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Q: How long a/c should last?

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Hey, I got my car re-charge with the a/c gas. I got in the turn it on and it was frezzeing—loved it. The mechanic told me there were no leak and was ready to use. I then when on a trip about 2h 30mins there and then back. While driving I turn the a/c on and off because it got a little warm. I then got back from the trip and used it on it was okay. After paying for it to be re-gas it was gone, it only lasted me like 3-4 months. Should it really last me that long, or should it last longer? Also I've heard if you don't use it, you pretty much loose it? Now we are in winter should I use a/c with heat to help defrost it? The car I have is a Vauxhall Astra, 1.6 club. The car is 12 year old (2004). I don't know if I've been done over by the mechanic or putting it down to the car being old. Also do you think I should get re-charge again or it's a waste of money? Thanks for you help in advance. Pedro.

My car has 94000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi Pedro. Your car may be old, but don’t put it out to pasture. Your AC charge should have lasted much longer than 3 or 4 months; more like a year or two. There is obviously a leak in the system; it’s finding the leak that can be a pain sometimes. The obvious leaks outside the cab look like an accumulation of dirt around one of the connections, similar to when engine oil starts to seep and dirt collects on it. If there are no visible leaks, it is possible that the evaporator could be leaking and can be costly to repair. Before making any assumptions, I suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with an ac is not working inspection.

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