioning system involves air circulation which throws hot air out of the system and cold air into the system. If your air conditioner allows dust particles to enter, then there is a problem. This is commonly caused by faulty filters. Changing the filters will be the best option in this case.


    Your car air conditioning system cools the inside of your car. It also dries and cleans the surrounding air. Moisture or debris may accumulate and hinder the performance of your AC. It would be best to get it checked and resolve the problem as soon as possible.

    Bad Odours

    When your car air conditioning system is not used for a long time, like in winters, it causes bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms grow inside your AC. It can smell a bit like smelly socks. Pungent odour is the result of them getting settled in your car’s AC. They grow fairly rapidly and if left untreated, can cause immense problems for you. Flushing of your AC system is recommended to get rid of these micro-organisms.

    Faulty Compressor

    The compressor is the most important part of your car’s AC. It removes heat from your system. Like other parts, it can also get worn out. Contamination or other faulty system are some of the reasons of a compressor’s failure. If the compressor is faulty, it will have to be replaced.

    However, you can prolong the life of your compressor by running it for ten minutes once a month irrespective of the season.


    Since AC uses electrical power, it is bound to heat up. But sometimes there is excessive heating which is a problem. If this is allowed for a long time, it can cause permanent damage to the AC. Therefore, its immediate repair is essential. 

    Hot Air

    This is one of the most common problems that occur in a car’s AC. It starts blowing hot air instead of the cool and refreshing air it is supposed to provide. This may be caused by a number of reasons and it would be best to have an expert look at it.

    Defective Car Electrical System

    Your car AC works in unison with other electrical systems of your car. For example, your car batteries need to be efficient for your AC to work properly. Therefore, you must make sure that all the other systems are working properly too.


  • Air conditioning – just for your smartphone?

    One of the hottest trends in 2016 for vehicle air conditioning is shaping up to be something that just a few years ago would have seemed absurd, unimaginable or completely unnecessary. Yes, we are talking about installing air conditioning units specifically for your smartphone.

    Your smartphone and your hot car – a bad combination

    Smartphones do not handle the heat very well at all; perhaps you have seen the temperature warning pop up on your phone’s home screen after a few too many minutes (or even hours) of time spent in your hot car. Ignore this warning one too many times and you could be facing a serious problem that will cost you time and energy – a phone that works poorly, or stops working completely.

    If your iPhone, Android or Blackberry exceeds around 35 degrees C (95 F) you could be looking at permanent damage as the high heat can slow down your processor and damage your battery life, eventually causing a full system shut down that no warranty will come close to covering.

    Air Conditioning solution for overheated phones, from General Motors?

    In order to address this growing problem, American auto giant General Motors is stepping into the ring with a new smartphone air conditioning feature, a move that many are hailing as an “industry first” (although, if successful, it certainly won’t be the last).

    Many of GM’s 2016 Chevrolet models will come equipped with this handy new feature, a system that is sure to help many people keep their smart phone cool, safe and in good working order. After all, we now rely on our phones for texting, email, maps, GPS, financial transactions, contactless payments and of course, a phone call now and then.

    The gadget is basically a specialised holder outfitted with an AC nozzle, a device that was designed by GM engineers as they tested their smartphone wireless charging features. In a statement, the Detroit manufacturer explained that their team, “noticed some smartphones would suspend charging or shut off all together after only a few minutes in high temperatures inside a car’s cabin, so they directed an air vent connected to the ventilation system at the charging bin where the phone rests.” An elegant solution to a tiresome problem.

    An attempt to reach a younger clientele?

    While this smartphone AC unit does seem like it will be useful to many, some are questioning GM’s motives, and wonder if this may just be a hail mary attempt to connect with younger clientele and more tech savvy buyers. It is no secret that GM has struggled over the past few years, and some are wondering if this is a move toward the “tech connected car” that millennials seem to want, or if this will be a misguided attempt made in vain.

    Only time will tell if this new feature is successful and drives sales – if it does, we are sure to see this in the UK by 2017.



  • A shift in car air conditioning technology – Carbon Dioxide Refrigerant

    As we head into 2016, predictions for the year ahead in the car air conditioning and vehicle manufacturing industry abound. One new innovation that is quickly gaining industry buzz is the carbon dioxide refrigerant, known as R744, utilised in the air conditioning system in Mercedes Benz’s newest model, the 2017 E-class.

    Mercedes Benz 2017 E-Class – a new paradigm

    This new model, set to debut this year, features a slew of sexy new tech innovations that are sure to appear in flashy marketing materials and polished television adverts galore: self driving capabilities, electronic safety aids and wireless technologies. That said, it is doubtful that any of these marketing campaigns will focus on the sea change happening in the car air conditioning unit: the move to a carbon dioxide refrigerant.

    While this may seem like small and insignificant detail to many car buyers, the benefits to the consumer are myriad. Carbon dioxide refrigerants are an environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional coolants utilised in car air conditioning; they allow for greater fuel economy, faster cooling and quicker defrosting. These factors are not only good for the client’s personal convenience (not to mention pocketbook), they are better for the planet – something that benefits all of us. EU law bans the use of the old refrigerant R134a found in most cars, instead promoting a refrigerant R1234yf instead, but Mercedes under testing it refused to use it as it's flammable, so prone to exploding under car impact. Hence their move instead to a carbon dioxide based coolant.

    Carbon dioxide and ‘global warming potential’

    While scientists and governments around the world have called for lower vehicle CO2 emissions, CO2 is actually the least harmful choice for air conditioning units, not only for cars, but also in houses in buildings. Carbon dioxide has less “global warming potential,” described on Wikipedia as “a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. It compares the amount of heat trapped by a certain mass of the gas in question to the amount of heat trapped by a similar mass of carbon dioxide.” In simple terms, the most common refrigerant used today, R134a, has a global warming potential 1430 times higher than simple CO2!

    New laws in January 2017

    By next year, all new cars in the European Union will have to stop using R134a as a refrigerant in their air conditioning units, and the US is following suit in 2021. While many other gases are possible replacements, so far it is only the European Mercedes models that have decided to move all the way to CO2, a gas that is notoriously difficult to steam in an AC system.

    Will other European and American car manufacturers follow suit and upgrade their AC systems to a carbon dioxide coolant, or will they replace R134a with the potentially explosive R1234yf as many now use? We will continue to follow this story as the year progresses.



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