Which cars have reliable air con systems - Steveieb

Driving round with my windows down because my air con repair will cost twice as much as the car is worth I noticed how many cars are in the same position.

The exception is my DIL s Yaris Y reg.

But which makes and models have a good track record?

As this repair is so expensive and expertise seems so difficult to find as its such a seasonal requirement.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - gordonbennet

Not had any issues with Toyota or Subaru systems as such, only trouble has been by external damage to the pipes which can hardly be blamed on the maker and in that case the system fired straight up perfectly once repair was made.

12 year old Subaru working perfectly, might never have been regassed by the look of things, previous Subaru gave no bother either when sold at 16 years (though the heater iyself was nothing to write home about), 15 year old Landcruiser working perfectly but i have spotted a tiny seepage from a pipe underneath going to the rear aircon unit (its a dual system) so that will get fixed soon as i can find a decent chap for the job.

Going back a while but one Merc W124 estate we had came with the mother of all service histories, the aircon has been repaired twice in ten years both times well into 4 figure sums and was once again broken, haven't a clue how good or bad later cars might be.

Daughter's Honda Civic the compressor (i believe) packed up after some 9 years, as i recall that was a £500 job using an aftermarket unit.

Sons 2013 CRV again the compressor failed at year 4 or 5, not uncommon, thankfully under Honda aproved used warranty so repair costs of some £1400 were covered, a rear wheel bearing failed on the same car (approx 30k miles) @ about £400 cost.

edit, forgot, the family Aygo now 10 years and over 100k its still working fine.

Edited by gordonbennet on 04/08/2020 at 16:14

Which cars have reliable air con systems - RT

Aircon shouldn't just be used when it's hot, that's why they fail!

Aircon should be used all year round, takes the heat out in summer, the moisture out in winter and keeps the seals well lubricated.

Getting a stone through the condenser, causing a leak, is difficult to avoid or predict in advance which cars are less prone.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - madf

Our 2003 Yaris aircon needs its second regas but all parts work and are original.

Our 2012 Honda Jazz airon has never been regassed and is still giving ice cold air.

Aircon left on all the time in our ownership..

Which cars have reliable air con systems - nellyjak

I only buy Toyota...never had an issue tbh..apart from one re-gas many years ago on my wife's first Yaris..had three Yaris since and no issues.

My own cars have never needed any air-con attention at all...all Toyota.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - corax

Pick the model of your choice and look at CBCB on this site. There will be any weaknesses listed, including aircon systems.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - mcb100
I’m sure there’s a chunk of people driving around with windows down despite having a fully functioning aircon system.
Which cars have reliable air con systems - bathtub tom
I’m sure there’s a chunk of people driving around with windows down despite having a fully functioning aircon system.

I wonder if they're the ones with outdoor, patio heaters?

Which cars have reliable air con systems - badbusdriver

My MIL's last car was a Kia Rio which she got new near the end of the first scrappage scheme. It had air con, but i'm not sure she ever used it during the 10 years she had it. According to my wife, she doesn't like having any air blowing on her face!.

She now has a top of the range Hyundai i10, went for it specifically because it has an electric glass sunroof (as well as climate control). Prefers to have that open for fresh air.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - John F

Our Xreg (Dec2000) Focus Estate needed a re-gas in Jun 2018. The aircon in my nearly 15yr old Audi A8 still works fine - as expected in their erstwhile flagship car.

I don't think it should be used all the time in the winter - once or twice a month is quite enough for clutch, seals and bearing longevity, avoiding unnecessary wear, tear and power loss.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - dan86

You MAY remember I posted back on May or June my AC in the 2010 suzuki needed a new compressor, maybe I was unlucky but I was happy to pay the money for working AC it had a regas shortly before the compressor packed up but prior to the regas was still blowing old air albeit bot ice cold,

Which cars have reliable air con systems - dan86
I’m sure there’s a chunk of people driving around with windows down despite having a fully functioning aircon system.

Id rather pay the cost of a few les mpg and have comfortable cool driving than swelter feeling uncomfortable.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - Metropolis.
I am not about to claim it is the most reliable system in the world, but my Discovery 2 v8 has excellent aircon, 2004 MY and still going strong. It needed a regas 1 year ago and has been fine since. The actual system is a Denso compressor and the dual zone climate control display is a Denso unit which I have not seen used anywhere else. Even has a separate (and I mean properly separate with its own condenser unit contained in tucked away part of the boot) system for the rear passengers which works wonders keeping my groceries cool on hot days, and the dog/passengers particularly in the rearmost 6/7th seats. 7 people in a car with this many windows, despite them being tinted, could be extremely uncomfortable without it. However did we used to cope before?

