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After 9 years of wondering what people were talking about with aircon not effective, or aircon failure I drove my S1 Evora for the first time today since before Christmas. Outside temp 29 degrees and a tad warm in the car. Turned the aircon on, nothing, nada, no change.

Back at home and pressing buttons to see what changes, I can't hear any clicking or engagement noises from either the aircon button or recirc button, even though the lights come on.  No codes or EML being thrown. Heater side works fine, fan works fine on mulitspeed settings.

So before I rip it apart what's a good step by step check guide?

If I have to replace bits, whats the upgrade path for aircon on an S1? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You need to run the compressor at least every month if not every week to lubricate the glandseal that stops refrigerant escaping from the compressor input shaft. The compressor doesn't actually h

I don't think there's a troubleshooting guide in the service notes, but I would check these in this order: - Fuses (C28, R11) - Refrigerant fill/pressures (if good, issue is likely related to e

Drove mine to the local suzuki dealer like this 😂 and had them drain and refill it. I replaced an oring that seemed a bit stained at the time.    Was like a spaceship arriving there 😁 H

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Is it possible a gas refill might cure your problem, @21gg mentioned many years ago that the fill point is : "right front wheel arch, behind the wheel. Just pull the arch liner back and you will see them".

Most (all?) gas refill workshops will have the equipment to do a vacuum test to check for leaks, so this would be my first point of call unless you can already identify the compressor as kaput.

Edited by trcm
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Yes to fill. I usually have that topped up at a yearly service but haven't booked that ( in the UK) this year. I havent had any problem before though. I'll have a go myself first, but wondered whther anyone had a crib sheet for a sequence of tests to diagnose the problem, rather than just trying stuff. I'll check the threads for info.

 

 

 

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I don't think there's a troubleshooting guide in the service notes, but I would check these in this order:

- Fuses (C28, R11)
- Refrigerant fill/pressures (if good, issue is likely related to electronics; if bad, likely a leak)
- If leak, refill w/ UV dye and find/fix leak(s)
- If not leak, check compressor, clutch, trinary switch
- Rinse/repeat until working again
 

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OK. I've read the service notes and how the Evora system works.  Apparently the ecu needs to see certain signals before engaging the compressor, one of which is sufficient refrigerant and pressure. I'm in the middle of rural France without a Lotus dealer but there are quickfit type places around that offer aircon recharge. Is it a common procedure to all cars? If I rock up at one and ask for a vacuum drain and pressure refill will that be a standard op or will they need to know Lotus specific pressures and capacities?  ( I can point them at the refill points in the front wheel arch).

 

 

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 They all use the same machines which can drain/fill and test on the whole and they only have to plug it into your low and high pressures lines then press buttons so anyone should be fine. Their machines again should come with capacities etc but there's no harm in having the details with you to double check. 

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I took mine back to the factory for a refill after an early a/c failure. The journey home (<2 hrs) started well, but by the time I reached my destination, the gas was pretty much all gone. From memory it needed a new condenser. It’s been OK ever since (touch wood). Funnily enough, my Ferrari Mondial seems to have gone the same way: all great until last summer, but now just blowing ambient temperature air, so I might be looking at the same problem. It is 29 years old though and I only ever drive it roof-down, so not a big issue. I do want to get it sorted though.

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Mine hasn't been working for the last 3 years.  Never bothered me too much.  Wouldn't mind getting it fixed but only willing to pay a max of £400-500 for the repair including parts regardless of whatever is causing the issue.  Of course a repair will most likely be four figures and will only fail again in a few years.

The passenger side central locking door lock has also failed again.  Not paying another £600 for the repair.  Max is £100. 

Passenger air bag cover has warped again 1 year after replacement.  Not paying £700 again.

I will just live with these three common issues.  Car is perfect otherwise.

The car better now give me  10+ yrs of no more issues.  Only regular oil changes and filter changes to pay for.

Edited by Registered
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There is no natural escape route for the refrigerant as a/c is a sealed for life system. If it's losing or has lost gas then it's faulty. On all cars (not just a Lotus) the condenser would be the first thing to inspect for damage or just general crunchy failure. If you're going to DIY a fix and have to open the system then replace the receiver drier as a service item too no matter what other repairs are needed. 

