Air Conditioning

Here at AC Wizard, we offer a specialist air conditioning service for cars, commercial vehicles, agricultural and plant machinery. Auto air con is a highly specialised area, and even the most skilled mechanics are unaware of the many technical requirements and regulations concerned with air conditioning. Most of the time, a simple recharge is sufficient, but where there are other issues, specialist knowledge is required to find a solution. Air conditioning repairs can be costly and we try to be as competitive as possible with our prices, but cannot guarantee to be the cheapest. What we can guarantee is that the job will be done right and we won't charge you for any unnecessary or fictitious work!

AC Wizard takes safety and the environment very seriously, as such, we leak test every vehicle before putting new gas into the system.   

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The Dangers of a Bad Job

If "repaired" incorrectly AC systems can be extremely dangerous, from re-gassing the system to repairing a leak AC Wizard have a qualified technician that is trained in the correct handling of air conditioning gasses.

so why exactly are poorly repaired air conditioning systems so Dangerous?

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to service and re-gas my air con system?

At least one hour, anything less means that the job is not being done correctly.

How much gas does my air con system take?

It varies with make and model. The refrigerant is measured by weight and a small car may take half a kilo, a luxury car with climate control may take one and a half kilos.

How often should my air con system be serviced?

Every 12 to 18 months to ensure it operates at maximum efficiency. If you let the system run low on refrigerant the compressor has to work twice as hard and will therefore wear out in half the time. It will also have a drastic effect on fuel consumption.

My air con is blowing cold air, why should I get it recharged?

Just like getting your engine serviced, it is good practice to get into the routine of changing the oil and other fluids in the air con system periodically. This will ensure it is in tip top condition, will prolong the life of the system and help to maintain the value of your car. People have been known to walk away from buying a car when they discover that the air con doesn't work.

How much does it cost?

This can vary depending on the amount of refrigerant, what work needs to be done and where you live. However, prices start at £50 for a full recharge. Some garages charge much more.

Do you cover my area?

If you live anywhere in East Central Scotland, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling etc, then the answer is yes. A small mileage charge may be applied (no more than £10). Working area is within 50 miles of KY12 7DS. For areas outside this catchment, please contact us for information as it may be possible to accommodate your needs.

How often should I run the air con in my car?

All the time on hot or cold depending on the outside temperature. This will ensure that the rubber hoses, seals and gaskets in your system don't dry out and crack thereby causing leaks. Run your system for at least 30 minutes a week even in winter. Contrary to popular belief it does not greatly reduce your mpg.

Why would I need air con in autumn or winter?

Apart from the need to keep the system lubricated, air con is very useful when defrosting and demisting your windows. It is also able to provide warm air much quicker than waiting for the engine to warm up. If you run a diesel car, getting it to warm up can take several minutes and blowing moist air onto a cold windscreen will cause condensation to build up. Turning the air con on a warm setting will clear the screen in seconds. Quick clear screens will only work if your air con is functioning properly. Apart from wasting fuel and causing unnecessary pollution, leaving your car running unattended to defrost and warm up can result in it being stolen. Police around the country warn against this as car thieves are targeting unattended vehicles. Insurance companies may refuse to pay out in these circumstances. It is good practice to get used to staying with the car with the air con running, it won't take long to warm up and you'll save time, money and minimise the risk of theft.

There are air con gas 'top-up' kits for sale in motorists shops and on-line, how good are they and should I consider using them?

Don't use them for several reasons. 1. They are potentially dangerous and you could injure yourself. 2. Your air con system will contain moisture and contaminants that you will re-circulate throughout all the air con pipes and components. Moisture in the air con system will promote the build up of acid, which will destroy the aluminium pipes and lead to a very expensive repair bill. We remove all moisture and contaminants as part of our service prior to re-gassing. This process alone takes 20-30 minutes. 3. Some of these cans contain a sealant to stop very minor leaks. This sealant can actually do more harm than good if it is not used correctly. 4. Any air con system is finely balanced and needs the correct amount of refrigerant, using a DIY kit means you will have no idea how much gas is in the system. Too little and the system will have to work harder; too much could cause severe damage to the system. Don't be fooled by the "Simple to use" or "Cheapest" tags. You really have to know what you are doing and a quick fix could cost you dear.

How do I check that the air con system is working when I go to buy a second hand car?

Start the engine and lift the bonnet, turn the air con onto maximum cold and maximum fan blower speed. The air from the vents should be almost freezing cold within a minute or so.
-Go to the front of the car and listen for the compressor clutch clicking in and out and an accompanying slight rise and fall in engine revs. The compressor is driven by a belt at the front of the engine and is about the same size as the alternator. If all this happens then the a/c is working OK. If you are still unsure, we are happy to test it for you for a small fee.

Why does my car air con system run low on refrigerant ?

All the pipes and connections on your air con system are naturally slightly porous so you lose from 10% to 20% of the gas every year due to natural leakage. There is also a slight chance that the gas could leak out due to electrical or mechanical faults.

If the gas leaks into the passenger compartment of my car can it be dangerous?

No, the modern refrigerant called R134a, is not harmful to health and is not an explosive gas. It is also less harmful to the environment unlike the old refrigerant gas R12 which was phased out from 1993.

If I don't use the air con, what's the worst that can happen?

If you neglect the air con system and ignore it when it stops working, you could end up with a huge repair bill. We have seen air con compressors seize due to a lack of oil, resulting in a snapped fan belt. This ended up costing the owner over £1000 in recovery charges, parts and labour. This could have been easily avoided by having the air con serviced regularly for around £50.

I prefer to use main dealer servicing, what's the difference?

We have done extensive research into pricing and availability and can be confident that AC Wizard's prices are lower than any main dealer for an air con recharge. The service itself is no different, if anything we are more convenient as we work around you and don't need to keep you car all day. We can even come to your work, as long as there is access to an electrical socket. Unlike other garages, AC Wizard will, in certain situations, refer you to a main dealer or manufacturer specialist. This will only happen for rare, prestige or luxury cars. Other garages would be only too happy to work on your car, but may end up doing more damage than good and could invalidate any warranty. We are regularly contacted by garages, including main dealers for help and advice.

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NOTICE - Update To COVID-19 Policy