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Old 30th July 2008, 14:45   #1
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Unhappy Automotive air conditioner servicing & maintenance

I have a 7 year old Hyundai Accent and the AC is not working so well anymore. We have to put it at full (4) and even then the cooling is pathetic.

The car is regularly serviced, but I don't think that involves any servicing of the AC. So I suppose it's been untouched for the last 7 years.

So there are two problems:
  1. Blower speed is horrible. Even at full, you can hardly feel a draft.
  2. The cooling is bad. Perhaps the gas needs replacement. Or maybe the compressor.
So I have a few questions assuming that a authorized service centre would be a bad place as they would seriously overcharge.
  1. How can I check if the gas is low?
  2. How can I check if the compressor is shot?
  3. Which would be a good place to get it checked/serviced/repaired in South Delhi? Would Kotla or Khan Market be good?
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Old 30th July 2008, 14:54   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vebmetal View Post
I
  1. How can I check if the gas is low?
  2. How can I check if the compressor is shot?
1. If gas is low then the air is not cool.

2. If cooling coils are choked then the blower speed dies.

I believe you should go for a Full AC servicing and it should cost you around 1200 RS

In Full AC servicing

They fill Compressor oil,AC gas,Clean the cooling coils and lastly clean the Condenser using water stream.

After all this AC is should be as good as it can be.

Normally this should be done every 3 years.
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Old 30th July 2008, 15:01   #3
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What's a good place to do this in Delhi? And how much would labour cost?
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Old 30th July 2008, 20:38   #4
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Originally Posted by vebmetal View Post
I have a 7 year old Hyundai Accent and the AC is not working so well anymore. We have to put it at full (4) and even then the cooling is pathetic.

The car is regularly serviced, but I don't think that involves any servicing of the AC. So I suppose it's been untouched for the last 7 years.

So there are two problems:
  1. Blower speed is horrible. Even at full, you can hardly feel a draft.
  2. The cooling is bad. Perhaps the gas needs replacement. Or maybe the compressor.
So I have a few questions assuming that a authorized service centre would be a bad place as they would seriously overcharge.
  1. How can I check if the gas is low?
  2. How can I check if the compressor is shot?
  3. Which would be a good place to get it checked/serviced/repaired in South Delhi? Would Kotla or Khan Market be good?
Your evaporator (blower unit) is choked full of dirt. It has to be removed and cleaned. You are also likely low in gas and oil.

You need a full AC servicing done, so don't make shortcuts.

Get in done by a good authorized service center. NOT a local shop. The service center will do the job correctly with no shortcuts. They will also use pure refrigerant gas. Typical local shop will use #2 gas that is diluted with compressed air. Also if your AC needs any parts replaced the authorized service will use genuine parts, and you get a warranty.

Remember, you get what you pay for, and if you want your AC to be 100% dont go to a local shop.

Good luck,
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Old 31st July 2008, 00:51   #5
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I would prefer going the authorized SC / genuine parts way, but it depends at what cost. If the local guys do it at Rs. 1,200 (and do a good enough job) but the Hyundai guys do it for Rs. 12,000 (and do a fantastic job) I would go for the local.
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Old 31st July 2008, 01:27   #6
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I do not think that there will be such a large difference in cost. I have had work done at a number of AC shops in Delhi, and NONE of them used pure Freon gas, except for the dealer. If you do get the work done at the dealer, take a close look at the freon gas cylinder (original from a gas company), and then compare that with the gas cylinder used at local shops(rusted cylinder with no marking, aka mixed with compressed air).

I recently had my Fiat Palio AC serviced. About 3000 for the complete job.

The heater core was found to be leaking very slightly and had to be replaced for another 3500, but no addtional labor was charged. A local shop would have just ignored the heater, which would have resulted in another repair and opening of the dash within a year.
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Old 31st July 2008, 09:53   #7
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There is actually a large different in cost. At authorized centers it costs 5-6K+ since labor charges are high.
However if you go to a good ac mechanic, they will fill in gas and clean the cooling coils and blower assembly.
There is a shop in Noida which do decent work.
I got gas topped up for 400rs.
Later I got dashboard removed and cooling coils cleaned from another mechanic(non AC) and its cost me 1200rs inclusive of chemicals etc.,
I have a thread on that in the same "Technical section"
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Old 31st July 2008, 11:04   #8
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RedMM340, I do share your appreciation of a proper job. But the car is 7 years old. It's anyway not in top form. And if I start getting things fixed to the original standards, I will soon be paying half the value of the car in replacement parts and labour! What I need is a satisfactory enough job.

