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Aircon not working - any idea where the compressor is?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by rabh, May 9, 2008.

  1. rabh
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    rabh New Member

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    [May 9, 2008]
    It's become apparent in our recent hot weather that my aircon simply isnt working at all. I had it regassed recently, but that made no difference. I've checked all the relevant fuses on the right of the dash, but no luck.

    It's been mentioned that the compressor could go - does anybody know where in the engine compartment this could be located? Any tips on what else to check?

    From doing a search some people seem to have had the econ light stay on permanently, but mine is off.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.
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  3. Boydie
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    Boydie Guest

    [May 9, 2008]
    Have a check to see if the aircon pipe covers are secure - they are located behind the drivers side head light in and around the water bottle

    I had mine regassed the other day and it made the car worse so I took it back, got it plugged back in and connected and then it went down to 4.9 degrees!
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  4. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 9, 2008]
    When you say it's not working can I confirm that with the ECON light off as you said, you have set the temp to a low temperature (LO is best for testing) and the auto button is lit. Make sure the enigine is running for this test.

    If you want to check the compressor it is on the left of the engine towards the front and is driven by a belt (on a 2.0 petrol anyway). It is switched on and off by an electromagnetic clutch. If you get someone to sit in the car and press the ECON button on and off you should be able to see the clutch popping in and out. Please note that the belt will always be running when the engine is on, the compressor is not driven unless the clutch is in though.
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  5. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 9, 2008]
    I'm still confused by this fault of yours Boydie. If the service connection covers were loose the system would still work. It's possible that the valve on one of the service points itself could get stuck open but if the cover is secure you won't get much of a leak if at all.

    I have seen a fault once where an air con system just wouldn't work. We plugged in the diagnostic manifold and all of the sudden it kicked in. It turned out that the refrigerent level was every so slightly below the required level and the refrigerant stored in the maniford added enough to the system to get it running. In the case of an A3 though the ECON light would be lit constantly if the pressure was too low to operate.

    :shrug:
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  6. Boydie
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    Boydie Guest

    [May 9, 2008]
    We found it weird too - when we left Kwik fit, the aircon was roasting so went back

    They plugged it back in, saw that there was plenty gas, put the covers back on the pipes then tested it

    went from hot to 4.9 degrees :S was really wierd!
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  7. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 9, 2008]
    That's the other thing I forgot to say the other day, when you check the pressure at a service point with the gauges it doesn't in any way tell you how much refrigerent is in the system (hence recovery equipment comes with scales). If you have an hermatic system with a complete vacuum it'll read a pressure of about 15 inches of mercury (don't worry about what that means, it's just a level you work down to when vacuuming a system) as soon as you add just a tiny bit of refrigerant to the system the pressure will shoot straight up.

    But anyway I think in your case you had a gremlin in there.
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  8. Boydie
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    Boydie Guest

    [May 9, 2008]
    thanks mate - might have been a gremlin as said, which we did discuss!
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  9. rabh
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    rabh New Member

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    [May 12, 2008]
    I've had a look at this and the belt is always running and the wheel on the compressor always seems to be running too. Is it possible the clutch isnt working and the wheel is continuously running now? Should it be quite obvious when the clutch is engaged and disengaged?

    I also tried disconnecting the battery for 40 mins in the hope something would get reset, but no luck either.

    Thanks for your help though. If nobody comes up with any ideas, I'm going to take it to a garage and ask them if they can tell what's wrong. Hopefully some investigation wont cost too much. If the compressor has gone, I've heard that costs over £600, plus labour and regassing - too much, so dont think I'll bother in that case.
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