How to Tell if Your Car Aircon Needs Regassing

aiconditioning regas

Many people, including myself, have had the unpleasant experience of hopping into the car on a hot day only to discover the air conditioning is not working.

In most cases, you are stuck with an uncomfortable commute until you visit a mechanic for an aircon regassing.

In this blog, I will answer the following questions:

  • How to tell if your car aircon needs regassing
  • How does a car air conditioner regassing work?
  • How often should you regas your car aircon?
  • What is the cost to regas car air conditioner?

How to Tell if Your Car Aircon Needs Regassing

Aside from the most obvious sign, no cool air coming out of your car’s vents, several warning signs let you know you may need regassing soon.

1. You Can’t Remember Your Last Regassing

You may be wondering, how long does an aircon regas last? Typically, newer vehicles need regassing about every two years, depending on use and overall wear and tear. You should make an appointment if you have owned your car for two years or more and do not remember regassing it.

2. The Aircon Makes Strange Noises

When you click on your vehicle’s aircon and hear unusual sounds, such as banging, rattling, or grinding, it could be the air conditioning unit or the fan. Either way, you will need servicing for your car to keep your air conditioning working well.

3. Foul Smell When You Turn on the Aircon

A bad smell when you turn on your car’s air conditioner means there is mould growing in the system. It would be best if you got your system checked straight away. This is vital as the air is unsafe, especially for children or anyone with compromised breathing.

4. Refrigerant Leaking

If you see a puddle underneath your parked car, it very well could be refrigerant. Look under the car’s bonnet and see if you notice any leaks. Remember that refrigerant leaves a glossy film on hoses or other parts of your cooling system if it is leaking. The vehicle will need professional care to assess and repair the situation.

5. Windows Taking Ages to Demist

  1. If you notice that your windscreen and windows are not clearing as quickly as they used to, this is a good indication that your aircon needs regassing. Do not hesitate to have your car examined by a professional, as the problem will likely become worse. This could cause dangerous driving conditions as you are increasingly seeing less through the windscreen.


Voltaic auto electrician regassing an aircon

How Does a Car Air Conditioner Regassing Work?

Typically, the service takes approximately 45 minutes. The process rarely takes more than 90 minutes unless unusual circumstances occur.

After a repair specialist checks your car for other issues causing the problem, the process of regassing a vehicle’s aircon system consists of several phases.

  1. Emptying and recovering the old refrigerant from your car
  2. Checking for leaks and regassing
  3. Checking the drive belts, pulleys, operation valves, thermostats and hoses
  4. Checking the system lines and components for leaks with an electric leak detector
  5. Checking the condenser temperature
  6. Getting a suction-line temperature reading
  7. Checking the air vent temperature

Once the regassing and diagnostics are complete, your service expert will let you know if there are further steps needed to get your aircon in tip-top shape.

How Often Should You Regas Your Car Aircon? 

Generally, most cars need regassing every one or two years.

There are some cars that work fine with five years between regassing. However, two years is the time frame most auto experts suggest.

Going past the two-year mark increases the chance that any minor problems typically detected during a regassing will become significant issues if left unattended.

For example, your vehicle’s air compressor, which is the belt-driven device that transfers refrigerant gas into a condenser, must be kept in good repair.

During regassing, the belt will be examined for signs of impending breakage.

It is also worth noting that even high-end vehicles will lose about 10% of the refrigerant gas in their air conditioning systems every year.

What is the cost to regas car air conditioner?

While prices vary from as low as $79 to $300, we offer a high-quality aircon regas and service for $179 designed for better performance and longevity.

Offerings in the lower end of the price range are typically lower quality and don’t last long compared to a high-quality regas.

Essentially, quality is better than quantity, and it is best to pay for fewer services that last longer rather than more lower-quality services.

How Long to Regas Car Aircon Systems Properly?

On average, an aircon regas only takes 45 minutes or so.

However, if you opt for a comprehensive aircon service, it may take a few hours but you’ll be protected from having to come back to the mechanic again in the near future.

Can I Regas My Aircon Myself?

While there are many online videos promising that you can easily regas your car’s air conditioning, this practice is strongly discouraged for several reasons.

  1. The gas used in most Australian vehicle’s air conditioners is R-134a. It is a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming. Legislation requires the gas to be disposed of properly by a licensed technician.
  2. Refrigerants can cause significant damage if they come in contact with unprotected skin.
  3. Other gasses sold for use in self-regassing are highly flammable, and you run a high risk of the gas leaking into your car. This could cause devastating injuries if involved in a crash.


To ensure your vehicle’s air conditioner is in excellent condition, your best move is to have regular inspections. Reach out to the professionals at Voltaic to book your appointment for a free quote and feel confident your car is in expert hands.