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VW Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Guide

Modern Volkswagen cars are equipped with powerful air conditioning systems. These systems are designed pretty well. Yet, so many different things could go wrong in a VW A/C system. If you're experiencing issues with your VW A/C system, this troubleshooting guide may help you.

Below, you'll find a list of the most common A/C issues found in VW vehicles, along with ways to troubleshoot each one.

The A/C Is Not Turning On

AC turn on

There may be several different reasons a Volkswagen A/C system isn't turning on, such as:

You want to give the A/C system a visual inspection for any obvious signs of damage to any of these components. It's possible that all these parts are fine, but the A/C system is not getting enough voltage from the alternator or battery. If insufficient voltage is the problem, then you want to check these two parts:

  1. The alternator
  2. The battery

The VW Air Conditioning Is Not Cold

Is your A/C blowing warm air or slightly cool air? There may be an issue with the refrigerant. Your VW may be low on refrigerant, which means there may be a refrigerant leak.

To find a refrigerant leak, get a dye kit from an auto parts store. Follow the instructions that come with the kit to add the dye to the A/C system. The dye will light up the area of the leak, if there's one.

It's important to know how to check for proper refrigerant levels in the air conditioning system. If you notice that your VW is running low on refrigerant, add some more to the system. If you're not sure how to do this, have a mechanic do it.

Check out the condenser for damage. On some vehicles the condenser can be damaged by road debris. This can damage the fins of the compressor, which leads to reduced A/C performance. Also check for mud or dirt in the condenser fins. If the condenser gets clogged up, you won't get cold air. Lastly, look for more severe damage to the condenser. A hard blow from a rock can lead to the condenser leaking.

If your condenser is fine, and your system isn't leaking refrigerant, there's a good chance the compressor is broken. A broken compressor can't circulate refrigerant through the system.

So if your Volkswagen's AC system is blowing warm air, check the following parts:

  • Refrigerant
  • The condenser
  • The compressor

The VW AC Fan Is Not Working

AC vent

Is your A/C system responding to the controls, but it's not blowing any air? Chances are the blower fan motor has gone bad. Sometimes they stop working completely, and other times the blow much more slowly than they should. Test the blower motor to see if it's working as it should.

The VW Air Conditioning Smells Bad

If your A/C smells bad, then the problem is likely related to a clogged evaporator. In order for the A/C system to work properly, it has a reservoir with a small amount of water in it. This water is used to keep the evaporator core cool. Mold and mildew could build up in the reservoir. If your A/C smells like mold, mildew, or ammonia, it's likely the problem.

Need Replacement Parts For Your VW A/C System?

If you need replacement parts for your Volkswagen's A/C system, look no further than VW Parts Vortex. We carry genuine OEM A/C parts for a variety of Volkswagen models. We also offer a price match guarantee on all parts.

If you need help finding the right A/C part for your Volkswagen, please contact us. We're always happy to help!