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Car air conditioning: Recharge guide + how to identify common problems & maintain performance

In the heat of a summer afternoon, the inside of a car is widely acknowledged as one of the hottest places on earth. Thankfully, we have car air conditioning to make them a bearable space to spend 15 minutes in while we drive home. 

Naturally, it’s a pretty serious problem when your car’s aircon isn’t working properly. We’ve put together this brief guide to help you keep your car’s air conditioner performing at its frosty best, from regassing to fixing odours.

Identifying common car air conditioning problems

“Why is my car air conditioner not blowing cold air?”

If you’ve got the aircon on full blast, but the air it’s circulating is warm or just not very cold, this is a telltale sign that it’s time to regas. 

Solution: Car air conditioning recharge

Recharging, also known as aircon regassing, is removing the old refrigerant gas from your car’s air conditioning unit, testing for any leakages, then re-filling with new gas and pressurising the system. We recommend regassing car air conditioners annually to maintain high performance.

“Why is my car’s air conditioner taking so long to cool?”

Sun shades are a great way to keep the internal temperature of your car down if you park outside. But there’s only so much they can do. It’s up to the aircon to take the temp down by 10 degrees when you drive home – and on a 35-degree day, it’s got to work fast!

If your car’s air conditioning takes a long time to cool, it’s most likely the result of a leak or failing parts, such as the vents, hoses or condenser. You won’t necessarily be able to spot the leak yourself, either – this is why mechanics usually use electronic leak detectors to get an inside view.

Solution: Car aircon repair

The best – and quickest – way to fix parts problems is to head to your local auto servicing centre, where a trusted mechanic will thoroughly examine your car and its air conditioning system to find the cause and fix it.

“Why does my car aircon smell mouldy?”

Musty, mouldy smells coming from your car air conditioner usually mean bacteria or fungus has built up inside the vents. This can happen when the aircon is being used heavily and frequently, such as in summer, causing moisture to build up and creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Mould is bad for everyone, but fixing this is particularly important for people with asthma or who are prone to allergies.

How to fix car air conditioner smells

Most mechanics provide an air conditioner cleaning service at request, but if you want to do it yourself, look for aircon cleaning products like Autoglym or MiST. 


Remember, the only way to know the full extent and exact cause of car air conditioning problems is to head to your local service centre. We’re ready to help – no bookings are required, so drop in to stay cool in your car this summer!

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