NewBeetle.org Forums banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
2006 2.5L, 60k+ miles.

Bought it for my wife, used. Original owner from Florida.

It takes about 5 minutes for the A/C to start working. I can't verify for sure, but I think the compressor is working. On most cars you can hear a "click" when it engages and disengages and I can see a jump or drop in the RPM's. I can't really see that with this car.

The fan blows and I've checked the fuse(s) on top the battery. All are in great condition, not blown and not corroded or dirty. I've even pulled and reinserted them in case there was a faulty contact.

The dealer said the freon level was fine. Like I said, it cools fine once it gets going and with short trips, the A/C starts working normally when we get back into the car.

Could it be a worn compressor clutch? I would think it would last more than 60k miles. My 05 Hyundai Elantra has over 100K with the same compressor and clutch.
 

·
5/23/10 <3
Joined
·
10,997 Posts
5 minutes is pretty good. Takes my husband's Accord much longer than that to get up to temp.

Where are you located? I know here in NC its been miserable the past few weeks (high heat and humidity). Takes about 5 minutes for my AC to get really cold. Been like that since I got the car. Seems to be normal to me. If its getting cold and staying cold, and its not taking that long, then I think things are fine. But I don't know the '06+ cars well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
We're in north Texas. It's 95 right now but I think we'll hit 100+ today.

After I posted I Googled the a/c problem and found in a TDI forum that an a/c relay was a problem in those cars. I'm wondering if that's what's going on here.

5 minutes for the a/c system to start blowing cool air can't be normal. I've never experienced a car (even a VW CC loaner) that took that long to cool. Something is amiss, isn't it?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
I'm not clear from your post. Five minutes is a long time for the air to start blowing cold, five minutes is not unusual if your talking about the time it takes for the cabin temperature to become comfortable, remember, your not just having to cool the air, but all the surfaces and items inside the cabin. At 95° ambient outside temperature, the cabin may be at 120° or more, and surfaces within the cabin, especially those exposed to the direct sun, may easily exceed 150°. If you have tint, it turns the glass into a heat absorbing surface, the best tint is a reflective tint as opposed to a dark tint. That's the reason the good portable sun shades are reflective silver and not black.

Using the a/c system properly is also important, the right settings on all controls and vents. This is covered in depth in your Owner's Manual.

As stated above, using the recirculation feature will cool the car more quickly, but should be turned off once a comfortable temperature is reached. Also dropping the windows slightly will help vent out the hotter air more quickly as the hottest air is at the top of the cabin. When running the air at normal setting, (non-recirculating) there are discharge vents below the rear window that must not be blocked by objects, towels, blankets, jackets, etc. as this will restrict the air flow over the evaporator which is what cools the air [if the air can’t pass out of the car, new air can’t come in and pass through the evaporator coils (it’s a physics thing having to do with volume)]. Both the evaporator (inside the car) and the condensor (in front of the engine) become dirty and can become clogged. You may have to clean one or both.

As stated, you don't think this is your problem, but lack of refrigerant could also be a cause of slow cool down, not because the system is failing but because the air passing through the evaporator coils is not being cooled as cold. Low refrigerant is caused by a leak. Having just the refrigerant charged, without finding and fixing the leak is a waste of money. Only a temporary stop gap. Freon does not deminish, deplete, wear out, or go away within a system. If you need freon, YOU HAVE A LEAK!

Relays go bad (btw, only in VWs), and fuses fail, the compressor is switched through a relay, it could be bad, fuses blow, but once blown the system doesn't operate.

MORAV
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
As a postscript, you have to remember the system will only cool the air a certain number of degrees. I don't know what the VW system is designed for, but GM is typically 20°, most a/c systems are. Start with 100°, the output may measure 80°, start with 80°, the output may measure 60°. When a Dealer checks the output air temperature he checks for the temperature differential, not the actual temperature of the output air.

While the recirculating feature will normally cool the car quicker, try turning it off, so you are cooling outside, cooler, air. No one in the business will ever reecommend keeping the recirculation feature running all the time.
Oh yes, it stays on all the time.
This is designed for initial cool down, and temporaily blocking outside dusty conditions or odors. And by all means, if you smoke, don't do so with the recirculation feature running, I do, and I don't.

MORAV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Sorry if I wasn't clear in my issue, so here is a simpler explanation.

When the a/c is turned on, hot air blows out of the vents for 5 minutes after which cool air then begins to blow out of the vents.

The dealer said the freon amount was good, so I'm assuming they know what they're doing.

