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Old 15th March 2015, 15:01   #1
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Default DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

One persistent issue I have with the WagonR is that of the AC blower accumulating a lot of dirt, mostly leaves. This makes the blower noisy at speeds 2 and above. It is so annoying that the blower makes more noise than the car itself. Whenever the fresh air mode is used, leaves accumulated in the cowl will enter the blower as the flap opens. I have never faced this issue in the SX4 though, probably the WR has a design defect(one of the many defects the car has).

Hence it is a routine to do this procedure whenever the AC starts roaring like a diesel generator. This usually happens during fall, since leaves dropped from a tree end up here. So here is a brief and a simple way to clean up the blower. FYI the MASS once wanted to charge Rs. 1300 for this and later came down to Rs. 350 stating that the whole dashboard has to be removed and so. Since it was a design defect that leaves were getting in, it was not my fault and hence after blasting them, they did it for free. Since this was a repeat issue, I decided to clean it myself. Here is a pictorial guide.

I have covered it in the most basic way possible. The pictures will explain better than words:

Car this DIY applies to:
DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-1.jpg

Use a short length star screw driver in order to access the screws, something of the length shown here:

DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-2.jpg

For newbies, here is where you should look for the blower

DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-3.jpg

As you bend down into the footwell, you will find the blower. For easy access, open the door wide and kneel on the floor instead of sitting in the car or footwell.
DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-4.jpg

DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-5.jpg

First thing is to remove the power connector as shown. If you put your finger and unlock the tab, the connector should come out easily.

DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-6.jpg

There are three screws that hold the blower assembly in place. Unscrew these three whose location is shown and the blower should come out effortlessly.

DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-7.jpg

DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-wp_20150205_15_21_08_pro.jpg

Here is the garbage that had accumulated in the blower. Clean the whole thing and put it back in place following the exact reverse order.

DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-wp_20150205_15_21_27_pro.jpg

Hope this helps! Thanks for reading
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Old 15th March 2015, 17:12   #2
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Default re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

Wow!!! This is just awesome!! Can't thank you enough. There's something else I need to ask. Is it necessary to switch the air intake to fresh air periodically, when running the AC for long periods of time? Running the AC in recirculation mode gives better cooling efficiency. This deters most people from switching to fresh air, even intermittently. At MASS I was given to understand that even when the AC runs on recirculatory mode, a small percentage (20% they said) of fresh air is mixed constantly with the recirculated air before coming out through the vents. It is only when the AC is not running, and all the windows are closed, that you need to switch to fresh air mode. Is that true?
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Old 16th March 2015, 13:09   #3
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

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Originally Posted by DMajumdar View Post
...There's something else I need to ask. Is it necessary to switch the air intake to fresh air periodically, when running the AC for long periods of time? ..
Its is defintiely necessary to switch to fresh air mode on long trips. Especially with full passenger capacity. Prevents driver fatigue.
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Old 16th March 2015, 17:02   #4
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

If you run the car permanently on AC then you might want to use fresh air mode when you drive in open roads without dust or traffic. However you should also open the rear window a little to let air go out easily compared to the ventilator.

Air filter cleaning and clutch cable play adjustment are too simple for a separate thread IMO. I shall post the same here or elsewhere. It's a relatively simpler job.

Last edited by GTO : 17th March 2015 at 15:23. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 16th March 2015, 17:38   #5
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

and you saved nearly 500-800 bucks that you would spend in the name of AC Blower cleaning at the ASC which is always a rip-off!

Spend another 20 bucks and ask the Water Wash fella to spray high pressure water on the condensor fins from a distance and you have almost done "AC Service" for your car on your own.

And then, there are complaints that they paid so much for a periodic service.

A super clean DIY to clean the blower assembly audioholic . Will help a lot of members here. What I normally do for my WagonR is visit the water wash fellow next door and ask him to blow pressurized air from below the glovebox and that has always helped.

In fact, the very first hint (*apart from ineffective or reduced cooling) that the blower needs cleaning is the amount of air that the vents will be throwing even at full fan speed. If you can't feel the air much, it calls for a cleaning immediately before you begin to crib that the AC is not cooling!

Few very good points on when to use Fresh Air mode. I always drive rolled up whether its the Ertiga or the WagonR and I always move to fresh air mode depending on the dust factors for 2-3 minutes keeping the front right and the rear left windows rolled down by 3 inches. Otherwise, I get good share of "Fresh Air" right at the toll booth for my Oxygen needs anyways till I start back and roll up again just when I shift to the final cruising gear.
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Old 16th March 2015, 20:03   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

Thanks for sharing this Audioholic.

Can somebody please share how to do this for first gen Swift? I am also facing the same issue.
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Old 16th March 2015, 22:54   #7
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

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Thanks for sharing this Audioholic.

