I was on a long awaited one day road trip yesterday. A good friend and I made our way across the state to meet other close friends for an early dinner, and then a visit to a very well regarded craft cidery (the sparkling alcoholic kind). A visit to the tasting room there was followed by a concert by a singer songwriter/musician that I really enjoy, and for free no less. It was about a four hour trip each way.
On the way there, for the first time ever, since I purchased my beloved 2009 R8 the car a year ago, I experienced a mechanical issue. And a very unpleasant it was, with the AC. Conditions outside the car were about 85 degrees and very humid, with brilliant sun. For the early part of the trip, I found I found that I had to turn up the AC a bit more than usual. Then a couple hours in, we started getting increasingly hot, and I turned it up to max. Even then, it was barely able to make the inside of the car livable. Not comfortable, but somewhat bearable. Both the level of cooling had dropped by a lot, and, even the fan speed (with it all the way up) was less than it should have been. We made it to dinner but were sweaty and worse for wear.
On the way home, beginning at 8:30pm, with the temperature now 79-80, and obviously, no mid day sun beating down on the car, the AC worked quite a bit better, Granted, that with it still near max, and certainly not at the level it should have been with that setting. I am nothing resembling an automotive cooling system expert, nor do I play one on tv, but I don't "think" this is the well known compressor failure. Granted, I could absolutely be wrong. But the fan also slowing down, and the fact that it worked at least well enough to get us home more comfortably, granted without the harsh sun and with lower temps, are hard to figure.
I know there is a great deal of expertise on this forum. Any thoughts or educated comments would be appreciated. I did speak to a friend who spent forty years in engine development, and knows everything about cars, and he said it could be a whole laundry list of things. That list included aging hoses having worn out and leaking, a core, or something similar in the dashboard, all the way to still possibly being the dreaded compressor failure.
Back in mid April, I got a Fidelity Platinum extended warranty coverage plan for peace of mind, so I know that any major failure will be covered. But if it is something like hoses, given that this car is mid engined, I suspect that might not be covered and could cost a fair bit, though I certainly hope not. Between the extended warranty, a new steering wheel, and scheduled work to replace the head unit next week, I've had to lay out what, for me, is a lot of money in a short period.