Need assistance in troubleshooting Passat A/C issue:


I bought a 2003 VW Passat a few months ago and the A/C isn’t working. Seller said it was a recharge issue due to a slow leak, but the recharge kit I bought doesn’t seem to be the solution. So… known facts thus far:

  • The car has the Climatronic (fancy) system not the Climatic system (this is my first car with power anything, and thus far it’s mostly just been a PITA).
  • As near as I can tell, the fuses and relays are okay (most schematics I was able to locate are for the Climatic system though).
  • The pressure on the LP port reads approximately 30 psi (207 kPa), which is within the ‘green’ area on the refill gauge.
  • The pressure never goes up or down when the refill system is attached, regardless of length of time or whether or not the engine is rev’d.
  • The secondary radiator fan comes on when the A/C is activated.
  • The little lever arm, under the passenger side glovebox, moves appropriately when the A/C is activated.
  • The fan operates at varying speeds appropriately, but the system only blows hot air and outside temperature air (which right now is hot).
  • The HP side line gets cold when the A/C is on, at least between the firewall (barrier to vehicle interior) and a bulkhead that the line passes through.
  • There is a slight hiss from the HP line near where the line passes through the bulkhead, but does not sound significant enough to be preventing the system from working.
  • I depressed the valve pins, briefly, on both the LP/HP side lines to make sure they weren’t stuck (probably would not have done if I’d thought it through a little better beforehand)

I have not been able to arrange a safe way to block the car up, remove the underside pan, and make sure the compressor is activating yet. Anyone have any thoughts? Money is kind of tight right now so if I can avoid a mechanic I’d like to, but if I can’t I’d like to at least avoid a diagnostic fee…

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on things to look at/for? Thanks.


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