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Is my Air-con working properly?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Von Maximo, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Von Maximo
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    Von Maximo The Damned

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    [Apr 10, 2008]
    Not sure if my Air-con is working or not!

    Had it re-gassed as wasn't really getting that cold. Does feel colder during normal operation, but when setting temp to max/Low setting and blowers are doing their best to imitate a hairdryer the temperature rises as if the system can't keep up with the amount of air passing through.

    Is this normal with everyone else's?
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  3. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    Hi mate

    I don't fully understand what you mean above but anyway with the temp at it's lowest setting you should have very cold air coming out of the vents. The garage should have tested it after they recharged it. Take it back.

    EDIT: This is my first post since December and the system has forgotten all my thanks! That's pants
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  4. Shades
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    Shades Member

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    Depends how cold the outside temperature is... and its not exactly been warm recently! If outside is below a certain temp (can't remember what) the compressor gets automatically switched off and so 'ambient' air just gets blown in.

    Maybe thats it?
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  5. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    Sounds logical, but don't forget that the A3 uses the air con to clear the windscreen in winter.
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  6. sat1983
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    sat1983 Member

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    We all lost our thanks when the system was updated a few weeks back!
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  7. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    Aha I see! Anything else happened I don't know about???
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  8. Shades
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    Shades Member

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    ...but not when the outside temperature is too low. No doubt this applies to most, if not all, modern Audis with air-con. So that includes the A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, Q7, A8, R8 and all variants thereof.

    If I recall correctly aircon compressors can be damaged when it is operated in low temperatures so it does not operate below a set level... When the temperature is at or below this level the thermal protection kicks in, switching it off, and the aircon provides no assistance in clearing a windscreen. This is why on cold days the inside of the windscreen may still mist up, the aircon is not working and so the moisture from the air is also not being removed by the aircon either. Then its back to the good ol' pre-aircon days, you have to wait for the engine warm up... unless you have a oil burner with an auxillary heater (Do diesel Audis have those?)

    If the compressor did run at all temperatures quite how cold air would clear a windscreen when its cold I'll never know! Okay, so some condensation may be removed, but if your lazy like me and can't be bothered to scrape the windscreen then cold air certainly isn't going to help with the defrosting process.
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  9. synthdood
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    synthdood Member

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    I have always found the aircon in my Sportback a little lame and I have seen complaints in several forums about the A3 aircon not being very powerful. My old Vectra used to get much, much colder. Since we live in a moderate climate it doesn't really matter that much. It can just about keep up with our summers, but I can imagine it being a problem if you live in Death Valley (I was there last year: 52 Celcius... That was very, very, very hot! The aircon in our rented Dodge had no problems at all, thank god).

    On the plus side, I find it more comfortable if the vents don't blow very cold air. I tend to get a stiff neck and headaches in cars that blow very cold air. Over the years I have learned that in hot weather it is more comfortable to have the inside temp a few degrees below outside temp instead of fixing it around 20 celcius.
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  10. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    They can be damaged yes but not quite as simply as what you're indicating.

    EDIT:I am hereby retracting the above statement as it contradicts the rest of my post where I have clearly stated that the compressor cannot be damaged.

    cont...

    If the evaporator in the system does not have a ready supply of warm air to cool then it will start to ice up. The thermal phial will then be super cold and will close the TEV. This will stop any flow of refrigerant around the system. The compressor will continue to pump until either the high pressure cut off on the high pressure side, or the low pressure cut off on the low side operates and thus stopping the compressor and preventing damage to it. Typically the HPCO will operate first.

    I find that pressing the clear screen button, and thus putting cold air onto the windscreen, clears the condensation off remarkably well. No matter what temperature it is outside.
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  11. TFSI
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    TFSI Born to Fish

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    Turn off the AUTO and ECON buttons, set the temps to minimum and mine gives me frostbite and my previous A3 did as well.

    :cold::cold::cold::cold::cold::cold::cold::cold:
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  12. Shades
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    Shades Member

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    ...which is the technical way of saying...

