Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff > DIY - Do it yourself


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 18th July 2016, 01:39   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Deutschland
Posts: 31
Thanked: 60 Times
Post DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto

Car: 2008 Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 8v 77ps Petrol (Left Hand Drive, German edition)

Background: I bought this car as an used car with 1,44,000 kms in odo before 5 months. It was winter during that time here in Germany and I checked everything including A/C and everything seemed working fine.
At the beginning of summer I switched on the A/C and there is no cooling effect. Took the car to a FNG and he checked the A/C gas and it was below minimum level. So refilled it for 50 and A/C was working fine. After 2 months the cooling effect got reduced gradually and finally no cooling. Took the car to Fiat ASS for diagnosis and after UV test the mechanic told me that there are few tiny leaks in the condenser and it must be replaced.

Quote from Fiat ASS: 600
Quote from FNG: 400

I bought this car for 2400 and gonna sell it at beginning of next year for an upgrade. So I thought it is not worth to replace the condenser at this cost and I can sell it without A/C functionality. Then I thought why should I not try to replace the condenser by myself. I checked the condenser cost in internet and it varied from 70 for a local brand to 150 for a well known brand (e.g. Valeo, Hella, etc.). The cost quoted by Fiat ASS and multi-brand store chain for a branded condenser is more than 300 (2x times the original cost). I also checked the procedure to replace the condenser by downloading workshop manual from: http://www.fiatforum.com/downloads.p...downloadid=473

Steps to replace the condenser:
1. Remove the front bumper
2. Replace the condenser by undoing the inlet/outlet pipe bolt
3. Refit the bumper

Where to do this DIY?
After spending sometime in internet I found out that it is illegal by law of the land to release refrigerants and other harmful liquids/gases (coolant oil, brake fluid, etc.) in all places except authorised centres where proper disposing facility is available. My car's A/C circuit does not contain refrigerant since it was completely replaced by UV liquid during diagnosis and subsequently the liquid was vacuumed out at the end of diagnosis. I also found out from the internet that there are many 'Hobby Werstatt (Workshop)' where you can rent a workshop place with lift and complete toolkit for a price/hour.

There is one such 'Hobby Workshop' available in my city. I visited the workshop and booked a place with lift for 2 hours on Saturday morning.
Cost:
Working place with lift: 10/hr
Toolkit: 5 flat (irrespective of how many hours I use)

I also asked my German colleague for support and he arrived at the workshop at right time without even informing me in advance. I was amazed at the commitment of Germans!

Punto is on the lift:
DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto-on_lift.jpg

Detailed procedure:
1. Remove the 4 screws from one side of the front bumper by turning the wheel away:
DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto-front_bumper_side.jpg

DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto-front_bumper_bottom.jpg

2. Remove the 4 screws from other side of the front the bumper by turning the wheel to other side.

3. This the tricky part. There was a screw inside of the bumper only on right hand side. It can be seen only from bottom by lifting the car. The screw shall be removed by pulling the wheel cladding to front and inserting the screw driver in the gap between cladding and bumper. I do not know why Fiat has designated the screw in such a strange location.
DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto-side_screw.jpg

4. Remove the 4 screws from top of the bumper by opening the bonnet.
DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto-front_bumper_top.jpg

5. Remove the 4 screws from bottom of the bumper (opposite to the screws on top). In my case all the bottom screws and the holding clamping were rusted very badly. The screws were broken during unscrewing. While refitting we drilled two new holes in new locations and inserted new screws.
Name:  Bumper_Bottom.png
Views: 5175
Size:  53.4 KB

6. Unplug the fog lamp connectors (one from each)
Name:  Fog_Lamp_Connector.png
Views: 5114
Size:  60.3 KB

7. Do not unscrew any screws around fog lamp in the bumper. The 3 screws, one on top and the other two on the bottom of the fog lamp in the bumper are to hold the fog lamp to the bumper. So no need to remove them.
Name:  Fog_lamp_Screws.png
Views: 5090
Size:  40.5 KB

8. Remove the front bumper

9. Now the A/C condenser will be visible in front of radiator. There are only plastic clips and no bolts/screws which holds the condenser.

