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Air Con condenser - design fault??

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by Kempysue, May 4, 2014.

  1. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    My brand new Audi S3 has a hole in the air con condenser.
    Have a look at the front grill... There are 3 x 4cm x 55cm gaps in the front grill giving a clear line for stone damage to the air con condenser. This is a clear design fault in my mind which will mean regular damage if you travel at motorway speeds. That's fine if you don't mind regular £800 bills to fix it because Audi have refused to cover it on the warranty despite this clear design fault.
    This car is not fit for purpose. Be very careful before you buy one and only buy it if you're happy to drive at slow speeds!!

    Has anyone else tried their air con lately?? Check it out because this has to be a ticking time bomb for damage and an £800 bill :-(

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  3. Rexus
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    Rexus Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    This appears to be a common fault on the A3 8V, and has been discussed recently. I would have thought that such a poor design leading to frequent loss of environment damaging coolant would leave Audi open to legal action.
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  4. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    I'd be interested to see that discussion or hear from other people who have experienced the same issue. I'm writing to Audi Uk this week to reject my car as not fit for purpose (amazing car but not if I have an £800 repair bill every month!) and need as much back-up as possible. All they need to do is acknowledge the fault and install a stone guard behind the front bumper!

    Ps thanks for the environmental angle - that's excellent! X
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  5. Migwire
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    Migwire Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
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  6. Rexus
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    Rexus Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    Yeah, that's the thread I had in mind. Good luck, you should get it repaired at no cost to you.
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  7. veeeight
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    veeeight Well-Known Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    I had a look at my grille yesterday, and thought the same, those large gaps are asking for trouble.

    I think I might invest in some plastic coated black square mesh to mount behind the grille (aka posh chicken wire).
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  8. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    Thanks guys. That's exactly what I need to make my case :)
    I hope Audi do a recall and install some kind of stone guard as really don't need a bill like that at regular intervals! X
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  9. Pulp84
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    Pulp84 Well-Known Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    I know not the same car bit my A1 has a very similar design. No issues in two years. It does have a few small "dents" so to speak.

    Worried about getting my S3 now :(

    Think there was a reference from another poster on the earlier link with an Audi service code for his repair - if someone has had the same part replaced on warranty or reduced cost then surely that sets a precedent?
    #8
  10. veeeight
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    veeeight Well-Known Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    I know, in theory, the likelihood of getting a stone large enough, through those gaps, and through the fins of the condenser (which normally take the brunt of the impact) hard enough to puncture the pipe must be pretty small.

    However - to have 3 members from ASN suffer the same fate - and given that ASN members represent a very small proportion of Audi ownership - the probability and numbers aren't looking good.

    If we were in the USA, the 3 affected people could launch a class action lawsuit, and thats quite powerful.
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  11. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 4, 2014]
    Honestly the S3 is amazing apart from this one fatal flaw. Get on to your local dealer and get them to speak to Audi HQ to get a fix before yours is delivered. I literally never used the air con before this happened :-(
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  12. gjpgjp
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    gjpgjp New Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    A stone chip has also damaged my A3 8V Air Con Unit.

    I have been quoted £709 to fix. I put in a complaint to Audi Customer Services and after a few weeks of consideration they have said they WILL NOT cover the damage. I am really disappointed as this has really soured my experience of Audi.

    When it is time to change I'll think seriously about another Audi.

    Audi said that this is a common problem in the automotive market and that condenser can't be protected as they need air flow to work correctly.
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  13. Migwire
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    Migwire Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Do you think a garage would notice this if you went to trade the car in? I've never seen them check the air con when valuing any of my cars. I think this would be my course of action if Audi wouldn't entertain me, and switch to another make.
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  14. Stephen C
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    Stephen C Active Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Is this also the same on a SEAT Leon and VW Golf?
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  15. Migwire
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    Migwire Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
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  16. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Most cars seem to be susceptible now unfortunately....
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
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  17. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Just trying to fit some grills image.jpg
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  18. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    have you made those yourself? Maybe you could sell them to Audi to fit on all their cars.... except no wait.... That would mean Audi lose out on £800 for every condenser that gets trashed.

