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Old 8th June 2015, 10:18   #31
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

In all the car reviews, Team-BHP and others boast of European cars having a great build quality inside and outside. Then why is this happening? To get it replaced, VW is going to charge a bomb for sure.

This is indeed surprising, considering that I had never faced this issue in my 9 year old Accent (sold) and my existing 8 year old Wagon R.

Last edited by GTO : 9th June 2015 at 10:21. Reason: Language
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Old 8th June 2015, 12:16   #32
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

Not in a position to give solutions for the problem being discussed here, a probable root cause of the issue could be, the supperior cooling performance required for cars sold in India compared to their cars being sold in every other country. Am sure the indian cars must have larger AC compressor and better cooling performance to battle our relatively hotter climatic conditions. we know metals can transform from being ductile to brittle with drop in temperature (reason why the great Titanic ship sank, even after being claimed as an indestructable ship). This stands true for plastics too. Glass transition temperature or "Tg" is a value that defines when a plastic can start becoming brittle at certain temperatures. And for certain commonly used plastic materials this stands between 0 to -10 or -20 degree Celcius which is roughly the temperature measured at the Aircon vents. If VW had not taken this into account and used the aircon vents as a carry over part from their existing parts bin (read Cost saving), in all probablities the part can become brittle and have a much lesser durability than desired. just my opinion.
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Old 8th June 2015, 12:58   #33
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

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Originally Posted by baddy View Post
Not in a position to give solutions for the problem being discussed here, a probable root cause of the issue could be, the supperior cooling performance required for cars sold in India compared to their cars being sold in every other country.
I disagree. Had this been the scenario, we would have seen earlier similar failures in Fabia and other offerings from the stable.
And howsoever big AC compressor you may talk of, such a phenomenon as of cracking of plastic AC vents due to increased chilling is totally impractical. My friend owns a vento and he is no fan of its cooling capacity(wrt his other cars and delhi's summer)
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Old 8th June 2015, 15:56   #34
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

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Originally Posted by baddy View Post
Glass transition temperature or "Tg" is a value that defines when a plastic can start becoming brittle at certain temperatures. And for certain commonly used plastic materials this stands between 0 to -10 or -20 degree Celcius.
Theoretically & in certain lab-induced experiments this is indeed possible. Cold makes the molecules of plastic rigid & it loses its inherent flexibility thus becoming brittle like glass. However the temperatures required to do so varies according to type of plastic. PET plastic jar for example is already at Tg point in room temperature but reinforced plastics will be much tougher. Basically all of them can be broken, only the pressure varies & at Tg they are most vulnerable. The Polo & Vento I believe share a 120cc compressor, not enough to cool so much that plastic becomes brittle, otherwise such breakages will be much more in Europe during winters.

Now coming to this particular case, I believe a good design can reasonably overcome any material defects or climatic influences. As we can see in the first page, the pegs holding the vertical bars & the rail clips to adjust side motion hold the flaps in a very weak manner, this is due to the design. The plastics themselves have not broken, rather they get unhinged or separated at the point of fixing. Member techiecal has mentioned that the hinge pins are the culprit as they give way when little pressure is used. Had the assembly been more stronger, say a single shutter-style unit of vertical flaps with an external adjustment & ahead of it a single unit of horizontal shutter-style flaps with its own adjustment, then it will be harder to break. The shutter style mechanism means that they are all attached to one or two common rods/pins each which leads to better reinforcement.

Last edited by dark.knight : 8th June 2015 at 16:04.
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Old 8th June 2015, 17:57   #35
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

Instead of discussing why they are breaking and what temperatures glass and plastic melts, we should be asking VAG about this.

When I was at the service centre last week for my 50000km servicing, I overheard 3-4 people arguing about this.
One of them was just a 6 month old owner.

WHen I tried to repair one of these broken vents, all I could make out is there is a fault in design.
Those small protrusions holding the blades cannot withstand pressure.
Mind you that as a car owner you will be very subtle and gentle with them but we have guests and other family members sitting in the car.

Secondly, it is absurd for VAG to charge differently to Skoda and Volkswagen owners for the same part.

