A/C Condenser – Honda City ZX Vtec


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Hai,

Just thought like sharing this peice of my experience, Something I encountered which I felt no Cityite in this Forum had come across (assumption came up as I did not find any write-up/thread relating to that problem). My Car is a 2007
Honda City ZX VTEC done about 35K kilometer has not had any Air Conditioning problems earlier.

Problem: This happened all of us sudden when I gave the car for regular service (5K service) at Whitefield Honda, Bangalore. [Though I feel that they could not have done any damage to the condenser in the car]

Early at 8 in the morning I was attended by the service consultant Shabeer at Whitefield Honda, after his initial first round of check-ups took the car for service. Later after an hour got a call from him and he informed me that the A/C is not working to the desired levels as compared to the showroom condition cars, reason being a problem in the A/C Condenser.

When asked about the problem he said we have to change the condenser totally. The Condenser pipe was damaged badly by the improper placement of the car horn in front of it leading to the damage in pipe in the condenser and off all gas was totally drained, due to which cool air did not get pumped into the Air Conditioning duct inside the car. When asked what’s' the way out the, service engineer promptly told me that the whole condenser should be changed for the Air Conditioner to function. But what threw me back was the cost of the original condenser (Rs 9400 + Labour + Gas Filling (Rs 600) + Tax) making it cost closed to 11500.

My cheapie mind went to ask him if this was covered in Insurance and in parallel tried to figure out from one of my friend who works with an Insurance company to see if some work around could be done for the claim, but to my dismay found that it could be claimed only if there is a genuine accident happened and not due to regular wear and tear of the part. So with a sad mind sat the whole evening trying to think how in this condition I could drive down to Chennai the very next day.

As I was planning to stay in Chennai for 2 days, so decided to get this replaced to have a comfortable journey back to Bangalore. Decided to check on the best guys in town, drilled to one whom I knew is doing this Air Conditioning job since the days when car used to come without A/C's (the old ambassadors, where you will have to buy a unit like "UNICOOL" to have that extra comfort, way back 12/13 yrs before). This person's name is Kumar (quite a old person and if you watch the way he works you can count for his experience) and has his workshop is at Vyasar Rao Street, T.Nagar (now called as Vyasar Street, T.Nagar). Guess what, I am going to his shop after 10 yrs, and he is thrice as busy as he used to be. Went to his shop at 1 in the afternoon, asked him check for the complaint - promptly said Sir I cannot come now to check the problem in your car, have many vehicles to be delivered end of the day or else customers will get angry [Knowing is busy schedule and his work efficiency his attitude did not piss me off]. He asked me to come next day at 9 in the morning. After repeated explanation and telling him that I am coming from Bangalore, he sent one of his assistants to check the car quickly and said the condenser has to be changed and come tomorrow morning to fix this up and hurried quickly to the vehicle which we was working on.

With a sorrowful face went off from that place, that's when my friend suggested another good mechanic from whom we had got his A/C repaired for his Old Honda City and Changed a complete A/C unit in a Skoda and he was pretty much happy with the kind of work, the time of delivery and Cost incurred. My friend was all praises of him.

So decided to go along with him to the shop, S M CAR A/C located in-between Shenoy Nagar and Kilpauk, Chennai and the mechanic's name is Sridhar (9884554019). It is a pretty small shop, but not this commitment towards working. He was working on a Qualis and Corolla at the time when I went to meet him. Checked for the problem and he said the condenser has some cuts in-between because of the improper placement of the Horn. So asked him the cost for changing to a new one, time taken. So he gave me an estimate for a "Type 4" A/C condenser which exactly fits into the City ZX costing 4800 (Rs 3500 for the condenser and Rs 1300 Labour, compressor oil filling leakage checkup and gas filling charges). and told me will take a 8 to 9 hours being City ZX (and said if it is OHC, then will take less time). So finally fixed him change and asked him to take the Car from my friends place in T.Nagar next day morning. He came on dot time the next day at 10.00 as told and took it for repair, later during the day I got a call sometime at 2 'o' clock informing that the car was ready for delivery and checked if he could come and deliver it.

