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Air Con condenser - design fault??

Kempysue May 4, 2014

  1. ADW 774

    ADW 774 New Member

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    Yes stones can take out windscreens, but that is an accepted risk that costs £75 excess to repair. What i don't accept is the risk of an £800 bill that could easily be prevented with a more robust condenser or a £10 mesh liner to the front grill.

    Devonshire - contact Audi UK and report the issue. They may contribute towards the repair. They paid 70% towards mine. But they also said "it's a rare occurrence" so they need to be informed. The more people it happens to the more likely they are to engineer an aftermarket fix.

    Failing that Phil Davies in Plymouth quoted me £550 to repair it.
    01752 664471

    Good luck x[/QUOTE]


    I took my October 2013 A3 1.4 TFSi Sportback (3400 miles of careful motoring on the clock) to my local Audi dealer last week for investigation due to not being able to select the AC button.

    The diagnosis was stone damage to the top offside corner of the compressor fins - with a quotation for repair of £800.

    I requested to see the service manager, and be shown the damage. The actual area damaged is tiny, but enough to cause a total loss of coolant.

    Having politely expressed my disbelief and displeasure, the service manager advised me that Audi UK would pay 50% towards the repair.

    Obviously this was welcome news, but the fact that they made the offer without too much pressure from me makes me think Audi are aware of a potential problem with the new A3 design in this area.

    Like others on this forum I cannot prove when the AC last worked as there is not too much need for it between October and May in Manchester!

    How many others have been offered allowances against the cost of the repair and what percentage?

    Thanks in advance for any helpful information.
     
  2. frazzeld

    frazzeld Member

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    I have now had to book my car in for AC checking.....No AC! doesnt even seem to switch on! the switch light illuminates, no noise or rev changes all I get is hot air, I had a look through the gaps on the grill and can see where stones have hit the condenser but they seem tiny
     
  3. amped2

    amped2 Active Member quattro Audi A3 Audi Cabriolet Owner Group TDi

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    it won't take a lot to puncture a condenser,they are made of very very thin materials.

    Rich
     
  4. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User Black Edition

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  5. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User Black Edition

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  6. frazzeld

    frazzeld Member

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    Had my car in today for the AC checking.....seems I was fortunate! it turned out to be a faulty high pressure sensor that was coverd by warranty
     
    veeeight likes this.
  7. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 S-line owners group saloon

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    I wouldn't say it was fortunate I would say you just had a fault which happens more often than a stone causing damage. Oh wait, maybe that can be put down to a poor design as well?
     
  8. glospete

    glospete Well-Known Member Team Ibis Team Glacier Audi A3 Audi TT

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    No, he is fortunate because his fault was covered by warranty and the stone damage would not be!
     
    frazzeld and Martinbanshee like this.
  9. benhock101

    benhock101 Member

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    This thread has made me rather edgy....I suppose being well informed before delivery is beneficial in case anything happens and I definitely agree that road condition/quality is a shambles in some places near here (putting it mildly).

    I fail to see why, if Audi UK say it's such a rare fault, it is not then covered by warranty. Those who have had this problem have not set out to cause it or shown any negligence to cause the damage and if it indeed is so rare, then from a financial point of view, they shouldn't expect to take much of a hit. This problem has never even crossed my mind so I must remember to check my current car's condenser later!
     
  10. glospete

    glospete Well-Known Member Team Ibis Team Glacier Audi A3 Audi TT

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    Look I'm on your side and not batting for Audi! But my guess (and it's only a guess) is that no matter how rare the fault is, they will argue that damage per se is not covered by warranty. If it was everyone who had their alloys, windscreen, paintwork damaged by road debris/stones etc would make a claim. I agree that it does look like a bad bit of design (and the fact that Audi has made ex gratia payment as contributions towards repairs indicates this) but damage caused by these objects is nowhere the same as a component failure caused by manufacture and therefore is unlikely to be treated as such. But about the only course of action we have is to make a claim on Audi IF we have such an unfortunate incident and hope that precedent helps in their treatment of each case.
     
  11. benhock101

    benhock101 Member

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    My only argument there is that windscreens, alloys and paintwork are far more commonplace in their need for repair/replacement and accepted as a part of vehicle ownership. After all, you're not going to strap a 10ft x 10ft mesh to the front of your car to prevent stones coming anywhere near :icon_thumright: Seriously though, I totally understand what you're saying, I just think for a potentially £30k+ car, I'd expect a slight more protective design or at least the decency to have at least some contribution towards that particular repair decided from the outset should the worst happen. I'm hoping to be one of the lucky ones and not have a problem though!
     
  12. mullan83

    mullan83 New Member

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    Another victim of the stone damaged air con condenser here.
    I received the bill from the lease company yesterday so sounds like I have some negotiating ahead. The good thing in this thread is that Audi generally seem to foot the bill after a bit of hard work.
    Anyone else with similar stories and results?
     
  13. lee_fr200

    lee_fr200 Active Member

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    I'd personally see a solicitor because imo it isn't fit for sale!