I guess I'll just take it to the shop, but if it was a simple fix of a known issue, then I was hoping to fix it myself.

ETA: Nobody smokes and it can be dusty where we live, so the recirculate button stays engaged.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
I agree with MORAV, it can be just way to hot to cool down all the things on the way. I didn't measure the time when it begins to blow cold air... perhaps it is less than 5 minutes, but definitely not instantaneous. Did you try to see how fast it begins to blow cold air early in the morning or at night when there is no sun and it is not that hot in general?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Drop the windows before you get in the car and leave them down for a minute or so when you drive off. That will let a lot of heat out of the car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
Sorry if I wasn't clear in my issue, so here is a simpler explanation.

When the a/c is turned on, hot air blows out of the vents for 5 minutes after which cool air then begins to blow out of the vents.

The dealer said the freon amount was good, so I'm assuming they know what they're doing.

I guess I'll just take it to the shop, but if it was a simple fix of a known issue, then I was hoping to fix it myself.

ETA: Nobody smokes and it can be dusty where we live, so the recirculate button stays engaged.
You probably won't notice the rpm's drop as there probably is a computer function that adjusts this automatically as the draw is placed on the engine. And while you may not be able to hear or "feel" the compressor "kick" on, when the clutch engages, from inside the cabin, you should be able to open the hood, and with someone else turning on the a/c you WILL be able to hear it engage (click). The a/c system should begin cooling almost instantaneously, at least within the first minute, only as long as it takes the compressor to pressurize the system. I don't think five minutes or longer is normal in this or any other vehicle a/c system. It may just be 5 minutes before you notice the air being cooled enough to notice it as cool air. Keep in mind the system is actually removing the heat from the air passing through the evaporator coils and NOT emitting cold air into the cabin to cool the hot air (most people do not understand this). As I think someone stated it could be the compressor going out (the system not being pumped up to the right pressure (and temperature) and not the compressor clutch failing. These systems have become so complicated, they have become very tough to diagnose. As suggested above, are you experiencing the same delay in the early morning, or on cool days, or in the late evening. I have a paper Bentley enroute, and just received a Bentley DVD-ROM today but haven't loaded it, to have a look at the diagnostic procedures.

It could well be the relay as you read about in the TDI forum. Again without access to a Bentley I can't be much help here either.

Have you inspected the condensor for the need of a clean out? I keep the one's on mine clean by soaking it down first with the whitewall tire cleaner at the car wash and then pressure washing it. Work's great for removing bugs from the front end and windshield also. What ever the chemical is, it desolves bug smush well and doesn't appear to have any negative affects on paint finish and glass. Been doing it for years. The evaporator coils could also need cleaning, I've never done this myself, but I have had it done.

Other main component problems could be the thermal expansion valve (more likely), or the receiver-dryer (less likely). There are also other sensors which monitor pressure and temperature, which could be faulty.

Here's a good Automotive A/C 101, in pretty simple to understand language, for an understanding of the basics of how air conditioning works, this is a MUST READ!
Automotive Air Conditioning Systems

MORAV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
LOL, I think MORAV is the only one who's understanding me. I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. :)

With all due respect guys, I appreciate the kind suggestions, but I do realize that it takes a while to cool the cabin once the air starts blowing cold. It's not that at all.

Let me try to word it another way: The problem is the severely long delay of the A/C system to start producing cool/cold air.

MORAV, no I haven't checked the condenser but will look at it today. I'm pretty handy and not afraid to get my hands dirty. The more I think about it, the more I'm wondering about the R134-a level. I had the feeling the dealer was just trying to get me out of their shop, which by the way, was FULL of Bugs. I'm talking 90% of the cars they were working on were New Beetles. That didn't do a lot for my confidence, but maybe they sell more Bugs than the other models, too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
I will try to get around to loading the Bentley DVD ROM today/tonight, or perhaps my paper Bentley will show up, and I'll have a look at the diagnostics, specifically ways to test any of the components. Perhaps post them up for you if I see anything applicable. Sorry I'm not a little more prepared. (lol). Just got around to buying the Bentleys! If, when I get home later, Momma hasn't had the Bug out, I'll get in it, and see what the time is till I can notice cooler air coming from the vents. I don't drive it much, have never paid attention, but it seems to cool quickly.

M.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
MORAV: Man, that would be great, even just you turning on the AC and seeing how quickly it cools. In the morning would be best or when the car has sat overnight.

