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2014 LT, 1.4T, 6 speed
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an odd problem with the A/C.

I noticed a grinding noise when the car first starts out and is idling. After the vehicle warms up or if the engine is revving above idle, the noise quiets down. The noise also goes away when the A/C is off.

The compressor engages and the AC blows pretty cold, but not too impressive. Did a test at 65-70 degrees and low side comes in at a steady 25 psi. High side hits 140 psi but then the fan kicks in and it rises to 190 psi fairly quickly. When it does, the fan disengages and the pressure drops back to 140 psi.

My gut tells me it's the compressor, but my wallet tells me my gut doesn't know what it's talking about and that I should get a second opinion.

'14 LT 1.4T, 77k miles. Bought it six months ago, so no idea how it was treated before me.

Thoughts?
 

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Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
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If the fan is going high-off-high, you have another issue, one which may have led to the demise of the compressor. The AC should run the fan constantly on low or medium speed; the lower speeds of the fan have burnt out and make the compressor work even harder.

The fan's high speed activates when the high side pressure gets super high (or is needed for engine cooling).

This is a common issue with Cruzes and you need to replace the whole fan assembly.

A grinding noise from the compressor definitely isn't a good thing; I'd get a reputable AC shop to check it out. If/when the compressor grenades internally, it can send shrapnel through a lot of the other AC components resulting in an even heftier repair bill.
 

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Premium Member
2014 LT, 1.4T, 6 speed
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the fan is going high-off-high, you have another issue, one which may have led to the demise of the compressor. The AC should run the fan constantly on low or medium speed; the lower speeds of the fan have burnt out and make the compressor work even harder.

The fan's high speed activates when the high side pressure gets super high (or is needed for engine cooling).

This is a common issue with Cruzes and you need to replace the whole fan assembly.

A grinding noise from the compressor definitely isn't a good thing; I'd get a reputable AC shop to check it out. If/when the compressor grenades internally, it can send shrapnel through a lot of the other AC components resulting in an even heftier repair bill.
So if I'm picking up on this correctly, the fan has three speeds: off, low, high. My low setting isn't working, so as the temp increases and the PSI increases, instead of turning on the low setting to keep the pressures at manageable levels, the car has to turn on the high setting to drop them back down. This overworks the compressor and will eventually kill it, and in fact may already have.
 

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Best way to test pressure is engine at 2000 rpm.

Pressures also read lower in cooler temps compared to hotter temps.
 

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Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
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So if I'm picking up on this correctly, the fan has three speeds: off, low, high. My low setting isn't working, so as the temp increases and the PSI increases, instead of turning on the low setting to keep the pressures at manageable levels, the car has to turn on the high setting to drop them back down. This overworks the compressor and will eventually kill it, and in fact may already have.
There's actually a medium speed too, although it is rarely used in my experience. But yep, that sums it up.
 

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Thanks.

Any recommendation on a fan? OEM, or is there a better option?
The OEM one is clearly crap since this is so common, but I wouldn't trust any of the usual aftermarket suppliers like Dorman, Duralast, etc either.

Just a heads up - 2014's can have one of two different radiator/cooling setups - one with an external trans cooler, and one without. Check yours before attempting to order.
 

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2014 LT, 1.4T, 6 speed
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The OEM one is clearly crap since this is so common, but I wouldn't trust any of the usual aftermarket suppliers like Dorman, Duralast, etc either.

Just a heads up - 2014's can have one of two different radiator/cooling setups - one with an external trans cooler, and one without. Check yours before attempting to order.
Thanks for the heads up—almost bought the wrong one. Had to check the part number (which, if anyone's looking, is just in front of the intake of the turbo).

Bad news, though: drove it home last night and as I'm rolling down my street, the "engine overheating" warning popped up. I opened my hood, and sure enough, my motor turned into an amazing mixer for my oil and coolant. Gotta do a compression test this morning, now that I can see.
 

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Thanks for the heads up—almost bought the wrong one. Had to check the part number (which, if anyone's looking, is just in front of the intake of the turbo).

Bad news, though: drove it home last night and as I'm rolling down my street, the "engine overheating" warning popped up. I opened my hood, and sure enough, my motor turned into an amazing mixer for my oil and coolant. Gotta do a compression test this morning, now that I can see.
Yikes. MIGHT be a failed oil cooler...best case scenario. Pain to replace, but better than a head gasket.
 

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Premium Member
2014 LT, 1.4T, 6 speed
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yikes. MIGHT be a failed oil cooler...best case scenario. Pain to replace, but better than a head gasket.
Huh.

Cylinder 1 - 205
Cylinder 2 - 200
Cylinder 3 - 205
Cylinder 4 - 215

And they held pressure really well...

Bad oil cooler?
 

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Huh.

Cylinder 1 - 205
Cylinder 2 - 200
Cylinder 3 - 205
Cylinder 4 - 215

And they held pressure really well...

Bad oil cooler?
That would be my guess, but there are several other tests you can do (leakdown, combustion gas test, etc).
 

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2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red
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2014 LT, 1.4T, 6 speed
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That would be my guess, but there are several other tests you can do (leakdown, combustion gas test, etc).
Was indeed the oil cooler. Swapped it out for a non-Dorman one, and we're back to normal.

... Sorta. I'll start a fresh thread since it's a new, unique issue.
 
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