Vectra Air Con - Dan J
Con probably being the operative word.

The first day this year when I *really* needed the aircon, which I incidentally use all year, we have another minor explosion and then pfffffffffffffffft noise.

No cold air.

This is the third full set of aircon pipes I have had under warranty. I have no confidence in the current set lasting any longer than a few months.

My car is 01MY - anyone else having these problems? I can only think the piping must be under-spec or too weak but you\'d think if that was the case GM would be supplying better pipes by now.


Vectra Air Con - SjB {P}
I've had two Vectras.

97 'P' SRi Estate (2.5 V6) and a 00 'W' GSi Estate (2.5 V6).
Neither had any air con problems in a combined six years (three each) of tenureship.

Both cars were capable of belting out air that was uncomfortably cold if so desired.

Are you sure that may be your problem isn't infact excess pressure?

My brother ran two 1.8 Vectra's with air con (ie different setup), and neither of his had any problem either.

Vectra Air Con - Dynamic Dave

I\'ll move your question over to Technical Matters shortly. Hopefully our resident air con expert Dave N can advise?

In the meantime, like SjB I\'ve had no trouble with the air con on my Vectra either (X-reg). Nor has my Dad on any of his 4 Vauxhall Astras, dating back to his old \"N\" reg one right up to his current \"51\" one. I had a problem with my old Cavalier, but that was just a noisy air con pump when the engine was only ticking over.

Knowing nothing about air con apart from it blows lovely cold air in the summer, it sounds as though your system is over pressuring for some reason or other.
Vectra Air Con - steveb
Hi Dan,

I sympathise, having the same Vectra, but (as yet - touch wood etc etc) no problems with the air con.

My father in law (with the novelty car mascot) had some air con pipes replaced at his last service at no charge on his 01-Y 1.8 - some sort of standard recall/replacement issue I think. Don't know if this has a bearing on yours - different engine but presumably standard air con parts. My 2.2 in in for a 2 year service on Tuesday next week so will ask if mine is due for the same upgrade.


Vectra Air Con - Marc
Colleague had 51 plate 2.2 SRi. Aircon stopped working at around 20k. Dealer fixed it but I don't recall what the problem was.
Vectra Air Con - Dave N
The 2.2 Vectra had problems with the pipes fracturing with the movement of the engine. Replacement were exactly the same, but had an additional support where they run over the top of the engine. I believe that even with the additional support, they are still cracking. Some cars also left the factory with pipe connections lose.

Older Vectras also had pipe problems, some rubbed through on the front subframe, so VX added a 'P' clip, but they could still rub through. Others rubbed through on the side of the airbox, so VX put a large rubber sleeve around this area of the pipe. Others cracked where they enter the bulkhead, as they are long and pretty much unsupported.

Lastly, all GM cars use the same design compressor, and these are notorious for front seal leaks. Sometimes they leak steadily, other times they just let go big time. Tell-tale sign is oil thrown out from the compressor clutch. I suspect this may have happened to the original poster, or maybe a stone went thro' the condensor, as pipes don't normally suddenly go. A quick pressure test with Nitrogen should show up the problem.

I've had 3 calls about busted Vectra this week already, so none of these problems are isolated. But don't forget, I only see the broken ones, not the many that last the distance. Virtually all cars have a weak spot on the a/c, but the vectra has more than most, and VX has had plenty of time to fix them properly, but never seem to quite manage it.
Vectra Air Con - Dynamic Dave
I previously wrote:-
I've had no trouble with the air con on my Vectra...

Until today that is ;o(

Vectra 2.2 petrol, X reg.

All through the summer it has worked pefectly and used daily, chilling the car within 5 mins of switching on. However today only blowing ambient temperature air. I can hear the compressor clutch kicking in and simultaneously the engine momentarily drops in revs. Also the blower fan, if switched off, gets switched on to position one. The fuses appear to be ok, and the system was working fine yesterday. Quick look around the pipes in the engine bay doesn't show any signs of oil leakage at any of the joints.

I've read Dave N's posts and will take a closer look at the pipes he mentions tommorrow, in case any are cracked. In the meantime any other suggestions or comments Dave (or anybody else)?

Dan J, like your Vectra, mine is also still under warranty. Did you have to fork out for any charges, such as regassing the system for example?

Seems odd that it was working perfectly yesterday, but today nothing. I've previously had cars where the air con performance has dropped off over a period of time, and eventually needed regassing, but not stopped working overnight.
Vectra Air Con - Sooty Tailpipes
When my climate control packed up on the Omega, I thoyght I could hear the compressor cutting in/out as I pressed "ECO" to switch it off, but it was in fact the high current drain of the field coils in the compressor clutch momentarily loading the alternator, the compressor clutch plate had stripped the splines on the compressor's shaft and undone the nut and fallen off onto the sump tray!.

See if you can see if there is a clutch plate then the drive pulley, then compressor, (clutch plate gets pulled onto pulley by electro magnets)

Vectra Air Con - Dynamic Dave
Well this morning the compressor isn't working at all. So from looking at previous posts it would appear that the gas has leaked out somewhere to the extent that there is no longer sufficient pressure to operate the system and it has shut down. Garage time.
Vectra Air Con - steveb

I'd be interested to hear of the resolution to your problem, as mine has also shut down, and am toying with the costs/benefits of fixing what seems like a very unreliable system. If it is fixed, and then packs up in 1-2 years before selling the car, is it worth it ?

The dealer was pessimistic about a warranty fix at two years old.

Vectra Air Con - Dynamic Dave
Will do Steve.