Here's the weird thing with ours. If she drives it long enough for the AC to blow cool then stops to get gas or make a quick stop then gets back in it, it starts cooling immediately. There's none of that 5 minute delay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
As a postscript, you have to remember the system will only cool the air a certain number of degrees. I don't know what the VW system is designed for, but GM is typically 20°, most a/c systems are. Start with 100°, the output may measure 80°, start with 80°, the output may measure 60°. When a Dealer checks the output air temperature he checks for the temperature differential, not the actual temperature of the output air.

While the recirculating feature will normally cool the car quicker, try turning it off, so you are cooling outside, cooler, air. No one in the business will ever reecommend keeping the recirculation feature running all the time.

This is designed for initial cool down, and temporaily blocking outside dusty conditions or odors. And by all means, if you smoke, don't do so with the recirculation feature running, I do, and I don't.

MORAV
Sorry MORAV but you should easily get sub 50 degree vent temps even n the hottest day once the cabin has been cooled off initially. R12 systems used to get down in the 40's with no problem. No problem using the recirculate feature all the time if you wish. Just remember if you leave the fan switch on the low setting you may freeze up the evaporator due to lack of sufficient flow. I tend to keep it on recycle and adjust the temperature to all ow use of the low fan speed to keep interior noise to a minimum. I helps to open the windows as MORAV has suggested to let out the hottest air upon entry. once you get to moving close the windows and if it is really hot put it on recirculate and chill. By the way you may want to have somone turn the ac contols to max cool while you are standing in front of the car and listen for the cooling fans to come on. They are wired to come on when the ac is in max cool position. If they do not come on this will cause poor coling and engine overheating at low speeds or while sitting still.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Jason, yes, I always roll down the windows to let the hot air out. That's standard operating procedure for me. In fact, I crack the windows open a tad when it's parked because it's so hot here.

I have heard a fan come on when it's on MAX, but whether or not two come on, I'm not sure.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
Sorry MORAV but you should easily get sub 50 degree vent temps even n the hottest day once the cabin has been cooled off initially. R12 systems used to get down in the 40's with no problem.
If you'll read, this is basically what I am telling everyone. :rolleyes: Just used the 100° v 80°, 80° v 60°, as examples, if I had continued the scenario, 70° in would be 50° out, precisely what you are saying. I also said a temperature differential of ± 20° is a guideline. This has a dirrect relationship to proper pressure in the system, unobstructed flow of the refrigerant AND air, size of the system, i.e.evaporator and condensor, outside ambient temperature, and so forth. But 20° is a good guideline, and most auto a/c mechanics would say the system was functioning properly at this differential. I promise you won't get 50° output when you are trying to cool input air that is 100° or more. Which IS what you are saying, but so everyone is clear... I do think any of the NBs used R12, even the early ones, I think this EPA mandated change came about prior to late '97 when the NB went into production.

Just remember if you leave the fan switch on the low setting you may freeze up the evaporator due to lack of sufficient flow. I tend to keep it on recycle and adjust the temperature to all ow use of the low fan speed to keep interior noise to a minimum. I helps to open the windows as MORAV has suggested to let out the hottest air upon entry. once you get to moving close the windows and if it is really hot put it on recirculate and chill. By the way you may want to have somone turn the ac contols to max cool while you are standing in front of the car and listen for the cooling fans to come on. They are wired to come on when the ac is in max cool position. If they do not come on this will cause poor coling and engine overheating at low speeds or while sitting still.
Excellent point about freezing up the coils with the fan on low, also the reason for cooling outside air as opposed to cooling re-circulated air once the cabin has become comfortable, and the reason all manuals advise against running the re-circulating feature full time. Also a good point about the cooling fans when set on high.

@kargo27, I know we are not necessarily addressing your particular problem, but as others will be here for information, some of us are attempting to address lots of things that affect cooling. We are not highjacking your thread! ;)

M.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
MORAV, To be fair I stated r12 systems used to get down in the 40 degree range. No R12 is not longer used. All current systems are r134a as mandated by the EPA. In regards to a 20 degree differential, I was simply stating that with a properly operating system he should have at least a 50 degree vent temp after operating for a few minutes. Now has nay of this helped the OP diagnose his vehicle?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
MORAV: Man, that would be great, even just you turning on the AC and seeing how quickly it cools. In the morning would be best or when the car has sat overnight.

