Espace air-con. - David Woollard
I look after a '96 Espace with air-con. Yesterday met the owner in a social situation who said it had just failed, blowing warm air she said. When asked if it would cost more than £30 to fix (sort of) I replied with the potential for huge bills on this. I'll just leave it broken was the reply, a very common one for a 5yr old car with air-con problems.

This is one particularly for Dave N, any likely causes of faults on this age of Espace? Any particular air-con firms in Cambs that would be good to look at this?

I have read the HJ faq on this and noted the advised contacts there.

Re: Espace air-con. - Darcy Kitchin

My '96 Synergie air-con started blowing warm last month. I had it recharged by the local Citroen dealer for £65. It now works perfectly. The mechanic said it was normal to need recharging at 3-5 years but it should be tackled immediately so that the compressor has some lubrication. Nothing lasts for ever.

Incidentally, the thought of driving around in our ever-hotter climate in a vehicle with the heat-gathering capability of a greenhouse appals me.
Re: Espace air-con. - Dave N
Do you know how much they recovered from you system? That will tell us if it natural leakage, or a proper leak. They should have told you the weight of refrigerant.
Re: Espace air-con. - Darcy Kitchin
No they didn't, it's only since reading threads on this site that I've become aware of the significance of weight of refrigerant. It did go back in for a leak check last week which they did for goodwill. Mental note to ask next time I'm there ...
Re: Espace air-con. - Dave N
It's quite often the response I get also when quoting repairs. The common areas, though it's a little early, is the condenser in front of the rad, the small flex pipe from the condenser to the dryer, and the large flex from the compressor, up past the exhaust manifold (great idea) to the bulkhead. For this you will need to strip the heat protection covering to look for 'dampness'. Fortunatley it has worked lately, so gas leaks should be easier to spot by a slightly wet/dirty patch. Use a good torch and look for anything a slightly different colour, sometimes not much oil gets pulled out with the refrigerant. Inspect all the pipes and joints thoroughly for this. If it stopped working suddenly there is always a chance a stone has bust the condensor, and in this case you may not see any oil stains. Pressurising the system should show this up easily. Condensers are about £375 or £500 from main dealer, so sit her down before you tell her any bad news. Even the little bit of short hose is £60, though you can make these up for less. Of course, being a Renault, and an Espace, it could quite easily be a relay, maybe even a fan relay, as if the fans stop, then system will over pressure and stop cooling. Most of the relays are standard fare, but tend to be scattered all over the place.

See if it's got any gas first, then go from that. You can do this by quickly depressing one of the service ports, but be careful! It may be that it has gas, but not enough pressure to switch on. You can tell this by disconnecting the pressure switch on the filter dryer, down on the RHS as you look in the engine bay, looks like a cannister, and checking for continuity between 2 of the wires into the switch. There are 4 wires, but go across any 2, then try another combination and so on, to see if any have continuity. If you can't find anything, then it hasn't got enough gas, and you can start at the top of this reply! Of course, the switch could be busted, but this is not so usual. It may be that the compressor is running, but no cooling, in which case it may be extremely low on gas, but not yet enough to trigger the low pressure switch.

Don't be tempted just to ask for a regas, as that is all you may get, which may either solve the problem for a short while, or not at all if it's electrical. So have a good look first.
Re: Espace air-con. - David Woollard

Thank you so much for the generous advice. I think you have confirmed why I point air-con problems at the specialists. I will look in the yellow pages and pick a firm for her locally. Even if I sussed the fault I couldn't do the re-gass so best to give her a "one stop" result rather than try myself and fail.

At least you have given me some understanding for discussion next time I see her in the "social situation".

Thanks Darcy also.

Re: Espace air-con. - peter todd
going back to earlier a/c session & question of do you leave it on or off & how it drags the engine down, well us country bumpkins with a/c on todays ag tractors & a digital dash can tell you that the revs at idle will drop by 30-50 rpm & when hitched up to a dyno on the pto the a/c will consume approx 3hp at full revs.
backing up dave n, don't go for a regas- get it fixed by an independant specialist- or a good /recomended garage, theres lots of easy money & fools to seperate out there!

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