What does an air conditioning regas do?
It’s no longer considered a luxury, so most modern cars come with air con. However, like anything else, it needs regular maintenance. If you’re not getting cold air into your vehicle, regassing is the most likely solution.
A regas is the removal of old refrigerant gas from the system and replacing and recharging it, along with the lubricant and in line with the manufacturer’s instructions, so that the air runs cold again. (By the way, vehicles made from 2017 onwards are legally obliged to use a new type of refrigerant.)
While DIY kits are available, they save you almost nothing compared with getting a specialist to do the job. What’s more, if something goes wrong, you could be left with a pricey bill, or there could be safety issues. (Refrigerant can cause painful freeze burns if it gets on your skin or in your eyes.) Equally, if there are any other problems with the air con system, a professional will be able to put them right.
How often should I need to regas my air conditioner?
Most manufacturers suggest getting the air con serviced every couple of years, although many drivers wait until there’s no cold air coming through before taking action. But it’s really not worth putting it off—as well as creating an uncomfortable travelling environment, poorly working air conditioning makes it harder to demist windows in winter, and may mean the engine has to work harder, so fuel consumption rises. Additionally, pipes in the system could crack, or parts seize up.
The law, vehicle regulations and your MOT
A faulty air conditioner won’t affect your car’s MOT, but it can affect the comfort of you and your passengers. It’s worth keeping your air conditioning running at its optimum performance as the impact it can have on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency could significantly affect the day-to-day cost of your motoring.
Symptoms you might need an AC regas
Your air con isn’t as cold as normal
If your AC has stopped working correctly and you notice that the air conditioning in your car isn’t providing the usual levels of cold air as normal, it’s probably time for a regas.
Looking after your air conditioning
It’s true that most general car services don’t cover air conditioning, but any garage should be able to do a straightforward air con service and regas for you at an affordable price. They will probably want to do a pre-service inspection first, and any repairs needed as a result are usually billed for separately.
The inspection should include looking out for any cracks or leaks that could hinder the system’s efficient working.
Try and use the system all year round to keep it running smoothly, and consider an anti-bacterial clean if musty smells are emerging from the vents—your garage or workshop should also offer this. Additionally, change the cabin filter regularly.
Volkswagen (often shortened to VW) is a German automobile manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, a Nazi labour union.
Volkswagen is the flagship marque of the Volkswagen Group, who in turn is majority owned by Porsche. They own and operate a vast number of cars under other brand names—at the time of writing, they have 342 subsidiary companies.
How popular is Volkswagen in the United Kingdom?
Possibly its most well-known model of the current generation, the VW Golf, was the 2nd best selling car of 2018, behind the Ford Fiesta, which consistently takes the top spot year after year.
The Golf’s 64k registrations in 2018 added to the vast tally of 3.4million Volkswagen cars on the road today.
High quality, highly rated, appropriately priced cars
VW cars achieve consistently strong reviews and are highly respected by critics and drivers alike. They are renowned for investing more money into research and development than almost any other marque and distributing their wealth of motoring knowledge across the many partner brands under the VW Group umbrella.
The Volkswagen Beetle: The ‘people’s car’
A classic of its time, originally named the Volkswagen Type 1, it soon became nicknamed the Beetle due to its unique shape, and subsequently the bug. The unique looking car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche for Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap and simple mass-produced car to travel around his country’s new road network.
The new model Beetle, originally launched to celebrate the original classic in 1997, and with an updated successor in 2011, was designed around the VW Jetta platform sharing much of its build with the Jetta and Golf. VW announced in 2018 that the Beetle would finally be removed from production in July 2019.
VW’s reliability and reputation
Volkswagen ranked 17th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. Sister companies Skoda and Seat appeared higher up the ranks at 7th and 10th respectively, while executive brand Audi a few places further down the list at joint 20th.
Recent Volkswagen recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on VW models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
19/04/2019 – VW Tiguan (2017–2018)
The material used for the rear coil springs may be inadequate
13/04/2019 – VW Touareg (2018)
The suspension damper forks are defective and could break
13/04/2019 – VW Caddy (2018)
The predetermined break point in the cushion for the side airbags in on the wrong side
24/03/2019 – VW Polo (2016–2018)
On vehicles with a rear drum brake, the operational wear of the brake lining and use-related settlement of the drum brake may result in a loss of pre-tension on parking brake cables
02/02/2019 – VW Touareg (2018)
A seat belt latch may not have been sufficiently secured to the rear, right-hand seat
23/12/2018 – VW Golf, VW T-Roc, VW Arteon and VW Passat (2018)
The fitting for the headrest may have been incorrectly welded to the backrest
23/12/2018 – VW T-Roc (2018)
An incorrect adhesive bond between the upper and lower parts of the rear spoiler may have been used
20/10/2018 – VW Touran and VW Tiguan (2015–2018)
Moisture can reach the LED module of the sunroof’s ambient lighting which may cause a short-circuit
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.