2004 ESV Climate Issues - Actuator/Compressor/Resistor?
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, 2004 ESV Climate Issues - Actuator/Compressor/Resistor? in Cadillac Escalade Forums; My problems started at the end of last summer. Passenger side started blowing hot while driver side blew cold and ...
  1. #1
    jonesy95 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    2004 ESV Climate Issues - Actuator/Compressor/Resistor?

    My problems started at the end of last summer. Passenger side started blowing hot while driver side blew cold and vice versa. I read up on this issue and realiezed I would need an A/c actuator. Fast forward to this summer. When I push the "Snowflake" I do not hear the A/C clutch engage (I replaced a/c belt and tensioner early in the Spring). I have replaced the A/C actuator on the passenger side. I've tried adding refridgerant but since the clutch is not engaging I cannot add any refridgerant. Also, no matter which setting I select on the dash climate control, the air only blows through the defog setting (top of dashboard). I don't know which route to take at this point. I'm trying to DIY this issue but not having any good results. somebody help me before I march myself down to the stealership.

    Thanks,

    Jones
    jonesy95@hotmail.com

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  3. #2
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonesy95
    My problems started at the end of last summer. Passenger side started blowing hot while driver side blew cold and vice versa. I read up on this issue and realiezed I would need an A/c actuator. Fast forward to this summer. When I push the "Snowflake" I do not hear the A/C clutch engage (I replaced a/c belt and tensioner early in the Spring). I have replaced the A/C actuator on the passenger side. I've tried adding refridgerant but since the clutch is not engaging I cannot add any refridgerant. Also, no matter which setting I select on the dash climate control, the air only blows through the defog setting (top of dashboard). I don't know which route to take at this point. I'm trying to DIY this issue but not having any good results. somebody help me before I march myself down to the stealership.

    Thanks,

    Jones
    jonesy95@hotmail.com
    Jones the snowflake button disables the a/c compressor

    As far as it only coming out of the defrost vents try this

    1pull the hvac fuse in the under hood fuse box for 2 mins

    2 turn the key to run(engine off) for 2mins

    3 turn the key off(2mins) then start the truck and drive it for a half hour and see if the issue clears up

    If not then the actuator will need replacing(the drivers side is cakewalk the passenger side is a major p.i.t.a

  4. #3
    65kaiser is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 ESV Climate Issues - Actuator/Compressor/Resistor?

    Just for clarification the snowflake button is on/off for the ac. Not just disable.

  5. #4
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 65kaiser
    Just for clarification the snowflake button is on/off for the ac. Not just disable.
    Yep it turns the ac off when the snowflake with the line through it is showing

  6. #5
    jonesy95 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 ESV Climate Issues - Actuator/Compressor/Resistor?

    Thanks for the reply. I will try the 3 steps when I get home this afternoon.

    As for the Snowflake...yes I understand it turns the compressor off/on but when the snowflake is lit, the compressor Does Not come on. That is my issue. So wondering if I need a new compressor/switch/relay.

    Thanks again.

  7. #6
    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonesy95
    Thanks for the reply. I will try the 3 steps when I get home this afternoon.

    As for the Snowflake...yes I understand it turns the compressor off/on but when the snowflake is lit, the compressor Does Not come on. That is my issue. So wondering if I need a new compressor/switch/relay.

    Thanks again.
    The snowflake button turns the compressor off not on

    When the snowflake icon is off in the display the compressor kicks on as needed

  8. #7
    NYS
    NYS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 ESV Climate Issues - Actuator/Compressor/Resistor?

    jonesy95...

    Did the fuse pull work for you?

    You have described multiple issues... all of which are very common, and all of which can sometimes correct themselves without need for service or disassembly.

    When the unit goes to defrost only mode, that is a fail safe mode. The module detected a value not expected, and is programmed to default to defrost so that in the event you actually need defrost to safely see your way home, you have it by default.

    The fuse trick WORKS. Trust it. Try it. It works best when ignition is in KEY ON ENGINE OFF mode. Ignition needs to be in RUN, but engine does not need to be running.

    I have not found it necessary to wait 2 full minutes. That is a long time to wait for something like that... feels like waiting for water to boil. I have found that 30 seconds is sufficient.

    Turn Key on until dash lights are shown, turn AC system off if on (the 0 button on the left of the digital display HVAC module), then open the hood, pull the UBEC fuse cover, look at the diagram to find the 10 AMP HVAC fuse, and pull it. Wait 30 seconds. Reinsert. Key off, then start, then press "Auto" for 4 seconds (to align driver/passenger temp settings), and you should feel air being directed through the dash vents at that point.

