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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had problems with their AC. Mine works fine in the mornings or when it is cool outside (<80 C), but in the afternoon when it is 90+ I have a 40 minute highway commute and when I reach home I am still sweating. The car just doesn't seem to cool off.
I have also been in several other midsize cars (Mazda6, Altima, Accord) and have not had this problem so I don't think it is me.
Any suggestions, the dealership says my AC is up to specs?
Thanks
 

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Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

I had a similar problem last September. The A/C started getting really weak and took a long time to get cool. Then it stopped working altogether. I took it to the dealer, and when I picked it up it still didn't work. I left the car there, and I think they finally said it was a sensor and another part that took a few days to get in. I talked them into letting me drive a loaner car. It was all under warranty. Now the A/C works great. I live in Southern Virginia. It can get up to 100 degrees some days. My car is in a covered garage all day while I'm at work, and that really helps. Good luck.
 

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Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

Hi Chris - You have pretty good timing; this exact topic was discussed a couple of weeks ago. Here were a couple of suggestions to improve AC (I tried them, and they do make a difference):
1.)Be sure to use the "recirc." option with AC;
2.)Do not use the fan on high power. By using a lower fan setting, you allow the air more time to circulate and cool before entering the cabin.
Dealership informed me that, for the Passat, the best the AC can do is lower the cabin temperature to (approx.) 20 degrees below that of the outside temperature; i.e., 90 degrees outside = 70+/- in the cabin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Weak AC? (shadowblue)

Thanks Michael, I have only had my VW for a few months and I am getting into the forums. I tried the searches but didn't find anything.
I will give your suggestions a try and see what happens.
What good is the AC if you have to play tricks to get it to cool the car down? Only 20 degrees huh? I know that other cars I've owned don't have that problem. Is this normal?
 

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Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

After I got the A/C sensor fixed, the a/C gets pretty cold now. I can't believe the newer cars would have overall weak A/C. I don't have the W8 model, but I can't believe they would be that different. Maybe you should take it to a different service tech?
 

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Re: Weak AC? (bravesirrobin)

Quote, originally posted by bravesirrobin »
After I got the A/C sensor fixed, the a/C gets pretty cold now. I can't believe the newer cars would have overall weak A/C. I don't have the W8 model, but I can't believe they would be that different. Maybe you should take it to a different service tech?

Could you provide the part number for this sensor? My take on this is that the A/C is actually not cycling often enough. When it's cycles on, it seems fine, but it seems to take too long between cycles.
 

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Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

Quote, originally posted by cj8tj »

What good is the AC if you have to play tricks to get it to cool the car down? Only 20 degrees huh? I know that other cars I've owned don't have that problem. Is this normal?

Chris, as for the "tricks", I guess every car is different. My last car, a Jeep Grand Cherokee with climatronic system also seemed to have trouble cooling down the cabin during the "dog days" of summer. So, regarding the 20 degree differential between cabin and exterior temperature, perhaps there is some truth to this factoid. Still, try the suggested measures and let us know how they work for you.
Oh - one more thing. Tinted windows helps, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Weak AC? (shadowblue)

Michael, I will definitly give your suggestions a shot the next few days. My VW goes to the shop Monday for some other issues and I will have them check it (not that it will do anygood
). I tried running the fan slower yesterday and it did help, coolest my car has gotten lately in the afternoon heat
, but still hot.
As for tinting, how much of a difference does it make?
 

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Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

Tinted windows do help keep the inside of the car cooler when parked in the sun. My prior cars had tinted windows, but as my Passat does not have them (probably won't get it either due to "lifting" in both cars), I can't really comment directly.
 

