Check your radiator/condenser fan operation NOW

DanG144

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Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
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2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
Mk IV Manual AC electrical & cooling fan troubleshooting and repair

Now is the time of the year to check that your pair of electric fans that provide cooling for both the radiator and air conditioner condensor are functioning. Do not needlessly age your Air Conditioning compressor by running it at too high a pressure and temperature.
(Now being spring, with temperatures above 35 F. There are interlocks that prevent operation below freezing.)
A4's and A5's (I suspect others, too) have bad problems with radiator/condensor coolant fans not being operational.
There is no DTC or MIL light that comes on for this. No overt warning at all.
Most people do not notice anything until both of their fans have quit completely, and then they might notice that the AC compressor kicks off when at stop lights or in traffic. They may notice their AC is not as cool as normal. This is the terminal stage of this disease.
Here is the usual progression of this failure.
1)One fan slow speed operation fails, no one notices. The AC is operating at higher than normal temps and pressures, but still does a good job.
2) The second fan's slow speed operating mode quits; no one notices. The AC compressor is running even hotter and at higher pressures. When the vehicle is not moving, the pressure builds up to the high pressure point on the refrigerant pressure sensor. The high speed fans kick on, and the compressor kicks off; this lasts about 20 seconds, then the compressor kicks on and the fans kick off (they should be in slow, but that has failed. The cycle repeats about once per minute. Most people will still not notice this, as the refrigerant pressure stays high and they get some cooling.
3) The repeated cycling of the high speed fans, and their very high starting current will eventually cause some electrical connection or component to fail in the fan circuit. All fan operation is lost. This folks usually notice when they are at stop lights or in traffic, as the AC compressor will kick off and on repeatedly. Cabin cooling is usually affected, and many notice, but some think it is normal operation.
To avoid this scenario check your fan operation every time you check under the hood (every refueling, right?)
Manual AC (as opposed to Climatronic AC or Climatic AC -the transmission type is immaterial) cars, push the AC button in, place a fan in slow and leave your key to ON (engine does not have to be running). Both fans should run in slow (unless it is near freezing or your refrigerant pressure is too low.) If your AC light does not come on and your cabin fan does not work, do not proceed until you have troubleshot and fixed this problem; this is the primary signal to turn on the AC system.
Climatronic or Climatic AC cars (includes all A5 cars), with the engine running, select low cabin temperatures for climatronic or AC on fan on for Climatic, make sure you are not in ECON mode, and check your fans. Both should be running at a slow speed condition within about 30 seconds (they are infinitely variable in speed.) Again this is dependent upon not being in near freezing conditions and having adequate refrigerant pressure. Your fans key off of refrigerant pressure signals, so the compressor must be good and be loaded in order for the fans to see a high enough pressure to start.
During the engine output tests with VCDS, if there is a fan test (and there is on BEWs and BRMS) then BOTH fans should run together.
AC troubleshooting:Folks, a reminder. This thread is for solving electrical control problems in the Mk IV Air conditioning systems. If your clutch is engaging, and your fans are running, then you will not find your answer in this thread.
If your clutch is engaging and your fans are running, check out the Refrigerant Control Valve threads and the lost-foam-on-the-temperature-control dampers or flaps or doors threads. If your pressures are normal, look at the flapper doors, if the differential pressure is lower than it should be, then look at the RCV threads.
Some links to PDF papers on troubleshooting A4 fans and Manual Air conditioners. Please forward any questions or corrections to me (DanG144).
A4 fan troubleshooting
Sept 98 - May 99 Build date A4 Manual Air Conditioner Troubleshooting
Rev 7 May 99-end of A4 Manual Air Conditioner Troubleshooting.
Fan Repair
pinout of J293 Thanks to wulee
Refrigerant Pressure table vs temperature and G65 pressure transducer This is based solely on reading one (my own) pressure transducer; this is not guaranteed accurate. If you have the real calibration data, or data from your own transducer, please forward it to me.
A very kind anonymous user has generated a set of schematics for the MK IV (May99 to MY2005.) The first is one piece for easy viewing, the second is two pieces for easy printing. Thank you Anonymous.
http://pics.tdiclub.com/showphoto.php?photo=119224&title=view-ac-schematic&cat=517

http://pics.tdiclub.com/showphoto.php?photo=119223&title=air-conditioning-schematic-fans-and-ac-mk-iv&cat=517
 
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NarfBLAST

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Location
Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
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2001 Golf 5MT
DanG144 said:
Manual AC cars, push the AC button in, place a fan in slow and leave your key to ON (engine does not have to be running). Both fans should run in slow (unless it is near freezing.)

