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26 June 2007

Compressor Broken AGAIN

Guess what broke again?

Let's restart the clock. Yesterday was DAY 1 of my A/C compressor failure .... AGAIN. Only 325 miles since I picked up the car from the last one. I was going down a street when the battery light came on, belt squealed & smoked.... and the engine died. Tried to restart but it behaved like it had a dead battery with extremely slow and laborious turnover, then the starter wouldn't turn it over at all. Waited a minute, tried it again while I was trying to figure out WTF was going on, then it cranked normally. It idled for a few seconds, I smelled the belt getting hot and the engine died suddenly (like when you stall it). Kept trying and it finally cranked normally, there was a rattling sound and a metallic *ping* then it idled like it should. No cool air coming out of the vents. Checked it with fan all the way up and temp set to 'LO', nothing but ambient-temperature air. The starting problem was symptomatic of the compressor seizing and putting enough drag on the engine to bog it down.

The car is drivable, but I don't trust it. I assume the A/C compressor is toast.

I believe that one of the following happened:

  • 1. A Denso (new brand) compressor was installed, and failed of it's own accord (HIGHLY UNLIKELY, and I don't believe this for a second)

  • 2. A Zexel (original brand) compressor was installed, and failed of it's own accord. The only way this would have happened is if Audi shipped the dealer an obsolete part -OR- if the dealer pulled a compressor off a car on the lot and just lied to me.

  • 3. A Denso compressor was installed and failed due to metallic debris being in the system even after the dealer flushed it.

  • 4. A Denso compressor was installed, and due to the dealer's improper procedure (which was described to me) there was insufficient oil in the system and it failed.

In the absence of other evidence, I believe that 3 and/or 4 is the cause. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I was once AGAIN broken down on the side of the road in my A3, and I have no cool air. If it had decided to stall while I was making a left turn onto a highway where I frequently do, it could have been fatal.


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