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2017 Renault Duster: AC compressor failure leaves me with a 32k bill

Since my car is out of warranty, they said nothing much can be done from their side, even though it's just been 3 months since the warranty expired.

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AC Compressor and Condenser replacement

Mine is a 2017 RXZ 85 PS MT model, currently done 56K kms. Just 2 months back, I got the 60K kms service done from Renault Silkboard, and got all the belts changed (as recommended by Renault), along with the regular service. Now, I was coming back from a trip to my hometown (Kerala), and took a halt at Salem A2B for breakfast. Once I started from Salem, suddenly a loud kat-kat noise starts coming, it was so loud that I can hear it even with all windows closed. I immediately stopped the vehicle to check, but couldn't see anything obvious. Then again started it to see if the sound comes, but no sound as such. But as soon as I switched on the AC, the sound came back again. This confirmed something to do with the AC system. I initially thought it's the fan, so checked the engine bay, but did not notice any issue with the fan. Since it was a Sunday, and Salem Renault A.S.S was closed, I continued my return journey without AC.

Post reaching BLR, I took it to Renault Silkboard, they diagnosed the issue to be a play in compressor pulley, and the only solution was to replace the compressor, for which they quoted 38K (including labour). At this point they didn't even check the condenser. Since my car is out of warranty, they said nothing much can be done from their side, even though it's just been 3 months since the warranty expired, and this is not a part which should ideally fail so soon. But they just simply refused any sort of goodwill warranty. Anyways, I decided to not handover the vehicle immediately, and took it to Bay6 Motorworks (Multi-brand Car Servicing & Repairs - Bay 6 Motorworks (Bangalore)). Mr. Bala attended the vehicle quickly, and without wasting much time, suggested to take it to Aditya Car AC (Koramangala) for diagnosis. Spoke to Mr. Pradeep from Aditya Car AC, and explained the issue to him. Took the vehicle to him on Saturday morning, and immediately they started the diagnosis.

Within 10 mins they confirmed the issue is with compressor, and not just the pulley as advised by Renault. They also check the condenser and confirmed that the system is choked, and the condenser also needs to be replaced. They even took out some of the fluid from compressor and showed me. It has become a dark grey thick slime type fluid.

So, decided to go ahead with replacing the compressor and condenser. Mr. Pradeep sourced the replacement parts (both same brand - Sanden compressor and Behr condenser) within 1hr. By the time the parts arrived, the technicians dismantled the old compressor and condenser. All in all, the work was completed in 2.5 hrs, and I was heading back home. So far things are fine, even the when the compressor kicks in, the sound is much less than what it used to be earlier.

Total cost came to 32K including parts and labour. If I would have given the vehicle to Renault, then compressor itself would have costed me 38K, add to that the cost of condenser, which I am sure they will charge upwards of 10K. Anyways, it was quite an ordeal to deal with, considering the vehicle is just 5 yrs. and 60K kms old. But I am not very impressed with Renault, firstly because of such a part failing so soon, and secondly, not offering any kind of goodwill gesture, when they can clearly see that warranty expired just 3 months back.

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