I spoke to the main dealer today - car is booked in next week. According to the person who I spoke to at service reception, they've had a spate of recent Vectra air con failures - mainly pipework. Seems Dave N's advice above was right (not that I was ever doubting his expert knowledge of course) From what I described over the phone, they seem 99% certain the system has lost its gas. Regarding the warranty, mine runs out this Nov (when it's 3 yrs old). Depending on the fault, they can't say whether it's covered or not until they look at it.
Vectra Air Con - Dave N
DD, it's almost certainly lost it's gas, and the only reason it wouldn't be warranty is if a stone has gone through the condensor.

All non 2.2's had pipe problems, and 2.2's also had pipe problems, but with different pipes (if that makes sense). Also, some compressor seals let go. They probably don't have Nitrogen testing kit, so they'll probably gas it without a second look, dye it, and send you away. The fact that it may be pouring out in front of their eyes doesn't always mean they see it. If that's the case, make an appointment there and then to go back and get it looked at, otherwise time has a habit of passing and before you know it, it's out of warranty. Sometimes, they try and charge for gassing, saying it's natural to lose all it's gas after a couple of years. Absolute rubbish. So if you end up paying, tell them you want it back when all the gas has gone again after a week, proving it has a big leak.

If you take a look at the 2 pipes that run over the rocker cover, and see if there is a support bracket on the back side of the rocker cover. If there's no support, then they're the unmodified part. Having said that, the crappy little bracket that they retrofit isn't really man enough to support the whole pipe run, so the new pipes can still, and have, been cracking.

I'm always amazed that when you buy new pipes (not just VX ones), the plastic bag they come in weighs more than the pipe itself. I used to call it monkey metal, but that's probably offensive to monkeys and therefore banned under some PC rule, but you get the idea.
Vectra Air Con - Dynamic Dave
Thanks for the advice Dave.

By the looks of it there is only one air con pipe that that *runs* over the rocker cover, which is supported at the side of the engine with two metal p-clips with rubber between the pipe & clip. This pipe then has a 90 bend in it, followed by a connecting joint and rubber hose (wrapped in foil) that then goes to the bulkhead. No sign of a support bracket around the back of the engine. The other pipe runs along the side, between the engine and inner wing, then along the back of the bulkhead and finally ends up where the other pipe does.

In total there are 3 pipes that *run* over the rocker cover; the air con pipe, and two power steering pipes.

Unfortunately I'm entrusting someone else to drop the car off at the garage next week as I'm otherwise engaged, so I won't be able to chat with the mechanic beforehand.
Vectra Air Con - Dan J
Dan J, like your Vectra, mine is also still under warranty.
Did you have to fork out for any charges, such as
regassing the system for example?

Hi Dave. Apologies for the delay in reply, I don't spend as much time in Technical as I should!
Sorry to hear you've had aircon problems. Your description sounds identical to my last two failures. In response to your question my car was always fixed without question or charge but admittedly this was under the Network Q warranty. This has run out now and I am wondering how keen the dealer is likely to be to do a repeat performance under "dealer warranty".

When booking the car in each time I had the usual "there may be a charge depending on the problem etc" but there never has been because it's always been due to actual faults as opposed to say, a stone chip.

Good luck getting it sorted, will be interested to hear the outcome...
Vectra Air Con - Dan J
Hey Dave - did the garage manage to fix the aircon (and without cost!) in the end?

Vectra Air Con - Dynamic Dave
Hi Dan (and others),

The car was looked at by my local main dealer earlier in the week, and the outcome of it is that a pipe has fractured and is going to be replaced and re-gassed under warranty (Vaux 3yr one). They couldn't do it there and then as they need to order in a modified pipe and mounting bracket. I haven't spoken to the garage myself (just literally got back from a weeks holiday), so I have no idea what pipe has failed. It's more than likely the one Dave N mentions further up this thread though. I hope to take some pics of the pipework over the weekend, and then some more when the repair has been done. I will then post the pics on Lee's MSN site, so others can see if their Vectra's have the original, or the modified pipework. That is of course providing I take pictures of the correct pipe that has failed.
Vectra Air Con - Update - Dynamic Dave
Job done and air con now working again. Repaired free of charge under the manufacturers 3yr warranty - which, btw runs out in 2 months; phew.

Fitted new pipework that goes from the compressor, over the top of the engine, which bolts to the flexible pipe that goes to the bulkhead. A metal bracket has been fitted to help strengthen the pipe that goes over the top of the back of the engine (as mentioned by Dave N earlier in this thread) Also pipework was replaced from the compressor to the metal canister that sits next to the radiator, just behind the bumper.

Old pipework was left in the boot. Again Dave N was right about the quality of the metal used - monkey metal just about sums it up.
Vectra Air Con - pastyman
Hi Dan,
Con might be the operative word, but i have a good word to say about my local Vx main dealer. After a pipe replacement a couple of months ago along with a re-gas, my a/c system seemed to be not running right, today i took it again they checked the system over, including a re-gas again, it was a couple of grammes of gas below level, all sorted now for the princely sum of s** all.
My faith has been restored in this particular main dealer.

Vectra Air Con - Dave N
Pastyman, don't wish to spoil your party, but 'a few gramms below level' will not affect the operation. 50% below level will. If it was low enough to affect performance with the weather now colder, then you have a leak. If that's the case, then the pipe may have broken again, the other pipes that leak may also now be leaking, or a leak someplace else.

Assuming they put dye in the system, then you may need to make another appointment to have them look for the dye.
Vectra Air Con - pastyman
It was more likely to have been more than a couple of grammes, couple was a figure the fitter came out with. There was a improvement, suggesting there was more than a couples of grammes short.


Value my car