Volkswagen Golf, GTI, Passat, Jetta, EOS, Rabbit and Tiguan Air Conditioner Compressor Failure

Air conditioner does not work, noises from engine compartment

Volkswagen Technical Product Information # 2023580/1
Repair Operation # 87 34 01 99
Release Date: 29-Jun-2010


Air conditioning does not work.

Noises from the engine compartment.


Pulley bolt works it’s way free from compressor shaft creating noise and eventually failure of the compressor.

Only Delphi Compressors are affected, optimised Delphi compressors fitted from August 2008.

The refrigerant circuit does not need to be flushed as the damage to the compressor is external.


Check the connection between the pulley and the compressor shaft while they are fitted:

  • The cooling performance check shows no pressure increase, although the refrigerant circuit is correctly filled and the control valve current is about 0.8A.
  • The mounting bolt of the pulley has visibly wandered out of the compressor shaft (see photo above).
  • The pulley turns without transmitting power, because the teeth of the pulley are worn.


Replace the compressor.

Models affected

137 –
1F7 – EOS
1K1 – Golf V
1K2 – Jetta III
357 – Passat CC
3C – Passat / Passat Wagon
5K1 – Golf VI
5M1 – Golf V Plus
5N1 – Tiguan

14 thoughts on “Volkswagen Golf, GTI, Passat, Jetta, EOS, Rabbit and Tiguan Air Conditioner Compressor Failure”

  1. 2009 tiguan air does not blow really cold had system checked all OK but was told the compressor not working to it’s max but still working is this possible please help.Thanks Sid

  2. Just been to VW main dealer in Stoke on Trent with 2009 Tiguan with failed air con compressor exactly as described above. Despite being out of warranty VW will pay 100% of the cost of replacement unit but I have to pay a reduced labour charge which is still £385 for 4.6 hours work inc VAT. Delivery of new unit end Sept 2013.

  3. similar problem on 2009 golf.
    Has anyone received a discount on the labour – I understand that in Germany VW are paying 50% of the labour costs on this problem.

    1. My Tiguan was 4.5 years old and VW Stoke (main Dealer) contacted VW and they agreed to pay 100% of the compressor cost. I had to use the main dealer for fitting which they said was a discounted price at £386 for 4.6 hours work.

  4. It can be fixed relatively easily without removing the compressor, other than removing the centre bolt which is a real pain. I bought the part from Ebay for £30 delivered from X8R which included four new bolts. You need to use thread lock when refitting to ensure they won’t come loose again, and tighten very tight. I’ve currently removed the old plate but struggling with the centre bolt as it turns the shaft. You can only grip the shaft after removing the plate. I had to hacksaw the head off the centre bolt but am still struggling to remove the remaining stub in the centre shaft as it’s glued so firmly despite somehow having worked it’s way partially out. My next plan is to drill the centre bolt out, then use a tap to redefine the threads to put the new centre bolt in. It’s very tricky though when working from underneath the vehicle as a little awkward to get to. I’m confident that if I can manage it the system will then work fine again.

  5. I had exactly the same problem with the centre screw protruding as described in the message thread. There is an alternative fix and that is replacing the part where the spline has stripped. The part was available on eBay for £29.99 and can be done in situe, albeit a car ramp was required. The hardest part was getting the centre screw out but managed to complete the job. Overall from start to finish the job took just under an hour. Well worth giving it a go rather than replacing the compressor.

  6. Hi all, I have a 2010 Golf 1.6 BlueMotion which also has the apparently troublesome “Delphi 5 NO 520 803 A” compressor.
    When I noticed the lack of A/c in 2016, I called the dealer and was told this was a known fault, was quoted a ridiculous figure and that the part had reissued from 803A, to 803, to 803C to 803H. Since then I had to put this issue on hold for personal reasons. Today, from a brief check on the Schroeder valve, I now see that there is no gas in my system – I don’t know if that was the case in 2016. Unlike most of the videos on YouTube where the clutch plate is sucked in by the magnet inside the pulley when the A/C is turned on, my (clutch?) plate is spinning ALL the time (without A/C even being turned on). Does anyone know if this is normal, perhaps is this compressor the “clutchless variable displacement” type ?
    So has anyone any advice on what way to tackle this please? I’m guessing:
    1. First, do a pressure test and re-gas, as the system may (after 8 years) simply have no refrigerant left (albeit i’ve read that as a sealed system it should never really leak anything)?
    But then again am i better replacing the compressor (or simply the £30 clutch plate) now when its empty, if its doomed to fail anyway?
    2. I’m unsure if my centre bold may be coming loose. Its head is sitting a few mm out from the pully, but nowhere near as obvious as in the photo above, nor is the pulley wobbling. I have tried to tighten the central bolt, but it just spins (as described as a “real pain” in postings above). Has anyone any further advice for how to tighten (or if need be, loosen) this central bolt?
    3.If you advice is to replace the compressor, does anyone know if the Delphi H model the current latest (and best?) or if a later/alternative and better branded compressor is also compatible? i’d read that Sanden and Bosch also make compressors but don’t know if VW used them subsequent to this known fault to fix this issue. I’ll probably be putting on one from a breakers yard so want to get the latest one assuming (probably wrongly!)) it to have the least faults/miles on it.
    But Is a pressure test and (if that’s fine then) re-gas (perhaps with UV dye gas) the first thing to do?? Or now that i have no gas in my system am i best to swap out the compressor (or simply change the £30 plate) now before it inevitably fails? Perhaps the system is simply not coming on because of a self protection safety cut out because it is not adequately gassed? But Im confused because the plate is turning all the time, unlike most YouTube videos where it only engages with the pulley when the A/C is turned on.
    Thanks for any help.

  7. Hi, I have a 2010 Golf 1.6 Blue Motion with the Delphi 5NO 520 803A. My (clutch?) plate that is attached to the pulley is spinning all the time (prior to even turning on the A/C). Turning on the A/C makes no difference to it. I have no cold air but also i have checked the schraeder valve and don’t have any gas pressure at all. Perhaps the system has a shut off mode when the gas pressure falls? Does anyone know if the (clutch?) plate should be running all the time with the pulley like this (i have only seen models on YouTube that only engaged when the A/C was turned on). When i turn the car off I cannot manually turn the clutch plate at all.
    Should i get a vacuum test and if thats ok, then a re-gas? Or should i replace the clutch plate now (and if so how do i either tighten or loosen that central bolt that everyone is having problems with, any advice greatly appreciated, thank you), fergal

  8. Hi, Just an update on my earlier posting today after watching the “X8R” youtube video on the £30 replacement shear plate. I can say that unlike their new part my current shear plate central bolt head does NOT rotate along with the pulley (albeit the current shear plate is always rotating, even without A/C being turned on) when the engine is running. However, when i turn the engine off, then i can’t turn the shear plate manually (the belt is still on the pulley, if that explains it?). So does all this indicate that, even though the bolt isn’t sticking out, that the threads have worn off the the bolt and/or the splines have worn off inside the shear plate? Thank again for any thoughts.

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