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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had to replace the orifice tune before it gets too hot down here. I was pretty sure that was all the AC needed, since everything worked OK. It graudally stopped cooling, and when I asked a shop to do it, they said new compressor even though it cooled for a few weeks after an evac and recharge.
Also did the receiver-drier to prevent future clogging.
Here are some pics for you:
 

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Yummy.

Looks like someone over-did it with the UV dye in that system, and/or used some "stop leak."
Yeah, I'd say. Looks pretty chunky.
 

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Now I'm starting to wonder if that's my problem. My A/C doesn't blow as cold as it should and I have never looked at the orifice tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I bought the car 4 or 5 years ago, they had just replaced the orifice tube, and it worked for a few years. I haven’t done a lot of AC work myself, but have googled a bit, and these are not infrequent problems. The general advice is that the driers start to spit desiccant after awhile, which leads to clogging. I can’t say if it’s stop leak or desiccant, but if it’s stop leak it was from before my time and took years to clog.

If your AC is weakening, I recommend this at this age. Freon recovery 30 mins and $50. Orifice tube $2 and 15 minutes. Receiver drier $31 and 1-2 hours (could be quicker if you’re a bumper cover pro, but plan on this). O-rings and a little PAG 46 oil $20.
Leak check and recharge $100 and and hour, so $200 and a half day for the whole shebang.
 

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When I bought the car 4 or 5 years ago, they had just replaced the orifice tube, and it worked for a few years. I haven’t done a lot of AC work myself, but have googled a bit, and these are not infrequent problems. The general advice is that the driers start to spit desiccant after awhile, which leads to clogging. I can’t say if it’s stop leak or desiccant, but if it’s stop leak it was from before my time and took years to clog.

If your AC is weakening, I recommend this at this age. Freon recovery 30 mins and $50. Orifice tube $2 and 15 minutes. Receiver drier $31 and 1-2 hours (could be quicker if you’re a bumper cover pro, but plan on this). O-rings and a little PAG 46 oil $20.
Leak check and recharge $100 and and hour, so $200 and a half day for the whole shebang.

Yeah I know about all the pricing and what it takes. I always remove the front bumper cover so those guys don't hit me with that charge off disassembly. I'd be ok with it if they specialized in VW's but most of the 'good' A/C guys are just general across the board makes and models.
My only issue and hesitation here is, I just had my system recharged last year and it blew ice cold air out the vents. I hadn't used it for about 3 months and now it doesn't blow as hard. But when I check all the fittings and connections, everything is pristinely clean. If it were leaking, dirt would be collecting around the fittings.
I'm also in a different situation where living at now versus where I was at last year. I should just take the thing in and have it diagnosed.
 

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As far as the age of the system goes, the A/C components under the dash are original to the car, so that's 20 years old now.
The compressor is a re-man unit that is 8 years old. All of the other stuff under the hood was replaced 5 years ago when I swapped in a different V6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The diagnosis depends on the skill and honesty of the shop. I had brought it in and asked them (dealer where I got it, and where they had done this before) to change the orifice tube, ready to pay their high labor because I didn't have time coming up for awhile. Phone call: "it needs a new compressor. $2000." ROFL. Fortunately I got the car back with just the cost for a recharge, which actually restored cooling for a week or two. It just meant my son would have to wait until I had the time to do it right ( and find a local guy who charges only for the recovery and recharge - not an easy task here in FL with all the relocated Brooklynite shop owners.)
The only thing I wonder is if my system actually needs a flush as well, with that gunk you see. Would certainly be easy to do on the hoses between the firewall and receiver-drier. I guess we'll see how long this holds up.
 

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That's the key. Finding an honest shop and the guys that have the skill set to do whatever it is that needs getting done.
I had a few of those back in WI. But being a noob down here in Phoenix, gotta go through the pain of finding that right person again. Ah the stress of starting up a new relationship. ;)
 
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