Can somebody please share how to do this for first gen Swift? I am also facing the same issue.
The location of the blower is the same for the swift. Here you go:

DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower-screenshot_20150316_225000.png
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Old 16th March 2015, 23:14   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

This was much needed. Many thanks to the OP and Parag for pointing out the cheap and effective method for increasing AC performance.

My WagonR is 10+ years old and not once the AC has given us a problem. But lately i find that the air coming out of the vents is less as compared to what it was some years ago. Upon some inspection i found that the old WagonR(2006 Model) does not have an air filter. Which means all the dust and mould and fungus an leaves have collected on the evaporator(the radiator type thing under the dashboard near the passenger side footwell) fins. I tried cleaning it, but it is hard to reach and i was scared i might damage it. What can be done to solve this problem? I have tried cleaning it with a toothbrush and some soap water, the method works but is painstakingly slow and not as effective as i want it to be. Ive tried drying things and then using compressed air at a local car wash, but that is also ineffective.

From my knowledge removal of evaporator coil is not practical since it will mean a gas recharge and squeaks and noises from the dash, which might spoil a lot of things on a 10+ year old car. Any alternatives anyone?

Last edited by GTO : 17th March 2015 at 15:24. Reason: Typo
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Old 17th March 2015, 02:29   #9
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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
This makes the blower noisy at speeds 2 and above.
Thank you very much for the excellent DIY.

I own a 2008 Waggy (a generation prior to the one shown above) and need to check whether the blower is placed at same place.

I always wondered about the noise it creates (which eventually increased with age of the car) after switching the knob even at position '2'. If this fixes it then you have saved my ears for upcoming summer.
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Old 17th March 2015, 12:11   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

Thank you for sharing this DIY. Cabin air quality is very important in a car as we spend hours in it.

This does reaffirm what the mechanic said when my uncle went to get his cabin air filter replaced. This was for a 8 year old Swift. I was driving my Uncle's Swift and kept wondering why there was a stale/damp smell coming from the air conditioning. I asked him to get the cabin air filter replaced. When he took the car to the garage, the mechanic said there is no cabin air filter and Maruti does not fit one in any of their cars from the factory. It has to be purchased. After hearing this, I thought, what the condition of the evaporator coil and blower unit will be after 8 years of running without a cabin air filter. I left it there and advised my Uncle to install the cabin air filter. I don't believe it helped as the damage has already been done. There must be mildew and god knows what else in the entire hvac system. The cabin air filter for a Swift costs Rs. 350. I do not understand why Maruti have to skimp on this very basic and required part. It is the air you are breathing and poor air quality is a sure shot way for respiratory problems.

I suggest everyone to check for a paper element cabin air filter. The steel wire mesh one's are useless.

To the thread starter, it sure looks like your car does not have a cabin air filter. I don't see how those leaves can reach the blower unit otherwise.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 17th March 2015 at 12:12.
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Old 17th March 2015, 12:21   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrishi_111 View Post
Thank you very much for the excellent DIY.

I own a 2008 Waggy (a generation prior to the one shown above) and need to check whether the blower is placed at same place.

I always wondered about the noise it creates (which eventually increased with age of the car) after switching the knob even at position '2'. If this fixes it then you have saved my ears for upcoming summer.
Same here, mine is even older, its a 2005. It is a charm of a car, I have only this one complaint of blower noise, I simply can't enjoy my music. I am going to try this too over the weekend.
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Old 17th March 2015, 13:03   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

Nice DIY! However, In my experience, I just go to any MASS and ask them to clean the blower and they generally oblige to do so without charging me for it. The technician simply removes the blower fan as shown by your DIY and uses compressed air to blow the #@% out of that thing! You should see how high the dust goes up when he blows it with the air - it's sight to watch! He puts it back in after the cleaning and job done.

I once did try to tip the fellow for doing so, which he flatly refused saying they do not accept tips and this is a generic process which they carry out (just like inspecting tires, for example).

I was charged 100Rs. once only because I had also added that there is a musty smell coming from the blower when the A/c was switched OFF but the fan was on. This time they did some cleaning of the vents as well and hence the cost. All in all, a good DIY - but can get it done at the MASS during service of your vehicle.
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Old 17th March 2015, 16:00   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

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Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
In my experience, I just go to any MASS and ask them to clean the blower and they generally oblige to do so without charging me for it.
In my case as well, I never get charged at my ASC and that is solely due to the relationship I have but then this DIY will certainly help those who want to do it themselves. It is a very simple one and take less than 30 minutes to to all the cleaning. That free cleaning may not work for every individual when he visits the ASC.