Thoroughly a good experience in terms of time commitment, cost and overall interaction with this mechanic.

Name of the Center: S.M Car A/C
Contact Person: Sridhar
Contact Number: 9884554019

That's a bit of my experience, but everyone would have their own.
 

Akash

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I too own oct2005 city(pre zx) model but no issues of this sort uptill now. Anyways will you post the service cost of your car. It will help us compare the prices.
 
Thread Starter #3
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Hey Akash,

Don't think this could be a common problem, my intention was just in case if CITYers face this problem, the above piece will be a good read.

Radiator pipe was hurt, probably because the horn was placed right in front of it and apparently when the car went through a speed-breaker or pot hole, the horn would hit on the pipe of the radiator which lead to the damage in the radiator pipe and not allowing a proper flow in the gas.
 

350Z

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Excellent and very informative stuff there, your doubt could be true that damage might have caused during servicing BUT if not, then why has Honda placed horn assembly in the awkward position or why isn’t similar issue common with other City owners? Anyways, I’m glad that at the end, repairing job was light on your pocket. By the way, a V-Tec guy on the forum and no review of the car yet? Would love to read ownership story of your V-Tec sometime soon. :smile:

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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ilango he dint mention that horn was added later...anywayz my experience is also this that you can get work done at cheaper cost than what authorized workshop people ask!
 
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Well i think i just know the shop where you have fixed up your AC.

But what the mechanic provided , was it a new one?

But hey if you had not installed any extra horn then you could have fought with Honda asking for free replacement as its their mistake of misplacing the horn.
 
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It is better if you are really sure that the unit is really defective. If the repair can cost you like having a new one,rather buy a new one. Like me I just purchased my Air Products Parts A/C condenser.
 
Thread Starter #11
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Well i think i just know the shop where you have fixed up your AC.

But what the mechanic provided , was it a new one?

But hey if you had not installed any extra horn then you could have fought with Honda asking for free replacement as its their mistake of misplacing the horn.
Hey Cooldaya, I dont know how I kind of Overlooked on this reply of ours, really sorry. Better late than never.

Yeah mechanic provided the brand new one.

I went to Honda and the service guy there says the horn is placed upward towards the condenser because if placed downwards it will come in contact with the pot holes and speed-breakers causing it a damage to the horn :(. Then I told him ideally it should be been placed in the corner facing the other side where both does not come in contact, for which he gave an answer saying it is the ignorance of the service guy who did the job. For me to trace the service guy was impossible as I did not know who did this at which time of the service ?, as I have left it for service for more than 10 times.

It is better if you are really sure that the unit is really defective. If the repair can cost you like having a new one,rather buy a new one. Like me I just purchased my Air Products Parts A/C condenser.
Hey Clark, Yeah the problem was only with the condenser, for which I had bought a brand new one and replaced it. I bought it outside the Honda Service center which costed me 60% cheaper than price quoted by them.
 
Thread Starter #13
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@cooldhaya, its working perfectly fine, great going until now.

Authorized workshops loot when it comes to specified services from there end.
 
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Hey Cooldaya, I dont know how I kind of Overlooked on this reply of ours, really sorry. Better late than never.

Yeah mechanic provided the brand new one.

I went to Honda and the service guy there says the horn is placed upward towards the condenser because if placed downwards it will come in contact with the pot holes and speed-breakers causing it a damage to the horn :(. Then I told him ideally it should be been placed in the corner facing the other side where both does not come in contact, for which he gave an answer saying it is the ignorance of the service guy who did the job. For me to trace the service guy was impossible as I did not know who did this at which time of the service ?, as I have left it for service for more than 10 times.



Hey Clark, Yeah the problem was only with the condenser, for which I had bought a brand new one and replaced it. I bought it outside the Honda Service center which costed me 60% cheaper than price quoted by them.


Nowadays condensors can be repired using aluminium brazing no need to change the condensor it will cost around rs 500 to 650 to repair it
 
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