Air Con condenser - design fault??

terry davis

Registered User
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
I’ve got same problem. Car 2 years old air con gone. Been told by Audi stone has hit. Quoting £1040 to replace. The car is leased would love to return citing not fit for purpose. Anyone done this and what evidence have you provided Thanks
 

terry davis

Registered User
Hi there,

I have the same issue with the air condenser on my 2016 A3. My local Audi dealership quoted me £960 to fix it. After speaking with Audi UK, they have offered a 50% discount. They won't go any lower.

I'm planning to go down the small claims court route. Has anyone had any success doing this?
I want to do same. Audi wanting £1040 to replace
 

terry davis

Registered User
I've since been told by the UK MD that it's a risk of everyday driving that the air con could be taken out, and he even compared the air con to tyres, windscreens and headlights as parts of the car that are susceptible to damage! I found this statement to be completely ridiculous - nobody should think air con is as likely to fail as a windscreen is likely to get a stone chip - hardly premium brand if that's how much confidence they have in their design !

I've had responses from the Sun and the Guardian expressing an interest in this story, although not enough to run with it yet. If others that are experiencing or have experienced this issue are interested, I'd be happy to coordinate with them to submit all of our stories. I think the press would be more likely to do something if we show it's
Hi there,

I have the same issue with the air condenser on my 2016 A3. My local Audi dealership quoted me £960 to fix it. After speaking with Audi UK, they have offered a 50% discount. They won't go any lower.

I'm planning to go down the small claims court route. Has anyone had any success doing this?
 

AJB

Registered User
I’ve got same problem. Car 2 years old air con gone. Been told by Audi stone has hit. Quoting £1040 to replace. The car is leased would love to return citing not fit for purpose. Anyone done this and what evidence have you provided Thanks

Whilst there's no harm asking for a discount or whatever, and you might get somewhere, I think you've got very little chance with citing not fit for purpose, or going down a small claims route. Clearly if there was an £800 bill every month (as Kempysue suggested) then you would have a case, but many people have had their cars for many years with no problem, so it's obviously not something that's happening to most (any) cars on a monthly basis.

You might be able to save some money by getting it repaired at an independent garage, or by phoning around other dealers.

I think I've said it before on this thread, but the majority of modern car designs have huge gaps in their grill. On my wife's MINI I can get my hand in easily and touch the surface of the air con condenser. If you look at parked cars as you walk past them, you'll see that very many are the same. It's not just an A3 thing, or an Audi thing, or a VW group thing.

My personal theory (i.e. complete guess!) is that this isn't penny-pinching or a conspiracy to gain service revenue, but that the stones that can actually get between the fins to puncture the pipes are tiny. I suspect that a grill fine enough to block those stones would also increase wind resistance and drag a lot and/or significantly reduce cooling and the air-con's effectiveness.
 

Neil Jones

Registered User
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 :-(

Hi
I bought a new S5 with in 12 months I also had the same problem. Cardiff Audi wanted £700 to fix it. When I questioned the cost. Their reply was if a stone cracked your windscreen you wouldn’t exspect audi to pay for it.
Really disappointed.
 

TomBlueS3

Active Member
VCDS Map User
When I first purchased my £30k S3 8v the last thing I was thinking of ever doing would be removing the front bumper but having had issues with TWICE with a stone chip in the front air con condenser (once with a Octy VRS and second time with a Leon FR) I wasn’t taking any more chances.

Wire mesh fitted, 6 months of driving/5k miles and no issues so far.

It’s a crap thing to have to do and it’s a big design fault that could be easily rectified if VAG introduced some sort of guard. A7858B80 DA57 4F07 9DE1 F10C707A3E9B 70828762 2FD8 4490 A954 B080ED9998CC
 

terry davis

Registered User
Hi
I bought a new S5 with in 12 months I also had the same problem. Cardiff Audi wanted £700 to fix it. When I questioned the cost. Their reply was if a stone cracked your windscreen you wouldn’t exspect audi to pay for it.
Really disappointed.
Yes but if you’re windscreen cracked you are covered on your insurance because of the high risk. Silly analogy - you buy a brand new car you would not expect to pay out for anything.
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
Not trying to say you guys are talking pish but 20+ years driving and apart from my first car all had air con and never had to replace a condenser in my time. It’s one of those things like cracked/chipped windscreens, it’s just luck if it gets you or not. Some roads are worse than others.
Another thing to think about is the condenser is metal with fins. So even after the fins slowing the projectile down and still manages to pierce the condenser then realistically not much is gonna help it’s cause. A plastic grate/grill will most likely crack under pressure as it has to be thin enough as it has to have many holes like a mesh which will make it weak. If they use metal then it would be heavy.
Any thing they put there will save the condenser maybe 1 or 2 hits then the next will go for the condenser.
If they do put something that strong enough to protect the condenser then it will most likely reduce the effectiveness of the air con system and possibly the normal radiator.
 

cuke2u

Registered User
Agreed, most other manufacturers cars are also designed in the same way. As has been stated time and time again. So your last sentence is probably why they are they way they have to be.
Unfortunately there is more debris on our roads these days and I agree with the analogy of the windscreen as well. You would not expect Audi to replace a screen free of charge.
 

cuke2u

Registered User
Agreed, most other manufacturers cars are also designed in the same way. As has been stated time and time again. So your last sentence is probably why they are they way they have to be.
Unfortunately there is more debris and I agree with the analogy of the windscreen as well. You would not expect Audi to replace a screen free of charge.
 

