VW Air Conditioning Problems

Volkswagen A/C issues can ruin your summer. Here’s everything you need to know to about VW air conditioning issues before they become a bigger problem.

Hitting the road in the middle of a heatwave is not the time you want to find out that your vehicle’s air conditioning doesn’t work. It’s especially unpleasant if you happen to find that your A/C is blowing out warm or hot air instead of the cool breeze you were desperately anticipating.

Well, you can now wipe the sweat off your brow and dive into our useful guide to exploring common VW air conditioning problems and fixes to get you back into the cool zone as quickly as possible.

The Volkswagen is great vehicle, and very popular. However, just like any other brand, the VWs don’t come without problems. That’s why it is important to spend a few minutes researching Volkswagens and VW air conditioning problems so you know what to watch out for before you find yourself heading out on your next road adventure in a car that feels like a sauna.

What are the Most Common VW Air Conditioning Problems?

  • Air compressor quits working
  • Insufficient air conditioning
  • Air conditioning only cooling on one side

To better know what to look for and consider the best options for VW vehicle air conditioners that are not working properly, it is important to know a little about the mechanism and the VW air conditioning history. Then, we will go into more detail about the VW air conditioning problems we mentioned above.

The first VW model to come with an optional “factory-installed” air conditioner was the 1967 Beetle. These ACs were notorious for not working very well and for overheating and causing damage to the engines.

Additionally, no AC systems were installed on the VW Beetles made in Germany. All the components for the VW Beetle’s AC were manufactured in the U.S. by trained technicians.

Started in 1932, Volkswagen has earned a solid reputation for quality German engineering over the decades.

The vehicles produced by the company grew in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, especially the VW Bus and Beetle, adding the Volkswagen Golf as time went by.

Today’s lineup of German-manufactured cars includes a focus on electric and electric-hybrid vehicles, with the automaker’s aim to have electric versions of all models by 2030.

Now, let’s move on to detailing the most common VW air conditioning problems.

Three of the Most Common VW Air Conditioning Problems

Air Compressor Quits Working

Volkswagen had quite a few problems with the air compressors, particularly in their 2015 and 2016 year models. Reportedly, there was a defective regulating valve that was causing compressor failure.

If your air compressor is failing, you might notice it making funny noises that sound like an air pressure release from inside the car. The AC might be blowing cold, then suddenly it will begin blowing hot.

A service bulletin was issued for this problem, so if you have it repaired, make sure you have it done at a VW dealership. The reason for this is that when updates and bulletins are issued, dealers remove the defective parts from their stock. Third-party retailers might not do this.

So, if you have your vehicle repaired at a third-party repair shop, you will probably end up having the same problems as you did before you had the air compressor replaced.

And that means you will have to pay to have the air compressor replaced again due to the repair shop using the same defective part to complete the repair.

Insufficient Air Conditioning

It’s been widely reported that some of the VW models, particularly the Volkswagen Atlas, have insufficient air conditioning making the interior more uncomfortable than other brand models of the same size.

There is some debate about whether setting the AC on Auto and set to sync is more effective than setting the AC on Rec. Other people have mentioned that the AC seems cold when driving; however, when stopped it feels like only the fan is running.

Unfortunately, when consumers have this problem looked at by the dealer, they are told it is working properly. However, some consumers have stated that it appeared to be the system’s thermometer sensors that were not working correctly.

This would make sense since this issue isn’t happening on all the same model vehicles. But this could not be confirmed.

Some have also been suggested that if you select the drive type (Eco, Normal, Sport, Custom) and select Custom that you can adjust the Climate Control. And if you have that setting on Eco rather than Normal that also might be causing the problem. So that could be a potential fix that’s worth trying as well.

Air Conditioning Only Cooling on One Side

There are a few people reporting this issue that only one side of the vehicle feels like it is cooling. The apparent cause of this is that only half of the evaporator is getting cold. This means there is a leak somewhere in the line causing low refrigerant levels.

When you have a low charge, there isn’t enough refrigerant to cool the evaporator evenly. Since the system flows from the driver side to the passenger side, it will cause higher temperatures on the passenger side.