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Old 11th May 2010, 15:30   #1
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Default Air conditioner problem with Punto

Hi Fellow BHPians,

I bought a FIAT Punto 1.4 Petrol (Emotion Pack) in September last year. After using the car for a few months, the automatic climate control console (head) got some issues and started showing wrong temperature or change settings without any human feed. It was as if it had a virus.

After showing it to FIAT dealership and some hard talk I managed to get it changed. Because it was winter time I didn't notice how the AC behaved after the change. For the last couple of months, since summers have started, the AC has not been running fine. During my first service (at 15000 kms) I asked the dealership to fix it and they re-filed the gas. There was no improvement. I took the car again to the workshop and showed it to them and they said that they will change the filter, put some coating on the air-intake pipe and refill the gas. Even after doing all this, the AC is not working fine.

Until I cross 40-45 kmph, the air temperature with AC and without AC feels the same. Only after crossing 40-45 the air becomes slightly cool but not what it was last September when I bought the car or how it is in my OHC (6 years old 1, 27,000 kms completed). I complained about the same to TATA motors and they said they will try to find a solution.

I will be going for a test drive with the mechanic from the workshop sometime this week and they will check the car in front of me. According to them there is no issue with the Air-conditioner even when I told that I was drenched in sweat after a 40 minute ride in the car in Delhi where temperature is touching almost 45 degrees.

Can any of the experts here help me with this...like..

1) What should be my next steps?
2) What can be the possible reason for this?
3) What can I do to improve the air-conditioning?
4) What can I tell the mechanic to look at?

I really feel petty for the engineers who have designed the car because it is such a good car (amazing ride quality at high speeds and probably the best handling - it can put premium sedans to shame with its handling) being handled by a poor bunch in India. When you have a quality product, it sells itself unless you do something horribly bad...and I think FIAT leadership is master at ruining things!!!!

~Kshitij
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Old 11th May 2010, 16:12   #2
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Did they check the AC radiator fan and its circuit? Sounds like the fan is not working resulting in the AC to cut off, till the cool draft takes over (at higher speeds 40+ kmph).
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Old 11th May 2010, 16:47   #3
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@k.chandiok
From what you describe it could be
a) the fan which is easy.- as @Jaggu suggests.

or b) God forbid -much worse.
You mention the dealer refilled the gas. why did they have to refill the gas in an essentially new AC system. Was there a leakage- that was not fixed in the first place? In which case is it possible that as you continued driving in winter the gas leaked out anyway - and your AC compressor has been running dry? If that is the case - the only answer is to replace the compressor.


I really hope I'm wrong and @Jaggu is right!!!
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Old 11th May 2010, 17:56   #4
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To see if its gas, there is a pressure switch. Bypass this and see if the compressor kicks in. Good news AC circuit has this switch to cut off the compressor and avoid any damage to the compressor, so shouldn't have really affected the compressor/
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:16   #5
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The fan is an easy check. On most vehicles, if you turn on the A/C compressor, the radiator fan should kick in at full speed.

One possible problem (out of several others) is that the A/C compressor is tripping due to high temperatures and low airflow over the condenser. Ask the workshop to check the pressure on the high side when a/c is engaged and the engine is revved to around 2000 RPM. If the pressure is anywhere beyond 300 PSI, I would suspect the compressor is tripping in high heat. As soon as the 4 level pressure switch trips the compressor, the indicated pressure would drop before the compressor re-engages again.

I noticed this problem in a test-drive punto last year. My 2006 (9600KM run!) City GXi also exhibits this behavior sometimes (in high ambient temperature and low road speed).

Which dealer are you using?
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:54   #6
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The problem could be in the control system. Relay trips the compressor on and off as it gets the signal from the thermostat. A faulty relay here could be the culprit. Well, it's as far as my knowledge goes. Check with the experts.
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Old 13th May 2010, 09:23   #7
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@Jaggu/Vipul/PGSagar: I've noted these points, i';ll be taking my car to the workshop this weekend or latest by monday for the test drive with the mechanic and the service advisor.
@Vipul: I bought the car from Rama motors in Okhla but i am taking the car for service to automobile sterling in noida which is closer to my house.
@All: Thanks for the advice guys....will let you all know the result after I take my car to the workshop
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Old 14th May 2010, 02:04   #8
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I suggest take it to rama. I drive my car in Delhi too It cools very well. Yes in Afternoon ac does sometimes get cuts but it doesnt cross the point when it starts bothering you. I set my temprature at 21 degrees. I would suggest you ask them to give you a test drive of another car for you to note the difference. They wont be left with any choice..
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Old 24th May 2010, 10:00   #9
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Default I think they resolved it----car under observation

Guys,

Took the car to FIAT workshop (automobile sterling - noida) on saturday at 1 PM. They wanted to keep the car and told me to come back at 6 PM in the evening. I went back and asked them what did they fix and they said that FIAT had tried to recreate the issue at their factory in ranjangaon and they had sent new ECU (Engine control unit) to our workshop for your car. They also told me that its being changed only in your car. I drove the car on sunday (in 44 degree Delhi Sun) and didn't face the same issue. I am going to observe the car for this week before i close this chapter. This resolution brings 2 very important points.

1. An ECU is a electronic component which should not malfunction within 8 months (17000 kms.). Is this a bigger problem waiting to happen in other cars?

2. I think FIAT is really trying hard to make customers feel comfortable with the cars. Ever since i have registered a complain with tata motors, i have got a call from tata motors (from pune) every single day about the progress. I feel they are trying really hard. But i think it should not get to the point where people have to escalate the problem to tata motors. I think the dealers should be able to handle it. The dealers should be more inclined towards issue resolution than giving excuses and running away from problems.

What do you think guys?????

~KC
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Old 24th May 2010, 21:31   #10
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Nice to hear Fiat is working hard to resolve this issue. Hope this trend continues.

Glad to know you found a quick enough solution for your issue. Hope the problem stays away for good
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Old 5th September 2010, 18:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
To see if its gas, there is a pressure switch. Bypass this and see if the compressor kicks in.
Firstly this is the same problem but on a different Fiat model - PALIO. I hope its ok to ask the doubts here itself.

how do you ByPass the switch? does the switch look like this?

And if the switch is the issue then is it an expensive thing to replace. (the TATA guys here make everything look so tedious and impossible)
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Air conditioner problem with Punto-img00142201009051431.jpg  

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Old 5th September 2010, 19:23   #12
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One more pic, how do you BYPASS this? (if this is the Pressure switch??)

@MODS since Chandiok's punto's AC problem is solved could you please update the thread to "Deal with Air conditioner Problems in Fiat"
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Air conditioner problem with Punto-img00141201009051431.jpg  

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Old 6th September 2010, 22:01   #13
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Default AC problem for Fiat Palio

Dear Folks,

Pls reply to the query? I found something online, dont know if im looking at the right direction.
One more observation that the above shown switch has a watery residue like a leak. could that be the Fault.

And MODS, would have been nice if the thread was named "AC issues in Fiat cars"
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Old 11th May 2011, 22:00   #14
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Since my last post fiat have replaced the whole Ac unit including the compressor n everything around it. The AC is fabulous now. Delhi is around 42-43 degrees n I still put the AC around mid range n it works perfectly.

The replacement was done by fiat n it Should have been done in all petrol puntos from initial batch.
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