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Maruti air-conditioner failure - TWICE

However, a couple of weeks later, intermittent squeaking noises began to emanate from the bonnet. This was accompanied by a drop in the engine's performance. It felt as though something was caught in the wheels and slowing the car down.

vigneshg recently shared this with other BHPians.

I write seeking your counsel on the concerning matter of my 2007 Maruti Zen Estilo LXi's problematic air conditioning unit.

In July 2019, about a year after I had relocated from Bangalore to Noida, the air-con in my Estilo stopped pumping in cool air. Assuming the NCR heat was somehow overwhelming it, I drove the car to the nearby authorised Maruti service centre (Rajesh & Anil Motor Co. in Sector 2, Noida). The service agent advised me to 'refill the coolant' in the air-con unit, and so I let him. The cost of this fix was about ₹1,200.

Episode #1

The air-con resumed cooling the cabin normally. However, a couple of weeks later, intermittent squeaking noises began to emanate from the bonnet; it sounded as if two moving parts were rubbing against each other every few minutes. This was accompanied by a drop in the engine's performance. It felt as though something was caught in the wheels and slowing the car down. It took me a while to figure out that the problem lay with the air-con: whenever I turned the air-con off, the sound (and the 'dragging' effect) disappeared altogether. In a matter of days, the sound became unbearable and the engine nearly stalled whenever I turned the air-con on.

This time, I visited a different authorised Maruti service centre (Rohan Motors, Sector 1, Noida). After an examination, the service agent informed me that the air-con compressor unit was fatally damaged and that I would have to replace the entire air-con kit. He added that any repairs to the compressor were not possible because, unlike the Maruti-repairable Subros compressor on the Wagon R, the Estilo employed an irreparable Delphi unit. Cursing my luck, I agreed to have the entire air-con kit replaced. This replacement set me back about ₹28,000. The new air-con unit worked as expected.

Episode #2

Earlier today, as I was returning from Agra to Noida, I heard the same squeaking noises from the bonnet. I could feel the mild 'dragging' effect as well. I had very nearly forgotten about the first episode (as I'd replaced the entire air-con kit), but there it was—clear as day—things were normal whenever I turned the air-con off.

By my understanding, a typical car air-con compressor lasts for about five years (if not longer). Mine appears to have failed in less than two years (with almost no usage in 2020). Besides, the air-con was not particularly a problem when I used the car in Bangalore (from 2013 to 2018). Do you have any idea what's causing the air-con to fail repeatedly? Also, can I expect Maruti to investigate the matter in detail? I'm not looking forward to shelling out another ₹28,000 for a new air-con kit.

Your advice will be most helpful.

Thanks to vigneshg once again! Check out BHPian comments for more insights & information.

 
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