306 Air Con Fault Diagnosis - noncat306dt
Peugeot 306 DT 1997R (Auto air con fitted)
Fault - compressor not kicking in, nor fans, even though "green" light indicates A/C is on.
Happened once before 2 years ago - at some cost main dealer found a break in wiring?
I'd rather have a go at logically diagnosing the problem (and fixing it)
Anyone any suggestions about how to approach the problem. It more than likely is a broken wire as new clutch cable fitted very recently, which required one engine mount to be undone etc.

306 Air Con Fault Diagnosis - Fullchat
I have become somewhat of an expert on 306 A/C with Dave N's assistance. I own a 98 TD. If A/C button is pressed light will illuminate even if system not working.
My first problem was a perforated front pipe (Corrosion within a rubber mount 2001 allowing the gas to escape. The second was that the condensor started leaking 2002 again allowing gas to escape.
If gas escapes a pressure switch in the system stops the compressor from working.
The pressure switch can be briefly bypassed just to eliminate a faulty compressor.
That done its a question of a visit to an expert and having the system regassed leak checked and then any other work done.
306s are prone to troublesome A/C.
I would put money on it being lack of gas. Some places will put the gas in and tell you its ok and you pay your money, a few weeks down the line its empty again. More professional establisments will do a leak test and if they find a leak remove the gas until the problem is fixed. Its the gas that is expensive.
Do some searches on this site on 306/Air con/Dave N.
306 Air Con Fault Diagnosis - Dave N
Full Chat has beaten me to it this time!

Exactly has he has said, it has probably lost it's gas and shut itself down. You can check if it's got any gas yourself, but BE CAREFUL. Find one of the service ports covered with a screw on plastic cap on the front drivers side inner wing, and carefully depress the schreader valve inside. Don't stand over it or use your fingers, as if there is gas inside it will come out at a fair rate and will also be extremely cold. If all you get is a puff, then it's empty. If there is a good pressure, then you need to look elsewhere for the problem. The pressure switches sometimes give up the ghost, plus there's also the possibility of french wiring.

If it's got no gas then you've no choice but to go to a professional. Don't accept that it just needs gas, as if it's empty it's got a hole, period. So as FC says, it will need pressure testing with nitrogen (if they have the kit), and if that doesn't show anything hissing, then have it gassed and dyed, and ask them what sort of a deal they will do when it all comes out again. You'll also need to start saving for the repair, as it's more than likely the hoses or condensor, which means the rad has to come out.

You can tell summers coming as my phone has started to ring again and a few a/c questions start appearing on technical forums. To all you others out there, please go check your a/c is working, the compressors coming on and off as it should, the vent temperature is nice and cool, and the electric fans are operating when you hit the button. Because I know what it's like, first couple of hot days and it's not working, and everyone want's it fixed the next day in time for their long weekend away.

306 Air Con Fault Diagnosis - Fullchat
Just to give you some idea of prices. Dealer parts.
Long pipe - £70.09 ex VAT
Short pipe - £43.27 "
Condensor - £135.00 " (Serck)

Prices paid for work "Replace pipes and re-gas £132.19 (inc VAT and parts).All in all that cost me £256.97 (inc VAT)

" Initial leak test by mobile specialist, replace condensor, specialist revisit, test and re-gas. £353.66 (inc VAT and parts)

I make that a total of £610.63 and I have only owned the car 23months. As you can see it 'aint cheap.

Dave N please dont tell me you could have done it cheaper I only sold (gave) the car away today I'm already in trauma!!!!!!

306 Air Con Fault Diagnosis - Fullchat
Forgot to mention that the rad was looking a bit jaded ( another 306 problem! ) replaced that whilst condensor was being taken out. That was £104.67 inc VAT
306 Air Con Fault Diagnosis - Dave N
Prices don't look too bad. Pipes are now available from the aftermarket, but don't quite fit as well. And I wouldn't fit an aftermarket condensor as I can get a genuine Valeo for not much more. Agree what you say about the radiator, as if it's not leaking but is a bit old, there's every chance it will leak soon after being manhandled.
 

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