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Old 17th June 2009, 19:04   #1
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Default Zen Vxi AC Cooling Low - Gas Full, Compressor Weak?

My 2006 Zen VXi has done close to 40,000 kms with almost 100% AC on. Since the onset of summer (it is 45 deg here in Nagpur), the AC is not able to cool the cabin even after a 15 km run. I checked the refrigerant level and it is full. I can see the refrigerant gas boil through the glass window under the hood, and I also had it checked with Cool World, Nagpur, who confirmed that the refrigerant is full. I also had the cooling coils cleaned at 35,000 kms and the whole blower, ducts, radiator coils, etc are generally dust free.

I am now begining to suspect that my AC compressor has become weak and therefore the cooling is reduced. How do I confirm this? Can the compressor be re-conditioned? Are there any seals that need to be replaced over time? Will reducing the refrigerant pressure help? The compressor runs continously and does not cut-off, as the grill temperature does not drop significantly. I need to fix the AC soon as it has become impossible to drive the car in the afternoons! And with the monsoon nowhere in sight, it looks like another fortnight of opressive heat.
Any pointers, suggestions, solutions, welcome
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Old 18th June 2009, 11:32   #2
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Even I have 2003 zen, generally zen AC compressor are not adequate to cool the cabin. you need to install dark sun film so that cooling is effective. Even i have faced this problem in mumbai.

uday
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Old 18th June 2009, 11:39   #3
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The AC in the Zen is not too effective to begin with, even the Alto AC is better than the Zen AC, if I'm right the AC compressor in the Zen is 80cc while in the Alto it's 110cc, so even if you change the compressor it may cool a little better, but will never to in the leauge of the Alto AC.
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Old 18th June 2009, 13:16   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
I checked the refrigerant level and it is full. I can see the refrigerant gas boil through the glass window under the hood, and I also had it checked with Cool World, Nagpur, who confirmed that the refrigerant is full.
First off, you should not see the gas boil, instead you should see a clear flow of gas in the sight glass. If the gas is boiling, it indicates low level of gas in the system. You would be better off checking this with a M.A.S.S and then see what he says.

40k is far to early for the compressor to conk out even with extensive usage. My uncle owns a Zen and while the cooling is not comparable with the Alto, it does cool the cabin quite well. But, keep in mind this is Bangalore where the ambient temepratures in summer average around 34-35 degrees.

Get your car checked at a M.A.S.S.

Cheers,
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Old 18th June 2009, 15:22   #5
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Thank you for the responses. I was under the impression that the gas boiling is a sign of refrigerant full...my bad. I did get the refrigerant level checked this morning at Cool World and it was indeed low. I had it topped up and now the refrigerant window shows clear (no gas boiling seen). The cooling has improved now, but the grill temperature still does not go below 11 deg, and the cabin does not cool the way it used to. I distinctly remember that the grill temperature went down to 7 deg when I had last topped up the refrigerant.

The AC mechanic too suggested that the AC compressor has lost some compression. As gpa suggested, I too think 40K is too early for this to happen. Now here are my questions:

1. My car is under Maruti extended warranty and I want to know if the AC compressor is covered in this? If yes, what should be my course of action?

2. Will upgrading the compressor to a higher capacity one help?

3. Do I need to change anything else in the AC system if I upgrade the compressor?

4. Which higher capacity AC compressors would you suggest for the Zen?

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 18th June 2009, 15:43   #6
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newcoolgadgets,

Find my responses in bold.

Cheers,
gpa

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
I did get the refrigerant level checked this morning at Cool World and it was indeed low. I had it topped up and now the refrigerant window shows clear (no gas boiling seen)
Glad you sorted this out.



Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
The cooling has improved now, but the grill temperature still does not go below 11 deg, and the cabin does not cool the way it used to
Poor cabin cooling and circulation could be due to a chocked blower fan. Just open the assembly and see if there is any debris stuck in there. This is a DIY job if you are game

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
1. My car is under Maruti extended warranty and I want to know if the AC compressor is covered in this? If yes, what should be my course of action?
The compressor is covered only for a specified period (60,000 kms/3 years which ever is earlier) Read the fine print of your extended warranty and you should know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
2. Will upgrading the compressor to a higher capacity one help?
Not recommended as this will involve a lot of changes to other parts as each system is built around the designated compressor. The Zen has a 80cc compressor so a lot of components wil have to be changed, say, if you upgrade to an Alto's 117 cc compressor.

Last edited by gpa : 18th June 2009 at 15:46.
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Old 18th June 2009, 16:30   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpa View Post
Not recommended as this will involve a lot of changes to other parts as each system is built around the designated compressor. The Zen has a 80cc compressor so a lot of components wil have to be changed, say, if you upgrade to an Alto's 117 cc compressor.
And the costs involved will be > 25 k.
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Old 18th June 2009, 16:50   #8
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And the costs involved will be > 25 k.
25K?? Are you sure about this? I was thinking more like 15K to a max of 18K
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Old 18th June 2009, 17:29   #9
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I did a little research and found that a new AC compressor (80 cc) for the Zen is about 10K. I am not sure about the Alto's 110 cc one. But with the compressor, I will need to change the expansion valve and some filter too, which is another 5K. So the total damages will work out to 15K approx.

Before taking the plunge, I would like to give gpa's suggestion to clean the blower a chance. The blower has become a little slow (even though I just put in a new battery), and it sounds like there is something obstructing its rotation, most probably dust.