    Another issue you mentioned had to do with actuators. Unless you hear a strange clicking noise coming from them, I would not be in such a rush to swap them out. Those actuators over travel and get lost sometimes. Once their position gets found again by the module, they start behaving again.

    It isn't worth tearing the dash apart over and over again everytime one side blows hot and the other side blows cold. The actuators are lost.l You can confirmed that they are lost, and not broken, by making a counterintuitive setting on your control unit, as follows:

    Let's say the passenger side is blowing hot... and it is blisteringly hot outside in the middle of July (like now). And let's say you don't particularly like your passenger. Then just leave things be. But let's say you like your passenger, who is now protesting being roasted over there. Intuitively, you turn the passenger side all the way down to 60 degrees, thinking that even if the actuator is lost, the new command will move the actuator more toward the desired direction. Don't do that. Do the opposite instead. Turn the passenger side all the way UP to 90 degrees. You might be surprised to find that NOW the passenger side is getting colder. You have now proven the actuator is functional and working... it has just lost it's way.

    Actuators in this funky GM climate system often lose their way when all power is disconnected from them. Usually the first signs of errant behavior of the HVAC system come after a dead battery episode. New battery gets installed, now the AC problems begin. I've watched and studied this issue on every single GMT800 platform... from Sierras to Silverados, from Yukons to Avalanches, from EXTs to ESVs... owners to all of these GMT800 vehicles with the dual zone or tri-zone digital HVAC control system have reported actuator problems, since 2004.

    At some point in mid 2005, GM developed and released a new calibration for the HVAC system to make actuators not so sensitive to getting lost (for lack of a better way to describe it). During 2005-2006, GM had a TSB running that permitted dealers to reflash the HVAC modules under the 3/36 warranty if customers complained.

    More often than not, hot side cold side issues can be resolved without replacing the actuators. It is simply an irritation of having to pull the fuse, or run the temperature settings counterintuitively in reverse for a while. This is a lot cheaper and a lot less work than pulling apart the dash.

    However, there are instances when the actuators do fail. The grease inside can harden sometimes, which effects the plastic gears inside. And in a completely opposite type of failure, the grease can get too runny, and run it's way to a tiny IC chip inside the actuator, bridging the gap between two of the caterpillar leg contacts to the board. The micro circuit gets confused because the signal is running the wrong path... across the grease bridge that ran and recoagulated between the contact legs of the IC circuit. I've personally seen and cleaned this type of failure, and restored the same old actuator back into service and it functioned normally once again as expected.

    Well, that's enough rambling about this issue. I do hope you try what was suggested by a previous poster to you (pull fuse in run) before throwing more refrigerant, belts, pullys, compressors, actuators, and other hard parts to the system. These aren't the cars of yesteryear where blend doors were controlled by a choke type cable connected to a manual slider. Most of the failures related to the GMT800 digital climate control system are electronic strategy mismatches.

    Reach for the fuse before reaching for the wallet or the wrench.

  9. #8
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYS
    jonesy95...

    Did the fuse pull work for you?

    You have described multiple issues... all of which are very common, and all of which can sometimes correct themselves without need for service or disassembly.

    When the unit goes to defrost only mode, that is a fail safe mode. The module detected a value not expected, and is programmed to default to defrost so that in the event you actually need defrost to safely see your way home, you have it by default.

    The fuse trick WORKS. Trust it. Try it. It works best when ignition is in KEY ON ENGINE OFF mode. Ignition needs to be in RUN, but engine does not need to be running.

    I have not found it necessary to wait 2 full minutes. That is a long time to wait for something like that... feels like waiting for water to boil. I have found that 30 seconds is sufficient.

    Turn Key on until dash lights are shown, turn AC system off if on (the 0 button on the left of the digital display HVAC module), then open the hood, pull the UBEC fuse cover, look at the diagram to find the 10 AMP HVAC fuse, and pull it. Wait 30 seconds. Reinsert. Key off, then start, then press "Auto" for 4 seconds (to align driver/passenger temp settings), and you should feel air being directed through the dash vents at that point.

    Another issue you mentioned had to do with actuators. Unless you hear a strange clicking noise coming from them, I would not be in such a rush to swap them out. Those actuators over travel and get lost sometimes. Once their position gets found again by the module, they start behaving again.

