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I discovered yesterday my RC-F air-con is not blowing cold. I'm wondering if this could be fault and how would I check.

Or is it the re-gas that every dealer seems to push at each visit? Is 6 years with relatively little AC use reasonable for it to disappear?

Thanks for your thoughts / experiences

 

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I have my cars re-gassed every 4 years maximum. I personally am a heavy air con user, my wife not so much.

 

The prices vary so much based on gas prices and mark ups around the place but its a very quick job if you fancy just trying to book it in. Alternatively wait till it next goes into the dealer and just add it on with the service. 

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Little use is most probably the cause of your problem. Seals become dry and shrink, leading to fluid leakage. Get it regased and then use the climate control all the time. 

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If it does need a re-gas check out Groupon. I had one of my vans done for £30 using them the other day. 
I tend to run my air-con all year it de-mists the car instantly

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I never, ever, turn off the aircon, especially these cars where they have Climate Control rather than standard aircon. Simply set the cabin temperature to what you want and the car does what it has to to keep it there for you.

As Paul says above, almost certain that the seals have dried out and let the gas escape.

I will say though, that under normal circumstances unless there is a fault, there is no need whatsoever to have the AC system "serviced". It's a sealed system, the gas and/or lubricating oil do not wear out and as long as they don't escape through a fault, the AC will be just fine.

All my cars over the last 30 years or more have had aircon and not a single one of them has ever needed an aircon service. They've all been just as icy cold on the day I sold/scrapped them as when I bought them 5 or 10 years earlier.

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AC/CC systems should be 100% leakproof, but in practice most manufactures specify a minute tolerable/acceptable per annum leakage. Many cars would and should be able to go decades without re-gassing. Consider your fridge/freezer, how many times have you had that re-gassed, obviously never. Whilst not a direct comparison, they work on a very similar principle, i.e. a sealed system containing refrigerant.

As with your fridge, there is a tiny amount of oil in the refrigerant designed to lubricate elastomer seals/moving components. Occasional AC/CC use is necessary for this reason, albeit I believe that might not necessarily be the case on some modern systems. The problem comes with the fact an automobile system employs a number of screwed connections and refrigerant will find any leakage point and even the most diligent technician could easily miss a very slight escape point, it's the nature of the beast I'm afraid.

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Thank you for all your helpful replies. I shall keep the AC on from now on

Bizarrely, I went out yesterday when it was even hotter than Sunday and the AC worked fine. Over the next couple of weeks I shall see if I can re-enact the not-working situation. I have entertained the idea that it may have been user error on Sunday after a 5+ hour cycle race in the Peak District. I may even read the user manual

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6 minutes ago, MNMJ said:

 I may even read the user manual

I say....steady on!

What 's going to happen to some of us posters if Owners' start referring to the car's manuals for an answer?

It doesn't bear thinking about!  😟

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I learned a few tips about using car aircon when I thought my aircon wasn't cold enough in my old car. In case anyone's interested:

  • When you return to the car on a hot day, don't just get in and then immediately shut the door and expect the AC to quickly cool you down. Open the doors or windows for 1-2 mins before starting the car as this will let most of the warm air escape.
  • Aim the air vents upwards, rather than pointing them directly at you. This way the cold air will get blown upwards and then descend throughout the cabin like a blanket.
  • Just leave the climate control on auto on as the car will do a good job of getting it to the correct temperature, especially if you follow the above steps. No need to put the AC up to full in an attempt to cool down faster.
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Good points Rob.

Your second and third points are related in that when set to auto, the Climate Control will automatically vent at high level first for that very reason. Also works the other way too; on cold days the system will vent air from low level first so that the hot air rises and warms the cabin quickly.

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