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A3 AC compressor

woffywoffy Posts: 6
My A3 with 32,000 miles was diagnosed today with a bad compressor. Much too early for this type problem. I've learned this is a recurring problem with A3s. Any one else on this board had similar problems?
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  • fbtfbt Posts: 3
    Yes at 20,000 miles. It's a defective compressor. It's replaced with a different brand, hopefully under warranty.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,341
    Yes, the A3 AC sucks and has a bad compressor.

    It never performed very well, but it lasted me 53,000 miles which in some ways was a bad thing it lasted that long. Just long enough to eclipse the warranty period. But after going through a bit of red tape, Audi has agreed after 4 days of review to step up to the plate, stand behind their product, and cover it anyway, despite my warranty being expired for about 3,000 miles.

    Of course, the timing of my A/C going out was impeccably bad, as it happened in the month of June just when it's getting really hot in California. They said my compressor basically fell apart, and that it would of been about $2,500 had Audi not agreed to offer some goodwill.

    I should be getting my car back finally today.... took awhile as they didn't order all the parts until after Audi agreed to cover the repairs.
  • Yes there is an issue with the A3 compressors, I lost mine with 36K on the odo after 4 years was up. They did replace under warranty. The mecanic said that it always ran. Not sure what the issue is other than it is a bad design.
  • The Audi is an adventure: wonderful to drive, but you never know what will go wrong next. There are ghosts haunting the electrical system, The battery is joke: $499 for an audi battery with a 12 month warrantee. I have been averaging about 14 months per battery. I put a top of the line Sears diehard--they don't last any longer. After the secong Sear b attery died they did a full work-up on the A3 and told that with everything turned off the A3 draws 1.4 amps--it is designed to kill the battery intentionally--great!!! Audi think of everything so that their cars will never be boring!!!!
  • woffywoffy Posts: 6
    My battery went out after 26 months. I replaced it with an Interstate battery for $158 out the door with a 30 month warranty. Now I do find this 1.4 amp draw interesting. At this discharge rate, your battery would be dead in just a few days if not charged by running the engine or some other means. In other words, if your car wasn't driven over a long weekend, the battery would be drained. I have to call BS on that.
  • a3sandiegoa3sandiego Posts: 3
    edited June 2011
    Hi,
    Can you please give some ideas of what you did in order to get Audi to step up on this issue (that occured just outside of Warranty)?
    I have an '07 A3 with 43K mi (below the 50K mark), but it developed this air conditioning problem 1-2 months AFTER the 4 yr period of warranty expiration! Now I'm faced with a $1,000 to $2,500 bill to fix this problem. It sounds like it should e covered as a service bulletin or recall. Please let us know some tips of how you convinced Audi Warranty folks to do the right thing...thanks!
  • Hi,
    Can you please give some ideas of what you did in order to get Audi to step up on this issue (that occured just outside of Warranty)?
    I have an '07 A3 with 43K mi (below the 50K mark), but it developed this air conditioning problem 1-2 months AFTER the 4 yr period of warranty expiration! Now I'm faced with a $1,000 to $2,500 bill to fix this problem. It sounds like it should e covered as a service bulletin or recall. Please let us know some tips of how you convinced Audi Warranty folks to do the right thing...thanks!
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,341
    If I were you, first, I would point out that the AC compressor in the A3 is a known troublesome spot, issue, and the forums online have backed up that it is a known faulty part that doesn't seem to last much past the warranty period.

    Second, I'd point out how your a good Audi customer anyway you can. Loyalty, previous customer, long time customer, other family members, ect. (I pointed out it was MY FIRST Audi, but that the A3 was designed to bring in new people to the Audi Family to potentially be lifelong customers that upgrade, and made clear this hiccup with the A/C would only serve to make it my LAST Audi if they didn't do something.)

    Third, I had a great relationship with a good service customer rep at my local dealer (Mirimar Audi - George).

    Fourth, I got all my service and maintenance done at the dealership (in 2006 they still had free 50,000 mile maintenance with the vehicle from Audi). However, I also used Miramar Audi for other maintenance items I didn't have to, such as a new battery and such. So I was loyally using their service department for my car's maintenance (albeit mainly due to Audi maintenance plan). This part helped the most. If you got your 35K or 40K mile service recently done at the dealer, it gives you more chips to deal with, and more leverage to grow your case. If you haven't been maintaining your car religiously, your case is going to be very weak. If you haven't been using the dealer for maintenance, your case is not going to be bulletproof, but could still be strong with good maintenance records.

