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Old 15.06.2011, 18:45
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AC not working in Car. What can it be?

A question for all the car experts.

My Air Conditioning in my car does not seem to be working. It just blows hot/warm air. So at least the fan is working.

As it is an Audi A4, I would appreciate any hints on what might be causing the problem before I go to AMAG and give them the codes for my bank account.

  • Might the coolant have leaked? If so, can I check it myself to see?
  • Might it be a fuse or something related?
  • Something unplugged?
  • Have not checked to see if a fan or other belt is missing but the car is running in the normal temp range.
  • Might it be that the compressor is dead (I assume there is something like this).

Would appreciate any hints as I have an feeling that it is going to be expensive in any event.
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:50
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

I had the same problem with mine recently (BMW) and it was simply that the coolant needed topping up. However, I only knew that because it told me! And, as the fan is working on yours, this sounds like the most likely cause, though I am definitely no expert.

Last edited by NSchulzi; 15.06.2011 at 18:55. Reason: remove quote
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:50
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

All cars with Ac in it have a liquid gas inside.

It could just be that the car's gas is empty, just need to drive up to your local garage or dealer and ask them for a quick refill.

Mind you , our car had it once and we paid 120 Euro for a full refill.



Coolant is something to check, in one of the cars we had it was leaking, giving us no hot/cold air anymore.
Keep on driving without it, your engine will heat up and go boom.. so worth checking , saving you a load of money.
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:51
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

Most likely explanation is that it needs re-gasing. I had to do this to my Zafira after about 8 years.

Edit- ooops, posts crossed Joey. Paid 60 in the UK a few years back.
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:56
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

Yep could need re gassing, will cost between 90 and 120 bucks depending on how much gas is needed. 4 series have quite a small compressor.

Or... the compressor is shot... let's hope not...
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Old 15.06.2011, 18:56
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

Yes, most likely just needs a Freon charge (or whatever they are using this days), think it was CHF 80 last time I did it.

Any garage should be able to do it, not just an official dealer.

Tom
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Old 15.06.2011, 19:06
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

I had same in my old Suburu (few years back), and took it to a local auto-electrician, whose many advertised specialities also included Klima.
Transpired that the fluid (forget the correct name), had run low/out.
I left the car with him for best part of a day, expecting a miracle cure and a bill to match, but in the end he was happy to fill it up for for a price (50 - 100?), but not to keen to mess about finding out why and from where it had leaked, as there were no obvious, visible signs of leakage - he just put it down to slow seepage/evaporation over time - I wasn't convinced, but I wasn't too much out of pocket either.

Just one noteworthy point to bear in mind - I got a sob story that garages are no longer supposed to carry stocks of the A/C fluid (still can't remember the name) and cant get supplies of it any more - but they all seem to have it - recycled from old cars.

It served me that summer, but by the start of the next one I was back to square one, and had a bit of a hot summer - but changed cars the following winter anyway.

Ohh ..... sorry ... probably not much help overall.
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Old 15.06.2011, 19:08
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

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Yes, most likely just needs a Freon charge (or whatever they are using this days), think it was CHF 80 last time I did it.

Any garage should be able to do it, not just an official dealer.

Tom
Well done Tom - FREON (I though it was something "---on", but kept getting neon sparking a light in my head).
.... and I think I, too paid 80chufs, now you mention it.
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Old 15.06.2011, 19:17
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

VAG cars don't use freon any more 'specially in CH with the hate of CFCs, it's a new gas that shows up under UV inspection... not sure what it is tho. Problem is VAG cars can only be topped up by one type of system, something like Valko, Valos or something... Race independents like my guys I use up here have it but it is an expensive machine i hear.

It might be worth doing a google search in the area for air con top up and re gassing in German It should give links to the cars they deal in. It doesn't take long to re compress and should be far less than AMAG. THey will also certify and guarantee the system for a period, check for leaks etc..
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Old 15.06.2011, 19:26
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

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Just one noteworthy point to bear in mind - I got a sob story that garages are no longer supposed to carry stocks of the A/C fluid (still can't remember the name) and cant get supplies of it any more - but they all seem to have it - recycled from old cars.
I think you're getting a couple of facts mixed up here. Older cars traditionally used R-12. This has been linked to environmental damage and is no longer widely available (although, at least in the US, some specialists used to stock it. Not sure what the story is these days.)

