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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 2002 Deville seems to need an air door actuator because it only cools on the passenger side, but blows warm air on the drivers side. Maybe it's something else? I tried disconnecting the battery for a few minutes to see if the door sync would reset, but it didn't seem to help. (It has dual climate control.)

My question is...could anyone point me to a good tutorial with video or pics to find the correct actuator under the dash and check if it's working and replace it if it's bad?
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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19,693 Posts
My 2002 Deville seems to need an air door actuator because it only cools on the passenger side, but blows warm air on the drivers side. Maybe it's something else? I tried disconnecting the battery for a few minutes to see if the door sync would reset, but it didn't seem to help. (It has dual climate control.)

My question is...could anyone point me to a good tutorial with video or pics to find the correct actuator under the dash and check if it's working and replace it if it's bad?
=============================
all of the actuators are monitored by the climate control computer -
if they fail - a DTC - Diagnostic Trouble Code will be set -
SO -
STEP #1 - ALWAYS - check for DTC's - Diagnostic Trouble Codes - using the on-board scanner -
if you don't know how - go here -

post any codes you have -
ALONG WITH THEIR DEFINITIONS -

include whether they are C-Current or H-History -

for code definitions - go here -


here is a how-to video -

==============================

there IS another possibility - LOW FREON -
not low enough to trigger a code -
BUT - low enough to cause a noticeable difference in duct temp between left and right sides -
 

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Registered
2000 Deville Base, 2019 Corvette Grand Sport
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1,065 Posts
Been there done that on my 2000. Low freon was the culprit on mine.
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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87,109 Posts
I agree with Ron. If it's ambient temperature (not hot) on the drivers side, there is a good chance it is just low on refrigerant, especially if you don't have any DTC's.
 

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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for all the great info. I will check the codes tomorrow.

I did try adding some freon. It was slightly low, and took about 6 or 8 ounces to bring the pressure up to spec. It seems to be cooling slightly better, but there is definitely no cooling on the drivers side.
 

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Registered
2000 Deville Base, 2019 Corvette Grand Sport
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1,065 Posts
Thanks for all the great info. I will check the codes tomorrow.

I did try adding some freon. It was slightly low, and took about 6 or 8 ounces to bring the pressure up to spec. It seems to be cooling slightly better, but there is definitely no cooling on the drivers side.
With that amount of freon going in and you still have warm air on the drivers side I think you have other problems. Why didn't you check the codes before adding freon although it sounds like you needed it anyway. Check for code B0408 or 0409 (Air Mix Door #1 Range Error), at this point it sounds like your problem.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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19,693 Posts
Thanks for all the great info. I will check the codes tomorrow.

I did try adding some freon. It was slightly low, and took about 6 or 8 ounces to bring the pressure up to spec. It seems to be cooling slightly better, but there is definitely no cooling on the drivers side.
===========================
took about 6 or 8 ounces to bring the pressure up to spec.
what "spec"?
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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19,693 Posts
With that amount of freon going in and you still have warm air on the drivers side I think you have other problems. Why didn't you check the codes before adding freon although it sounds like you needed it anyway. Check for code B0408 or 0409 (Air Mix Door #1 Range Error), at this point it sounds like your problem.
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Why didn't you check the codes before adding freon
my thought EXACTLY! -
checking for codes only takes a couple minutes -
 

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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Okay, I ran the DTC and got a couple of current codes...B0429 and B3109. Also a few history codes...B1004, B1009 and U1713.

A little more info. Before I posted on this forum, I figured since my car's ac wasn't cooling well, it must be low on refrigerant. I got a can of r134a with a gauge on the can and added Freon. According to the specifications on the freon, with the ambient temperature being 75f the low pressure should be at 40 to 45. So that's the specs I'm talking about.

After I added the freon is when I noticed the drivers side still wasn't cooling, and that's when I went online looking for clues to the problem, found that it might be an actuator door, then I posted to this forum.

I do appreciate the advice and info.
 

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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The current codes definitions:
B0429 - Temperature Control #3 Rear Circuit Range/Performance
B3109 - 3 consecutive low battery signals from the same programmed transmitter

The history codes definitions:
B1004 - Keep Alive Memory (KAM)
B1009 - EEPROM Checksum Error
U1713 - Loss of Front Door Module to Window Motor High Speed Comm.
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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69,475 Posts
The refrigerant in these cars is charged by weight, not pressures. I believe the spec is 2.2 pounds from full vacuum-dry. A GOOD shop with the correct tools and gauge sets can get it right.

FWIW the "gauge" on the cans is notoriously inaccurate.
 

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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The refrigerant in these cars is charged by weight, not pressures. I believe the spec is 2.2 pounds from full vacuum-dry. A GOOD shop with the correct tools and gauge sets can get it right.

FWIW the "gauge" on the cans is notoriously inaccurate.
Thanks for the helpful information. I guess I should take it to a good shop.

