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Sudden loss of Air Con - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/Alarms/ICE/HVAC/Other - The Lotus Forums Jump to content

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Hi, As title says, I've lost my cold air this last week, I've no error messages on dash, no funny noises, no blown fuse under the front access panel (fuse 20 AC Clutch - 7.5A) and no differences in compressor engagement sound if I toggle the "dimly" lit AC control switch.

Car is on just under 15k miles and driven all year round with air con on and I've had 5+ years of lovely cold air so is it reasonable to think a simple re-gas is required?

Very annoying since we've just had 2 warm weeks so any troubleshooting procedure would be welcome as there's not a lot in the service manual.

Cheers,

Mario

 

Edited by mario308

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21 minutes ago, alias23 said:

Just checking are the blowers all working fine, the fan speed changing as per the norm?

Yep, the cabin fan runs as normal i.e. all 3 speeds work ok and I can still direct the airflow around as per vent direction control. 

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Then it does sound like blower motor or resistor pack. Maybe contact Dave at H111 as they’ve had a few customers with heater/air con problems so maybe able to help.


www.alias23.com

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Sorry I think you’ve misunderstood the problem. Nothing wrong with the blower/resistor pack. Everything works except no cold refrigerated air coming out, it’s just at ambient on the coldest (AC) setting. Hot setting is as normal.

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Could be the AC unit needs checked for a leak? I know the older s2 Exige were notorious for the pipes in the sill cracking but haven’t heard this as being a common problem in the S3. 

 

Sorry cant be of much more help. It does sound like the unit needs recharged and a check for leaks. 

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Sounds like you need to get it vacuum tested for leaks, and then re-gassed.  If it has suddenly stopped, then it probably has a leak somewhere...

Dave

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Thanks Dave, I’ll post on here once we find out what went wrong. My original post was to see if anyone had any method or experience of testing the system e.g. by using a digital multimeter on any sub-circuits or relays. 

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Not sure if you can easily see the clutch on the compressor if the middle is turning then the compressor should be turning if the middle is stationery then the compressor is not running 

If the system has lost gas then the compressor should not run all the cars I've worked on have a low and high pressure cutout switch.

If the compressor is running and the charge pressure is low don't run the compressor as it requires returning refrigerant to cool the compressor and also an oil mist in the refrigerant to lubricate it.

It could be that the valves in the compressor are damaged and so not compressing the gas time to get some gauges fitted to check the pressures.

If the pressure is low 

Standing pressure for R134a at 20'C should be around 4.7bar.   @ 15'C should be approx 3.87bar and 10'C  3.14bar 

Then start looking for a leak as Dave said you can check by pulling and more importantly holding a vacuum.

But to find a leak then a pressure test with dry Nitrogen will be required paying perticular attention to the glandseal behind the magnetic clutch on the compressor.

If there is a leak hopefully it will be large enough to find with bubbles or you may be able to hear it if it's small then you may have to add fluorescent dye to the system run on test then look round with a UV light to see the dreaded glow of a leak.

Hope this helps a little 

Golden rule when recharging after repairing a leak always weigh the charge in and never overcharge the system 

Trust me more refrigerant does more harm than leaving the system slightly undercharged 

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Funnily enough my car has just started exhibiting the same symptom, Mario. Recently recharged but I suspect there's a leak somewhere, as I don't beleive the compressor is running, as per Phil's post above.

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Thanks Phil for your interesting reply it helps a lot. I'll have to take it to a trustworthy garage to see what's going on.

Hi Arun, Yes that's annoying what with the weather improving, do you mind if I ask where you got yours re-gassed?

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All A/C systems will lose some gas over time.  If I recall correctly, assuming no faults, Lotus recommend initial re-gas of the system at 3 years - then every 2 years thereafter.  If you’ve run 5 years without servicing the system, then you’ve already done well.  

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Picking up car tomorrow after a marathon exercise in getting it troubleshooted and fixed. Turns out it was the metal AC gas pipes that run near the RHS sill that had failed and let all the gas out. I believe they have been replaced with Polyurethane ones, will update here once I get the whole story from B&C.

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I've just bought a second hand exige v6 and the air con appears to have failed, so its refreshing that they've managed to fix yours so quickly for what it is.

Is the air con in these noticeable or any good? I'm coming from a VX220 which blew hot or hotter, so I don't know what to expect!

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47 minutes ago, AdWrighty said:

I've just bought a second hand exige v6 and the air con appears to have failed, so its refreshing that they've managed to fix yours so quickly for what it is.

Is the air con in these noticeable or any good? I'm coming from a VX220 which blew hot or hotter, so I don't know what to expect!

Congrats on the V6 purchase 👍 My Son had a VX220 for a few years so we got to know how bad the ventilation was on that model, you must of been very lucky to get any heat out of it... The Exige is not great compared to say a family car but the aircon does blow cold and with it being a small cabin is essential in my mind. I never turn it off as it helps with dehumidifying throughout the year. After my 30min journey home on Saturday I had to turn the temperature up a little to stop me getting too cold. It wasn’t a cheap fix but having got used to it working from day one I’d recommend getting it fixed.

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2 minutes ago, mario308 said:

Congrats on the V6 purchase 👍 My Son had a VX220 for a few years so we got to know how bad the ventilation was on that model, you must of been very lucky to get any heat out of it... The Exige is not great compared to say a family car but the aircon does blow cold and with it being a small cabin is essential in my mind. I never turn it off as it helps with dehumidifying throughout the year. After my 30min journey home on Saturday I had to turn the temperature up a little to stop me getting too cold. It wasn’t a cheap fix but having got used to it working from day one I’d recommend getting it fixed.

Thank you! I've just popped a post on the introductions page showing it off. The VX was a fantastic car, I swear mine had a heater upgrade that wasn't recorded as it could blow quite hot, but never cold and never quietly!

Okay, I understand, that still sounds essential though in any sort of heat or humidity. You don't always want to be having a window open as that creates even more noise.

That's ideal if it's so good that you had to turn it off, who knew! It confirms there is something wrong at least. I'm glad you got it sorted, did it take long to diagnose and fix?

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They knew the gas had gone but it took a while to sort as it was the first time they had done an Exige V6 as there was no Lotus documentation to follow so I’m guessing future repairs to other vehicles will take less time. I’d give Phil a call at B&C as it will be fresh in their minds so to speak.

Edited by mario308

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Hi Mario,

It was B&C where mine had  the regassing and subsequent work after to my previous post, which similarly was a lengthy endeavour of leak finding. It culminated in a new condenser and some pipework. Glad to hear yours is sorted now.

I take it that wasn't your red Exige I saw in Germany and the eurotunnel terminal last week then?

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6 minutes ago, Arun_D said:

Hi Mario,

I take it that wasn't your red Exige I saw in Germany and the eurotunnel terminal last week then?

Hi Arun, Nope, not me. My car has never been overseas.😎

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4 minutes ago, mario308 said:

Hi Arun, Nope, not me. My car has never been overseas.😎

It did surprise me as I knew you didn't have such a plate when I last saw your car, but it was a red V6S with the plate 'V6 MAR'!

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Done some testing and over the last 2-3 days the aircon temperature blowing through the LHS dashboard vent has been between 12-13 Dec C on max cold setting so as long as it remains around that range I'll stay cool. 😎

Temp.JPG

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