I totally agree with you that unauthorized guys can be quite callous sometimes. But in my experience the authorized service centre guys can be quite badmashes as well. In fact more. When there was a problem with my brake pads a couple of years ago (because our driver had got cheap local pads put), the simple solution was to replace them with original pads (which eventually did solve the problem). But the A.S.S. guys wanted to change the brake discs!!

Anyway, I started this thread so that I can find a good guy in South Delhi to do such a job, so recommendations would be appreciated!
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Old 31st July 2008, 11:11   #9
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I know a guy who will remove dashboard and clean the cooling coils without removing gas. Cost 1250rs approx including chemical bottle
Later if gas is required, we can always get it topped up for 200-400rs depending upon the amount needed. For that purpose also I know a good shop.
If you go to AC guy they will remove cooling coils and then clean them. This means 800-1000rs worth of gas for complete refill
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Old 31st July 2008, 13:54   #10
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i have replied in CAPS

I have a 7 year old Hyundai Accent and the AC is not working so well anymore. We have to put it at full (4) and even then the cooling is pathetic.

The car is regularly serviced, but I don't think that involves any servicing of the AC. So I suppose it's been untouched for the last 7 years.

UNDER NORMAL DRIVING THE AC HAS TO BE CHECKED EVERY 3 YRS IF YOU FEEL COOLING IS LOW.

So there are two problems:
  1. Blower speed is horrible. Even at full, you can hardly feel a draft.
  2. The cooling is bad. Perhaps the gas needs replacement. Or maybe the compressor.
So I have a few questions assuming that a authorized service centre would be a bad place as they would seriously overcharge.
THE CHARGE SHOULD NOT BE A DETERRENT AS IF ITS SERVICED BY SOME PERSON WHO JUST KNOWS TO USE A SCREWDRIVER THEN YOU WILL LEARN LATER THAT IT IS MORE EXPENSIVE TO REFIX THE NEW DAMAGES.
  1. How can I check if the gas is low? ON THE FIREWALL SIDE THERE WILL BE A INCH APPROX RETURN METAL PIPE WHICH WILL BE COMING BACK TO COMPRESSOR VIA A HOSE ON THIS PIPE THERE WILL BE A LOW PRESSURE PLASTIC CAP. WITH AC NOT RUNNING, USE PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR, STAND ON LEFT OR RIGHT SIDE AND PIERCE GENTLY WITH PEN OR SCREWDRIVER ON THE INLET PIN AND IF THERE IS ANY PRESSURE / GAS IT WILL MAKE SAME SOUND LIKE WHEN YOU RELEASE AIR FROM YOUR TYRE.
  2. how can I check if the compressor is shot? IF THE CLUTCH IS ENGAGING THERE IS NO SHOT = FUSE IS GOOD.
  3. Which would be a good place to get it checked/serviced/repaired in South Delhi? Would Kotla or Khan Market be good? I WOULD SAY AUTHORISED PERSON OR ANY PROPER PERSON KNOWING ABOUT AC WORKS - WAIT AND GET THE JOB DONE THATS MY RECOMMENDATION.
(IT SHOULD BE CHILLING) BUT IF YOU FEEL JUST THE COOLING IN EVENINGS AND THE AC NOT EVEN COOLING AT NOON THEN ITS LOW ON GAS. WHEN ITS LOW ON GAS ITS GOOD TO TOP UP SOON OR YOU RISK KILLING THE COMPRESSOR.

