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fiat2
06-04-2014, 12:49 AM
Hello,

My 500 Pop has about 14.5K miles on it and I think that there is something wrong with the car's air conditioner. It seems to, about every 15 seconds, to fluctuate in temperature. For example, ice cold to cool, ice cold to cool, etc. Not sure if this is a small concern or just the beginning of a major a/c issue. Should I call my local studio? Thanks in advance.

Edit: I'm still comfortably cool in my 500, I just want to make sure it won't turn into a bigger problem.

bryanintowson
06-04-2014, 07:50 AM
As I understand it I think this has been discussed here before. If I recall, this is because the HVAC unit cycles the compressor on and off while it is in operation. It will do this regardless of whether you have the digital controls or the rotary knobs.

Alec
06-04-2014, 07:57 AM
I've asked about this behavior as well, both as a studio employee and as an owner. The consensus is that the 500 cycles the A/C compressor more than most vehicles and that it's normal. I even had my refrigerant volume checked and it was perfect.

msjulie33
06-04-2014, 09:28 AM
I've asked about this behavior as well, both as a studio employee and as an owner. The consensus is that the 500 cycles the A/C compressor more than most vehicles and that it's normal. I even had my refrigerant volume checked and it was perfect.

I believe I've noticed this as well - at idle it's quite likely to cycle off the A/C which makes sense considering a tiny engine and the load/heat generated while stopped.

SeaDawg
06-04-2014, 09:56 AM
My recollection from many years ago is this is called a 'cycling orifice tube' system which is designed to cause the compressor to cycle on and off to improve gas mileage without a major degradation in cabin comfort.

italophile
06-04-2014, 02:52 PM
I've noticed the same thing from the very beginning. I've had two studios check it and they both say it's normal. That may be, but it's still annoying as the cooling is pretty marginal unless I turn the fan up to 'hearing damage', aka position 4.

Does anyone know of a way to get the system to run continuously? I'd gladly give up an MPG or two to gain some cooling.

fiat2
06-04-2014, 05:14 PM
Ahh, I see. Thanks guys for your input. That's what I was thinking logically, but I wasn't sure. Otherwise, it's the greatest car I've ever owned. It's so much fun to drive. -Pete

bryanintowson
06-05-2014, 10:07 AM
I've found that putting a sunshade in the sunroof/glass roof makes a world of difference. Keeping the car cooler overall from a windshield sun shade and a sunroof sunshade helps the AC have less of a difficult time getting the car cooled in the first place. Remember, its not the air thats really hot, it's the surfaces that are radiating heat into the cabin.

The sunroof shade can be left in and will make life better.

SeaDawg
06-05-2014, 01:40 PM
AND, ceramic tint is worth EVERY penny if you live in Florida or the Southwest!

SeaDawg
06-05-2014, 01:52 PM
I've noticed the same thing from the very beginning.
Does anyone know of a way to get the system to run continuously? I'd gladly give up an MPG or two to gain some cooling.

It IS normal. The only suggestion I might have is to put the system on MAX cool which is going to cause it to recirculate the cabin air. If you smoke, it will make your eyes burn and the cabin smell like a burned out house. But if the coil temperature gets too cold or the suction pressure too low, the compressor will still cut in and out.

Investing in good CERAMIC tint, is more than worth the $250 (approximately) initial cost. That normally takes care of the front and rear side windows and the hatch window. The sunroof may or may not be extra.

janaheim
06-05-2014, 02:04 PM
It IS normal. The only suggestion I might have is to put the system on MAX cool which is going to cause it to recirculate the cabin air. If you smoke, it will make your eyes burn and the cabin smell like a surned out house. But if the coil temperature gets too cold or the suction pressure too low, the compressor will still cut in and out.

Investing in good CERAMIC tint, is more than worth the $250 (approximately) initial cost. That normally takes care of the front and rear side windows and the hatch window. The sunroof may or may not be extra.

+1

italophile
06-05-2014, 03:04 PM
Well, I have the manual A/C controls but I don't usually recirculate the air because it's so much noisier. Plus, it seems to take a quite while to get the cabin air cooler than the outside air anyway, and I figure I should be using air from whatever the coolest source is.

I've been thinking pretty hard about getting the windows tinted. I know it'll reduce heat and UV fading in the interior, increase privacy, and even help keep a shattered window together, but I just don't like the way tinted windows look. What makes ceramic tint better? How dark do I have to go to make an appreciable difference in temperature?

fiat2
06-05-2014, 03:08 PM
I want to tint, but it's illegal to do it on the main windshield, as well as the driver and passenger windows, in NJ. :(

SeaDawg
06-05-2014, 05:58 PM
Well, I have the manual A/C controls but I don't usually recirculate the air because it's so much noisier. Plus, it seems to take a quite while to get the cabin air cooler than the outside air anyway, and I figure I should be using air from whatever the coolest source is.

I've been thinking pretty hard about getting the windows tinted. I know it'll reduce heat and UV fading in the interior, increase privacy, and even help keep a shattered window together, but I just don't like the way tinted windows look. What makes ceramic tint better? How dark do I have to go to make an appreciable difference in temperature?

I think different areas may interpret tint %'s differently, but here in FL I had 15% on the rear side windows and rear hatch and either 30 or 35% on the front side windows. The law varies state by state and some states do not allow the front side windows to be tinted at all. Your tint shop should be able to show you samples and also know the law in your area.

atomicflounder
06-05-2014, 06:10 PM
I had dark tints on my R53. They were not legal, but I only got a hard time given once at inspection. They don't check it anymore though, and I passed 2 years later. However, cops can give you a hard time about it, in NJ, most won't give you a hard time, some will though.

http://www.tintlaws.com

smark
06-05-2014, 06:25 PM
Normal all vehicle's AC cycle.

Alec
06-05-2014, 06:42 PM
I've been thinking pretty hard about getting the windows tinted. I know it'll reduce heat and UV fading in the interior, increase privacy, and even help keep a shattered window together, but I just don't like the way tinted windows look. What makes ceramic tint better? How dark do I have to go to make an appreciable difference in temperature?

Good ceramic tint blocks out not only 99% UV but also most of the infrared as well. This really cuts down on heat penetration into the car. I have 40% ceramic and like it a lot. It's not very dark but just enough to not look like a fishbowl. It cuts down on glare and a lot of the heat. After being parked all day in the Houston Summer heat with a windshield shade, the car cools down well within 5 minutes.

My tint is CarbonXP by Suntek.

fiat2
06-06-2014, 12:06 AM
I had dark tints on my R53. They were not legal, but I only got a hard time given once at inspection. They don't check it anymore though, and I passed 2 years later. However, cops can give you a hard time about it, in NJ, most won't give you a hard time, some will though.

http://www.tintlaws.com

Oh ok, thanks for the link. Good to know.

fiat2
06-21-2014, 08:00 PM
I'm the OP. It seems there may be an issue. As soon as I turn on the A/C, after starting up the 500, it makes a loud banging/knocking noise. As I'm in the car, if I turn it off and on, it doesn't make it - only after turning on the car for the first time. I called the studio and left them a voicemail to call me on Monday. It's been doing this for the past 7-10 days. Is my compressor done?

bryanintowson
06-22-2014, 09:02 AM
My AC makes a horrid clattering sound and bang when engaging for the first time. While driving, when it cycles on it makes a very audible click/bang. The AC works fine so I assume this is normal.