    Perhaps its just me then, full of hot air, that prevents the air-con from demisting my car remarkably well? :laugh::laugh: :icon_thumright:
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  13. kanievsky
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    kanievsky Member

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    Not quite right mate.
    Under about +4 degree C the compressor won`t start but it`s not the compressor that helps to demist the windscreen but dryier. It does or should (if OK) work at any temperature. The air`s being dried and condensation removed. AIR-CON should be used every month for at least 20 minutes, even winter months!
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  14. JST_A3
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    JST_A3 Member

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    [Apr 11, 2008]
    The air-con both cools and dries the air, it's the same system. There's no separate 'dryer'. (Well technically there is but this removes water vapour from the refrigerant and is part of the sealed system and has no effect on the water content of the air in the cabin).

    In response to Shades question on auxiliary heaters, yes diesels have these fitted. They work quite well helping to take the edge off the cold air and assist in defrosting the screen.
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  15. Shades
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    Shades Member

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    [Apr 12, 2008]
    Unfortunately mine hasn't. I wish it had though... If they're anything like those on S-Type Jags that would be great. Those had an occasional tendancy to start billowing smoke from the passenger side front wheel arch. It wasn't noticable when driving but often led to some startled looks (and my amusement) when stopped at traffic lights... especially when other people start gesturing at you that the car is on fire... and you just sit there, give them a nod and look like you've not got a care in the world! :laugh:
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  16. JST_A3
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    JST_A3 Member

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    [Apr 12, 2008]
    It's just an electric 'assistance' heater rather than a diesel-fuelled heater on the Jag. I believe the extra heater is available in colder climates, not sure if you could retrofit?
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  17. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 13, 2008]
    Well no actually because as I stated the HPCO would prevent any damage to the compressor anyway, no matter what the outside temp is. But the HPCO isn't there specifically for that purpose. By the way I realise I contradicted myself however I was in a rush and had no time to change what I had written.
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  18. Shades
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    Shades Member

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    [Apr 14, 2008]
    FFS! WTF are you waffling on about HPCOs for? You have clearly stated that a compressor can be damaged by operating in low temperatures. So, my statement

    however simplified is entirely valid! How this happens or the methods by which the system protects itself (other than Audi's own "stop compressor from running below +4 degrees" protection) has no bearing on the subject and is totally irrelevant. A simple answer was given to a simple question asked.

    I dread to think what would happen if you were round someones house and an RCD trips...

    Person A: "What happened?" :uhm:

    Person B: "The electric tripped off"

    staz1000: "Well, its not quite as simple as that. Some appliance or other may have suffered from a componant short circuit or other failure which would cause it to draw too many amps. The circuit breaker for that ring would then have 'detected' the momentary increase in amps above its stated maximum amp rating and cut the flow of electricity to that ring. Alternatively there may have been an earth fault. In which case blah, blah, blah..." :blahblah1:

    ...5 minutes later...

    Person A: :gaehn: "So the electric tripped?"

    Person B: "Yea"


    Don't be offended, I'm just teasing! :laugh:
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  19. IN-A3
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    IN-A3 Member

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    [Apr 14, 2008]
    Kid A to Person B: "Dad i think the light bulb has blown."
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  20. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 15, 2008]
    No Shades, my initial statement was wrong as I have already said:

    But I have also clearly stated (twice) that the compressor cannot be damaged by operating at low temperatures because the HPCO would stop it from operating before any damage could be done.

    Don't be offended?? You don't even know who the hell I am mate, so do not presume to try and publicly humiliate me. If the British army can trust me to fix electronics and air con systems on fighting vehicles in afganistan then I'm pretty sure I'm capable of dealing with pishy faults on a car's air con or a mains electric trip.
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  21. Shades
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    Shades Member

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    [Apr 16, 2008]
    This is getting silly now...

    Thats like saying a car, when parked on a hill, cannot be damaged by rolling off because the handbrake would prevent this from happening. Thats all well and good until the handbrake fails, then what? Oh right, so a car can be damaged when parked on a hill should a method of preventing it from rolling fails?

    So, following the same logic what would happen, in cold weather, if the HPCO failed? Ahh, so there is the possibility than aircon compressor can be damaged in the cold after all? Regardless of whether a HPCO protects an aircon compressor in other circumstances too, part of its function is to protect the compressor in cold weather... otherwise it wouldn't do it. If this was not such an issue then why would Audi, and no doubt other vehicle manufacturers, see fit to add an additional method of protection to entirely prevent the aircon system from operating in the cold?