    They know there's a fault they have a shield on some vehicles they tell you if you fit a shield it will void warranty etc etc....

    Sorry but if you do a lot of miles you could be hit with a bill every other week or month, so imo I wouldn't pay a penny Id argue the case
     
  14. sunscreemer

    sunscreemer Back with the 4 rings

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    I'm very concerned at this issue as I had an air con fault on my A3 8P which turned out to be a stone going through the condenser. Cost me over £600 despite a "discount" from Audi. The fact the new model still seems susceptible to this is a worry.
     
  15. Symon

    Symon Active Member

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    Have to say i think Cuke is right. This thread has had about 5/6 complainants in about a year? And there are how many members?

    It's bad luck/ poor design but that's the way it is I'm afraid. It's like paying £2k for exclusive paint & then when it chips getting irritable and saying that if it had a layer of opti whateveritscalled then it wouldn't have happened. Audi should apply opti stuff. Well maybe you should be driving a tank.

    PS- yes I would be cross as well though.
     
  16. sunscreemer

    sunscreemer Back with the 4 rings

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    I guess having a Google of this you see it's an issue mentioned in relation to many other makes & models. Perhaps as it happened on my last A3 I'm just more sensitive to it. If it happened again though I'd probably insist on some kind of mesh for protection. My 3 series has a huge number of stone indents in the radiator / condenser.
     
  17. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    Maybe if there was a list of owners that have had this happen to them and their end results that could be used by future unfortunate owners then that would allow greater leverage should it happen.
    That's what these communities are for, let's make it work for us.
    I've just swopped for a mk3 TT so it looks as if I dodged that bullet though.
     
  18. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 S-line owners group saloon

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    That's a good idea, in the US of A the owners would get together and file a joint class action, perhaps those over here that have had that happen could get together and share their costs and this might bring more pressure upon Audi to cover the cost of replacing the condensors completely....
     
  19. A3_Rider

    A3_Rider Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was thinking, may be a regularly updated thread/wiki/spread sheet; car model/year/dealership/outcome/audi uk's assistance/cost - the issue is someone needs to be able to see it and I don't think it warrants being a sticky so would just end up being hidden in all the threads.
     
  20. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    Knowledge is power, imagine approaching Audi with a list of owners, dates and times where they have replaced at their cost, then ask them why your any different?
    Or when they say it's an isolated issue with no others reported, and you come back with a list?
    How about this? Just add if you have had it happen?

    Username:
    Date reported:
    Dealership involved:
    Eventual outcome:
     
  21. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 S-line owners group saloon

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    Some good thinking going on....
     
  22. mullan83

    mullan83 New Member

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    Audi still refusing to pay for my repair so I intend on asking why they've coughed up for so many repairs but are still refusing to pay for mine.
    I was hoping to put a list of users together who have had similar experiences and present their Audi case numbers to Audi.

    So far I've found the following users:

    Kempysue
    gjpgjp
    David_A5Sportback
    jet_Andy -
    AU-2013/07-016117
    Audi888
    Frazzeld
    Devonshire
    AWD744
    Cheeseybit


    Would you mind giving me your Audi case numbers so I can ask why your case was considered for cover but mine currently isn't.

    Thanks all.
     
  23. mullan83

    mullan83 New Member

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    Any more case numbers out there people?
     
  24. dweebs

    dweebs New Member

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    Howdy all, my 9 month old A3 1.4 TFSI has also had to have its condenser replaced by SG Smith who to be fair were fairly sympathetic and knocked off about 10% off the bill as a courtesy but Audi UK would not cover it under warranty. I have nevertheless put in a complaint and this being my first Audi was frankly expecting a better experience. Having never paid much attention to car grill gap size before, Audis do seem to have a larger gap than most which makes this kind of damage more likely – amazing no meshing is even offered as protection.

    I actually got to keep the old part and it has about 3 holes in it after 7000 miles of driving – the car was not driven on any gravel roads, just regular driving and I don’t hoon it on the motorway either to be honest. I understand fundamentally why it might not be covered by warranty but absolutely staggered that such an expensive part is so vulnerable due to a poor design. Is my first Audi and extremely disappointed – just hoping it doesn't happen again and frankly doubt I’ll be getting another one if this becomes a regular occurrence!
     
    batch likes this.
  25. Tony1982

    Tony1982 Well-Known Member Team Glacier Audi S3

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    I haven't read through the whole thread yet but I can't see many people being successful in a case against Audi on this topic and get work done with a big discount. If they do or have I'll be very surprised! Nearly every modern car these days has very similar (in many cases bigger) access points for stones to get to the air con condenser yet have no problems. I'm sure I've seen somewhere (maybe on previous model) you can get a guard that mounts to the condenser for extra protection.
     
  26. sunscreemer

    sunscreemer Back with the 4 rings

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    Really would be useful if someone could either find a link for this protection guard or surely with the breadth of skills and contacts from the forum someone could get something fashioned / developed which i'm sure many of us would happily invest in.
     
