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10 May 2007

A/C Compressor Failure

Strike Two!

Today I was driving along and realised that the vents were blowing outside-temperature air. Minutes later as I accelerated away from a traffic light there was a loud squeal, followed by a *pop* and a cloud of smoke and burning rubber smell, all in under 10 seconds or so. The battery light came on (indicating no alternator output). I pulled over into a parking lot and opened the hood... when the smoke cleared I could see the broken, smoking remains of the accessory drive belt and melted rubber residue sprayed all over everything near it. I called the dealer, who told me to call Audi Roadside Assistance.

About half an hour later a guy from a local towing company showed up with a flatbed. Since the car would run (electrical supply from the battery only) and I had pulled the remains of the belt out of the way, it could be driven up on the flatbed instead of being winched. In fact, I drove it up on the flatbed myself.

We went to the dealer and unloaded the car. At the service counter I got a series of unpleasant news:

  • Mine was the second A3 this week (third recently) with a compressor failure

  • No parts are available locally (the other A3s are still drivable while waiting for parts), it could be a week or more before the parts come in

  • No loaners are available. At least not for another week (but I'm going out of town then, I need it now). They'll give me a ride to go rent a car at my own expense, though.... (I declined, and got a ride home instead.)

So, this is the second time in about 5000 miles (the first was a coil failure at about 24,350; it's now at about 30,150) that the car has left me stranded. This is unacceptable.

Camera-phone photos...


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