    Seriously though, I worry that if I fit something similar that Audi will say I have not invalidated my warranty for the engine as it affects the cooling flow (unlikely but they're bound to say it)
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  19. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Yep picked up some mesh from BnQ and a can of spray forgot the black cable ties so fitting white for now to see how the mesh looks, it may look awful image.jpg
    This is the bit fitted to the very bottom lip
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  20. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    That looks ok and will save you £800. Just make sure it doesn't invalidate any warranty that comes with the car :)
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  21. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Finished apart from spraying lower mesh to black and getting some black ties image.jpg image.jpg
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  22. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    That should do the job. But honestly we as owners should not have to do this! Come on Audi sort it out and recall new cars with gaping holes in the front grill. It wouldn't take much to fabricate an engineered fix that's Audi approved.
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  23. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Must admit cable tie'ing mesh to the front of a 30k motor is not my idea of prestige motoring agree audi need to get there fingers out and sort but hopefully this will last till then
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  24. holly35
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    holly35 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Which new A3 models does this affect? Also is the pipework for the manual A/C any different in terms of position?
    My SE sport back is scheduled for a mid Aug delivery,hope its fixed by then.
    However it may affect all Audi models ....
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  25. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    I've posted your photo on the Audi UK Facebook page as a simple fix to an expensive issue. Doubt they will listen.
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  26. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Have a look at the front grill - if the gaps are large like the ones in the photo above then you will have the same problem. Audi have known about this issue for over a year and still no fix. I'd get in to your dealer and tell them to contact Audi uk and push for a resolution or cancel your order!! Or get amped2 to install his fix for you!! ;-)
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  27. Pulp84
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    Pulp84 Well-Known Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    That looks like a good fix amped2.

    Slightly unrelated regarding car companies sorting this stuff out - I know a guy who had a brand new Lambo Gallardo about 8 years ago and same issue with stone hitting condenser but the bill was £5k! He took them to court in the end because him and a few other owners had big bills. Issue was fixed on second gen cars from 2009. They recognised the issue in the end but cost him a lot of £££ in legal fees. I have no confidence Audi will do the same without a big fight.

    What's concerning is some people had this fixed and some haven't. I think kempysue if you kick off enough you will get your money back but a fix might be very difficult to get done without going down amped2's route.
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  28. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Holy moly that's mad, £5k!!
    It's so frustrating as such a simple fix.
    Fingers crossed Audi will pay for my repair especially as it hasn't worked since day one - not that I can prove that, but regardless, the car is still only 2 months old and half of that time I've been on holiday and the weather hasn't been good enough to use the air con!

    We will see...... Failing that I'll go down the route of rejecting my car as not fit for purpose
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  29. veeeight
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    veeeight Well-Known Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Post photos to their social media sites. Facebook & Twitter.

    Should get their attention :)
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  30. Kempysue
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    Kempysue Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Already bombarded their Audi UK Facebook page :)
    Now to twitter.... :)
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  31. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    £41 fix from BnQ, but with my labour £799
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  32. holly35
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    holly35 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    As far as I can see ,on this grill,it seems only a few larger gaps are there,all above the height of the number plate.Of these some are blanked off and others are split with smaller horizontal vanes around the four Audi rings. Looks like they have tried to minimise the risk area.
    I am hoping for a fix from Audi though.Kind of hoping the standard SE suspension ride height also reduces this risk.
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  33. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    There is 3 large slots below the number plate approx 750mm x 50mm another two above plate although the four rings do cover some of it. Plus two about 100x50mm either side of plate.the mesh is not as thick as I would of liked but it was impossible to get anything else in, I'm hoping if there is a strike it will slow it down enough
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  34. holly35
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    holly35 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Are all A3 variants of exactly the same mould ? Ie se,sport,s line? Interesting to know if this affects more versions then others?Do you think the se would fair better with its higher suspension setting?
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  35. veeeight
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    veeeight Well-Known Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Did you have to remove the grille to get the mesh behind it?

    Is it an easy job?
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  36. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    I was going to,but it was a horror far to many hidden clips and it looked like the whole front would have to come off,I cut strips and fed them in from one end.took about 1 1/2-2 hrs to cut and fit plus paint drying time.the mesh on its own was £29 and I have over half left.you have to be careful when sliding it in not to catch the gloss grill as the mesh is sharp.

    Rich
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  37. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Funnily enough, my old car (a Nissan) had exactly the same issues, and people on the forum I used for that came up with the same fix. Audi's claim that most cars are like that now is fair I think, it does seem to be that way. It could even be that any potential fix would restrict airflow and cause other issues, but noone seemed to have any issues on that forum so it's probably good enough to be honest if you don't really push the car to its limits.
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  38. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    There shouldn't be any problem with air flow,I've seen some pretty crappy coils in ac and they still work.will keep an eye on it but just need to let the paint dry fully before trying
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  39. amped2
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    amped2 Member

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    [May 6, 2014]
    Have you heard anything back from Audi?
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  40. gjpgjp
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    gjpgjp New Member

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    [May 6, 2014]
    Just to update you on my nightmare. I asked for my complaint to be reviewed by a manager. Unsurprisingly this made no difference. When I supplied a case number where they have paid for the damage he replied that Audi are "clamping down on goodwill gestures".

    I am not going to take this, I have sent an email to André Konsbruck.
    #39
  41. dragon
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    dragon A3 Fan

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    [May 6, 2014]
    Perhaps a group email from all AS 8v S3 owners might help?
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