  27. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User Black Edition

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    The condenser guard (8P) is earlier in this thread, along with a home made solution.
     
    Tony1982 likes this.
  28. kevin34

    kevin34 New Member

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    My 2014 A3 S line has got the same problem, is a design fault, the first sign is the driver side dual climate control button will not latch in .... you have no gas and hole in the air condenser
     
  29. Vertigo1

    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    My AC packed up a few weeks ago and I was fearful of this but couldn't see any damage.

    Luckily it was the compressor that failed and was replaced under warranty.
     
  30. illingworth22

    illingworth22 Active Member TeamMisano Audi S3 Audi A3

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  31. ACWKGYTO

    ACWKGYTO Well-Known Member

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    Have you spoken to
    Vinshal Irimpan
    Executive Customer Relations Manager at Audi UK
     
  32. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 S-line owners group saloon

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    I think you'll have to prove that audi have designed their cars differently from other manufacturers which, quite clearly they aren't....
     
  33. 4K

    4K Active Member Team Glacier Audi S3 DSG

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    This is putting me off buying an S3 tbh, and I have been thinking of ordering one. I've never had this problem with my A3 8P. However from googling this seems to be a common issue on other cars (BMW/VW/Skoda) etc for many years. Anyone had this repeatedly happen to them? Seems it could be rarer than this thread suggests.
     
  34. sbarker

    sbarker Active Member

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    Quick question is this the same on the A1 / S1 does anyone know ?

    I have had 2 A1's and a S1 and am now changing to an S3. I do lots of motor miles and when I checked my S1 I can see lots of bent vanes through the grill - I assumed this was radiator and not the Aircon though?

    It looks pretty substantial to be honest and I assume bent vanes are no issues ? its only if it actually penetrates that its a a problem?

    Basically am I more at risk with the S3 than I was with the a1 OR s1 is the condenser in a different place ?
     
  35. musicegbdf

    musicegbdf Well-Known Member Team Daytona Audi S3

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    Had a look at my 8p and the same. There is the air con radiator thingy will fairly wide gap to it.
    So maybe it is a luck thing . Surprised there is no was solution using a form if duct system ai air flow is not compromised , but the risk if damage is taken away.
    I expect it is about money. A redesign will be very expensive, telling owners to get lost might cost them a handful of sales , so down to maths.
     
  36. ddscot

    ddscot Member

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    Well fingers crossed I finally have my ac fixed, took 3 visits in amongst other things where time allowed but always suspected it would be the condenser rad as the most obvious culprit :-

    Visit 1 - No gas, machine says it was ok and we just regassed it, hmm somewhat doubtful on a 2 year old car but hey.

    Visit 2 - Again no gas, agree it must be leaking, dye added, on this visit one of the xenons blew the day before so that took priority and complicated matters.

    Visit 3 - Car with them all day and somewhat surprised no phone call about it expecting to be fobbed off again and ready for an argument, but when I went to collect they say pinhole leaks all over the rad and free of charge warranty swap, new condenser and so far so good.

    Glasgow Audi on a 2yr 7 month old car, pleased anyway, maybe they know theres an issue now or they were just sick of me :)
     
  37. NATOuk

    NATOuk Member

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    Fantastic, I've just had my air con condenser grill pierced by a stone, causing a £750 repair bill (which the dealer has offered to split three ways between me, the dealer themselves and Audi UK).

    I rang the parts department and asked about the protective guard (part 1K0 820 746) but they said it shows as only being for A3s up to 2013.

    Has anyone tried fitting it to 2014+ cars?

    It feels like I'm paying to get this fixed today for it to happen again before long as the condenser grill is so low down and exposed behind the typically open Audi bumper design :(
     
  38. yetirider

    yetirider Active Member

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    Mine is in having the condenser replaced, luckily no one mentioned damage so its a FOC repair, not unless the are just not charging as this is the 2nd time its been back and it was not spotted first time they just did a recharge and leak test which was reported as OK.
     
  39. Neil C

    Neil C Active Member Audi A3 Team Brill Red TDi

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    I too appear have fallen foul of a stray stone, and the appaling design of the A3 8v front grille - although I only noticed that they air can wasn't working, when trying it for the first time, a few weeks after buying the car, so it could have been damaged before I bought it.

    According to Audi's records, York Audi did not service my air con before handing it over to me, even though the car was just over 2 years old. With this in mind, and with the help of Lincoln Audi (part of the JCT600 groupt along with York), I am hoping that York will accept some, if not all, of the responsibility for my now oven-like car interior. Not having much luck at the moment though, as York won't even acknowledge Lincoln's attempts to contact them. This has come as no surprise to me, as York haven't really given a stuff about me since the moment I coughed up the deposit on the car I have purchased ffrom them. :rage:

    Whatever the outcome, I will be fitting some sort of further defence barrier in front of the condenser before a new one is fitted.
     
  40. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 S-line owners group saloon

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    Can you still reject the car?
     

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