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Automotive Air Con Advice Needed


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I mentioned in another thread my AC went out in my Trailblazer.  Based on what I have seen posted in the Philippines Trailblazer Club, this is not unusual.  I know we have a few members here with automotive expertise and some with AC expertise, so I thought I would get some opinions.  Long story here.

80,000 km on the clock.  I had an AC leak repaired back in June.

Last Saturday we were on the way to the beach with our friends in another car, and stopped at a 7/11.  I left the family in the car with it running and AC on.  When I came out I smelled something burning, like rubber, and there was some smoke.  Killed the engine and popped the hood.  I couldn't tell exactly where the wisp of smoke and smell came from, but it was in the general area of the AC compressor, and since it was a rubber smell, I thought it might be from the drive belt.  Turned off the AC, opened the windows, and continued on without issue.  Next morning, I tested the AC and it was only blowing warm air.  Drive belt spinning without issue, and looking at the compressor, I don't know enough about it and the clutch there to know what it was doing.

By coincidence, I was planning to have the TB serviced this week at 80 k km.  Oil, tranny and rear transfer case fluids changed, and a few other things.  I trust my shop.  He does not have an AC technician but has a guy he trusts come over and do AC work.  Same guy that fixed the leak.  So they checked it out and as suspected, the compressor was seized.  They recommended new compressor, new condenser, new front and rear drier filter (their words) and new front and rear expansion valve.  They said they would clean the front and rear evaporators.  They said they could do the labor if I bought the parts.  Later, he also said it might be good to get a new fan motor while they had it apart.

I know a guy who sells imported GM parts, and he has most of what I need, kinda.  There are also Denso parts available for less cost.  You can find both on Lazada.  This past Thu/Fri, I did some scouting around to find out what was available locally.  I checked three other shops and they probably all order Denso parts from Manila.  I did not actually get estimates yet.  The one shop is fairly trusted in the community and they have worked on my home AC.  He said the parts will not have a warranty and his 90 day warranty will be for the labor only.  One other nice shop I like, run by a Korean guy, has not got back to me yet.

Chatting back and forth with my mechanic, I find out that he is gun shy about using non-GM parts on a Trailblazer.  Another neighbor has a TB, and he wanted the cheapest route.  They installed Denso but I am not sure what, and 3 weeks later he was back in the shop.  It turned into a big problem for him and I think it cost him some mula, so no more Denso.  Only GM parts.

Regarding the the guy selling GM parts.  I know him a bit online and from the Trailblazer club, and he is trustworthy.  His prices are fine compared to others.  He orders a whole container load of GM parts from Thailand, mostly for Trailblazer and MU-X, as they share a lot of parts.  However, these damn parts are expensive.  Cheaper than the dealer, but still expensive.  If I buy a lot, I'm sure he will give me a package discount.  The way the parts are from him, it is not so easy to get the parts individually.  Here are his prices:

GM compressor p27,000.  I think the lowest I have seen advertised is 25 and he would probably give it to me for that.

Condenser with drier included - p12,000

Front evaporator with expansion valve - p11,000

Rear evaporator with expansion valve - p12,000

I don't think he has the expansion valves separate.  So, if I buy all these GM parts, basically that is an entire new system, correct?  Before discounts, p62,000.  Ouch!

Also, based on what I have read, if your compressor blows, you really should replace the condenser as it may get clogged with some crap from the compressor.  Not sure about those other parts.

There is an ad on the Trailblazer Parts Club for a shop that comes to your house (in Manila area) and installs a new compressor and maybe (not sure) condensor for p32,500.  Appears to be Delphi brand, whatever that is.  They advertise the compressor alone for p22,500.   I might enquire with them if they ship parts.

The other factor is, I'm planning to sell the car in the next 6 to 18 months.  Kinda on the fence about spending more for "quality" parts or less to save.

Any thoughts?  Luckily I don't have to have it fixed immediately.  The weather is not so bad, so I can drive it mornings and evenings with the windows down if needed, and we have our Honda Brio too.

 

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1 hour ago, OnMyWay said:

Based on what I have seen posted in the Philippines Trailblazer Club, this is not unusual.

Was it the compressor in all the other cases? If so, GM should have done a recall under warranty. Have you contacted your dealer?

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22 minutes ago, jpbago said:

Was it the compressor in all the other cases? If so, GM should have done a recall under warranty. Have you contacted your dealer?

Some people on the Trailblazer Parts Club post "LF 2014 AC Compressor", etc., and there are a lot of ads for compressors, so I assume a lot of compressors are failing.  Have no idea of the actual kms they are failing at, but I also assume it is relatively low.  My 80,000 km is only about 50,000 miles.  A quality AC system should last at least 100,000 miles with some minimal maintenance.  I don't think the quality of these Asia built GM cars and parts is so great.