And who know that these service centre might be buying them from the second hand part dealers and pocketing the extra money.
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Old 8th June 2015, 18:29   #36
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

The build quality of the AC vents in VW Vento and Skoda Rapid are definitely not "built to last" type. A close friends Rapid had the same issue with the slats in the vents just falling off with a small adjustment and his car was less than 1 year old. Replacement with labor was quoted a staggering 7k and the entire set needs to be replaced they said. After a lot of arguements we got it replaced with about 40% discount, which i still think is a bomb for the kind of quality it is.
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Old 11th June 2015, 10:41   #37
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

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Originally Posted by Rover2000 View Post
The build quality of the AC vents in VW Vento and Skoda Rapid are definitely not "built to last" type. A close friends Rapid had the same issue with the slats in the vents just falling off with a small adjustment and his car was less than 1 year old. Replacement with labor was quoted a staggering 7k and the entire set needs to be replaced they said. After a lot of arguements we got it replaced with about 40% discount, which i still think is a bomb for the kind of quality it is.
Totally agree with you here, all the 4 vents on my dad's Rapid fell off within the first year of purchase. My father kept using it the way it was after the A.S.S guys refused to acknowledge the poor build quality of the vents. To add to that the cooling of the air conditioner isn't at par with my punto or our earlier swift either
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Old 11th June 2015, 12:09   #38
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

Folks

It's not only VW and Skoda, but even the i20 has similar issues. My friend's louvers got damaged by the car cleaner, and he was quoted Rs 2500 for a set of two. You do not have the option of buying just one.

This being the case, I wonder how much truth is there in reviews that eulogize the dashboards of such cars as being of 'very high quality'. Are they only referring to the looks and ignoring the quality of the materials?

While on this topic, my AC vents of my 14-year old Waggie are in perfect condition, and they withstood the onslaught of my kids when the car was new. The ones in my Fiesta are also in great condition.
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Old 12th June 2015, 16:53   #39
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover2000 View Post
The build quality of the AC vents in VW Vento and Skoda Rapid are definitely not "built to last" type. A close friends Rapid had the same issue with the slats in the vents just falling off with a small adjustment and his car was less than 1 year old. Replacement with labor was quoted a staggering 7k and the entire set needs to be replaced they said. After a lot of arguements we got it replaced with about 40% discount, which i still think is a bomb for the kind of quality it is.
Replacing a faulty part with a new faulty part that will break down within a year again. What are VW and Skoda up to. Even after so many complaints, they have not addressed the issue. Or maybe they want the vents to break regularly.

Vents are not rocket science. Even Maruti vents last the lifetime of the car in spite of abuse.

Last edited by techiecal : 12th June 2015 at 16:55.
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Old 12th June 2015, 20:47   #40
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

The VW guy assured me that the replacement vents fitted four months ago were not the same as the the previous ones, and would not break in a year or two. Truth?
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Old 12th June 2015, 22:33   #41
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
The VW guy assured me that the replacement vents fitted four months ago were not the same as the the previous ones, and would not break in a year or two. Truth?
Only way to verify this is to open the vent and compare with the build of the broken old vent or wait for a year and see if it breaks.
If you do the former please let us know. The lower hinge pin design of the vertical slats should be different. That is the problem point.
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Old 13th June 2015, 00:43   #42
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

I don't have the old ones. Yes, they should have given, but they did not. I don't notice any difference between the old one and the two new ones, but, as you say, it is what we can't see that matters.
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Old 13th June 2015, 08:25   #43
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baddy View Post
Not in a position to give solutions for the problem being discussed here, a probable root cause of the issue could be, the supperior cooling performance required for cars sold in India compared to their cars being sold in every other country.
Glass transition temperature or "Tg" is a value that defines when a plastic can start becoming brittle at certain temperatures.
And for certain commonly used plastic materials this stands between 0 to -10 or -20 degree Celcius which is roughly the temperature measured at the Aircon vents. .
When VW suggests using oil of winter spec 5W of 5W40 (rather than a 10W or 20W) which fits for sub zero temperature running, wonder how will they screw up on Vent plastics.
Does the fin temperature for the vent fall below zero? I thought it should be in the range of 2 to 4 deg C.

Last edited by gopa99 : 13th June 2015 at 08:27.
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Old 13th June 2015, 09:35   #44
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

I dont think the temperature falls down to even anywhere near zero. For my Vento, after they replaced the vents, the new ones are very hard to manoeuvre. Hopefully they are making money replacing vents since they are frequent and not covered under warranty most of the times.

Last edited by srishiva : 13th June 2015 at 09:36.
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Old 13th June 2015, 16:30   #45
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Default re: VW's fragile AC vents: Looking for DIY solutions? EDIT: VW sources from local OEM, prices slashed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gopa99 View Post
When VW suggests using oil of winter spec 5W of 5W40 (rather than a 10W or 20W) which fits for sub zero temperature running, wonder how will they screw up on Vent plastics.
Does the fin temperature for the vent fall below zero? I thought it should be in the range of 2 to 4 deg C.
The vent temp depends on ambient temp and humidity and is anywhere between 4 - 10 under normal conditions. Near zero would cause the evaporator to ice up and block the flow of air.
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