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Old 02-09-2012   #1
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Do I have aircon?!

Hi, random conversation with the mechanic this week - me - 'it's a 16v non-aircon' - him - 'it does have aircon - there is the pipe, there is the valve and the pump is running'. But there is no switch for it on the dashboard - the space between the air recirc and the rear window button is blanked off. I think I remember the dealer saying they'd replaced the heater control, so did they replace the entire panel? And could I replace the panel with one that does have the appropriate button, and if so where could I get one from?

Thanks from a slightly bemused GP driver!
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Old 02-09-2012   #2
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

Trying to get my head around your post, do you mean you bought the car and it didn't have the aircon button? So you assumed it didn't have it but turns out it has the aircon compressor etc?

If so do you know the trim model of the car, Active, Dynamic, Sporting?
If you're not sure does it have alloys or hubcaps?
It might say it on a sticker near the drivers door lock, open the drivers door and below the lock (on the car body not the door itself) it should have a sticker, I believe this says the trim level of the car.
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Old 02-09-2012   #3
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

Or a picture of you engine bay
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Old 03-09-2012   #4
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

Hi, thanks for the replies. The car is a 1.4 16v Sporting, with the lovely StarJet engine. Well, it was lovely until it started playing up about three months ago, now it is a howling, underpowered nightmare. But that is another matter.

I bought the car 18 months ago from the dealer, he'd supplied it originally and taken it again in px against a new one. He said he'd replaced the heater temperature dial because it was stiff and wouldn't turn very easily. This makes me wonder whether he replaced the whole of the panel but used a non-aircon panel rather than one with a button for the aircon.

The mechanic pointed out to me what he said was the aircon pipe, the valve for regassing and the compressor pump, which was running. I'd wondered what the pipe was for - I'd assumed it was something to do with the bonkers StarJet system.

Any ideas? Bemused doesn't begin to cover it!
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Old 03-09-2012   #5
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

Sportings have aircon as standard
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Old 03-09-2012   #6
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

Cool, that is good to know. So I guess I need to source a replacement panel - where could I find a part number?

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 03-09-2012   #7
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

I can't see how the compressor was running of there was no way of switching it on

Pic of your engine bay and center console (control panel) plzkthx!!
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Old 03-09-2012   #8
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As has been said, you definitely have air con but I'm suspicious of the dealers story. Replacing the control panel because of a 'stiff button' sounds like a load of bull to me, 'hid the fact in has air con because the compressor is shot and costs £600 to replace' more like.

To the dealers credit though, he didn't try and pass it off as having air con and hope you didn't notice it was broken.
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Last edited by jameshobiecat; 03-09-2012 at 22:00.
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Old 03-09-2012   #9
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Quote Originally Posted by Eklipze3k View Post
I can't see how the compressor was running of there was no way of switching it on

Pic of your engine bay and center console (control panel) plzkthx!!
Probably just the compressor pully turning with the actual pumping bits de-clutched.
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Old 03-09-2012   #10
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

Quote Originally Posted by Eklipze3k View Post
I can't see how the compressor was running of there was no way of switching it on
Simple- all the switch does is put a request to the Body Computer- "switch on the compressor". The BC then acts on that request and will continue with that course of action until the "off" request is given by pressing the switch again. If the A/C was not turned off before the panel was swapped, the last request will still be active (A/C "on" in this case).

I've had this before with a duff hazard switch which failed after being activated. Even with the switch removed and thrown away, the hazards continued to flash when the ignition was on, until I replaced the switch and pressed it to send the "off" request.
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Old 04-09-2012   #11
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

if the pump has been running continually for 18months, apart from those days the temp is below 3 degrees then that might explain the low power and iffy running, i know on my 1.4 16v bravo if the AC is on it takes about 87bhp leaving me with 3 for the car
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Old 05-09-2012   #12
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

But if it had any gas in it the op would surely have felt it (chilled air entering cabin) and if it had no gas then the compressor would have encountered little resistance and therefore not sucked up much power.
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Old 05-09-2012   #13
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

Quote Originally Posted by jameshobiecat View Post
But if it had any gas in it the op would surely have felt it (chilled air entering cabin) and if it had no gas then the compressor would have encountered little resistance and therefore not sucked up much power.
On with low fan speed on the feet at mid temp, I am assuming most people wouldn't notice the difference.
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Old 05-09-2012   #14
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

But it has been that way for 18months. Surely in summer the temp dial would have gone down and the fan speed up. I'm tempted to credit the op with the wherewithal to notice.
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Old 05-09-2012   #15
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Re: Do I have aircon?!

If the gas level drops too low, the compressor is disabled to prevent damage from a lack of lubrication, although the button on the dash will still light-up.

It's also disabled under conditions where full engine power is needed.
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