Hamza_Irfan

Registered User
Mine just went in for service at Oldham Audi recently. Prior to this I was aware that the A/C gas had leaked and consequently the air con no longer stayed on. When they did their usual inspection during the service they mentioned that the front condenser was damaged probably by a stone hitting it and possibly piercing the part. They quoted me £400 to replace this. Is this a good price? Also, I have adaptive cruise so the sensor is at the front, I'm assuming they'd have to remove the bumper to change the condenser so would the sensor need re-aligning? That is the only factor that's stopping me from going to an independent garage to have it changed as the part itself can be found for £100 mark.
 

Neil C

Registered User
If the price they have quoted is "all-in", i.e. parts labour and VAT, I'd rip their arm off. Most of us have been quoted double that . . . and there's no guarantee that it won't happen again straightaway.
 

Hamza_Irfan

Registered User
If the price they have quoted is "all-in", i.e. parts labour and VAT, I'd rip their arm off. Most of us have been quoted double that . . . and there's no guarantee that it won't happen again straightaway.

Apologies, I just went back and looked at the audi cam link again, it was actually priced at £480 inc VAT. When I spoke to them about it they did mention that anything they quote is inclusive of labour and VAT so that would be the final price. As to my question regarding the adaptive cruise sensor, do you think that would need to be realigned as most likely the bumper would need removing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Neil C

Registered User
Have no experience of adaptive cruise, sorry.
However, surely anything the technicians remove has to be replaced correctly, in full working order.
 

welshs3audi

New Member
OK my experience is similar
I picked up my S3 from an Audi dealer an hour away from me (not saying who yet as ongoing complaint) and is approved used with an Audi Warranty. Within a month A/C warm on passenger side which can point towards low R1234YF. Dealership re-gassed aircon which I waited for 3 hours for them to do. Same fault 3 weeks later.
I have noticed some debris on the oil cooler which is positioned on the drivers side (UK car).
I found out that the previous owner who worked at the dealership I bought the car from either didn't have or didn't know Audi A/C needs "servicing" every 2 years. Perhaps Audi know condensers fail????????? Aircon in my previous Fords, Hyundai's, Kia's ETC. cars never needed an A/C Service every 2 years!!!!!!!!!!!!
My local dealer this time looked at my aircon fault under Warranty and did not charge me a thing. They found A/C dye leaking out of the condenser due to corrosion. The car has 29k miles and is 3 years and 9 months old.
Guess what ? Corrosion not covered by Audi Warranty. I have owned a used Audi for 2 months and the A/C hasn't worked properly for more than half the time I have owned the car.
Audi obviously don't check the cars anywhere near enough before selling them so the warranty is pretty much worthless. I am taking up the issue with the dealership I bought the car from but I have lost 2 days of work (run my own business) and 240 miles driving to and from Audi garages.
Ahhhhh
 

Neil C

Registered User
Should you get nowhere with Audi, the parts are not expensive - the labour is the big kicker. Be prepared for a main dealer to want many hundreds of your hard-earned pounds to replace the condenser.
For a fraction a reputable independent will do a perfectly good job.
 

welshs3audi

New Member
Should you get nowhere with Audi, the parts are not expensive - the labour is the big kicker. Be prepared for a main dealer to want many hundreds of your hard-earned pounds to replace the condenser.
For a fraction a reputable independent will do a perfectly good job.
Hi
I complained to Audi UK who contacted the "un named dealer". I took my car to a local dealer who stated its corrosion so no warranty claim. I have only had the car 2 months (used approved Audi) and aircon for 2 weeks working correctly.
Local dealer found hole in Aircon condenser. Garage I bought the car from now replacing condenser and re gassing AC for FREE as a good will warranty claim.
Seems you have to complain a lot until Audi give in.
 

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U_Pharm1

Registered User
Hi guys. Long story cut short - own a 2018 audi a5 coupe - 67k mileage.
bought car from garage this time last year, test drove it and noticed AC not working. Thought just needs regas so they regassed it again and everything okay for a few weeks. Change in weather meant i wasnt using AC as much so a few months later i tried it again and stopped working.
took it to local garage today and they stated i need a new condenser. Been quoted £540 for condensor, regass, labour and antifreeze.
Do you guys reckon this is a decent price?
 

Neil C

Registered User
Sounds a bit steep to me. However, I have little knowledge of A5 Coupe parts, so maybe someone can provide some expertise.
 

Neil C

Registered User
Hmm, the re-gas cost seems about double what I'd expect and I'm reasonably sure that the part could be obtained cheaper with some shopping around.
Why are they charging you for anti freeze ?
 

AJB

Registered User
Hmm, the re-gas cost seems about double what I'd expect and I'm reasonably sure that the part could be obtained cheaper with some shopping around.
Why are they charging you for anti freeze ?
I guess an antifreeze charge would be if they have to remove the coolant radiator to get the condenser out, or at least one of the pipes to it.
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
If it’s r1234 gas then I would say that’s cheap.
I was quoted £250 from local indi for r1234 gas and about £150 for r134. Even mates rates weren’t far off.
Cost of gas has gone through the roof recently according to my mate.
 

U_Pharm1

Registered User
Yes its r1234yf gas which is more expensive. Cheapest i found was via ATS euromaster at £90 if you use the groupon voucher so £110 is ok i think.
Got another quote today which was around the £520 mark for the job so think thats going rate. Will ring a few more garages up tomorrow and make a decision
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
I don’t think it’s unreasonable around the £500 mark. Audi parts are expensive and labour at £50ish per hour is going rate at indi. Its a bumper off job so 4 hours is about right.
gas as we discussed isn’t cheap
Coolant is a little expensive but if it’s full drain and refill it’s not bad.
 

U_Pharm1

Registered User
Quick update - got 3 quotes now. 2 were around the £500-£540 mark and one was £800 plus vat
Think im just gonna go with the original quote as they diagnosed that it was condenser that went. Thanks
 
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