That's a shame that all these stores are selling multiple brands of refrigerant with "gauges" that are inaccurate.
So, I gather from your input, that I have wasted my time and money so far, and should take it to a good shop? How much does a good shop usually charge to add some refrigerant?
I'm only trying to save myself some money by repairing this myself.
I thought this forum was to help people instead of looking for reasons to criticize.

Also, I'm genuinely curious...when you say "The refrigerant in these cars is charged by weight, not pressures". How do they know when to add refrigerant, if pressures aren't relevant?
 

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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Anyway, I didn't mention the refrigerant initially, because I didn't think it was relevant. Guess it was. I figured I would focus on what I thought the problem must be, judging from my crude research.
I'm not always the best communicator and have a tendency to leave out relevant details unless someone asks.

At this point, after seeing the DTC codes, I'm still at a loss as to what the problem must be.
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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69,475 Posts
I'm not criticizing you for one skinny minute. Only passing on 65 years of personal and long-time forum experience with automotive refrigeration systems.

Weight, not pressure - IF you can add some refrigerant on your own and work up to satisfactory results, then make it happen. The advice to have a good shop do the work using "factory" specifications is based on the premise that they'll get it right and you'll have some warranty recourse.

B 0429 is the air blend/mix door function for the rear seat HVAC control panel. It has little or nothing to do with front dash panel/floor air distribution.

All heating is done by blending incoming/cabin air with mixed cabin air from the heater core circuit: the heater core is full flow at all times. Cooling is done using the same technique except that, if refrigerant flow through the evaporator coil is insufficient, the circulating air is cooled unevenly - one side/end of the evaporator coil "runs out" of cold before the other side/end.
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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87,109 Posts
Technically, the most accurate way to charge the system, as Sub said, is by weight. Pressures are relevant and can be used, though slightly less accurate. That said, you need a good set of guages that read high and low side pressures and know how to read what they are telling you. The single, low pressure side gauges that come on the cans are relatively useless.
 

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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I'm thankful for the chance to get input from experts with years and lifetimes of experience. Thanks for taking your time to respond.

The reason for my original post was to figure out why I'm getting cold air on the passenger side and non-cold air on the drivers side. I really would like to fix this myself. Taking it to a mechanic would be nice, but I just can't afford a mechanic.

So far, I've repaired several things on this car, sometimes is seems like something new every week. I've replaced the emissions air pump, both rear door window regulators, the valve cover gaskets, brakes and rotors, the struts and rear air shocks, Now I've got ac problems. I know it's part of owning a used car. I guess I'll get it figured out eventually.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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19,693 Posts
I'm thankful for the chance to get input from experts with years and lifetimes of experience. Thanks for taking your time to respond.

The reason for my original post was to figure out why I'm getting cold air on the passenger side and non-cold air on the drivers side. I really would like to fix this myself. Taking it to a mechanic would be nice, but I just can't afford a mechanic.

So far, I've repaired several things on this car, sometimes is seems like something new every week. I've replaced the emissions air pump, both rear door window regulators, the valve cover gaskets, brakes and rotors, the struts and rear air shocks, Now I've got ac problems. I know it's part of owning a used car. I guess I'll get it figured out eventually.
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cold on the passenger side and "non-cold" on the driver side is just a SYMPTOM -
and the system MUST be diagnosed to discover the CAUSE -
THEN - and only then - can you actually FIX the problem -

MANY things can produce this SYMPTOM -

faulty/sticking mix door actuator -
faulty duct temp sensors -
low freon -
dirt/debris on the evaporator core - thus restricting air flow -
clogged orifice tube -
failing AC compressor -
dirt/debris on the AC condenser -
faulty freon pressure sensors -
faulty freon temp sensors -
contaminated freon -
etc -

pressure gauges are a TOOL - used to help DIAGNOSE the CAUSE -
but it takes an experienced eye to understand what the guages are telling you -

The reason for my original post was to figure out why I'm getting cold air on the passenger side
and non-cold air on the drivers side.
I really would like to fix this myself.

we understand - and THAT'S why we're here - to help Cadillac owners maintain and FIX their own cars -

SOMETIMES you can get lucky - and things turn out to be really simple to fix -
and other times the "simple fix" just doesn't work - and it takes deeper digging to discover the cause -

---------------------------

SO - there are no obvious codes pointing to the problem -
and the "simple fix" of adding some freon had no effect -

lets try this -
with the engine running - and at operating temp -
turn the passenger side temp control OFF -
set the MODE to the dash vents -
set the fan to the lowest speed -
close all the windows and doors -
radio OFF -
we want to "exercise" the system - and LISTEN to what is happening -

there is a RECIRCULATE door -
this opens to allow outside air into the cabin -
if you select FULL HOT - 90* or FULL COLD - 60* -
this door is fully closed so the system strictly recirculates the cabin air -
at ANY other temperature setting - the recirculate door will be partially opened - automatically - depending on needs -

the MODE door controls WHERE the air blows from - floor - dash vents - defroster -

the MIX doors direct air through the heater core or evaporator core -
depending on the temp setting and ambient temp - to pick up heat or cold into the cabin -

AC button turns the AC compressor OFF -

ready?

