I’ve been a reader of TSD for a long time. Now I’ve finally signed up in hopes of addressing one of the most troubling issues of our time: what the heck is wrong with my car’s air conditioning and why does it make me suffer so? Ok, maybe this is of great importance only to me. . . But with temperatures in the high 90s and humidity at about 27,000% (give or take a bit), this issue is indeed very much on my mind!
Here’s the situation: I have a 2002 VW Passat with the 1.8T engine that has been entirely trouble-free until now. Currently, when I press the A/C button, the light comes on and the extra fan under the hood turns on. However, the air from the vents does not cool down right away. Instead, at some random time later, the a/c suddenly begins working and the air gets cold quickly. The time delay can be from a few seconds to over an hour and it seems to be completely random. When the a/c does kick on, it works great and operates perfectly until I either turn it off (not likely in this weather!) or I shut off the car. When I restart the car, the a/c has another random time delay before it will operate.
Now, I’m pretty handy with a wrench and I do my own oil changes and other light car maintenance and repairs. But I don’t know too much about the electrical systems in modern cars. It seems to me that the problem here is not in the a/c system itself, but in the activation of it. I believe my car has an electromagnetic clutch that engages the a/c compressor which is run via belt from the engine. What is the likely failure point here? Are there relays that could be failing or is it likely to be the clutch? Could it also be the compressor itself?
I’d like to find out if this is something I can fix on my own. . . (crossed fingers) Any direct help anyone can give me is greatly appreciated! Also, if anyone can reommend another resource for information, that is appreciated as well. Thanks all. . .