    Fifth, AFTER they agreed to help me out and pay for the new AC install with Audi of America's help, I returned the favor and authorized a $900 brake job (new rotors and pads), being as I'd have their free loaner for 2 weeks anyway (the parts had to come in from Germany, and it's quite a bit of labor).
  • Nice response...thanks. I go to the same dealer as you do. The difference is, I bought the car with 38K mi. from a private party (who had himself bought it at Miramar). So the dealer doesn't rate my loyalty as high as they rate yours most likely. Having said that, they (well, actually Audi N. America) ponied up half of the repair cost. This was done by the dealer working with Audi N. America. So I'll never really know if they got the full amount, and still charged me for half. But I don't think so. They gave me a lower price than half of the original quote, since apparently they bill to a lower rate if they're billing Audi than a walk-in customer. Again, thanks for the response. I hope that's the last notably pre-mature issue.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,341
    Other known trouble spots that have hit mine, and mine's at nearly 80K miles now, 2006 A3 DSG 2.0T:

    1) At about 65k had to replace the Recirculation valve for the turbo due to probably some boost leak (caused CEL indicator to light up). Cheap $100 part but 3.5 hours labor!!!! I wish I hadn't done that at Miramar Audi cause their labor rates are astronomical.

    2) Diverter valve, mine never failed, but luckily, this is also a $100 part and only 1/2 hour labor. When they replaced the Recirc, they told me they were suprised it wasn't the known diverter valve weakspot. Luckily the one they use to replace it has been revised, reengineered to be heftier, beefier, and more durable. I replaced mine as "preventative maintenance" at around 70K miles with an AWE diverter valve upgrade.

    3) The window regulators tend to last exactly 5 years (at least 1 of the 4 have been replaced so far, crossing my fingers on the rest).

    Other then that listed above and the AC, the car has been flawless, and there are no rattles, very tight, runs like new, ultra high quality car with excellent fit and finish. I give the car a B+ for reliability and dependability.
  • flemo123flemo123 Posts: 20
    My compressor blew out yesterday at $35K miles. When I say it blew, it actually blew appart, severed the belt with a lot of rubber burning smoke. Shards of metal everywhere. Car is over 4 years old so also out of warranty. Awaiting dealer response after towing it there today.

    I believe this is more than a costly annoyance. This kind of failure could be very dangerous at high speed. For me it happened pulling away from a light so thankfully I was barely moving. I think this belt drives the power steering as well as the AC and Generator.

    I recommend everyone to report vehicle defects at the NHTSA web-site https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

    I think this may be the only way to shame car manufacturers into doing the right thing with some government clout. It's actually surprising how few complaints are lodged there. It's at least a last resort threat.
  • So, sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but i have a question which i didn't see addressed anywhere.

    For those who had weak A/C, and then either had a compressor fail or replaced the compressor to avoid that fail, was the A/C noticeably STRONGER (i.e. colder) after the new compressor?

    background on my situation: 2006 A3 with 73k and weak A/C (barely keeps interior @ 75 if outside it's 90 and sunny). Also, sometimes the A/C does not turn on (blows hot air) and i have to cycle the system on and off, and/or mess with the 'zone' buttons (the ones that concentrate air to different vents), and then it springs into action, albeit still not very cold. i checked my compressor against a picture of what the supposedly 'bad' compressors are supposed to look like, and it does not look like the 'bad' kind to me, but who knows.

    so, that's why i am asking. since my system does work, and it doesn't appear that i have the unit type prone to failure, it's not worth it to me to invest in fixing the problem of it being weak, if those who have replaced their compressors have not seen a sizable improvement in the cooling ability of their system after doing so themselves. thanks!
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,341
    Both my original compressor that failed at 53K and the replacement that's still working here at 85K miles coudln't could the car adequately once the temperature soars past 95.

    It works fine until 90 hits, and then tapers off..... it's undersized and doesn't have the capacity to cool the A3. It might work in a Smart 4 two, but the A3 is spacious inside :)
  • Sorry about your problems. Getting Audi to do anything is impossible. I had one and as soon as we got pregnant I had to get a new car because it was so unreliable.
    I was even on file with Audi of America at one point and couldn't get anywhere. Try calling Audi of america. I had one of the pistons in my engine go right after the warranty and they covered some of the costs and called it a "good will repair" ask about that. I have had the coils go, wipers in a major snow storm go because of fuses burning out, you name it. Good Luck.
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