OK - as I said - you need to LISTEN to and FEEL everything that is happening with these different settings -
YOU are my eyes - ears - and hands -

set the cabin temp to 70* - wait a full minute for everything to settle -

turn the temp QUICKLY down to 60* -
you should hear the RECIRCULATE door close -

and both MIX doors move to the full cold position -
which covers the heater core and uncovers the evaporator core -

NOTE the sounds - and report -

now - FEEL the air flowing from the two left/right center dash vents -
both vents should be emitting EQUAL ambient air temp - with NO discernible difference -

NEXT -
turn the passenger side temp control ON -
and increase the passenger side temp to the hottest position -

did you FEEL a difference in the air temp coming from the passenger side duct?

turn the passenger side control OFF -

turn the cabin temp to 90* - full hot -
NOTE what you hear -
NOTE the air temp from the dash vents - is the air EQUALLY hot?

turn the cabin temp back down to 60* - full cold -
NOTE what you hear -

wait one full minute - then turn the AC button ON -
you'll hear the AC compressor kick ON -
wait a couple minutes for the system to settle -
NOTE the air temp from the dash vents - is the air EQUALLY cold ?

turn the passenger side temp control ON -
and increase the passenger side temp to the hottest position -

did you FEEL a difference in the air temp coming from the passenger side duct?

turn the passenger side temp control OFF -

turn the fan to the highest setting -
NOTE the temperature of the air from the two center dash vents -
is the air EQUALLY cold?

after "exercising" the system -
has ANYTHING changed?

if there IS an improvement - you're done -
if no improvement -there is one last thing to try -

remove the back seat -
disconnect BOTH battery cables - REMOVE the NEGATIVE first - then the positive -
then touch them together for 10 seconds -

this acts as a computer reboot - and resets the various actuators -

reinstall the battery cables - INSTALL the POSITIVE cable first - then the negative -

fire up the engine -
set the AC to 60* -
NOTE the changes -

==============

post your results -
 

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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks basscat, for all the effort helping with the diagnosis.
I will start testing within the next hour and get back with the results.
 

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2002 Deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Okay, so I ran through all the steps and everything is still the same.
I started the car and brought it up to running temp.
Let the temp settle at 70. Turned mode setting to dash vents.
Turned temp down to 60. Could hear the door move and the air got louder. The air temp is still cold on passenger and ambient on driver side.
Turned passenger temp up to the highest setting. It got slightly quieter and less cold on passenger side.
Turned passenger side off and turned main temp all the way up. Both sides were blowing hot air. Air noise was quieter.
Turned main temp back down. Could hear door moving and louder air movement. Still only blowing cold out of passenger side.
Tried turning ac off then on. Repeated the steps. Still the same.
Disconnected battery under seat and touched the cables together and reconnected. Still the same.
FWIW, When I try switching modes, the air seems to come out of the appropriate areas, (the floor, the dash, the defrost).
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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19,693 Posts
Okay, so I ran through all the steps and everything is still the same.
I started the car and brought it up to running temp.
Let the temp settle at 70. Turned mode setting to dash vents.
Turned temp down to 60. Could hear the door move and the air got louder. The air temp is still cold on passenger and ambient on driver side.
Turned passenger temp up to the highest setting. It got slightly quieter and less cold on passenger side.
Turned passenger side off and turned main temp all the way up. Both sides were blowing hot air. Air noise was quieter.
Turned main temp back down. Could hear door moving and louder air movement. Still only blowing cold out of passenger side.
Tried turning ac off then on. Repeated the steps. Still the same.
Disconnected battery under seat and touched the cables together and reconnected. Still the same.
FWIW, When I try switching modes, the air seems to come out of the appropriate areas, (the floor, the dash, the defrost).
=========================
OK - good job -

SO - all these tests were to verify that the various door actuators WERE responding properly -
which they seem to be -

all these tests would usually be done using the TECH2 scan tool -
each actuator reports a "position" - on a scale of 1 - fully closed - to 255 - fully open -
this is how the entire "memory system" works -
seats - mirrors - AC settings - etc -

one last step would be to get up under the dash and actually WATCH -
and verify - that the driver side temp actuator moves to the FULL COLD position -
even though the tests you just did - and lack of codes - tells us there is no electrical problem -

there IS one other - quick test - you can do -
engine running -
blower on medium/low setting -
temp set to 60* -
from under the hood - locate the two AC evaporator lines going through the firewall -
grasp these lines -
BOTH should be equally cold -

I suspect you'll find one MUCH warmer than the other -

-------------------------

unfortunately - next we need a set of gauges that display BOTH low-side pressure and high-side pressure -
 
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