When the 2014 Trailblazer was sold new, the warranty was 3 years bumper to bumper, with 5 years on the power train.  So those are both expired.  My closest Chevy dealer is 1 hour away, very overpriced, with incompetent service technicians, and a waste of time.  My last visit to the dealer was in late 2015.  They kept me waiting there all day to replace a 3rd row rear seat belt under recall, that I didn't ask for, and didn't fix the main thing I went there to get fixed.

I think the dealer price for the GM AC Compressor is about p42,000.  I will call there and see if I can get some prices.

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OEM genuine GM USA parts are mostly AC Delco. Delphi is a off brand of AC Delco is owned by Delco GM. Some Delphi is made in China. Some branded Delco parts are in fact Delphi. Confusing.

You don't want to buy an off market made in China unit or a OEM rebuilt in China.

Your best choice is a new Delco or Delphi compressor not a new rebuilt one there is a difference. I have no idea how you would be sure of buying one in Philippines.  

Same goes for alternators and starters. Spending more is a better value. Been there done that.

Edited by Old55
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3 hours ago, Old55 said:

OEM genuine GM USA parts are mostly AC Delco. Delphi is a off brand of AC Delco is owned by Delco GM. Some Delphi is made in China. Some branded Delco parts are in fact Delphi. Confusing.

You don't want to buy an off market made in China unit or a OEM rebuilt in China.

Your best choice is a new Delco or Delphi compressor not a new rebuilt one there is a difference. I have no idea how you would be sure of buying one in Philippines.  

Same goes for alternators and starters. Spending more is a better value. Been there done that.

Thanks, I did not know that about Delphi.

Another probable reliable source got back to me.  There is a guy in our Trailblazer Club, one of the chair people, if that is the right term, who runs a parts business.  He is highly respected in the group and I have ordered oil filters, air filters, etc. from him.  All GM.  I asked him about AC parts and he recommended the guy at this place:

https://www.facebook.com/cbrcaraircon

I messaged them a few nights ago and the guy got back to me tonight.  By far, he appears to be the most knowledgeable on Trailblazer air con and he carries GM parts.  He did not know if he has the compressor in stock and will let me know on Monday, along with prices.  He said that 95% of Trailblazer compressor failures he has fixed have been caused by the front evaporator, so that has to be replaced, not cleaned, and the rear evaporator can just be cleaned, along with the whole system.  His shop had a "Trailblazer Day" for the club members, so I think that is an indicator that of his experience.

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Perfect Don. It seems you found a good reputable expert and part source too. 

I used to be good at turning wrenches but about 20 years ago had to quit cars just got too complicated or difficult to work on.

 

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Am I the only one that thinks its a good excuse to buy a new car? Good luck with the repair.

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26 minutes ago, fototek1 said:

Am I the only one that thinks its a good excuse to buy a new car? Good luck with the repair.

Actually I will probably sell it in the coming year, but either way, it has to be fixed properly.

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15 hours ago, OnMyWay said:

Thanks, I did not know that about Delphi.

Another probable reliable source got back to me.  There is a guy in our Trailblazer Club, one of the chair people, if that is the right term, who runs a parts business.  He is highly respected in the group and I have ordered oil filters, air filters, etc. from him.  All GM.  I asked him about AC parts and he recommended the guy at this place:

https://www.facebook.com/cbrcaraircon

I messaged them a few nights ago and the guy got back to me tonight.  By far, he appears to be the most knowledgeable on Trailblazer air con and he carries GM parts.  He did not know if he has the compressor in stock and will let me know on Monday, along with prices.  He said that 95% of Trailblazer compressor failures he has fixed have been caused by the front evaporator, so that has to be replaced, not cleaned, and the rear evaporator can just be cleaned, along with the whole system.  His shop had a "Trailblazer Day" for the club members, so I think that is an indicator that of his experience.

Do you only mentioned buying the parts from this guy.  Is he close enough to have him do the work?  I'm sure others locally could do the repair.  However, even if its a long drive it may be worth it to have the parts supplier repair it also if they do the work.  Might be worth it in the end.

 

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18 minutes ago, intrepid said:

Do you only mentioned buying the parts from this guy.  Is he close enough to have him do the work?  I'm sure others locally could do the repair.  However, even if its a long drive it may be worth it to have the parts supplier repair it also if they do the work.  Might be worth it in the end.

 

I might need to consider that.  It would be a sweltering 2+ hour drive to the shop in Quezon City, but at least I don't have to go through much of Manila.  Not sure about Covid restrictions to overcome though.

I was thinking about having the air con guy here chat with that air con guy, if feasible.

 

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