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Old 20th April 2007, 09:22   #1
Ram
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Default Baleno airconditioner problem

Friends, I'd like to share this with you in the hope it might be useful.

Yesterday morning, when I started my Baleno VXi at home, I noticed that the climate control was not delivering cold air.

First suspect was the climate control computer.
Switched it off and switched to manual airconditioning mode, where you control the blower speed yourself. Still no cold air.

The front panel with LCD display, push buttons and temperature jog dial was working. Recirculate/Ventilate was working. Airflow duct baffle control (demister/front/bilevel/floor) was working.

Drove to work sweating.

Only, the compressor clutch wouldn't engage and turn the compressor.
Was the compressor clutch protected by a fuse?

Popped open the hood.
Sitting between the battery and the left-hand McPherson strut tower, was this big plastic box, that looked like it would have fuses.



It had relays and sure enough fuses.



The lid of the box was embossed with locations of fuses protecting various circuits.



The horn circuit was protected by a blue 15A fuse.
And the a/c clutch was protected by a blue 15A fuse.

Why not interchange them and see what happens?

Eureka! the horn stopped working and the climate-control started cooling.

Called the dealer, Sai Service Stn. Pune. Asked them to send me a bunch of fuses. They were very polite. Said there was a small plastic box, hidden in the passenger cabin above the accelerator pedal. Said I would find 3 emergency fuses there!

Wow! Retrieved a blue 15A fuse, and we were in business again.

They sent me a bunch of fuses for Rs. 10 each.
Now that's why I like Maruti. Why won't I be brand-loyal customer?

Ram

Two more things learned.
  1. Apparently when the compressor clutch engages, the jolt of inductive current can exceed the fuse's 15A rating and blow the fuse. This is apparently a known Baleno problem, I was unaware of.

  2. The fuse box cover also had locations for the ABS brakes motor relay and ABS fail safe, features not provided by Maruti on the Indian Baleno.
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Old 20th April 2007, 09:31   #2
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Ram..!!
Thanks for sharing......
Good to see ppl believing in DIY rather than surrendering the vehicle to the service station guys for small issues like this.....

KP
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Old 20th April 2007, 09:57   #3
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I had the exact same problem while returning from a long trip, 3 hours of sweaty journey under the hot sun.

But then Mandovi service station was visible from my flat, just 200 meters away. They pulled a fuse from under the dash and fixed it, no charge of course.
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Old 20th April 2007, 10:00   #4
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The same is true of Tata as well. If you call the helpline for electrical issues, they explain the location of the fuseboxes and tell you how to find the spare fuses.

I've had fuses replaced for free at TASCs.

This is not to take away from Maruti but to make people aware that other manufacturers also follow similar customer delight policies.
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Old 20th April 2007, 10:09   #5
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Samurai, do replenish the under-dash spare fuses. Feels good to know they're there, in case a headlamp or horn circuit blows a fuse or the a/c clutch trips again.
Cheers...
Ram
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Old 20th April 2007, 11:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrag View Post
The same is true of Tata as well. If you call the helpline for electrical issues, they explain the location of the fuseboxes and tell you how to find the spare fuses.

I've had fuses replaced for free at TASCs.

This is not to take away from Maruti but to make people aware that other manufacturers also follow similar customer delight policies.
That's true. The ultimate was when I accidently locked my leys in the car with the engine running, the Service Center guys actually guided me over the phone on how to pick the door lock open using a ruler/scale!!!
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Old 20th April 2007, 12:13   #7
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Good Info...Ram

Thanks for sharing
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Old 2nd May 2007, 08:14   #8
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When idling i.e. car is stationary , with the AC on - there is this perceptible shiver/judder when the compressor switches on.
Is this normal in a Baleno ?
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Old 2nd May 2007, 10:02   #9
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Yes this is quite normal have experienced it in my car and some
other Baleno's.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 10:03   #10
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Good to know that Maruti Service is supportive, & interesting to see that you deployed your DIY skills & got the A/c going.......thanks for sharing a useful bit of information.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 10:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
When idling i.e. car is stationary , with the AC on - there is this perceptible shiver/judder when the compressor switches on.
Is this normal in a Baleno ?
shuvc, let me try to explain:

The airconditioner compressor represents a load on the engine.

When this load kicks-in the engine must be revved-up to produce the additional incremental torque. The Baleno's electronic control system does the needful by boosting the rpm of the engine.

If the engine mounts have softened due to ageing (or whatever reason), the reactionary torque will momentarily rock the engine. This is the shiver/judder that will be especially felt when the engine is at slow idle.

Why isn't it felt at speed or in other cars?
When the engine is at fast idle (i.e. during a cold start).
Also at 3000 rpm in 5th gear at an expressway cruising speed of 110 km/h, the shiver will be imperceptible.

It can still be detected by a sensitive accelerometer (not totally absent).

This shiver will also be less in a bigger engine where the quiescent torque at idle is much larger anyway.

Hope I have been able to clarify the scenario.

Ram
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:48   #12
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Quote:
Why not interchange them and see what happens?
Wow Ram! Thats the scientist in you speaking.
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