Engine Size: 2.0T
Refrigerant Type: 134A
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
I bought this car in Mexico, brand new... it came with a 2 year warranty which expired last year. Then I moved to Dominican Republic and brought the car with me. Why? Not only is a great car but also is our first new car and it means a lot to us as a family. A couple of months ago just as I started the car the compressor failed, I heard it and felt warm air coming out of the vents. This car came originally equiped with a ZEXEL compressor but I could not afford to buy a new one from the dealers here, they were charging about $1,500 USD just for the compressor. I decided to buy a SANDEN PXE16 compressor, as far as I know it's pretty much identical to the ZEXEL. I took the car to a VW dealer and they replaced the compressor and also the dryer. We DID NOT replace the condenser nor the TX Valve.
After I took the car out of the shop, the A/C system performance was "OK" but for sure lower than originally... it was acceptable. Recently the performance of the A/C system has declined significantly, a few symptoms:
-It takes about 5 ~ 10 mins to start blowing cold air.
-Sometimes I feel the cold temperature is NOT constant... cold air, then not so cold air, then cold air, then not so cold, etc. Somewhat related to engine rpms.
-I took it to another shop and they said the system was low in R134A, they added some and the car was blowing really cold air but as before it took the system about 5 ~ 10 mins to start blowing cold air.
-that only lasted for few weeks, now the performance of the A/C system is barely Ok... It takes too long to start blowing cold air and when it does is not that cold, it's just a little colder than fresh air.
After reading for quite a few hours in the internet I think the problem could be a plugged condenser and/or TX Valve. I wanna make sure before I go ahead and purchase those.
Can anyone help me troubleshoot the A/C system to determine what component is affecting the performance of my system? Maybe there are some tests that can be done to pinpoint where the problem is. Unfortunately there NO good A/C shops where I am located, its just the dealer they'll just repalce everything !!
Well first off, you never mention any one leak checking it at all for leaks. Next what was wrong with the OEM compressor other than not cooling? It could have been low on refrigerant the whole timeÃ¢ÂÂ¦..
Have the system leak checked before spending any more moneyÃ¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ¦..
thanks for the prompt reply. OEM compressor failed... Cooling degradation did not occured over a long period of time, it was cooling perfectly and a second later I heard some noises and warm air coming out of the vents. When I took it to the VW dealer they used the pressure gauges and the compressor was dead, this is an ECC I believe clutchless.
You are right, I should have it leak checked... I just hope to find a shop here with the right tools to find leaks (UV detection system, etc...)
You can do a little leak checking yourself. Oil almost always leaks out along with the refrigerant, so if you see oil (that's not from somewhere else) on a joint, it's likely the leak. Also check the seams of the compressor and around the pulley. Places that were taken apart to replace the compressor are more likely, but as you know on a VW any part can fail at any time.
If you have UV dye you can sometimes see it in the daylight or use a FLUORESCENT "black light" from a novelty store (Or of course, buy a real leak detector light at a car parts store). Wait for nighttime or park the car in a darkened garage and light it up with the black light. (The black glass 60 watt incandescent "black light" bulbs work very poorly if at all for this.) First though confirm that you have dye to begin with. Take one of the plastic service port caps off, and if there is UV dye in the system you will see it as a green-yellow substance.
Thanks for the suggestion... I'll do that. I will first make sure there is DYE in the system, when the compressor was replaced I don't know if the guys at the VW shop added DYE to the system... perhaps it's a standard practice or maybe it comes with the oil or R134a I really dont know.
A lot of new cars are charged with dye at the factory, and if all the shop did was slap a new compressor on, most of the dye will still be in there.
Edited: Thu January 15, 2009 at 4:35 PM by mk378
You have two issues here.
The decrease in performance is probably related to the debris in the condensor from the first compressor coming apart. It is next to impossible to get all of the trash out of that condensor. After a compressor mechanical failure, a complete system flush should have been done, and the condensor replaced.
You also have a leak. Use the advice posted by Mk378, and look for the leak(s). Once you have identified the leaks, replace the condensor & check the TXV for debris & corrosion.
Too much oil in the system can also have a negative effect on performance. Yet another reason to do a full system flush before completing major parts replacement.
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.
Thanks for your feedback. Based on the comments from all of you I think I have a good idea of what needs to be done, I'll keep you informed and thanks a lot for all of your help it's priceless.
Also, after we do the complete system flush the A/C system will be 100% empty... No R134 and no oil. For sure I'll get back to you when I get to that point to get your comments on the right amount of R134 and oil.
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