How do I clean the AC blower myself? Will opening the cooling coil box under the dash give access to the blower? DIY pointers to accessing the AC blower and cleaning it will be appreciated. As the rains are expected in 15 days, if this works, I will be able to keep with the AC compressor for another year before the next summer arrives.
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Old 18th June 2009, 19:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
How do I clean the AC blower myself? Will opening the cooling coil box under the dash give access to the blower?
Look under your dash and you should see a connector that is a push-fit type plugged into a small steel back of the fan assembly (the motor). Look carefully and you will see 3 screws in the shape of a triangle at different points surrounding the circumference of the fan assembly.

Carefully, unscrew them (you can also use a small size spanner) and the blower motor will pop out into your hand. Look inside this and you should be able to see if it is blocked with dust, debris (leaves, twigs, paper). Using a vaccum cleaner remove as much as possible.

Then remove any debris that's stuck on hard with your hand. The fan's fins (circular) can also be cleaned and any leaves that are stuck in between the fins can be removed (this is what creates the drone when the fan turns)

You do not need to touch the cooling coils. If you puncture one of them it will lead to leaking of the a/c gas and result in poor cooling.

Also, very important is to check the recirculation flap. If you have been using the recirulation mode extensively, the thin layer of foam that is on the flap is likely to be worn thin. This will leave a gap to the outside from which leaves and other crud can enter. If it closes cleanly, then do not use the recirculation mode once you have cleaned the fan.

Trust me, this will go a long way in keeping you a/c system in top shape.

Jaggu has an excellent pictoral guide on cleaning the blower system of the Swift in his LTO report. Do go thru that and you should be able to get a better idea of the process, I have explained above.

Do keep up updated on the outcome.

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 20th June 2009, 09:24   #11
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Thanks for the detailed DIY instructions. I'll try to do this over the weekend and post my results here.
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Old 12th February 2010, 20:18   #12
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I got my AC serviced today at Aditya AC Rajajinagar.

Things noted were low gas.

Things done: some box under dash was opened. He cleaned condonser with a sponge and water. Then cleaned the box/cover.

Topped up the gas and waited till cut-off by putting a thermometer gauge pin inside the grill and blower at 1st point. Cut-off was noted at -1.2C on thermometer

He said excellent condition AC.

I kept complaining for blower power. He said nothing can be done. This is best as per Zen.

Also thing to note here is. Mine is R12 compressor. But I was recommended to top-up with R134. So I went ahead.

He didnt do any neutralizer, soap cleaning, blower cleaning...not sure, why

After I left from there, i left AC is much better by cooling as well as blower power. I can now feel the cool wind on my face!

Total cost 800/- with bill! :-)

Last edited by devrajman : 12th February 2010 at 20:19.
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Old 12th February 2010, 20:59   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
The cooling has improved now, but the grill temperature still does not go below 11 deg, and the cabin does not cool the way it used to. I distinctly remember that the grill temperature went down to 7 deg when I had last topped up the refrigerant.
Grille temp. of 11 deg.C is right

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
The AC mechanic too suggested that the AC compressor has lost some compression. As gpa suggested, I too think 40K is too early for this to happen. Now here are my questions:

1. My car is under Maruti extended warranty and I want to know if the AC compressor is covered in this? If yes, what should be my course of action?

2. Will upgrading the compressor to a higher capacity one help? NOT RECOMMENDED

3. Do I need to change anything else in the AC system if I upgrade the compressor? BASED ON WHAT YOU HAVE MENTIONED,ALL IS WELL

4. Which higher capacity AC compressors would you suggest for the Zen?NONE

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 22nd February 2010, 19:25   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devrajman View Post
I got my AC serviced today at Aditya AC Rajajinagar.

Things noted were low gas.

Things done: some box under dash was opened. He cleaned condonser with a sponge and water. Then cleaned the box/cover.

Topped up the gas and waited till cut-off by putting a thermometer gauge pin inside the grill and blower at 1st point. Cut-off was noted at -1.2C on thermometer

He said excellent condition AC.

I kept complaining for blower power. He said nothing can be done. This is best as per Zen.

Also thing to note here is. Mine is R12 compressor. But I was recommended to top-up with R134. So I went ahead.

He didnt do any neutralizer, soap cleaning, blower cleaning...not sure, why

After I left from there, i left AC is much better by cooling as well as blower power. I can now feel the cool wind on my face!

Total cost 800/- with bill! :-)

Hi Folks

Could some one advice if we can fill R134 type gas into R12 ones ( which zen has) . I was recemmonded by MASS to alter my Zen's AC setup to R134 as R12 Type is no more supported by them as due to some pollution problems with R12. I had to fill it in local AC shops who had R12 stock with them.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 21:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by challa View Post
Hi Folks

Could some one advice if we can fill R134 type gas into R12 ones ( which zen has) . I was recemmonded by MASS to alter my Zen's AC setup to R134 as R12 Type is no more supported by them as due to some pollution problems with R12. I had to fill it in local AC shops who had R12 stock with them.
As far as I know,it is possible to convert an R12 to a R134a system after
  1. recovering all R12 and purging the system thoroughly to remove all traces of oil and R12 refrigerant
  2. installing a new receiver dryer fit for R134a
  3. remove compressor oil and fill r134a compatible oil
  4. change expansion valve if required
  5. clean ac condenser thoroughly
R134A systems see higher compressor discharge pressures so the compressor would need to have good life in it to take the retrofit.
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