ITS BEST TO CHECK THE SYSTEM FOR LEAKS

IN YOUR CASE AS ITS 7 YRS I WOULD RECOMMEND COMPLETE OVERHAUL.
1) GET THE GAS OUT
2) CHANGE THE RECEIVER / DRYER - this is a must as its 7 yrs and there is bound to be bad odor when you use the Ac.
3) GET THE EVAPORATOR CLEANED
4) GET THE EXPANSION VALVE CHANGED - if its clogged. this will be known when you do pt 7.
5) NEW O RINGS WHERE EVER NEEDED AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE COATED WITH THE COMPRESSOR OIL AT TIME OF FIXING.
6) CHECK THE HIGH PRESSURE HOSE IF NEEDS REPALCEMENT
7) GET THE SYSTEM FLUSHED WITH COMPRESSED AIR
8) GET THE SYSTEM PRESSURE TESTED FOR 20 MINUTES MINIMUM there should be NO drop in pressure if there is even 1 or 2 psi drop then theres a leak and that has to be sorted first.
9) GET THE SYSTEM VACCUMMED FOR 15 MINUTES MINIMUM
10) MAKE SURE THEY PUT IN THE RECOMMENDED GRADE AND VOLUME OF COMPRESSOR OIL AS WILL BE NEEDED BY YOUR SYSTEM.
11) FILL WITH GAS

PT 7 / 8 / 9 ARE VERY IMPORTANT SO I RECOMMEND BEING THERE TO SEE THAT ITS DONE AS OTHERWISE IF NOT DONE THERE COULD BE AIR IN THE SYSTEM AND THAT WILL END THE SYSTEM AND COMPRESSOR TOO OR A LEAK AND YOUR GAS WILL GET TO LOW VERY SOON AND AGAIN NO COOLING.

Last edited by Rehaan : 2nd August 2008 at 05:40. Reason: Hi, please use the QUOTE and MULTIQUOTE buttons in the future!
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Old 1st August 2008, 15:20   #11
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Dude, I'm not piercing anything!!!!!!!! What I meant was is there some kind of plastic window or something through which one can see the gas flowing? I remember reading something about it, that you can tell if the gas is low or not if it's cloudy or something like that....

Also, PLEASE people give recommendations in South Delhi! I have Kotla Mubarkpur and Khan Market as the large unauthorized car repair shops. Any specific shops in there you would recommend?
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Old 1st August 2008, 15:31   #12
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Vebmetal do you hear a hissing noise when AC is switched on? If so then get gas pressure checked. The AC shop will put a gauge and see.
But since your car is 5+ years old I'm 100% sure that getting cooling coils cleaned will make cooling sufficient. If you are still not satisfied, go ahead with the gas refill
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Old 2nd August 2008, 15:38   #13
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Quote:
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Vebmetal do you hear a hissing noise when AC is switched on? If so then get gas pressure checked. The AC shop will put a gauge and see.
But since your car is 5+ years old I'm 100% sure that getting cooling coils cleaned will make cooling sufficient. If you are still not satisfied, go ahead with the gas refill
just the checking of the gas should will let him know if its low.

Vebmetal @ there is a dryer located generally on front of the condenser and this will have a sight glass thru which you can see the activity. Generally at idle with Ac ON you will see some movement, as you increase the rpm to around 2000 you should be able to see a clear glass (No movement) in this case the pressure is right - still this is not a 100% diagnosis but rule of thumb since yours is 5yrs old.

Last edited by Jr Godzilla : 2nd August 2008 at 15:40.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:55   #14
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Default Maintenance Tips : Car Air Conditioner

Hi fellow bhp-ians

AC / HVAC units have become a standard fitment in 95% of car models being sold in India. We live in a HOT country and we keep our aircons on most of the time. We would like our aircons to serve us for a longer time.

That's very simple.

All we have to do is, once we start moving, first switch on the blower. then wait for a couple of minutes before you turn on the compressor. Similarly, before switching of the ac fully, recommending you to turn of your compressor first and leave the blower working for a couple of minutes before you turn that off too.
This will improve your compressor's life.
I follow the same in my Bolero and i20 crde.

cheers
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:04   #15
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Default re: Maintenance Tips : Car Air Conditioner

In off season make sure you do switch on your A/C for 3-5 minutes every 15 days to help lubricating all the components of A/C system. This will definitely increase A/C life and will give you trouble free operation.
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