Modern cars built after 1994, like the Audi A4, use R-134a as the refrigerant. You should still be able to get this at any mechanic who services air conditioning systems.

Most likely what's happened is that your seals have dried and the refrigerant has escaped. You can have the system tested for leaks and recharged relatively inexpensively. In the future, you can keep the system/seals lubricated by running the air conditioning every few weeks, even in winter.
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Old 15.06.2011, 23:00
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

the refridgerant itself does not show up under UV but it is a tracer dye that is added and that reacts with UV light showing the leak area.

VAG along with virtually every single car that has air con uses a standardised LP / HP connection so the system can be re gassed and leak checked at virtually any garage.

Prices in DE vary from 40 to 80 and a gas recovery and then refill takes less than an hour. A decent place will give you a print out saying ow many gram the machine recovered from the system and how many grams went in, how many grams of lubricant, if tracer dye was added and the lowest temp achieved and the CF/M from the blower unit.
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Old 15.06.2011, 23:38
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

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I think you're getting a couple of facts mixed up here. Older cars traditionally used R-12. This has been linked to environmental damage and is no longer widely available (although, at least in the US, some specialists used to stock it. Not sure what the story is these days.)

Modern cars built after 1994, like the Audi A4, use R-134a as the refrigerant. You should still be able to get this at any mechanic who services air conditioning systems.

Most likely what's happened is that your seals have dried and the refrigerant has escaped. You can have the system tested for leaks and recharged relatively inexpensively. In the future, you can keep the system/seals lubricated by running the air conditioning every few weeks, even in winter.
As Village Idiot has correctly pointed out, modern cars will be using R-134a as the refrigerant liquid gas in the AC system. (R12 was banned long ago as it's blamed for the ozone hole)
You can indeed buy this in add-a-can systems but I would not bother if I were you. Take the car to a vehicle AC specialist for a few reasons: it may be that the seals have dried and are no longer providing a gas tight seal - proper specialists can check for this and advise you accordingly; the gas may simply need topping up but this is not as perfectly straight forward as you might think and importantly, the system may need to be properly de-humidified with vacuum - this is not something that you can do yourself, it requires specialist equipment and takes a little time. A good specialist will know all about this and will be prepared and have the correct equipment. The "O" rings used in AC systems are made of Nitrile Rubber (HNBR) and are often green in colour, make sure you use the proper "O" rings or they will very soon start leaking again. Don't use standard black rubber "O" rings - they don't work well with refrigerant gases. There's no need to go to an Audi specialist, a vehicle AC specialist can do this job easily.
Bear in mind that whilst the refrigerant gases themselves are non toxis, they can cause very serious health problems (including death which is quite serious) as they can displace air in lungs causing asphyxiation plus they can cause frostbite. R-134a is also due to be phased out and replaced with HFC 134a
Also as already pointed out, run the A/C system from time to time to prevent it from drying the seals out and giving you problems.
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Old 15.06.2011, 23:45
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

sign up and find out all the things you need before going to get ripped of at the shop. I honestly always join one of these when I buy a new car to look for issues etc etc. also saved me a ton of money checking things first and looking for small things instead of having the shop check out a 2 minute fix and charging well over a couple hours for it.....


http://forums.audiworld.com/index.php
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Old 15.06.2011, 23:57
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

Some cars have an extra belt for the a/c. It might be worth opening the bonnet or hood and also read the car handbook.
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Old 27.06.2011, 17:40
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Re: AC not working in Car. What can it be?

Sorry for the delay in closing up this story.

After I got the thread going, I dropped by the body shop that I use (I am unfortunately too good a customer ) to ask where he would suggest that I go. He mentioned someone around the corner but who was on two weeks vacation so the service center was closed. He was back today. Thankfully with the the 30C + temps.

Anyhow, he recharged the system with gas and a UV tracer agent, put in a new main seal and got everything up and running. Thank goodness it was not the compressor. The UV tracer helps if there is a leak, it can be spotted very quickly.

So the "damage" was CHF 185. Not cheap but I think I can say that it was probably less than going to AMAG.

Thanks for all your help.
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