    However, all of that is simply confusing the issue. Therefore, and I'm going to say this again, my statement of "A compressor can be damaged when operated in cold temperatures", however simplified, is entirely valid, stands and remains true... which ever way you want to look at it. The key word in my statement which was carefully chosen is "can" which does not imply a certainty, more a possibility. Futhermore, as I have also previously stated, why and how a compressor would need to protect it itself is totally irrelevant to the thread and was not being asked about. Once again, a simple answer was given to a simple question asked. Von Maximo didn't need (or possibly want) to specifically know why a compressor needs to be protected, so the details were not given. My hypothesis of why his aircon was not working as expected was based upon a system put in place to specifically protect the aircon/compressor. The function of this system, albeight in a simplified form, was all that was required to give a clear and concise answer without unnecessary technicalities.

    As far as trying to "publically humiliate" you goes... at ease soldier! It was a light hearted wind-up, one which you took hook, line and sinker even after I told you so by including "I'm just teasing!". I was simply suggesting, in a jovial manner, that based upon your contribution to this thread your unnecessary serving of technicalities may be (note, not actually is) something that extends to all manner of everyday "in real life" situations. I fail to see how this was an attempt to "publically humiliate" you, I was just pulling your leg. You are correct, I do not know you or pretend to do so, so with this in mind I have not once, in no way, shape or form, questioned your expertise or knowledge on the subject.

    However it does amuse me when people in the armed services trot out the old "If the [insert service] trust me with..." like they're in a scene from Top Gun with Kelly McGillis. Running round with guns aside, for whom you chose and where you have to subsequently apply your knowledge/skills does not instantly make you any more qualified than someone performing the same comparable services on civvy street. My cousin is a Para but it does not necessarily make him any better at jumping out of planes than a civvy... although, as is only to be expected, I'm sure he would beg to differ... or just punch me for suggesting otherwise! :slapped:

    So please stop with the wild claims of public humilation or other such nonsense. There was none made and absolutely none intended.

    Respectfully,

    Shades
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  22. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 17, 2008]
    If the HCPO or any other fail safe were to fail, and the above conditions exist, the load on the compressor would rise dramatically and then the fuse would pop. So again no the compressor cannot be damaged by the cold in these events.

    The reason why I mention the army trusting me on fighting vehicles is because they're bloody hard to fix sometimes. Even simple faults can take hours because of the location of components or cable routing and of course the complexity of systems. For instance, one vehicle we fix has 2 generators, 1 rectifier and 2 controlling circuits, the output of which goes into a dual charging system. All of that just to charge 2 or 3 sets of batteries from 1 engine. I have worked on a few cars and after working on AFVs I found them a piece of piss. I'm not saying I am better than everyone who does fix cars for a living purely because of my experience so I don't mean any offence.

    I can be a bit of a hot head I'll admit, but I'm proud of what I do and I don't like my methodology questioned, even as a tease, by someone I don't even know.

    I'm very happy to put the matter to rest though Shades.
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  23. Shades
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    Shades Member

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    [Apr 17, 2008]
    ...and I can be bit of a stubborn git I suppose! :laugh:

    Hey, don't get me wrong I'm proud of you, like I am of my cousin and all service personel, for doing something that I couldn't do and putting your lives on the line :beerchug: (Whether its right for you guys to be out there in the first place or not is a different matter entirely and probably best left for another day :whistle2:).

    I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to question your methodology I was just trying to poke fun at you... because, get me on a subject I'm 'passionate' about and I'm guilty of doing the exact same sort of thing... If I had a quid for everytime someone I know has gone "So what you've been waffling on about for the last 10 minutes could have been summed up in a single sentence like [insert what I've been saying but much, much shorter!]". I was taking the mickey because it's something I recognised in myself... and get much grief for! If you didn't quite take it the whay it was meant then I apologise.

    You were getting bored then too? :laugh:

    Nay worries mate!
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  24. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [Apr 17, 2008]
    My air con is always on.. even in winter... keeps it in proper working condition...

    Air con system and gas more prone to develop faults, leaks if not used..

    Pedro
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  25. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 18, 2008]
    Cheers Shades :thumbsup:

    Apologies from me also.

    As it's been mentioned, in case anyone is interested, the reason why you should run your air con at least once a month is, as newbiecrg states, because it can develop leaks. The refrigerant contains oil which is used to lubricate the seals around the system. Without the oil the seals will dry up, degrade and eventually leak. Quite an expensive job to sort also.
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