Car Air Conditioning Repair for Classic Cars - How To

G’day and welcome back to Patty’s Garage! Today we’ll be diving into car air conditioning repair for our beauties. 

Coasting around in your classic is awesome but faulty air-conditioning can leave you sweltering. None of us wants that, especially as we head into another boiling Australian summer. 

Getting stuck in and doing your car air conditioning repair is the best way to protect against the intense Aussie heat.

And there’s no need to waste time or money with the pros. In this short piece, I’ll run you through a complete how-to guide on car air conditioning repair.

Benefits of DIY Car Aircon Repair

Repairing your car’s AC does more than just keep the interior cool. Servicing the aircon regularly can:

  • Reduce wear on the engine
  • Improve fuel efficiency
  • Provide better air quality 
  • Ensure greater energy efficiency

A functioning car air conditioning system is essential for ensuring your car has proper air circulation. Otherwise, there might be a build-up of dust, pollen or even mould.

Clearly, these repairs are about a lot more than just keeping your car cool. Servicing your car’s aircon will improve its overall performance, efficiency, and effectiveness.   

Not to mention, doing your own repairs includes a bunch more benefits. DIY repairs mean you:

  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Learn new skills

The biggest benefit of all my DIY car repairs is that you don’t have to pay the pro’s premium or waste time waiting for them. 

You can get stuck in whenever you have some free time and learn some valuable car skills doing it. 


Downsides of DIY Car Aircon Repair

DIY repairs are always a little bit risky. If you mess it up then there’s no one to blame but yourself.

It won’t be as ugly as the big scratch that a failed car paint repair can cause. But screwing up your car aircon repair can be just as serious. 

You might overcharge your AC system and end up shorting the condenser. Or you could hurt yourself by touching the refrigerant. This can cause incredibly painful freeze burns. 

Choosing the wrong refrigerant can result in dangerous chemical reactions and outside contaminants like dirt, dust, and mould can leak into the system. 

All of this sucks. Botched car air conditioning repairs can lead to even more problems and ultimately, even more expensive repairs. 

Lucky for you, those are all worst-case scenarios. The aircon repairs for your car should go smoothly, as long as you take your time and carefully follow the instructions below.

Car Air Conditioning Repairs

Like all your car repairs, the first step is to identify the problem. Unfortunately, a faulty air conditioner system can be rather difficult to diagnose. 

If it’s blowing cool but not cold air then the problem might be a cooling fan issue, a clogged filter, radiator trouble or something else entirely.

However, the most likely issue is a damaged or leaking AC compressor. Now the compressor is basically the heart of the entire system and if it breaks down properly, then it’s near impossible to fix. 

But you can replace the compressor yourself. It’s as simple as:

  • Removing and disposing of the remaining refrigerant 
  • Disconnecting and removing the old compressor
  • Installing the new compressor (with the necessary fittings)
  • Recharging it with refrigerant 

Sometimes you won’t even have to do that. The issue might be that you’ve just run out of refrigerant or dust and dirt are leaking into the system. 

The best way to deal with a leak is with a leak detection kit. They provide a dye that will run across the system and close up any leaks or cracks.  

I’ve mentioned refrigerant loads, so I thought I’d just add a quick note. Our older classics use a different refrigerant to newer cars. That’s why it’s important to double-check that you’ve got the correct one. 

If you’re really unsure what the issue is or feeling a little overwhelmed, then it’s probably best to hand it over to the pros. 

Focus on the repairs you feel more comfortable doing, like some car upholstery repairs to transform the inside of your classic. 



Pumped to try out these new repairs? Save heaps on essential auto parts with our VIP club membership, which provides access to discounts from over 200 Auto retailers and services providers within Australia; as well as getting exclusive access to classic car giveaways.

It makes those DIY repairs that much cheaper and puts you in the running to win some of the most iconic classic cars on the market.

If this all sounds pretty sweet, then be sure to sign up today! Join now and I’ll see you next time. 

What are you waiting for, mate?