Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - jazzyman

My daughter took her 2014 astra for the annual service at the Vauxhall main dealers, she pays for the servicing under an additional vauxhall servicing warranty.

They carried out a full service today at no charge because of this extra warranty. When the service was completed they recommeded an air condtion service for a charge of £65. My question is why isnt the air conditioning system a part of the general service? Is this normal practice for all car manufacturers?

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - oldroverboy.

Hopefully she said no, but did they change the pollen filter?

The air "con" service is usually a disinfectant type smoke bomb thingy that is set off in the car and the aircon is run on full recirculation for a goodly bit.

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - andyp

Were they talking about re-gassiing the system or just the deodorising service ORB has described above ?

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - SLO76
Air con is a very simple system, working just like your refrigerator at home. It doesn't require any maintenance and should be touched only when something goes wrong or it develops a strange smell which could be a leak or bacterial growth. A regas will do nothing if none of it has escaped and cleaning won't help unless there's a bacteriological growth to clean out. It's just the dealer trying to make extra money from selling up. Remind her though that in order to keep it working properly she needs to run the system regularly so the seals don't dry out, it should be used at least once a week even in winter.
Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - sajid

been told that the aircon should be maintained every 2/3 years as the gas tend to disipate and the air con performance suffers.

like wise have your brake fluid replaced every two years due to the fluid being contaminated with water and affecting brake performance

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - Ian D
Air con systems are sealed, if gas is leaking out then you will know as the cool air will be less cool, then get the system leak checked/regassed, paying for this every 2/3 years is well over the top, after 6/7/8 years maybe but not 2/3 years.
Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - elekie&a/c doctor

Getting back to the original question," Is this normal practice for all car manufacturers?".I would say yes.I don't know of any manufacturers that include an a/con service as part of their "service package".In fact,you would be lucky to get a basic oil and filter change at most.

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - SLO76

been told that the aircon should be maintained every 2/3 years as the gas tend to disipate and the air con performance suffers.

like wise have your brake fluid replaced every two years due to the fluid being contaminated with water and affecting brake performance

They're correct regarding the brake fluid. Moisture builds up in it and causes it to degrade over time. The gas in your air con system doesn't however degrade at all and if it requires a regas then it's leaking out somewhere, most likely from dried out seals through lack of use. Basically an air conditioning service consists of a mechanic switching the system on, checking its operating and maybe having a quick sniff around for leaks. In other words, it's £65 for nothing. Think about it. Do you have your fridge freezer serviced every few years? It's essentially the same thing.
Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - Galaxy

Sorry, but it's not the same thing.

Because a car air conditioning system has to accommodate the movement between the compressor, which is mounted on the engine, and the other components which are fixed rigidly to the chassis, flexible rubber pipes have to be used.

Over a period of time, the aircon gas can and does permeate thought these flexible pipes out into the atmosphere. This obviously causes there to be less gas inside the system so, after a period of time, probably several years, it's going to need regassing.

Your home fridge/freezer doesn't use any flexible rubber pipes so, unless it becomes physically damaged, never needs regassing.

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - Doc

Your home fridge/freezer doesn't use any flexible rubber pipes so, unless it becomes physically damaged, never needs regassing.

The compressor is hermetically sealed.
The two halves are sealed by welding or brazing.

The electric motor and reciprocating mechanism are placed inside this housing and so cannot leak, unlike a car compressor which can through the rotating shaft.

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - SLO76
Fair point, there's certainly more movement to factor in unlike a domestic system which is static. I've yet to encounter an older motor I've bought to sell on that simply needed a regas to restore the air con however. There's always something more costly amiss. I don't even try now, if it works then bonus if it doesn't then it's sold on as is. Up here in sunny Ayrshire it's not much of a concern anyway. I certainly wouldn't spend money on an air con "service" though. If it fails on a younger car I'd get them to try regcharging the system but otherwise if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - Metropolis.

I recently bought a 15 year old Land Rover. Aircon wasn't blowing cold AT ALL so took it to Halfords, recharged and ice cold! Holds pressure perfectly. Guess I got lucky..

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - SLO76

I recently bought a 15 year old Land Rover. Aircon wasn't blowing cold AT ALL so took it to Halfords, recharged and ice cold! Holds pressure perfectly. Guess I got lucky..

To have bought a 15yr old Land Rover that still runs is luck enough. ;-)
Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - Metropolis.

Ha! As are approx 75% ever made. TD5 is a sturdy lump.

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - jazzyman

After speaking to her today they said it was to kill bacteria so I guess it's just the deodorising service that's required. £65 seems expensive for this? Does the AC Conditioning Clean Bomb Spray kits do the same job as the dealers?

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - SLO76

After speaking to her today they said it was to kill bacteria so I guess it's just the deodorising service that's required. £65 seems expensive for this? Does the AC Conditioning Clean Bomb Spray kits do the same job as the dealers?

If there's no smell I wouldn't bother to be honest. If it develops a pong then zap it.
Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - SLO76
"Ha! As are approx 75% ever made. TD5 is a sturdy lump."

Heard that figure before but can't possibly be true. The 1st gen Freelander was a big seller and one of the most fragile motors on the road while chassis rot is killing off 1st and 2nd gen Discoveries rapidly. Good friend of mine had to weld his 54plate recently for an Mot.

The TD5 was a good motor, so was the old Perkins TDi 200 & 300 before it. We used to get loads of em in against Shoguns and aside from the K series Freelanders the engines were largely good. Shame the same couldn't be said about transmissions (not so much on the second gen) and electronics. But they're always repairable and access is good.

The third gen Discovery, especially the PSA 2.7 diesel is murder for electrical issues and blown turbos. Just way too complex.

Edited by SLO76 on 17/05/2017 at 01:24

Vauxhall Astra J - Air conditioning not covered under servicing? - Tester

My car's aircon has not been 'serviced' or re-gassed in the 15 years I've been running it and still produces cold air when required. It might help that it is part of a 'climate control' system that I leave on its auto setting, so the compressor will be run regularly without my having to think about it -- as others have said, that has presumably kept the seals in good condition.

HJ has raised the point about the latest refrigerant (R1234? Sorry, can't remember the details off the top of my head!) leaking much more readily and maybe that will change the picture. All I can say that my wife's 3-year-old car has the new chemical and is still annoyingly capable of freezing my hands and feet, but it's early days yet!

 

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