I believe the trick is to always use it, I follow this rule with every aspect of my cars. The system in my Land Rover is by default set to ON. To turn it off I have to pro-actively press the ECON button, which I never do. If I get 12mpg around town already, I’m in the wrong market to worry about any mpg penalty of AC, although I gather having windows down can be detrimental as well.

The only vehicle I have witnessed aircon problems with was a Mercedes, and despite a well known local mercedes specialist being paid to fix it for a small fortune, it never really worked. A colleague had a similar issue with theirs, both similar vintage CLKs albeit one was a 200 and one was a 500. Honda do not have a good reputation with this either, if word on the street in HK is to be believed, and they really need it there!

Being in traffic on a blistering hot day with the AC cold enough to need a jumper is still the height of luxury to me, what a nerd I am..
Which cars have reliable air con systems - ifekas

I don't know whether it's still the case but Toyotas used to have NipponDenso air conditioning (Denso is partly owned by Toyota) which is particularly good and cold. Denso makes a/c systems for much larger vehicles such as buses so they should know how to make it reliable.

Of the Japanese makes, I have known more than one with a Honda with compressor faults that have been troublesome and very expensive to put right so probably best avoid this make. A Skoda I had developed a fault with the system; it would still cool but not efficiently despite having it re gassed multiple times; having said that, it is likely that the VW group would source a/c from a variety of manufacturers.

My KIA aircon is ice cold but had to have a new condenser at nine years old as it had perished - not a stone chip but I think the road salt etc had taken its toll. It was easily fixed though with the regas cost over 100 pounds.

But as others have pointed out, on some systems if the a/c is not switched on regularly, the oil in the system will not circulate resulting in the seals etc perishing over time. I'm not sure this is still true as even when I have the a/c off at times I can still hear the refrigerant circulating in the system just after I turn the ignition off; unless I am confusing the noise with something else but it's quite a distinctive noise.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - SLO76
Not massively important at my end of the market or in my part of the country (West coast of Scotland) but I have been very lucky with A/C over the years. I’ve yet to have one fail me even a £300 Fiesta 1.25 LX, £300 Ford Cougar V6, £500 Peugeot 306 LX, £1250 Toyota Avensis and an Astra SXi that cost me £1,000.

The only one that failed me was the £300 Mondeo I took on a banger challenge to Europe but a local garage kindly offered to fit a replacement compressor for free as we were collecting for charity. It was a Godsend going through France and Italy in summer. The smells from the inside of another teams Scorpio Hea*** with 5 lager filled bodies and no A/C plus a knackered HG was biblical.

But from trading experience I have found many an old Ford with rotten A/C pipework and knackered compressors, it’s a bit of a weak point in Honda’s too. But to me it’s merely a bonus to find working A/C on a cheap car. A window which opens was enough for all of us in the 70’s and 80’s.

Edited by SLO76 on 05/08/2020 at 00:08

Which cars have reliable air con systems - SLO76

Should correct that.., the Mondeo which did fail wasn’t owned by me, it was a team car owned by 4 of us and was fixed for free so I’m not counting it.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - Steveieb

Is it true that reliability has gone down since the new refridgerant has been used ? Surely older systems can’t work right with the new eco friendly stuff ?

Which cars have reliable air con systems - pd

By far and away the most common thing is a leak due to a rotten condensor at the front of the car. They get covered in salt, stuffed with leaf mould and various other things rot through and spring a leak.

What then happens is the owner does not fix it and then when finally when someone does the system hasn't run for so long there is something else seized like the compressor.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - daveyjp

The only time we had problems were both Mercedes. Both our A class and B class had failures at about 5 years old.

No issue with Subaru at almost 6 years. Lots of Denso kit under the bonnet.

When Toyota UK first started manufacturing they used UK built Denso cooling radiators, but they now use an alternative supplier.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - Steveieb

I have a dense compressor fitted to my A4 Pd and there is no drive to the system I was told.The first signs that it was seized was that the pulley bolt fell off.
im told by elekie doc that the drive shaft breaks internally which can pollute the whole system effectively writing off the car.

These cars are driven mostly by Eastern European’s who seem to get them fixed when returning home !

Which cars have reliable air con systems - gordonbennet

These cars are driven mostly by Eastern European’s who seem to get them fixed when returning home !

Not just these types of fixes, chaps i know have bought cars here, driven them home to Poland for a couple of weeks holiday and got them LPG converted whilst there for between 1/3 and 1/2 the typical cost in the UK, envious? not half.

Which cars have reliable air con systems - elekie&a/c doctor
From my experience, I would say since the introduction of the new gas, around 5 years ago, reliability in car ac systems had gone down the pan . I’ve seen cars barely 3 years old with non functioning ac . My neighbour has a 2 year old BMW , where the ac packed up in May .
 

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