My son came back from school and said the AC on his '96 Vision TSI (3.5L
DOHC LH) was not working properly. I took a quick look and the AC belt is
completely gone! Based on the fact that the belt was only 2 years old and I
found some of the belt's rubber left on the AC compressor pulley, I suspect
the compressor may have seized.
Since I have only limited experience with automotive AC systems, I'd
appreciate some info from someone in the know. Here are the symptoms:
- The pulley on the compressor and the idler pulley both turn fine/smoothly
- The clutch still energizes when the AC control is enabled and locks up the
- I can't turn the clutch on the compressor or the pulley when it is
engaged at all by hand.
I am reluctant to install a new belt without knowing if the compressor is
working properly. Specifically, should the outer clutch be able to turn by
hand before it is engaged? How much force should this take? Is there any
procedure to determine what specific component has failed?
Unfortunately, the FSM is away at the school so I don't have it here to help
diagnose this problem. At this point, I suspect the system is still
pressurized or else the AC clutch would not engage. I also suspect that the
compressor may be seized since I can't imagine why a 2 year old belt would
otherwise burn up on the pulley and then self-destruct.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts. He is going back to school tomorrow
afternoon, so I'd like to do further diagnosis and know what is bad before