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Re: Weak AC? (Altair 4)

I have zero problems with my AC. Generally when I get in the car each day after work, the therm is reading over 100 and the car cools down and is blowing ice cold in a matter of minutes.
Some things that help :
Crack your sunroof by putting in the tilt position. This allows the hot air to escape.
Get the windows tinted. Use a windshield shade as well.
Don't leave liquids in the car. One time I left a bottle of water open in the cup holder and after 8 hours in the sun the car felt like a steam room. If felt hotter than it really was inside.
HTH,
greg
 

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Re: Weak AC? (Altair 4)

It's kind of long. I'm not sure which numbers you need, but here goes. On 9/21, they did an A/C electronic detector leak test 87010140. They did a refrigerant recycling/charging 87031700. They also removed and installed a pressure switch 87091900. All at no charge.
On 9/22, I took it back in cause it still wasn't cooling well. They did the A/C electronic detector leak test again. They removed and installed a relay 87191900 and 18D0-919-578-A. Then they found a burning smell. They removed and installed both camshafts (gasket set & Hoseclamp). They removed and installed a cylinder head cover gasket. They removed and installed a camshaft adjuster seal. They removed andinstalled a camshaft adjuster.
When this service was done, I had 33,000 miles. I wish they had a lemon emoticon - which I was concerned that I had. I know have about 44,000 miles on the car and my warranty is up in early August. I did buy the extended warranty through Warranty Direct which is giving me some peace of mind.
Hope this helps.
 

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Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

I got my 2001.5 glx May 2001; one the first delivered to the dealer.
The a/c took 7 service visits, until November, for the a/c to work OK. Went the whole hot/humid NYC summer with shi!!y a/c.
The problem is that many Passats are shipped with inadequate R134a refrigerant, and the capacity recommendation (label under the hood), mentions you need +/- refrigerant.
Finally got the idiot service dept to get a VWoA rep to meet at the dealership. Smart guy, got them to do what I'd suggested for 5 months; increase refrigerant by 5 to 8%. More will make it worse.
Now the a/c is incredible. The climatronic can be "tricked" to display the return temp in Celsius. On a 100 degree & humid NYC day I'd get the interior temp down to about 65 degrees.
Always open all the windows for a minute or 2 when driving off on a hot day this'll cool the car down by as much as 20 degrees; gives the a/c a head start.
Of course now me & the Passat live in LA, rarely need the A/C
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, this is what I have done so far.
1) Windows down for several minutes to cool car down: helps cool car down, but AC still doesn't get cooler faster
2) Sunroof open vented, doesn't really seem to help
3) I stuck a thermometer down my center vents: when fan on slow speed, temp goes down very slowly (as I am baking in the heat
); Once temp down, when fan speed increased, temp went up about ten degrees
4) Air coming out center vents is supposed to get down to 40 degrees, but in the afternoon mine does not and it takes forever just to break 60. Of course in the cool mornings, it has no problem hitting 40 degrees (Probably when the dealership likes to check it)
5) AC seems to cool down better when driving around town (stop and go) rather than driving on the interstate (70-80mph), confusing

I appreciate everyone's feedback, hopefully with these suggestions and some dealer help, I can get my AC working so I don't have to suffer through this summer heat as it gets worse
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Weak AC? (car_nut)

What is the VWoA specs for refrigerant charging and does any one that has a very good working AC know what theirs is?
How can I determine mine? I know at auto parts stores, you can buy kits to charge/recharge the unit, do these help?
 

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Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

Quote, originally posted by cj8tj »

5) AC seems to cool down better when driving around town (stop and go) rather than driving on the interstate (70-80mph), confusing


I'm guessing it has something to do with RPMs. I noticed that my AC suddenly seemed colder after I had to do some "hard" acceleration last night.
 

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Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

Quote, originally posted by cj8tj »
What is the VWoA specs for refrigerant charging and does any one that has a very good working AC know what theirs is?
How can I determine mine? I know at auto parts stores, you can buy kits to charge/recharge the unit, do these help?


I've tried the recharge kit and that didn't seem to help much, very little if any. Then I took it in to the dealer and had them recharge it and it works great now. It seems to work better than when the car was new which is good because it's supposed to be 95 deg today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: Weak AC? (cj8tj)

Just as a follow-up, the dealership realized the car was not cooling and without me twisting any arms they flushed and recharged my system. They also added a fluorescent dye so that if there is a leak or problem, they should be able to find it.
Now it cools great no matter how fast the fan is blowing. It is very cool, even on the hot humid days here in NC. The air coming out of the AC vent cools down to around 40 degrees
in 5-10 minutes depending on how hot it is.
Thanks for all the help!
 
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