As for topping it back up again, you should find a sticker somewhere on the car giving details of how much refrigerant to use.

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Thanks all. I'll look for a covid free top up locally in the next week or so, and go from there. If it works, and then leaks out, I'll then go to replacement condenser and air reciever/seperator but I'll probably wait until I come over to the UK for another job that I want doing. My only worry is that if it does leak, I'll then have loss of lubrication and the possibility of the compressor failing. My understanding is that the compressor needs to engage every now and again to keep it lubricated, otherwise it eventually seizes. 

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Drove mine to the local suzuki dealer like this 😂

and had them drain and refill it. I replaced an oring that seemed a bit stained at the time. 
E5B78FA9-2532-4C95-BF17-BAF642AB289C.jpeg.9648066acc4104202c9f089b95ff8519.jpegC80FE7D0-F410-4A6C-8C6C-7FFF831FBE25.jpeg.a172fd1d59351c1fc5ec67d662eb320d.jpegA42118FC-CEDE-437B-9F5A-AE49BF25C31D.jpeg.08c9e2386d4cf1a5316053d38a6ba2be.jpeg8F45564B-701B-4B60-AFBE-53EE3084AFBA.jpeg.c1ed2ac9ff0a51eb925eda8928ff6952.jpeg
 

Was like a spaceship arriving there 😁 Had a good laugh and it was cheap. 
 

I don’t understand why people do not just keep the a/c running permanently. Mine is never turned off, summer or winter. And hence it has never had a problem. It’s not like one can complain it uses up more fuel when we has a 3.5l engine. Its a taxi engine and ac, leave it on.

69EF40B6-389A-43D5-8795-8567D63F078A.jpeg

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Yes leve it on my good man wise words indeed and if it won't run in the winter because the weather's cold ( most car A/C stop at about 5'C ambient ) it's because there's not enough heat to boil the refrigerant in the evaporator and you can get liquid back to the compressor and as we all know apart from washing the oil away refrigerants a great degreaser you can't compress a liquid.

So to combat this run the car warm the interior and place the fan on recirculation and run the A/C on the warm cabin air only need to do it for a few minutes and set the fan to full speed as well helps 

My old 20 year Mercedes when I had it I never topped it up once 

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My air-con died on Monday.

Did same 2 years ago (on a hot day, of course); turned out stone damage had killed the condenser and debris had killed the compressor.   REALLY hoping it's not that again (not cheap, nor simple, to source parts).

Will be going to the guys who rebuilt my system on Monday....fingers crossed it's just a little gas loss.

 

Edited by EGTE
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There do seem to be a few Evoras out there running around with non-functioning aircon. After what happened to me, I'd be worried that compressor could overheat and seize due to lack of lubrication, taking out the serpentine auxiliary drive belt and putting the car off the road. Is there an easy aircon delete solution? I'd have thought that Evora track cars don't run with aircon compressors. Removing the compressor and using a shorter belt would probably work, but what length of belt do you need to order? I've seen other cars have their aircon deleted by replacing the compressor with an idler pulley. Does anyone make such a kit for the Evora?

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As I understand it the compressor has an idler pulley.  It is connected to an electromagnetic clutch. That clutch is activated by turning the aircon on, thus engaging the compressor. If the power is removed from the electromagnetic clutch I assume it wil no longer ever engage the idler pulley with the compressor?

 

 

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Yes, for the drive belt to snap, the compressor must seize and the clutch also get stuck in the engaged position. I'm assuming that is what has happened to mine as I cannot turn the compressor pulley by hand, but will have to wait until it's all in pieces to fully investigate.

That aircon delete pulley looks interesting. A genuine Lotus part? I wonder if you can still get them.

EDIT:

Found it!

Idler Bracket Assembly, AC pump replacement  A138E0005J 

£249.29

That's just the bracket. I think you use the old pulley from the aircon compressor. 

I do want to keep the aircon on my Evora, but this would be an option if it can't be fixed economically.

Edited by RichardC
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You might find its only the idler bearing that has seized and the compressors ok 

You never know till you remove the pulley 

If you want to check the clutch supply the coil with 12volts and you should hear it click as the clutch engages 

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