Heater/Air con failure just out of warranty – is the car now undriveable?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  richardofsheffield 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    Just outside of warranty and with just 30k miles on the clock, out Zoe has lost all it’s air con gas due to a seal failure and after a re-gas the Renault main dealer tells us that the compressor has failed.
    £899 to fix it. Renault customer service admit that it is a manufacturing defect that this unit has failed but only offered 1 hour off the cost of the labour to fix this.
    In all my years of driving (40 to be precise) I have never had a compressor failure on any car and to have this fail just a couple of months outside the warranty and with only 30k miles is really disappointing.
    We can manage quite happily without aircon but clearly the battery can’t so what happens if we choose not to blow that money on getting the air con fixed? Will the battery go into meltdown or just reduce output?
    Does an air con issue leave you with an un-drive-able car?
    There are loads of conventional cars running about with air con that doesn’t work or in need of gassing so where does that leave us?
    Personally, I think that Renault should stand by their product and cover this, or have there been too many failures already but not enough to recall any cars?


    Trevor Larkum

    I have not heard of many issues on the ZOE with the air-con, so I don’t think it’s widespread. Mine went 48k miles without aircon failure.

    I’m not sure the aircon is used directly to cool the battery, since the ZOE has a water cooled battery with fans. I suspect – though don’t know for sure – that your battery life will be largely unaffected.



    VERY common part they fails and causes gas to leak, sorry to see you aint picked up on it while under warranty.

    no air con results in NO HEATING, NO COOLING and most importantly no battery cooling.


    Ancient Mariner

    I have just replaced the air con/heat pump on my 63 plate Zoe with 42,000 miles up. The unit started to get noisy but before I was able to have it checked it suffered a short/earth and this resulted in the whole electrical system shutting down and the car refusing to start. Flat bed to the nearest dealer (55 miles away) and diagnosed as aircon failure. £844 +VAT for a new unit plus labour. I had the front discs and pads renewed at the same time so the bottom line was £2K. The dealer was unwilling to ask Renault for any goodwill and I’m pleased I did not bother if the best they could offer is 1 hour labour. Car has run well since the repairs and the heater is no better or worse which suggests that it was not short of gas at the time of the failure and the cause was mechanical rather than loss of gas.

    The car had been no real bother so far and despite this hefty expense, I am still pleased with it, but I would advise Andyt1320 to get his AC fixed before the car does become undriveable



    I’ve seen a Zoe today with the battery removed and it’s definitely air cooled. The water cooling system is for the motor, not the battery. I’m pretty sure that if the aircon isn’t working then the battery won’t be properly cooled.



    Today i had to say goodbye to my Zoe it was only a year old and while i loved it, it never worked as they quotes. we have had three new heat pumps and had to have blankets in the car all winter. i really had enough, as i was told it was working fine. I got stroppy with Renault and got my money back for their misrepresentation.



    My first Zoe, a 22kwh one delivered in December 2013, lasted me to last summer when I exchanged it for the 41kwh model.
    The new one has a 3 year warranty. It was 4 years on the earlier model.
    Anyway, my aircon failed during my 4th year and after several weeks of driving it around using things called windows to prevent death by heatstroke, I booked it in. I was told that if the failure was due to natural wastage of the gas, then I would have to pay for the re-gas. As it turned out, a pipe or join had fractured and so they the dealer paid for the repair and re-gas.
    He told me that he hadn’t realised that the air-con machinery was slung under the car behind the traction battery. The senior electrician told him this was because the air con also cooled the traction battery and was called into use when the sensors decided the battery temp was rising higher than it should be.
    Apart from that my first Zoe (32,000 miles when I traded it in) always started when I wanted it to and ditto re stopping. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t have gone for the upgrade had I had the thing in the dock all the time.
    So I feel sorry for Grannykin and others who have written in over the years to complain about their Zoe. Maybe I’ve just been lucky but then, I had an automatic Modus for 9 years before my first Zoe and it always ran perfectly for the whole 80,000 miles that lasted me.
    I know car mags suggest a higher number of Zoe owners dissatisfied than, say Leaf owners, but generally, it’s considered a very good car, especially considering the price comparisons.
    Bon voyage.

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