    It isn't worth tearing the dash apart over and over again everytime one side blows hot and the other side blows cold. The actuators are lost.l You can confirmed that they are lost, and not broken, by making a counterintuitive setting on your control unit, as follows:

    Let's say the passenger side is blowing hot... and it is blisteringly hot outside in the middle of July (like now). And let's say you don't particularly like your passenger. Then just leave things be. But let's say you like your passenger, who is now protesting being roasted over there. Intuitively, you turn the passenger side all the way down to 60 degrees, thinking that even if the actuator is lost, the new command will move the actuator more toward the desired direction. Don't do that. Do the opposite instead. Turn the passenger side all the way UP to 90 degrees. You might be surprised to find that NOW the passenger side is getting colder. You have now proven the actuator is functional and working... it has just lost it's way.

    Actuators in this funky GM climate system often lose their way when all power is disconnected from them. Usually the first signs of errant behavior of the HVAC system come after a dead battery episode. New battery gets installed, now the AC problems begin. I've watched and studied this issue on every single GMT800 platform... from Sierras to Silverados, from Yukons to Avalanches, from EXTs to ESVs... owners to all of these GMT800 vehicles with the dual zone or tri-zone digital HVAC control system have reported actuator problems, since 2004.

    At some point in mid 2005, GM developed and released a new calibration for the HVAC system to make actuators not so sensitive to getting lost (for lack of a better way to describe it). During 2005-2006, GM had a TSB running that permitted dealers to reflash the HVAC modules under the 3/36 warranty if customers complained.

    More often than not, hot side cold side issues can be resolved without replacing the actuators. It is simply an irritation of having to pull the fuse, or run the temperature settings counterintuitively in reverse for a while. This is a lot cheaper and a lot less work than pulling apart the dash.

    However, there are instances when the actuators do fail. The grease inside can harden sometimes, which effects the plastic gears inside. And in a completely opposite type of failure, the grease can get too runny, and run it's way to a tiny IC chip inside the actuator, bridging the gap between two of the caterpillar leg contacts to the board. The micro circuit gets confused because the signal is running the wrong path... across the grease bridge that ran and recoagulated between the contact legs of the IC circuit. I've personally seen and cleaned this type of failure, and restored the same old actuator back into service and it functioned normally once again as expected.

    Well, that's enough rambling about this issue. I do hope you try what was suggested by a previous poster to you (pull fuse in run) before throwing more refrigerant, belts, pullys, compressors, actuators, and other hard parts to the system. These aren't the cars of yesteryear where blend doors were controlled by a choke type cable connected to a manual slider. Most of the failures related to the GMT800 digital climate control system are electronic strategy mismatches.

    Reach for the fuse before reaching for the wallet or the wrench.
    Man that is a big post

    I had this issue and tried the fuse trick and it worked for a bit then I would get heat(turning the temp knob did nothing)
    So I pulled the actuator out took it apart and cleaned the sensor contacts and it has worked like a charm ever since after I did the relearn process I mentioned

    I did have the rear air system go crazy by throwing a over travel code(had to replace the module and actuator at the tune of 99 for the module and 139 for the actuator) along with my battery from where the module didn't shut off fully because of it 200 bucks for the battery

    Answer me how that happened

  10. #9
    jonesy95 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 ESV Climate Issues - Actuator/Compressor/Resistor?

    I will trrryyyy to get to this tonight. My water heater burst last night and I havent been driving the Caddy the past few days. first things first, I have to have hot water in the house first.

    ----------

    Ok so I tried the pull-fuse method. It didnt work. When I start the car (after pulling the fuse) the system turns on automatically so I dont have a chance to push and hold the "Auto" button for the 4 seconds. Not sure if that makes a difference but I thought I''d mention that part. I will try again and keep you posted.

  11. #10
    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonesy95
    I will trrryyyy to get to this tonight. My water heater burst last night and I havent been driving the Caddy the past few days. first things first, I have to have hot water in the house first.

    ----------

    Ok so I tried the pull-fuse method. It didnt work. When I start the car (after pulling the fuse) the system turns on automatically so I dont have a chance to push and hold the "Auto" button for the 4 seconds. Not sure if that makes a difference but I thought I''d mention that part. I will try again and keep you posted.
    If the fuse trick didn't work then the actitutior needs replacing not hard if its the driver side
    The passenger side is a major p.i.t.a
    The drivers side can be replaced by removing the hush/kick panel below the glove box
    The passenger side requires the dash to be took apart(lot of work)

  12. #11
    jonesy95 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 ESV Climate Issues - Actuator/Compressor/Resistor?

    Yeah, I'm certain my actuators are shot. I'm suspecting the actuator I replaced is faulty too. I purchased it on Ebay. I used to hear those crackling sounds coming from the car and always wondered what that was. But now I realize those sounds were the actuators. Are there actuators in the rear? On which side of the dash is the passenger side actuator? I've taken the dash out before so it wont be something I havennt done before. thanks guys.

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