Climatronic AC cars, with the engine running, select low cabin temperatures, make sure you are not in ECON mode, and check your fans. Both should be running at a slow speed condition within about 30 seconds (they are infinitely variable in speed.) Again this is dependent upon not being in near freezing conditions.
This is a good advice! Thanks Dan! I just ran out the garage and tested both fans run without starting the engine. Just pushed the AC button and set the fan speed to the lowest setting and checked under the hood.

Also found out where the 5 to 10 second SCREECH that I heard the other day when my wife started the car came from. I am happy to say that I am sure that it did not come from one of the belt tensioners now! I heard the exact same screech this time when the fans started but it only lasted .5 seconds. I will keep my eye on this. Thanks again! Very cool that this can be tested with engine off. Very timely also.
 

shagin'wagen

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Aug 20, 2007
Location
Sherwood Park, AB
TDI
Bora
I wish that I had the opportunity to use my AC. It was -5 and snowing all day here. :( But when it does finally warm up, I'll definitely check it. I think that I might have this problem, because last summer it sometimes took quite a while for it to blow cool air. Then again, I rarely use my AC and I'm perfectly happy rolling down the highway or in town with the windows down. I'll still look into it though, I like it when things work and my dad loves the AC. :rolleyes:
 

Growler

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Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Location
Millersport, Ohio
TDI
Schmutz, 2015 Golf Sportwagen DSG & Schnurren, 2001 Golf GL 2 door 5M
Checked mine on my 2001 Golf GL.

key on, fan on low, AC button pressed.


2 fans running. Thanks for the heads up. :D
 

TDIEB

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Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Location
MA, USA
TDI
2003 Golf blue
Bad Fan?

I checked my AC fans today and saw that (1) was running. the passenger side worked but the drivers side was not working.

Should they both run with the test that is for the M/T A4?
 

egibbys

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Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
TDI
1999 Jetta TDI GLS
So I just went out and tested my fans and suprisingly they both work. The reason I'm suprised is because I have all the symptoms of the a/c cutting out all the time. I've been trying to figure this issue out since I bought the car. If there is anyone in this thread that can point me in the right direction that would be great.
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
1999.5 Jetta GLX TDI
Those of you with an A3 or B4 should also check your fan belt... yes, there is an eeeney weeney little belt connecting the two fanwheels. I've yet to see one broken, but I've seen many that were looking sad enough to need replacement. PN 1H0119137A for Jettas and 3A0119137C for Passats.

-Jason
 

DanG144

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Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
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2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
egibbys said:
So I just went out and tested my fans and suprisingly they both work. The reason I'm suprised is because I have all the symptoms of the a/c cutting out all the time. I've been trying to figure this issue out since I bought the car. If there is anyone in this thread that can point me in the right direction that would be great.
The first thing I would do would be to check the AC pressures. Yours is old enough to have lost some of its charge. If they are good, then it could beyour high/low pressure switch, your ambient temperature interlock temperature switch, your wiring or your clutch coil going bad. I listed them in the order I would suspect them.

The link below will lead to a PDF with some technical info in it that will help troubleshooting.

A4 1999.5 air conditioner check
 

03PlatinumTDI

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Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Location
Mooresville, NC.
TDI
Diesel Free after 14 years
Checked mine and surprisingly they still work on a 6 yr old car. The passenger fan is squeaking pretty good though. Anyone have any suggestions on what to do about that? Should I attempt to lubricate it?

Thanks,
Pete
 

wulee

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Jan 4, 2009
Location
Hong Kong
TDI
polo
First Thanks Dan for the excellent Fan Guide which helps a lot. I also need the help of wiring diagram and pinout of J293 to better understand and troubleshoot my problem.

I notice my A/C is not cold occasionally for months, some mechanic tell me to renew the A/C compressor/condenser/dryer etc, and some friends say change the high pressure sender.

I later notice that the AC is not cold when in traffic but not on freeway.

I then idle the engine, switch on the A/C and turn the blower to slow, the radiator/condenser fan kicks in immediately and the A/C is cold. However after 10 mins or so the fans turns OFF itself and then a moment later the A/C compressor becomes noisy and kicks off by itself.

With the help of the guides and wiring diagram, it turns out the 2nd (high) speed radiator/condenser fan circuit fails due to a broken 30A fusible link!

The 1st speed radiator/condenser fan circuit actually WORKS and this make the problem tricky in my case.

Cheers,
Andrew
 
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peace_of_soul

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Jul 17, 2008
Location
Indianapolis, IN
TDI
2000 Jetta, 2012 Passat
Dan, thanks for the write-ups and thanks to Wulee for placing links. Those will be helpful when I replace my blown drivers side fan this Saturday. The motor has locked up on it - it no longer turns freely - no wonder my a/c compressor went out last summer.
 

DanG144

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Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
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2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
Peace, you may want to look at the fan repair thread below. Many of them can be fixed with less than an hour's work.

