Guide to air con regassing

Your air con recharging questions answered

As well as making driving on hot, summer days much more comfortable, your air conditioning system also improves the quality of air in your vehicle.

Regular air con maintenance goes a long way to improving the performance of your system, but having your air con regassed is the best way to avoid any problems and keep your cool air flowing.

Need an air con recharge? Book with Smart Care and we'll take care of it.

Book now

What is an air con regas?

An air con regas is also known as an air con recharge.

The process involves replenishing the refrigerant gas in your air conditioning system which keeps the air cold.

Using a special machine, the technician will safely remove the old refrigerant and lubricant and replace it with fresh gas and lubricant. If they find that the gas pressure was low, a leak test will also be carried out. 

If you opt for a slightly more expensive air con service, the system is often debugged (decontaminated) as well. Bacteria can breed in air conditioning systems, leading to odours and allergies, so this is important.

How much does it cost to regas air con?

The cost varies depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the type of air con gas your vehicle needs. Most cars with air conditioning in the UK use one of 2 types of gas – R134A or R1234YF.

Find out how much an air con recharge will cost for your vehicle with Smart Care.

How often should air con be regassed?

Most manufacturers recommend having your air con regassed every 2 years.

Gas can permeate the air conditioning system naturally, so over time it becomes less efficient and can run down quite quickly, especially during summer months. 

Many car services don’t cover the air conditioning system, so you’ll need to book a regas separately.

How do I know if my air con needs regassing?

If you can’t remember the last time you got an air con recharge, you’ve bought a used car and there’s no record of an air con regas, or your air conditioning system is blowing out warm air, it’s time to book in for a regas.

Can you recharge air con yourself?

It’s possible to top up your air con gas yourself, but we recommend taking your car to a garage instead to avoid any potential risks.

Refrigerant can cause irritation or injury if not handled safely and mixing different types of air con gas can cause dangerous chemical reactions.

If not done properly, regassing can also cause damage to parts of your air con system like the compressor, valve and drier.

How can I look after my air conditioning system?

There are some easy ways to maintain your vehicle's air conditioning throughout the year:

  • Run your car’s air conditioning at least once a week (during the winter, it acts as a very effective windscreen demister) and check the air coming out is noticeably colder than the air in the cabin.
  • Regularly clear leaves and debris that collect around the air intakes under the car bonnet, below the windscreen area. It’s good practice to do this whenever checking the oil and carrying out basic checks.
  • Ensure your air conditioning is fully serviced every 30,000 miles (or 2 years).

Book an air con service with the AA

Each of our 500+ audited garages provides professional air conditioning servicing. Remember, with AA Smart Care you also get:

  • Free vehicle collection and return
  • Quick and easy online booking and payment
  • Parts and labour guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles
  • Fair, transparent pricing
  • Every garage in our network is independent and trustworthy.

We thoroughly inspect each one before it can join the AA, to ensure it fully meets our quality, service and training standards. We then carry out full audits annually, as well as ad-hoc spot checks.

We even have next-day availability in some locations.

AA approved MOTs, services and repairs at a local garage near you

Book with Smart Care and get fixed pricing with no hidden extras, plus parts and labour guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles.