Once an expensive optional extra, air conditioning is now virtually a standard feature on most new vehicles.
As we all know, air conditioning, with its controlled, in-car ambient temperature, can help motorists stay cool, comfortable and alert at the wheel, throughout the year, reducing driver error caused by fatigue or frustration.
However, unless air conditioning systems are serviced correctly, by specially trained and qualified technicians, with the pressurised refrigerants and lubricants safely filtered, cleansed, recycled and reinstated for optimum output, strain on the compressors driving them can increase the load on the engine. This in turn can cause premature wear and tear leading to reduced vehicle performance, increased fuel consumption and higher vehicle emissions.
Depending on use – the more frequently your air conditioning is turned on, the less frequent the servicing requirement – a professional 'Air Con Health Check' is recommended every one to three years, at around £100 a unit.
Most garages and service centres now offer this service.