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Volkswagen Jetta A/C Does Not Blow Cold Air

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Volkswagen Jetta A/C Doesn't Blow Cold Air

A busted A/C on a Volkswagen Jetta is the problem of the day. We just solved an A/C problem on a Chevy Equinox, so let's see what we can find on the Volkswagen Jetta GLS.

This is the vehicle:

VEHICLE: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8L, L4, MFI, DOHC, VIN -, Eng Desg AWP

MILEAGE: 141512

The Volkswagen Jetta is a great car and with a little bit of maintenance will last you a long time. But there are some issues with the A/C. Since this is an import service center, we see a lot of different makes and models of the Volkswagen and A/C issues seem to be the #1 complaint from Volkswagen owners. So, let's get to the original complaint:

Customer Concern: The A/C system does not blow cold air. There is a vibration and/or noise in the A/C lines that can be felt inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

And once again we will start with some basic tests to see if we can find any obvious problems.


1. Install a gauge set on the Jetta and look at what the gauges say. Some possible examples are:

A. If the high side pressure is high and the low side pressure is high, that would indicate an A/C compressor overcharge situation (this could be refrigerant or oil overcharge).

B. If the high side pressure is high and the low side pressure is low, this could indicate that the a/c compressor is stuck at its maximum displacement or that there is an other-than-specified restriction in the system. Signs of frost on the lines indicate the point of restriction.

Some simple things to check when your a/c fails

2. Flush the A/C system with nitrogen or refrigerant. This requires using a "dummy" restrictor that is a straight opening at the flush point. DO NOT under any circumstances use air to flush or blow out the lines. This will introduce moisture to the system that will be difficult to get rid of.

Flushing the A/C ensures that all the refrigerant and oil is out of the system so that when the charge procedure is performed, one can be as accurate as possible about the amount of refrigerant and oil in the system.

3. Inspect the restrictor for signs of damage. Look to see if the restrictor is completely plugged. On expansion-type restrictors, look to see if anything is blocking the movement of the valve.

4. Inspect the A/C lines for evidence of desiccant coming apart. This will typically look like a gray sludge paste (think valve-lapping compound). If the desiccant has come apart, flush the A/C system. The desiccant can plug up the restrictor or cause damage to the compressor.

5. When replacing the Volkswagen Jetta's compressor it is recommend to drain all the oil out of the compressor (if pre-filled) and measure the amount of oil. This way, the actual amount of oil in the A/C system can be known and accounted for.

After running these tests on the Volkswagen Jetta A/C, here are the conclusions that we came to:

Potential Causes: Incorrect Refrigerant Charge: Overfilled

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Incorrect A/C Refrigerant Oil Charge: Overfilled

Failed Air Conditioning (A/C) Drier/Filter: Desiccant came apart

Plugged A/C Restriction: Either the expansion valve or the fixed orifice tube

Sticking A/C Compressor: Variable displacement compressor stuck in the maximum displacement position

And this was our confirmed fix:

Confirmed Fix: Replaced Expansion Valve

Replaced Air Conditioning (A/C) Drier/Filter

Tech Tips: VW/Audi recommends replacing the drier unit along with the compressor. It may be worth consideration quoting out the restrictor (expansion valve or FOR depending on system) and a system flush to make sure that the system starts fresh and new and to reduce the chances of an overcharge situation


Jb on July 19, 2016:

I have the same A/C issue which caused by a faulty solenoid located on the back of the A/C compressor. The solenoid regulates the pumping action of the compressor. Replacing this part requires to empty the system first. The solenoid can be found in eBay, Amazon for about $55 to $65. It is important to know the model of the compressor. No need to replace the compressor.

Rick Hedges on June 14, 2015:

I have a 2008 Jetta and it blows cold air but takes about 15 minutes to get there, any idea's?

Arun Kanchan on April 22, 2015:

I have a VW Jetta 2010 model tdi 2000. Right from day 1, the car A C has given problems and VWs response to it has been pathetic.

Rose on June 12, 2013:

Yes, my 2007 Jetta did the same thing about 2 years ago. I have not had it fixed and just deal with the hot AZ summer, but I would love to have fixed, just no one has figure this out...... going to VW is out of the question... they will charge you the price of the car for any major repairs..... because that is what they tell you that you need. VW told me 3 years ago that my transmission was going out and then a short time later i received a recall in the mail on some part that seemed to describe the same symptoms as my vehicle was having so i thought... great! I'm covered, but no.... was told that the covered, recalled part was not the problem ..... was instead the transmission... $5000.00 would be the charge! I took it elsewhere and the mechanic replaced the part that VW said it wasn't (on the recall) and charged me basically about $1500... running great ever since. VW honesty..... questionable ? i would say so . Ideas on the air conditioning problem to share anyone ?

Robin on May 08, 2013:

I won a 2007 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Edition. I bought it new in 2007 and in 2011 my A/C had to be replaced under Warranty and the reason VW gave was that it was Corroding from the inside out. They gave me a one Year Warranty on the Brans New A/C. Now it is 2013 and the A/C is doing exactly the same thing it did the first time before VW replaced it. I am now out of Warranty and very angry that once again I have little or no A/C. It blows warm air and once in a while it gets cool but not cold. There is a bad smell like an earthy odor or mildew smell coming out of the vents and it burns my nose and eyes and makes them itch. I am ready to go get an Attorney and sue VW. I have had a lot of problems with this Car from day one. Anyone else having these A/C issues?

Gefforyt (author) on June 17, 2012:

Overfilling can be harmful to your compressor, but usually it will just cause the a/c to not work. Take it to a shop and have it completely purged and refilled. you should be ok.

Kylie Morgan on April 17, 2012:

Mine is currently overfilled to a whopping 150psi; did notice gauge was difficult to put on causing initial low reading. What kind of collateral damage comes with overcharging?

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