Some links to PDF papers on troubleshooting A4 fans and Manual Air conditioners. Please forward any questions or corrections to me (DanG144).

Look in post #1 for the links.
I placed these links in the first post, also, to make them easier to find.
 
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PDJetta

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Northern Virginia
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'04 Jetta GLS TDI Pumpe Duce Platinum Grey w/ Leather
egibbys said:
So I just went out and tested my fans and suprisingly they both work. The reason I'm suprised is because I have all the symptoms of the a/c cutting out all the time. I've been trying to figure this issue out since I bought the car. If there is anyone in this thread that can point me in the right direction that would be great.
Maybe the fans are running intermittently due to engine/road vibration causing a short/loss of power. Just a thought.

--Nate
 

DanG144

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Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
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2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
PDJetta said:
Maybe the fans are running intermittently due to engine/road vibration causing a short/loss of power. Just a thought.

--Nate
That could surely be the case. And with fans as old as his it could be that the brushes have just worn so much that they are at end of life and intermittently make contact.

But I would check my refrigerant pressures/levels first, then check out my pressure control switch (he has the older pressure control switch - after build dates May '99 you have pressure control duty cycle transducers.)
 

DanG144

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Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
TDI
2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
I see all you guy's from the Frozen North check your fans and they are fine.

Here in the South I see problems with about 40% of the cars that have not had someone specifically check before.

But not too many Southerner's are posting about checking their fans.
 

jayb79

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Joined
May 20, 2000
Location
Exeter,NH
Great post Dan. I just fixed the bigger fan on my NB. It had stuck brushes. I was able to bend the tab back with a punch and when i resealed the end a couple broke but it should be fine. Thanks again.
 

Dana Hanchett

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Mar 6, 2000
Location
Milford, Ma. U.S.A
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2011
Thanks DanG144 my large drivers side fan has quite after the winter. Please take the time to test your fan operation. My buddy did and his both have stopped after they started.:) :)
 

LurkerMike

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Feb 1, 2006
Location
Atlanta Jawja
TDI
-Whitey: 2000 Jetta GLS, Red: 2000 Jetta GLS 5-speed
Hi Dan,

My driver's side fan was inop. I could never get the radiator thermoswitch unplugged to jump there. How the heck do you get the $#!@&% plug off?

I tried pushing in on the what I thought was the latch release on the backside but it won't budge. I removed the fan and the skid plate and still could not man handle it off.

So I gave up and hotwired the fan to the battery... nothing... (my fuse is a quick hand to disconnect the circuit if there is a problem...)

I used a hacksaw to cut the bent ears off that hold the dust cover on the end of the fan. I used a file to file the sides of these bent tabs down so the cover would fit back on nicely.

I found the brushes had melted the corners inside their plastic guides so I used a very small screwdriver to scrape the melted corners relatively smooth.

The armature was black so I burnished it with 400 grit sandpaper and I gently scraped between the copper plates just enough to see a gap between them.

After reassembly the fan worked like a charm.

Now I'm moving on to why the A/C stopped working a few weeks ago, despite not having been able to do the high speed fan test yet.
 

DanG144

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Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
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2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
I think you should have used 800 grit emory cloth instead of sandpaper, otherwise a good job.

So you only had one bad fan, not two?

The electrical plug on the thermoswitch is typical VW. Theoretically all you have to do is squeeze the tab inward while pulling gently outward on the plug.

Typically, though, especially the first time I remove a plug, I have problems. I often have to push in on the plug very hard, then while squeezing the tab, wiggle it vigorously from side to side. Sometimes I have to use a screwdriver under the edge of the plug to pry a bit. Sometimes it just takes perseverance.

I will email you my latest AC troubleshooting guide revision. It is not quite ready for publication here (should be next weekend) but it has some info that may help you.

Dan
 

ta79pr

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Sep 18, 2005
Location
Lexington, SC
TDI
02 TTQ (BEW)
are the low and high wires two sets of brushes within the fan? NEVERMIND, i see the internal pics now - I guess it is just a resistor(s). I have high speed operation but no low speed. is there a common reason the low doesnt work, wiring\module, etc.?
 
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BrianCT

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Feb 11, 2006
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TDI
DanG144 said:
I see all you guy's from the Frozen North check your fans and they are fine. ...
DanG144,

I just performed your test with A/C switch on, fan position on [1] and ignition key turned on [motor not running]. Both fans ran at slow speeds as designated.

Thanks for taking the time to put this altogether for us.:D

Dunno 'bout the rest of these Northern folkes, but I never use my A/C. In the past 6.5 years and 225,000 miles of ownership since new I may have used it 1/2 dozen times [thanks to your write up I'm reassured it's working].
 
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