Anyone else have insufficient air conditioning? - Volkswagen Atlas Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone else have insufficient air conditioning?

I purchased my wife's SEL model last August/September. 26k miles on it now with really no issues other than the air conditioning. We live in NH and with some of these extremely hot days we have not been able to get the car down to cool/comfortable temperatures. We have 3 kids in car seats and even they are complaining it's hot in the car.
We routinely need to have the blower on full blast just to maintain comfort. I know heating/cooling is subjective and dependent on many factors, but comparing this air conditioning to other vehicles in the same conditions, it really comes up short.

Is the air conditioning a known week point in the Atlas? Or perhaps I just have a problem with ours. I have an appointment to get it checked next week, but wanted to get some other opinions before bringing it in.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 04:20 PM
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It should be able to cool down to roughly 30* below ambient air temp. Get a digital thermometer and stick it in the vent with max ac on and see if you're getting that temp (with outside air, recirculate would be cooler)

2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE w/ Technology
4Motion, Towing Package, Running boards, Kurkuma Yellow

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 06:20 PM
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What are you setting your unit on? I leave mine on auto/sync 100% of the time and let it figure out how to best be efficient w/r to outside vs. recirc etc. - no issues here in VA with 100 deg days. It's a large interior to cool and I have noticed if left outside, it will take a while to really cool down vs. being stored in the garage. I use a sunshade on the windshield and keep the sunroof shade closed if outside. There have been folks that have said their systems were low on refrigerant which would certainly cause insufficient cooling. I would definitely just take it in. Also some noting that the blend door for heat/cool is not functioning correctly so several things that others have noted. Good luck!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try the thermometer idea and see if it can get down 30 below ambient. I'm about 99% sure that it will not cool the inside to 65 on a 95 day.

We put it on 'max AC' and I've tried both recirc and outside air. We do not have a garage so the inside gets got when sitting in the driveway with the windows up of course. I have a 2002 Chevy Venture minivan that can cool the interior better/faster than my 2018 Atlas!

There must be something wrong with it, I'm curious if others have noticed this as well, hopefully not and it's just something that can be fixed. I'd like to put my hand up the vent and feel COLD air, not just cool air. Thanks for the replies so far.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 06:54 AM
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Next time just set it on "auto" and set it at 72 (and "sync") and see how that is vs. "max"...just leave it alone and let it do it's thing. Max just turns the fan to full and the recirc. I believe that max is actually causing some of the issue b/c you are taking air inside the vehicle that is well over 100 and trying to cool it vs. outside air which is going to be in the 90s. Sounds like you have something wrong, but worth playing with while you wait to take it in.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 02:45 PM
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No problem with the A/C cooling down the Atlas here in the south Texas heat and high humidity.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 10:02 PM
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My wife and I were wondering if anyone else had the same issue actually. It doesn't cut it for us. We've had it San Antonio and it spends most of its time in north Alabama. For reference, our Atlas is black, but we have formula one pinnacle tint all the way around, with air80 on the windshield. I do it to all of the vehicles I've owned, and I wouldn't want to imagine a summer in our Atlas without such a strong heat rejecting tint. When we set it to "auto" it sets the fan to "bare minimum blow" at whatever temp we have it set on with an occasional ramp up. It pretty much lives on "MAX AC" or "auto" then me manually cranking the fan to 30-50%. In short, the air in our Atlas doesn't cut it.

Please let me know what your dealer says. I've got VERY bad blood with my VW dealer here in Huntsville and refuse to take mine there.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 10:44 PM
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So auto at what temp setting? If you set it at 72 for instance and set the sync so all zones are set to 72, it will be at min. fan speed if the interior is hot? Ours does what you would expect....at start up and these settings it will blow full tilt until the temp reaches 72 and then back down. In auto, I see the fan speed b/c I set that using OBD11..nice to see what you are getting in terms of the fan speed.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by KarstGeo View Post
So auto at what temp setting? If you set it at 72 for instance and set the sync so all zones are set to 72, it will be at min. fan speed if the interior is hot? Ours does what you would expect....at start up and these settings it will blow full tilt until the temp reaches 72 and then back down. In auto, I see the fan speed b/c I set that using OBD11..nice to see what you are getting in terms of the fan speed.
For me, it's auto at about 68 degrees. 72 would burn us out of the car because the fan just doesn't blow. At 68 it mixes cooler air enough to tolerate if we've finally got it chilled down enough from Max. Good question though! I should have specified what temp I maintained auto at.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 09:36 AM
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^^^almost sounds like the system's thermometer sensors aren't working correctly vs. the air being blow isn't cold enough. I did some testing last night with a thermometer in the vents. Auto/sync at 72, ambient at 85, running vehicle for ~10 min parked yielded air out the front registers of ~40 deg, second row ~50 deg, and third row ~60 deg. Have you tested yours? A basic kitchen/meat thermometer is all you need. (mine is digital). Keep in mind (I know folks shoudl know this but just to be sure) that the air out of the vents is whatever temp it is and the setting of the system is just the target for the system to reach so air out of vents at the system set to 60 is the same temp as it is when it's set to 72). Also, you can't be in "auto" and have it on recirc, auto is always outside air (as far as I have seen) so when you hit max or hit recirc it kicks it out of auto mode into manual and the fan will not blow at full speed unless you set it to. The manual says to not use recirc unless you really are trying to avoid outside odors.
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