Astra air conditioning - renard
I have had a Vauxhall Astra 1996 16v estate for 10 months. I'm not sure whether the air conditioning is working properly. During the winter, it took a long time to clear condensation (friends say theirs clear the windscreen in minutes). And during the recent hot weather, it was pretty useless at cooling the car interior - so bad, in fact, that eventually we had to open the windows to get some relief from the heat. My only other experience of AC is in an American hire car, when it worked superbly at reducing extremely high Californian temperatures to chill, so I am very disappointed at the Astra's performance. Should I expect poor AC on the Astra, or is something wrong? I should add that I try to run the AC every week to keep it in order, although of course I don't know whether previous owners have done the same. Also, I don't know much about car mechanics, so would appreciate layman's answers to my query!!
Astra air conditioning - No Do$h
so would appreciate layman's answers to my query!!

In simple terms, it sounds like it's knackered. I've never had aircon take more than about 90 seconds to clear the inside of the mistiest (is that a word?) screen, although it can take two or three minutes to start to noticably cool on the hottest days.

A/c is a bit of a specialist area so your best bet is going to be digging out the good old yellow pages and finding an A/c specialist in your area before getting some quotes for a diagnosis.

Sorry.... :o(
Astra air conditioning - Dynamic Dave
The car is 7 yrs old, if the air con has never had a service or a top up of gas, it's long overdue for it. Resident air con experts here have suggested that an air con system loses between 5 to 10% of it's gas anually. If the previous owner didn't use it all that regularly then you could be looking at additional problems, such as dried out seals on the compressor.

ps, this thread will get moved across to Tech Matters later today.
Astra air conditioning - Ian (Cape Town)
And by sheer coincidence this is on a local motoring site!...
Topic: astra a/con
Astra air conditioning - John S

Yes, sounds like it needs some work. My 2002 Astra clears the screen very quickly in winter - the condensation starts to clear almost as soon as the system is switched on.

If my experience of American hire cars is anything to go by, you won't find it seems as powerful, even when fixed, but I've found it will do a pretty good job in summer too.


John S
Astra air conditioning - renard
Thanks to all who gave me their advice. I will have to consult an AC specialist - looks as if I am going to have to dig into the wallet!
Regards to all

Value my car