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Air Con Dilemna (please help)

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by diarmuid, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. diarmuid
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    diarmuid Member

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    Hi All,
    I haven't been on this forum for a while but hopefully someone will be able to offer me some advice regarding my air con system.

    I checked my car (1998 A4 1.8 SE) in a few days ago into an independant as I was having throttle problems (the car was cutting out). It turns out that the throttle body was full of gunk and they reset the throttle settings etc. However, they also replaced the water pump, changed the belts (as they were due and the front end was off) coolant sensor as well as a few other small things. Ended up costing me £400 though.

    When I went to pick up the car it turns out that they disconnected the air con clutch belt (ultimately leaving the aircon unworkable) as they said that the air con was making lots of noise and they were afraid that it would fail and the bearings would mess with the radiator and the rest of the car etc. (it would have been nice if they told me that they did this before I picked the car up!).

    The thing is I've had the car for 4.5 years and it has always been 'noisy' and it has always worked perfectly. They said that get a new unit fitted/gassed etc. would cost about £1,500.

    When I said that I might take my chances as I would like for the aircon working (including for when if I sell the car in the future). They then told me that maybe I should replace the aircon clutch and they will get a price for me tomorrow.

    At this stage I'm not sure if I should just tell them to put the belt back on, get them to change the aircon clutch or just live without the aircon. To be honest I'm leaning towards just putting the belts on as it has always been noisy and it has always worked.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts any of you have on this.

    All the best,

    Diarmuid
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  2. macattax
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    macattax Member

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    Get a second opinion from another garage it sounds kinda dodgey to me.
    £1500 to fix only the aircon sounds very dubious to me its probably a case of them not wanting to do that job so gave you a ridiculous price to send you on your way.
    Try to find an aircon specialist or get a quote from an audi garage if only to compare prices with the independant.

    Go on the Irish!
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  3. diarmuid
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    diarmuid Member

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    Thanks for that mcattax.

    I'm seriously tempted to put the belts back on as I will hopefully be changing the car in the next 6 months or so anyway. As I said the air con has always been noisy and has always worked fine. I think I'm a bit more hacked off by the fact they removed the belt without telling me (it was on the advise notes on my recepit).

    If the new clutch fitted is under £150 I'll consider it but a working air con with a bit of noise is better than no noise no aircon. In addition it's only noisy when I switch the compressor on which I can control from the car anyway.

    Anybody else have any comments
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  4. diarmuid
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    diarmuid Member

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    I got the garage to put the belt back on and the aircon is working fine. Let's hope it lasts!
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  5. jcb
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    jcb Active Member

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    its a dash out job to replace the aircon system and £1500 wouldn't be unexpected.
    That said, the parts in the dash are unlikely to need replacing. the things that tend to die are the compressor/pump, heat exchanger and the matrix (in dash). Might be worth just getting the gas replaced and I think they flush the system when they do it. go to an air con specialist though.

    Just out of interest, what noise does it make?
    Mine hisses like it has a leaky valve, especially noticeable when you stop and turn off the ignition.
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  6. diarmuid
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    diarmuid Member

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    The noise it makes is like whiring noise as apparanetly the bearings on the clutch are worn. It's not really a gassing problem as it works fine cool air every time. When the engine is on (and the bonnet is open) you can ditincltly hear the compressor running.
    #6
  7. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes the hissing is normal apparently, mine does it everytime I turn the ignition off. I had various leaks and issues with my aircon, and had the compressor/pump, heat exchanger and the matrix replaced over the course of 18 months, cost about £400 for each component, so £1200 all together (would have been cheaper to have had it all done together. Has been working beautifully ever since (last 3 years). Can't really complain as car is 10 years old and done 160k miles.
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  8. jcb
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    jcb Active Member

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    does it still hiss?
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  9. Turbo Lag FTW
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    Turbo Lag FTW Hate those none insured you know who types

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    My mothers TDI slightly hisses when turning ignition off, think its just a release of pressure thats built up I presume.
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  10. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes still hisses.
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  11. jcb
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    jcb Active Member

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    ok , will leave mine alone then!
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  12. Kingfisher
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    Kingfisher Member

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    £400 for the belts etc was a reasonable price though..........
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