An air conditioning system or climate system loses approx. 8-10 % refrigerant a year, and therefore it is recommended that you have the system serviced at least once every two years. The price of an A/C service, however, depends on which car model you drive around.
Autobutler has, on the basis of all the offers given to Toyota owners through our garage portal, examined the average price for servicing an air conditioning system on a Toyota.
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Guide: Use your air con or climate system wisely
Most modern Toyotas either have an air conditioning system or a climate system.
A fully automatic air conditioning system controls the temperature inside the car's cabin. If the temperature is set at 22 degrees, the system will adjust the temperature so that the desired temperature is constantly maintained. This is done by constantly blowing either hot or cold air into the cabin.
2-zone air conditioning systems work in the same way, with the added finesse that the temperature can be controlled individually in the driver's side and the passenger side respectively. Some systems even have the option of adjusting the temperature separately in the front and back of the car.
If the air conditioning system has to be large scale, you can actually get luxury versions where a special ventilation system blows dehumidified air out of the seat, so that the shirt or dress does not stick to the body on a hot summer day.
Finally, there’s the traditional air conditioning system (A/C), which is a basic, manually controlled solution. The A/C system provides a certain temperature in the car, and if you want to change it, it can be turned up and down by the fan temperature.
Both the fully automatic air conditioner and the 2-zone air conditioning system seem to be most attractive to most, but it is also the more expensive solutions.
Use air conditioning throughout the year
Both an air conditioning system and a climate system are pleasant inventions that work by having a compressor cool and dry the air, which is then subsequently circulated in the car's cabin. If you keep the windows and any sunroof closed while driving, the car's cabin is kept well-tempered throughout the entire drive.
Contrary to what many believe, the system can and should preferably be used all year round. The A/C consists of a closed system with hoses and gaskets. Inside the hoses, a coolant and oil is flowing. Over time, the refrigerant will evaporate and the system will lose liquid. If the refrigerant is not re-filled in time, the system will slowly dry out and the air compressor, gaskets and filters will be destroyed. If this happens, the garage bill will easily amount to hundreds of dollars.
Overview: How to perform an air conditioning service
- The garage empties the refrigerant system and fills in new refrigerant.
- At the same time, the oil which acts as a lubricant, is replaced to prevent the gasket in the compressor from drying out or wearing down.
- The system’s drying filter, which extracts moisture and dirt from the circulating refrigerant, is inspected.
- The pollen filter is replaced.
- To remove any bad smell, the air ducts are cleaned
Air conditioning service: The DIY model
If the car's air conditioning system is not used properly or adequately, it can cause unpleasant odors inside the cabin.
The reason is that water is building up in the system and that bacteria develop.
The solution is a thorough cleaning of the entire A/C system of your Toyota. If you choose to do it yourself, there are two ways it can be done.
You use a special spray that is sprayed directly onto the evaporator of the A/C system.
Remove the pollen filter - it typically sits under the dashboard - and then start the engine while turning on the cabin fan. Next, empty the can with cleaning spray into the hole where the pollen filter was.
Now leave the car and leave all ventilation nozzles open while the ventilation system is set to recycle.
After about half an hour, the system is cleaned and you can install a new pollen filter.
If you think the above sounds a little too cumbersome and your system is only slightly 'attacked' by bacteria, then you can also choose the solution of using a so-called 'grenade'.
Again, remove the pollen filter and, as in the first method, start the engine and turn on the cabin fan.
Set the system on recirculation and activate the spray grenade, which now sprays the detergent into the cabin.
All doors and windows are kept closed and the cabin is filled with a mist of detergent.
After about half an hour, the process is over, and you can install a new pollen filter and enjoy the fresh smell in the car.
3 good tips on air conditioning
If the car's air conditioning system does not cool down when it is activated, you should immediately contact a garage that can quickly identify the fault by connecting an A/C machine.
You can reduce the risk of bacterial formation in the A/C system by switching off the system 10-15 minutes before parking the car. When the system is switched off, the heat from both the engine and the air will dry out the ducts, so that no water in the system can condense.
The refrigerant used for an air conditioning system is not very cheap and not at all if an environmentally friendly refrigerant is used. Therefore, when servicing your air conditioning system, it is a good idea to check if the stated price includes replacement of the coolant or if the cost for this comes on top if it.