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1980 W123 230ce
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Guys can someone point me to the right direction how I turn my AirCon on. This is the pic of my heater controls
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1982 300d four speed turbo & 1984 300d four speed N/A euro
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358 Posts
Looks like the car didn't come with AC, only heat. To verify, check the engine bay to see if you notice an AC compressor.
 

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1980 W123 230ce
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Maybe the bottom that says ‘front’ on my panel is a aftermarket one that was fitted at a later stage? Maybe that one is for the AC?
 

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1982 300d four speed turbo & 1984 300d four speed N/A euro
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My guess is the AC is after market, and yeah its possible that switch triggers the clutch on the ac compressor. Take a picture of your radiator when you get a minute I want to see something.
 

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1984 230CE
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30 Posts
Can you tell if your a/c compressor is engaging when you turn your temperature control knobs to cold? Or if that "front" button has any impact? That's would be a strange label an a/c control. Have you confirmed all the other a/c components are there, like a condensor in front of the radiator, and a drier, typically at the front corner of the engine bay. You could also remove the understcuttle panel under the glove box and see what components are visible such as the blower and expansion valve.

My '84 230CE has an aftermarket a/c system made by diavia. I don't know at what point in the car's life it was installed, but I think it was mid 80s. Someone installed the temperature dial on the dash.
 

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1980 W123 230ce
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I haven’t paid much attention with that button If it engages the AC pump. All heating works fine just couldn’t work our we’re that AC button might be. Here is a pic of my engine bay

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1982 300d four speed turbo & 1984 300d four speed N/A euro
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358 Posts
Yeah you definitely have AC, although the stock heater/fan switches and knobs won't trigger the AC compressor clutch. Unless someone modified something. As PJC568, posted above, that blue dial is what triggers the electromagnetic clutch in the AC compressor. You don't have that for some reason, so you'll just have to look around and see what the person who modified your car left to trigger the clutch. One thing that may be annoying is that if you have indeed found the switch, it might not do anything as your refrigerant system could be empty. Typically when they are empty the clutch will not engage as a pressure sensor detects the lack of refrigerant.
 

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1980 W123 230ce
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
So shall I get the AC recharged and take it from there. So that switch is most probably what has to trigger the AC.
 

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1982 300d four speed turbo & 1984 300d four speed N/A euro
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358 Posts
You could do that, the only issue I see is that typically an AC system is a closed system and in theory should always remain charged. That meaning there should never be an empty system unless something is wrong, such as a leak. This is usually the case with our cars as they are getting old. With that being said, there is a good chance your system either has a failed component, or a leak in the system. You could recharge it, but who knows how quickly it would leak out again. If the leak isn't massive, there will be enough pressure in the system to be able to test the AC as long as all of the AC components are functional.

The smart thing to do would be to bring it to someone who can test it for leaks.
 

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1984 230CE
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It would be worth taking it to a shop who can recharge it as they can let you know if the system is empty and also identify any leaks once they add freon. Any shop that knows what they are doing should be able to tell you what's going on with it. I'm not an expert on a/c but if you can't find a switch for controlling the a/c, I've heard of systems where the on/off compressor function is controlled by a trinary switch at the drier.

You could start by seeing if anything you do with that switch and turning the temperature knobs to full cold causes the compressor clutch to engage. It's just a visual check. Here's a video to help know what you're looking for.


If your system is empty of freon then it probably wouldn't engage anyway though.
 
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