Quote:
I once did try to tip the fellow for doing so, which he flatly refused saying they do not accept tips and this is a generic process which they carry out (just like inspecting tires, for example).
Been that way since years and I do recall that once in Pune at MyCar (Dealer ASC), I asked for a Body wash and I was not charged and when I tried to tip the SA out of courtesy,he flatly refused. That is how all the ASCs (not just MSIL) works and I think this is a very good practice that reduces favoritism and every mechanic will work with same dedication like all the other cars expecting no tips.

Quote:
All in all, a good DIY - but can get it done at the MASS during service of your vehicle.
You see, that's the whole point. DIYs mainly are out of passion or necessity. This one is a DIY that can save a lot of money over every service using which you can fill up one tank of fuel after 3 visits. This along with Caliper Pin Greasing and Brake cleaning is becoming a very common fooling technique at the ASCs.

One spends anywhere between 1000-1500 for Blower Cleaning + Drum Brakes Cleaning + Disc Pads Cleaning + Caliper Pin Greasing.

Way too rare to say that MASS doesn't charge or even wrong to say MASS charges reasonably for this job. It is a known fact that AC Blower cleaning is a rip-off that the ASC suggests during every service like caliper pin greasing (Which can another cost saving DIY again).

I do caliper greasing myself which otherwise is charged at almost 300 Bucks at the ASC.

I do throttle body cleaning which is charged between 500-800 for my WagonR.

Last edited by paragsachania : 17th March 2015 at 16:03.
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Old 17th March 2015, 19:18   #14
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

Thanks all for your responses. Had thought this was of little use to people but I am amazed to see people who were in need of this. Happy to help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Thank you for sharing this DIY. Cabin air quality is very important in a car as we spend hours in it.

To the thread starter, it sure looks like your car does not have a cabin air filter. I don't see how those leaves can reach the blower unit otherwise.
I agree and appreciate your concern. Regarding the leaves reaching the blower, I have already mentioned that it is design defect and not related to the presence or absence of the filter. I removed the blower of my SX4 after five years to find it ultra clean, without the presence of dust also. This car doesnt have a filter of any sort. It is just that the intake is present in a better location and hence no objects enter the duct.

If in this case I had a cabin filter installed in my WagonR, the leaves would have got stuck there and would have rotten to glory since it is a paper medium. For dust, the filter will do a good job, but when the issue is of foreign objects, I wouldnt counter that with a cabin filter. Again, a personal preference of mine.

If one is used to driving with AC 100% then the filter will be of great use to keep the interior free of dust. I use the AC somewhat half the time spent in the car.

To top it all, there is no provision to install the filter in the WagonR


Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_antony View Post
It is a charm of a car, I have only this one complaint of blower noise, I simply can't enjoy my music. I am going to try this too over the weekend.
If the blower is making any wierd noise then it is surely something that is stuck in it. In the long-run this will damage the resistor that controls the speed of the blower. In my car, the blower speed 2 has already taken a hit and it is a bit slow whereas there is a huge difference at speed 3. Planning to replace the resistor soon since it costs peanuts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
Nice DIY! However, In my experience, I just go to any MASS and ask them to clean the blower and they generally oblige to do so without charging me for it. All in all, a good DIY - but can get it done at the MASS during service of your vehicle.
Looks like you have got a great MASS there. During service, I would be happy if they didnt overcharge me for the bare basic things, let alone cleaning the blower. However, as I have mentioned previously, they have waived off the charges either because of some argument or after I had to make use of contacts in their higher level management. And in my case, the car goes for annual service in January just before the summer begins, and this problem occurs during the summer months. Hence, I personally do this every three months or so just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post

One spends anywhere between 1000-1500 for Blower Cleaning + Drum Brakes Cleaning + Disc Pads Cleaning + Caliper Pin Greasing.

Way too rare to say that MASS doesn't charge or even wrong to say MASS charges reasonably for this job. It is a known fact that AC Blower cleaning is a rip-off that the ASC suggests during every service like caliper pin greasing (Which can another cost saving DIY again).

I do caliper greasing myself which otherwise is charged at almost 300 Bucks at the ASC.

I do throttle body cleaning which is charged between 500-800 for my WagonR.

Parag and I seem to share the same mindset and hence this DIY takes place. Haven't got time for the brakes and stuff. Guess I will leave it to the guys at the ASC since I am inexperienced with it and/or the need hasnt arised so far. I can afford messing up the AC but the brakes..
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Old 18th March 2015, 06:13   #15
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Default Re: DIY: Cleaning the WagonR's air-con blower

Wow.. that was interesting.. Can BHPians help me on how to do it on a Skoda Laura? I hav e this issue everytime during fall season and the blower becomes extremely noisy. I am able to remove the air filter and clean but that does not help completely. Please let me knpw
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