Keep cool by keeping your A/C in top nick. Russ Brown shows you how
Russ Brown explains how to keep your cool
Air conditioning is an increasingly common luxury on Land Rover products, but is often ignored by DIY servicers until the day – usually a very hot one – when it no longer works.
You then discover that there is not much maintenance you can do on the system at home without specialised equipment to remove the refrigerant, due to it being illegal to vent R134a into the atmosphere.
However, most of the problems with the system are due to the gas pressure getting low, as was the case on our TDCI Defender. Despite all the legalities surrounding R134a, the average car leaks about 10% per year, and it needs to be kept topped up.
You can take it into Halfords who will top it up for £49, but for £10 more you can do it yourself at home with an STP kit. So why would you bother? Bear with me. Well, for your £59.98 you get a reusable gauge to retest after filling and enough refrigerant to keep your A/C topped up for numerous years, or if you are a multi-car family you can get them all into a state of coolness. You also get a tenner deposit back when you return the recharge bottle.
The same principles apply to all vehicles with post mid-1990s R134a systems. The gauge is pretty crude, so if possible try it on working air-con to see what you should expect. The instructions on the bottle and STP’S online video can be tricky to understand for the first-time user, so let us walk you through the job.
Most air-con problems are caused by low pressure