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Air Con failed

Hello all.I have just subscribed to the Quattro list,having recently bought 
my wife a 1988 UK spec 200 Turbo, 2 WD automatic.

One immediate problem is a non functioning air con system.The compressor 
clutch is not engaging.Is this linked to a pressure switch,so,if the gas 
charge is low or non existent,the compressor fails to run? According to the 
owners manual,if there is a gas discharge,a warning should show,but I am 
seeing nothing like that.

Is there a sequence of tests to help isolate the trouble? I have access to 
recharging equipment,and a "sniffer",but I can't get as far as that 
stage,yet... ;-)

Thanks for any pointers.

    Best Regards,
                 Chris Wilson