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Air conditioning system check (Every 10 000 miles or 12 months)
Routine maintenance and servicing / Air conditioning system check (Every 10 000 miles or 12 months)


Warning: The air conditioning system is under high pressure.

Do not loosen any fittings or remove any components until after the system has been discharged. Air conditioning refrigerant must be properly discharged into an approved type of container, at a dealer service department or an automotive air conditioning repair facility capable of handling R134a refrigerant. Always wear eye protection when disconnecting air conditioning system fittings.

1 The following maintenance checks should be performed on a regular basis, to ensure that the air conditioner continues to operate at peak efficiency:
(a) Check the auxiliary drivebelt. If its worn or deteriorated, renew it (see Section 11).

(b) Check the system hoses. Look for cracks, bubbles, hard spots and deterioration.

Inspect the hoses and all fittings for oil bubbles and seepage. If theres any evidence of wear, damage or leaks, renew the hose(s).

(c) Inspect the condenser fins for leaves, insects and other debris. Use a fin comb or compressed air to clean the condenser.

Warning: Wear eye protection when using compressed air!

(d) Check that the drain tube from the front of the evaporator is clear - note that it is normal to have clear fluid (water) dripping from this while the system is in operation, to the extent that quite a large puddle can be left under the vehicle when it is parked.

2 Its a good idea to operate the system for about 30 minutes at least once a month, particularly during the winter. Long term non-use can cause hardening, and subsequent failure, of the seals.

3 Because of the complexity of the air conditioning system and the special equipment necessary to service it, in-depth fault diagnosis and repairs are not included in this manual. For more complete information on the air conditioning system, refer to the Haynes Automotive Heating and Air Conditioning Manual.

4 The most common cause of poor cooling is simply a low system refrigerant charge. If a noticeable drop in cool air output occurs, the following quick check will help you determine if the refrigerant level is low.

5 Warm the engine up to normal operating temperature.

6 Place the air conditioning temperature selector at the coldest setting, and put the blower at the highest setting. Open the doors - to make sure the air conditioning system doesnt cycle off as soon as it cools the passenger compartment.

7 With the compressor engaged - the clutch will make an audible click, and the centre of the clutch will rotate - feel the inlet and outlet pipes at the compressor. One side should be cold, and one hot. If theres no perceptible difference between the two pipes, theres something wrong with the compressor or the system. It might be a low charge - it might be something else. Take the vehicle to a dealer service department or an automotive air conditioning specialist.


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