Advice on A/C for a 550 - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-06-2013, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Advice on A/C for a 550

Hello all,

I just joined FerrariLife and I own a 550. Recently I have had some issues with my air conditioning unit. The fan seems to work but no matter how low I set the temperature dial nothing seems to change in terms of air temperature in the cabin. Needless to say it gets very hot inside the car. I took it to the local Ferrari dealer and they reset the A/C unit using the computer. They told me that if that didn't work I would need to change the A/C unit. After the reset it seemed to work for a while but now it stopped working again. Has anyone encountered this problem and if so are there any other possible options or potential sources for this type of issue. I would like to try and avoid replacing the A/C unit which I am assuming is very expensive. Thank you for your ideas and advice.

550Nick
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-06-2013, 02:31 PM
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Nick, try to see if there's any oily residue around the front of the A/C compressor. Our cars use a Harrison (now Delphi) V5 compressor which is known for front seal failures, and leakage from between the case halves. Rebuilt compressors are available from several sources.

Another problem area with the 550 are the hoses leading to & from the condenser. Ferrari in their wisdom routed these hoses under the frame rails, so other than the undercover, they're the lowest point in the system and if/when you bottom out, it's likely the A/C hoses that are cushioning the blow of the bottoming . They wear through eventually and require to be replaced, and the sharper techs will also reroute them to a less exposed area.

Lastly, the schrader valves in the gauge ports are known leakers, especially on the high side. Fortunately Nissan schrader valves fit just fine, so don't get talked into a new hose for $600 if it's only a schrader valve that's leaking.

Our compressors are the first generation of variable displacement technology, so they run all the time, whenever the A/C is on. They do not cycle like most compressors, but adjust their output automagically to the needs of the system. Bottom line, if the A/C is "supposed" to be on, have a look at the A/C compressor and see if the clutch is engaged. If it's not, there's something wrong with the system, and it's liable to be a leak.

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

Maranello Skunkworks Team Member
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-07-2013, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Advice on A/C for a 550

Thank you very much John. This is very helpful and I will explore all of the possibilities that you have outlined for me. I will let you know how it turns out. Have a great day.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-10-2013, 04:13 PM
 
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I had similiar issues with my 550 system a few years ago , basically traced to refrigerant leaks. I am unsure if your system is charged, then leaks down or if you have electrical or compressor clutch issues. This is the first thing that needs to be determined. If you have a full refrigerant charge that slowly vanishes, then you should chase down all the suspect areas described above, particularly those valves and compressor seal. My problem was a broken bracket halfway to the unit , probably damaged by its low mounting position which tweaked the connection on the hose enough to let refrigerant to escape slowly. I would also suggest taking it to an independent A/C repair shop to have them "sniff" the areas identified above for leaks. They are biased toward repair, not replacement as are the dealers, so they are often your best recourse. I doubt very much that your unit needs replacement, but you must first figure out which type of problem you are having, leakage or electrical.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-13-2013, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi Glen,

Apparently the issue was the relay switch to the compressor. The voltage was dropping and therefore not giving full power to the A/C. They replaced the relay switch and it seems to be working fine for now. I will keep your suggestions in mind just in case I have issues with the A/C again. Thank you very much for your advice.

Cheers.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-13-2013, 01:33 PM
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John & Glenn, you guys are great, looking after your comrades with such expertise.

w/ smiles

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-03-2015, 10:42 PM
 
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Hello, I'm having the same issues with my AC on my 2001 550. I was told by the mechanic that my drain keeps clogging underneath the glove compartment. Every time they unplug it then works for awhile. Any suggestions to keep this from clogging up all the time?

Cheers
Gabe
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-04-2015, 01:22 AM
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Gabe, normally we have to unclog these condensate drains only every couple of years. It's just part of the regular maintenance.

Does yours clog up more frequently? I wonder if some of the foam insulation from your evaporator unit isn't rotting and falling into the drip pan and causing this?

Try using progressively larger "things" to unclog it? Many of us use the extra long ty-raps, and they're available in different widths.

There are also extended length bottle brushes that might work. Places like Brush Research sell them, as do the various engine builder supply houses. I think I've even seen them on Amazon, IIRC.

If you get the bottle brush, I'd suggest wetting it with a soap/Clorox solution and running it through the tube to clean out & kill the mold/algae.

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

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