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Old 07-16-2016, 02:01 PM   #1
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'03 986S with AC problem

Car had never given me any AC issues until just now. Got back in the car after a day of errands and nothing. More specifically, none of the fans come on in the cabin, I don't hear the AC compressor cut in (but I could be wrong), I can work the AC controls and all the right things happen -- display changes temp with a push of buttons, fan shows more/fewer bars, snowflake button switched display from/to auto.

Anyone want to suggest a diagnostic procedure, or offer advice from their own history? AC had been working fine until just now

FYI the car has 102k miles and is stock. Not sure if I imagined it, but the key seemed stiff when I was turning off the car

Thanks, Carlos


Last edited by Cbonilla; 07-16-2016 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 07-16-2016, 04:10 PM   #2
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Start with checking the fuse?
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Old 07-16-2016, 04:12 PM   #3
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I'm planning on doing that once the t storms pass. I will report back
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Old 07-16-2016, 05:21 PM   #4
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I checked the three fuses listed as being part of the heat/AC system. All checked out with a continuity tester

But as I was power cycling the car the fans came on momentarily. I then discovered that if I turned the key back a fraction from the run position the fans came on and I could hit the snowflake button and the compressor would kick in and start cooling the cabin.

i feel points to my ignition switch as the culprit. I know these are a problem areas on these cars.
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:28 PM   #5
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Had exact same problem in a 98 years ago. Ignition switch R/R solved it.
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:31 PM   #6
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Good to know as confirmation. Who would have believed (without a lot of times spent on forums trying to understand the intricacies of Porsches ) that that would run and that an accessory would not run ?
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:38 PM   #7
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It's the lovely design of the Volkswagen part. However, at least unlike the VWs, it doesn't burn out the ignition wiring as well...

Basically when it fails, it allows the car to start/run but doesn't engage the accessories. I'd guess the wipers and other items probably won't be working in your case, but that could be different.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:10 AM   #8
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With the luxury of not chasing gaps in the rain I can confirm that it's not just AC that doesn't work. Wipers do not either, and who knows what else. All of this works if I back the key off gently from its full RUN position

I'll ping pelican for the electric part of the switch tomorrow
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:51 PM   #9
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Switch was available at my local NAPA.
In the 98 Box, when my AC blower wouldn't work, either would the stereo!
Ignition switch solved all.

In my 2000 S, the problem presented itself with interior lights that didn't want to turn off.
Again, new switch, no more problems.
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:58 AM   #10
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I will probably order one that Pelican lists as OEM, or buy one from the dealer. A little wary of Chinese electronics, and I assume the Napa one is. Anyone know if th OEM that pelican sells for about $28 is Chinese ?


Last edited by Cbonilla; 07-19-2016 at 05:59 AM.
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