Here's the weird thing with ours. If she drives it long enough for the AC to blow cool then stops to get gas or make a quick stop then gets back in it, it starts cooling immediately. There's none of that 5 minute delay.
You may have a compressor clutch that is worn out. It would act up when initially started until it heated up and caught better. You would have to listen when you initially start rthe vehicle with the ac off. have someone turn it on, you should hear a solid engagment of the clutch and you should immedialy start to notice the vent temps drop. If you hear a half A** engagement followed by a metallic noise the clutch may be slipping. If on the other hand you turn on the ac and the compressor does not immediatly come on you will want to locate and bypass the low pressure switch and see if it comes on and cools immediatly. If everything is working well and still not cooling then you most likely have contamination in the orifice tube or expansion valve (not sure which this vehicle uses) this repair would require breaking the system.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
MORAV: Man, that would be great, even just you turning on the AC and seeing how quickly it cools. In the morning would be best or when the car has sat overnight.

Here's the weird thing with ours. If she drives it long enough for the AC to blow cool then stops to get gas or make a quick stop then gets back in it, it starts cooling immediately. There's none of that 5 minute delay.
Yes, I understood that from you're earlier post. The system being able to extract heat from the air relies on the refrigernet being pressuized by the compressor. This is how it works - air moves over hot coils in the evaporator and the coils become even hotter as heat is extracted from the air. Air is not passed thru or over cold coils and it becomes colder. The air is not chilled, the heat is extracted. That was the reason I posted the A/C 101 link, so ppl could read and understand the basics of the system and how it works.

MORAV, To be fair I stated r12 systems used to get down in the 40 degree range. No R12 is not longer used. All current systems are r134a as mandated by the EPA. In regards to a 20 degree differential, I was simply stating that with a properly operating system he should have at least a 50 degree vent temp after operating for a few minutes. Now has nay of this helped the OP diagnose his vehicle?
Not trying to argue with you, I think we are saying the same thing, using different words, for the most part, but if your indicating that you can get 50° output (Freon/R12 won't change this, only get's it there faster and more efficiently) almost immediately when you are trying to cool 100° cabin air with the recirculation feature or 100° fresh outside air, you are mistaken. No system is capable of extracting that much heat from the input side to the output side; As I said ± 20° is close. I agree you can ultimately produce 50° when you have brought the cabin to 70°, maybe even 40° if you could bring the cabin to 60°. Do some research. All refrigeration equipment works on the same principle, be it your car, your home, or your refrigerator. The correct and only way I know to do a test is to measure the cabin or outside air temperature with a thermometer, and measure the output air with a laser temperature gun (instantaneous reading), but even this has it's limits because it is actually taking a surface temperature of the outlet and not the air temperature.

Before posting what I have written above, I did a little research, and here is how home air conditioning systems are tested by professionals, auto a/c follows the same guidelines, I promise. This confirmed my 20° differential statement pulled from memory many years ago. It also validifies that it is inconsequential as to whether the refrigerant is R12 or R134a. They both do the same exact thing R134a just not as efficiently. Note the comment if the temperature differential is greater than 20°

Testing Your Central Air System
· To test the air conditioning, the outside temperature should be above 60° for 48 hours (some manufacturers recommend 65°). If you turn the air conditioning system on when the temperature is below 60°, you may damage the compressor.
· Turn the fan switch to "auto" and set the thermostat below the room temperature (76° to 78° is recommended). The fan and condensing unit should come on, unless there is a time delay, which may slow its start.
· Let the system run for eight to ten minutes to balance the temperature in the ductwork. Check the temperature at the supply and return registers. The temperature at the supply register should be 14° to 20° Fahrenheit cooler than at the return ducts or current room temperature.
* If the temperature differential is more than 20°, it indicates restricted air. This points to three possible problems: 1) a dirty filter, 2) improper ductwork, or 3) a fan that is sized wrong, not working properly, or moving too slowly.
· If it is less than 14° differential, the possible causes are 1) refrigerant loss, 2) a dirty coil, 3) a laboring compressor, 4) an oversized fan, or 5) a deficient return air system.
Sorry, but this is quite simply the way it is. It all has to do with physics.

You may have a compressor clutch that is worn out. It would act up when initially started until it heated up and caught better. You would have to listen when you initially start rthe vehicle with the ac off. have someone turn it on, you should hear a solid engagment of the clutch and you should immedialy start to notice the vent temps drop. If you hear a half A** engagement followed by a metallic noise the clutch may be slipping. If on the other hand you turn on the ac and the compressor does not immediatly come on you will want to locate and bypass the low pressure switch and see if it comes on and cools immediatly. If everything is working well and still not cooling then you most likely have contamination in the orifice tube or expansion valve (not sure which this vehicle uses) this repair would require breaking the system.
This is, however, a big 10-4! Ditto! x2!
M.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top