Air conditioning
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Thread: Air conditioning

  1. #1
    Driver's Ed
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    24

    Air conditioning

    Good day again everyone!

    I have just bought this Cruze 2011 LS, 1.8L, manual transmission.

    It came with no equipment, no cruise control, no wifi (telephone), no heating seats, and no... air conditioning. I have 2 kids, 3 and 6, ad may not like summer that much. Of course, I could have bought one with A/C, but had a good deal with this one. I would like to check if anyone knows how hard it would be to install the A/C system on this car... I am an avionics tech (aircraft wiring/electrical/electronics specialist) and the electrical part of this upgrade seems ok with me... by the way, anyone knows if provision connectors are present on cars not equipped with different options? Would it need to be totally rewired?

    I am thinking about buying new condenser, pump, but the rest can come used from new wrecked car (piping, hardware, I would get new o'rings as well) and maybe count on Ebay for some items as well.

    Is this project crazy or can someone a little experienced with Cruze mechanics can encourage me to try it?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Learning about my Cruze
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    They sell them without air conditioners?? I didn't even know that haha. Anyways I can't be of any real help, but it seems like that project would be tough. There's probably some computer programming that will stop you in your tracks.


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  4. #3
    Aesop
    NickD's Avatar
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    Don't dare drive kids anymore with the windows down, way too many road hazards.

    Last time I ran into this was buying a dealer installed kit for a Honda, a new climate control with AC was in the kit. Price was 1,200 bucks, but was back in the 80's. Also R-12 was used and easy, could just pour in the proper amount of mineral oil, draw a vacuum, and feed in R-12 using the sight gauge when the OAT was above 85*F for a proper charge.

    No such kit available for the Cruze to my knowledge, and then there is the V-5 compressor, R-134a, PAG oil, and no sight glass. So do need special equipment, draw a deep vacuum first, then inject the PAG, if you don't, moisture in the system results in sludge and your compressor will not last very long. Special firmware for the AC, could question is does your BCM have the ability to even handle this firmware, then the climate control. Plus you have to weigh in the refrigerant.

    Hate to say this, but with this and all the other options you show a desire for, do not feel you received a very good deal.

    Since the 80's, replacement parts have literally skyrocketed. If you live in Wisconsin with strong salvage yard liability laws, will quickly learn they want MSRP for old junk parts.

  5. #4
    Driver's Ed
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    Mar 2014
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    Nickd, what is the bcm? May be replaced? I am not giving up, I know it may be a project, but I still beleive it can be done... Looking for workshop service manual for cheap to help me trough this plus regular maintenance... Any idea where to get one for cheap? Cruzetalk users gave me tips, still looking at this

  6. #5
    Off-Road Champion
    Jim Frye's Avatar
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    BCM = Body Control Module. One of the several interactive computers on the Cruze that controls most of the electronic functions within the interior and lighting. It doesn't control the engine (ECM) or the transmission (TCM) in automatics. The computers are generally set up for specific models and loaded with firmware for the specific car and it's as built options. I have no idea if the one in your car can be programmed to control the A/C as these functions also interact with the engine in the Cruze. Programming the various control modules in a GM vehicle usually requires special programming only available at a dealership or at an independent shop that has paid many thousands of dollars for the computer and software license. The software is proprietary GM software, so it's not likely to be found on e-bay or the like. The Cruze has a GM proprietary network for much of the wiring that connects things to the control modules and between the modules themselves. Even if you get all of the physical hardware bits to bolt together, getting the A/C system to "talk" to the rest of the vehicle will be a bigger challenge.
    2013 Crystal Black Pearl Civic EX-L Sedan w/Nav: K&N Drop In
    13,000 Mi., Avg. MPG: 33 City; 45 Hiway; 87 E10; ECON On
    21 months old, not a single problem, issue, or recall.

    I went out to find myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.

    I'm not apathetic, I'm just too old to matter anymore.
    21,759 June '14 YTD

  7. #6
    Off-Road Champion Aussie's Avatar
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    No A/C seems strange, are you sure that it hasn't been removed for some reason? I don't know of any car that comes without it in the last 10 years or so.


    2012 Holden Cruze CDX Diesel, Nitrate Silver,
    Tinted windows. Built July 2012, MY13 model.

  8. #7
    Handbrake Released
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    It is one option here too, a Cruze without it has been the cheapest option. But we have used to drive cars without any luxury. At least the older people, youngsters have used to get everything better.

  9. #8
    Aesop
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    Feel Jim did a good job of explaining the BCM, also data linked to the other four microcontroller devices in the Cruze. My electronic engineering degree, FCC, and FAA certifications, plus HVAC and MVAC 608/609 certifications don't help me a bit when handed a BCM with OE stock numbers on it. Would take months of work to decode it and a heck of a lot easier to compile source code into a machine language then to even attempt the reverse. Further complicated by embedding a good share of the code locked up tight in the processor it self. And with one wrong brush on the wrong pin, can reset the code.

    Would call that purchasing a Honda without AC was a live and learn experience. Kit made it easier with instructions, but still was a major job, dash had to be pulled all apart plus major changes to belt drive train, then mounting the evaporator. Plus had a ton of parts left over that were worthless. But was a self contained independent system.

    One reason I am vehemently against dealer installed items. Installing fog lamps was bad enough having about 70 bucks worth of useless parts left over. But don't feel mounting floor mats requires a great deal of knowledge.

    Ha, one would think, with logic, would supply rubber floor mats in the first place, cheaper, more practical, but charge extra if you wanted carpeted floor mats. And supplying a vehicle that indubitably requires splash shields to prevent stone chips is another stupid idea. Tees me off. Stone chips are not covered by the warranty.

    What, no door sills or protect door moldings? Use to be standard on all cars like windshield molding. Least the Cruze had that, ran, not walked from a new Camry because that car didn't have that all important windshield weather strip.

    But these are small items compared to your list of things to do.

    Think I would be looking into trading it off and getting something you want. Live and learn.

  10. #9
    Off-Road Champion Aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet View Post
    It is one option here too, a Cruze without it has been the cheapest option. But we have used to drive cars without any luxury. At least the older people, youngsters have used to get everything better.
    I understand A/C being optional in Finland, but places like USA and Australia it is really needed as summers can get very hot. I have seen 47C on my outside temperature since I bought my Cruze 18 months ago, and that is in Sydney west.


    2012 Holden Cruze CDX Diesel, Nitrate Silver,
    Tinted windows. Built July 2012, MY13 model.

  11. #10
    Aesop
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    Our temperature here in Central Wisconsin can swing from -45*F up to 110*F, but not as bad as South Dakota where it can get up to 125*F.

    Wife is from Venezuela with temperature swings of 65*F up to 80*F, never even heard of a central HVAC system or AC in cars. Ha, wouldn't mind living in Venezuela, but certainly would need a pile of guns. Not allowed to have those down there. Can't win.

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