10. Before unclipping the plastic clips, loosen the bolt (only one) connecting the inlet/outlet pipe to the condenser. Be careful and do not loosen the bolt fully instantaneously since there is high pressure inside the A/C circuit. Just loosen the bolt slightly by keeping your face beside the condenser (since A/C refrigerant is a harmful gas). You will hear a hissing sound as the high pressure gas (if any) is getting released.
Name:  Condenser_Connector.png
Views: 5065
Size:  64.0 KB

11. Let the pressure get released and once it is completely released, loosen the bolt completely.

12. Unclip the plastic clips and the condenser will come off through bottom side.

13. The new condenser came with the inlet/outlet openings sealed (to prevent entering of air/moisture) and it is mentioned that as I remove the seals I should hear a hissing sound. I did hear it.

14. Insert the new condenser. It is recommended to change also the inlet/outlet seals/o-rings (green colour since it is a A/C circuit). In my case I tried to buy these seals but it was not available in internet (it is very hard to find automobile spare outlets in Germany) so I did used the old seals.
DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto-new_condenser.jpg

15. Clip back the new condenser using plastic clips. Tighten the inlet/outlet connector bolt.

16. Refit the front bumper

17. Vacuum the A/C circuit and the refill it with refrigerant (shall be done with a single machine in the workshop)

It took us 2.5 hours in total. Replacement of condenser took only 10 mins and remaining 2 hr 20 mins were spent to remove and refit the front bumper (not an easy job as I thought because of rusted bottom side screws and one screw inside the bumper).

Cost incurred:
Condenser: 70
Workshop lift with toolkit (2.5 hours): 30
A/C refrigerant refill: 60
Total: 160 (Compare it with cost quoted by ASS and FNG!)


Fiat workshop manuals:
Front_Bumper_Removal.pdf
Engine_Guard_Removal.pdf
Condenser_Replacement.pdf
gopi_rm is offline   (28) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th July 2016, 12:15   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
audioholic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BengaLuru
Posts: 2,734
Thanked: 3,334 Times
Default Re: DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto

Amazing work. Initially I glanced the title and thought it was a DIY intercooler replacement since thats more of a DIY level stuff. But when I came to the thread, I realised many things, that it was in Germany you did it and you got to rent a garage. Fantastic. If you have such DIY repairs planned, I would be happy to lend a hand since I am interested in such stuff and I will be in Sindelfingen for the coming few weeks and shuttle back to India and here on a regular basis. This is interesting
audioholic is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th July 2016, 17:11   #3
BHPian
 
Rover2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 84
Thanked: 64 Times
Default Re: DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto

Stuttgart rings a lot of bells in my head. I drive the 2014 facelifted Punto evo here in Chennai. I also spent 6 months in Stuttgart on work. so we have two things in common. Great reading your DIY especially with a rental space which is unique.
Rover2000 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th July 2016, 21:35   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Deutschland
Posts: 31
Thanked: 60 Times
Default Re: DIY: Condenser replacement in a Fiat Grande Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Amazing work. Initially I glanced the title and thought it was a DIY intercooler replacement since thats more of a DIY level stuff. But when I came to the thread, I realised many things, that it was in Germany you did it and you got to rent a garage. Fantastic. If you have such DIY repairs planned, I would be happy to lend a hand since I am interested in such stuff and I will be in Sindelfingen for the coming few weeks and shuttle back to India and here on a regular basis. This is interesting
Thanks for your generous offer mate. I will definitely let you know if I plan any DIY in future. Nevertheless we can plan a meet-up when you find time. I live not exactly in Stuttgart but in Heilbronn (40 kms away) and I frequently drive to Stuttgart to visit my friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover2000 View Post
Stuttgart rings a lot of bells in my head. I drive the 2014 facelifted Punto evo here in Chennai. I also spent 6 months in Stuttgart on work. so we have two things in common. Great reading your DIY especially with a rental space which is unique.
I came across this 'Hobby Workshop' concept recently but it is common in Germany it seems. This is the first mechanical DIY for me and I was little nervous initially but with the help of my German colleague it went well.
gopi_rm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY: Adding an AUX input to the post-2010 Fiat Grande Punto (Delphi Headunit) mnvvishwa In-Car Entertainment 9 1st October 2015 10:09
Grande Punto Facelift: From baby Maserati to Punto Evo EDIT: Punto 'My Life' on pg.7 sushanthr77 The International Automotive Scene 167 25th November 2011 12:02
1978 - Fiat 1100 || 2010 - Fiat Grande Punto Emotion MJD! Sujith1100 Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 146 25th October 2011 21:53
Fiat Grande Punto and the new Fiat Sedan; Tata-Fiat JV jkdas The Indian Car Scene 37 4th March 2009 17:01


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:39.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks