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Author Topic: Air conditioning problem with 2009 Traverse  (Read 37704 times)
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corladon
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« on: June 30, 2011, 04:10:28 PM »

Hopefully someone here can help shed some light on our problem.  We purchased a used 2009 Traverse a couple of months ago.  So far so good except for a new A/C problem.  The car has the rear A/C option with the second row control / arm rest.  Not sure if it matters, but the thrid row seats were folded down and the car was packed floor to ceiling with luggage and camping gear.

The other day we were driving home from a 4 hour trip.  It was in the 80 - 90 degree range.  3 hours into the trip we hit some freeway construction and were in stop and go traffic for 30 minutes or so.

Towards the end of the construction we realized that the A/C wasn't working correctly.  The air that was coming out was not cold.  It was slightly cool but not as cold as it should be.  Stranger still was the fact that the front A/C was not blowing nearly as much air as it should have been.  The "volume" of air didn't change even if the fan speed was manually changed from low to high, it was always the low amount.  The rear A/C "volume" would change and was normal but the air was not cold.

I tried changing the inside/outside recycle, auto, manual modes, air blowing towards the feet, towards the face, etc.  Turned it off and on but nothing would fix it.

We turned the A/C off and opened the windows for 30 minutes or so.  On a whim I tried the A/C and it was working correctly.  "Volume" and temperature were working as normal. 

The car has 34K miles on it, so there's only 2K miles left on the warranty.  I took it into the local Chevy dealer and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it.  They connected their diagnostic equipment to it and it "didn't have any error codes".  Theyíve checked the Freon (?) level and it was fine and they couldnít find a leak.

We've had a similiar problem one other time where the temperature from the A/C wasnít as cold as it should have been but the ďvolumeĒ was fine.  Later that day the unit started working correctly.

Has anyone experienced anything similar?  If Iíve reported the problem to Chevy at 34K miles and the problem happens at 37K+ miles will they still honor the warranty?
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 09:43:54 PM »

The ac condenser sits low in these and some people have put stones through them or dents them bad and it affects the ac. Look through the front bumper grill and see if the condenser is damaged.
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2011, 02:06:28 PM »

Dear corladon,

I have read your post about your air conditioning situation on your 2009 Chevrolet Traverse.  I can understand how frustrating this can be. 

Have you talked with the dealership about having a technician or other members of the service staff go for a ride with you so that you can point out what you have been experiencing?  Please keep in mind; no one knows the idiosyncrasies of your car better than you.  Itís for this reason I highly recommend that you consider personally road testing your vehicle with the Service Manager so you can demonstrate the concern you are experiencing.  This way, before anyone exits the car, it is perfectly clear what you are referring to.  The Service Manager then can provide you with his/her recommendation regarding the concern.  This is just food for thought.

You will want to contact the warranty specialist at the dealership to get the specific warranty information about your situation.  They should be able to provide you with the information that you are looking for.

Sincerely,
Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service
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corladon
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2011, 05:59:26 PM »

Thanks for the suggestion BigBlueTraverse, I'll check it out when I get home tonight.  Would I find the condenser on the left or right side?

Michelle, great to know Chevy employees read/respond on these boards.

The car is new to us so we are still figuring it out ourself.  We've only had the A/C problem the one time.  Last Friday on our way out of town we noticed that the A/C didn't seem to be cooling as well as it had in the past.  It was working but something didnít seem right.  Monday on the way home it stopped cooling all together and the amount of air coming out of the front vents was significantly reduced.  After being off for 30 minutes the unit starte working correctly. 

Prior to last weekend we hadn't had a problem with the A/C but we also never felt it was as strong as the A/C in other cars we've owned (Camry, G35, Integra, Corolla).

My wife drove the car Tuesday after we got back and didn't have the problem.  The dealer had the car for the next two days and couldn't reproduce the problem.  The onboard diagnostic system must not have sensed the problem either as it didn't record any diagnostic codes.

While riding in the car Thursday evening I paid a bit more attention to the A/C system.  I borrowed a laser temp sensor from work and found that the air coming out of the front vents when the unit was max cold, max fan, recycle air was in the mid 55 F and the air out the top rear was 75 F.  That doesn't seem right.  It also seems like the dealer should have realized the rear air isn't cold enough.  The "test" was run on the freeway, 10 - 15 minutes after the car and A/C had been on, and the outside temp was somewhere in the 85 F range.

I checked our 2001 Camry and 2005 G35 and the A/C temps were much cooler, in the 45 F range.

I've had problems with our A/C units at work where they have a leak, which causes a pressure problem, which causes the unit to ice up.  When that happens the cooling ability of the system fails and the air flow is impacted as there's a large piece of ice between the fan and supply duct.  Turning the A/C off for a bit causes the ice to melt and the unit starts working.  That describes the problem with the car's A/C but the dealer says it isn't low on refrigerant and doesn't have  leak.
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NCChick
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 02:20:55 PM »

I can kinda relate about what you are talking about...

What happens with mine is that when I'm getting on the road after the car has been sitting in the heat all day, it'll cool down but not cold cold. Speed of the fan is not quite all the way max but just about and its not blowing like 'normal'.

after a good 30mins or so, all of a sudden, its super max force and COLD!

So i'm wondering if its because its so hot outside (90+degrees) that its taking awhile, a long while, to get cold....

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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 03:00:00 PM »

NC chick...
What is the selection of the RECIRCULATE Button?

If youre on the highway- with AC on-- and recirculate OFF--- youre drawing in HOT air from the outside..
in essence youre taking hot air and trying to cool it.

Ir youre on the highway- with AC on and recirculate ON- youre drawing in air from the CABIN- and cooling that.
Once youve cooled the cabin enough- eventually you reach a point where youre cooling COOL air.. and you get the sense that the air out of the vents is colder... because it is...  your cooling air that was already cooler than outside air.

So- heres what you do- if you get into your car that is super hot.....and its hot outside too...
open all windows and let the interior cool off so you can sit in it. Let the interior cool off a bit- then turn on AC and recirculate.
Then you can start closing the windows- and eventually youll start getting cold air.
Take note that you can hear a difference in the sound/intensity of air coming out of vents between outside and inside air.


hopefully that was your issue.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 03:20:22 PM »

Dear NCChick,

Thank you for sharing your experience with the air conditioning on your vehicle. 

rbarrios has shared some great information about the air conditioning on an extremely hot day.  Thank you rbarrios.

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 03:27:16 PM »

Dear corladon,

It is my pleasure to be on the forums with you.  Thank you for the additional information.

There are not many people that realize that they can take their vehicle to another dealership for a second opinion.  Have you done this already?  If you have not had a chance to the vehicle into another Chevrolet dealership, I recommend doing so and see what they have to say.

Sincerely,
Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service
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Quantum
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 09:22:19 PM »


Prior to last weekend we hadn't had a problem with the A/C but we also never felt it was as strong as the A/C in other cars we've owned (Camry, G35, Integra, Corolla).


I have found that the AC in our 2010 Traverse is quite strong. 

I would definitely keep an eye on things, and if it happens while you are out driving, zip over to the dealership if they are close by and them have them step in.  I did that when I had my intermitent steering noise.  As soon as it occurred, I told my wife I was going to the dealership.  I asked the Service Adviser to hop in the Traverse and I demonstrated it to him.  He agreed there was an issue and wrote in the work order that he had witnessed the noise.
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 03:41:51 AM »

Coradon,

I've had a few problems with my 2009 Buick Enclave's AC system that are finally fixed (knock on wood), and even did the check using the laser temperature sensor too.  Here's a few things to check because it looks like you were having the same issues as me:

  • Check the AC metal tube coming out from the evaporator, on the driver's side.  Do this when the car is first started, AC on full max, recirc, etc.  It should be very cold with condensation on it.  If it is, you probably don't have a refrigerant leak.  If you go underneath the car, you'll find the AC metal refrigerant tube going to the rear evaporator.  This should be cold with condensation on it too.  This is connected to the front AC system.*
  • Check the joints on the metal AC lines for green or yellow refrigerant "stains".  There's a dye in the refrigerant to help pinpoint leaks and mine leaked from one joint as well as the thermo expansion valve.  I believe there was a TSB on the thermo expansion valve.
  • The technician should also check for leaks using an electronic leak detector inside the cabin.  This will help pinpoint an evaporator leak.  Mine leaked from the evaporator also, requiring the whole dash to be taken out to fix it.
  • If you remove the black panels underneath the dashboard and look with a flashlight, you can see the actuator motors turn for the ac vent mode, driver/passenger temp, and recirc air.   The temp actuators are each side of the center console; the vent mode actuator is on the passenger side near the passenger temp mode actuator; and the recirc mode actuator is in back of the glove box, on the left side.  You can see all from underneath the dash with the black panels out.  When you change the temperature, vent, or recirc modes, you should see these motors move accordingly.  If they donít move, you may have an actuator or wiring issue or possibly a binding ďblend door.Ē  (See below)
  • One thing you wonít be able to check is if the HVAC case is warped.  When the actuators turn, they move the ďblend doorsĒ inside the HVAC case to change the temperature, vent mode (panel, defrost, floor), and recirc mode (inside or outside air).  If the HVAC is warped, the doors may not move freely.  Thus, if they cannot move enough you may get too much heat and not enough cool air, or vice versa.  I had a problem with my vent mode actuator moving erratically.  I thought it was the actuator, but it was actually a warped HVAC case causing the blend doors to bind.  My dashboard had to be taken out a second time to fix this.  Thereís a TSB on this as well, and when I checked different part numbers for the HVAC case in 2008, 2009, and 2010 Ė leading me to believe that GM did several redesigns to possibly address a problem.

*Note that if youíre having problems with the front and rear AC not getting cold (as I did when I first started having problems) itís pointing to a Freon leak.  The first dealership I took my car to swore the refrigerant was fine and went so far as to say they checked the pressures and temperature.  Well, the second dealership easily found an evaporator leak, and even showed me the bad part.  What could be happening is that the dealership mechanic knows he wonít make any money on the repair so heís just sending you on your way saying he cannot ďduplicate the problem.Ē  This is a common excuse for lazy mechanics, trust me.
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 09:08:36 AM »

Thank you guys for your input...

I've done the recirculate and when I get in the car the first thing I do is drop the windows and open the sunroof because hot air rises, right?  Smiley

I've used both the recirculate button and straight air from the highway and it still does it....  I typically use the recirculate because like it should, it cools down the car faster than using straight air from outside because it being so hot.  I understand about its going to be colder etc... what I'm questioning is the fact that the air flow changes... no matter if I'm stopped (meaning less air flow getting in the system) or going down the road actually moving which will create air flow going in to the car. It does that for the recirculate button and without (but i know why it does it without the recirculate).....  just curious

hope this made sense...
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2011, 11:12:41 AM »

Dear NCChick,

I would have to agree with Quantum.  Showing the service personnel what is going on in your vehicle instead of trying to explain it to them is better.  I do realize that there are times explaining the situation works, but in your case having them sit in your vehicle or even taking them for a ride so you can point out what is going on may prove to be the best.

Sincerely,
Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 02:47:29 PM »

NCchick- since youre aware of how to use the AC/Recirculate- and know of the airflow difference in outside and recirc...
and its doing something funny- thats not part of 'normal' operations.. then its time to take it in.
I was hoping it was something as simple as using recirc or not.
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2011, 12:31:56 AM »

Re: RECIRC

Does running A/C on RECIRC versus just regular A/C use more fuel?

Airportguy
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2011, 11:20:39 AM »

No; in RECIRC; the A/C system is using the cooled air from the cabin for cooling instead of taking outside air and cooling it down
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corladon
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2011, 02:57:20 PM »

   Sorry for the late reply, RL got in the way.

   NCCHICK, thanks for the tip but I always use the recirculation option.  Not only does it cool the car faster but it also helps eliminate outside smells from getting in the car.  One of my pet peeves with the Traverse is that the recirculation button seems to reset every time we turn the car off and back on.  It always defaults to the off position.  The manual confirms this behavior:
ďPress to turn the recirculation mode on or off.  An indicator light comes on when recirculation is on. When the engine is turned off, the recirculation mode automatically turns off and must be re-selected when the engine is turned on again.Ē

   I called a different Chevy dealer and scheduled an appointment to drop the car off tonight.  Hopefully they will be able to find the problem (if one exists).

   To recap the three problems Iím having the A/C system:

1.   The original problem in the first post where the A/C system basically shutoff.  I haven't had that problem again but Iíve never experienced that kind of behavior with any of the cars Iíve owned or been in.
2.   The rear A/C temperature seems to be 15 Ė 20 degrees warmer that the front.  The second Chevy dealer I talked to today says that might be expected behavior as the air channels that carry the air from the front to back run near the outside of the car and take a while to cool down.  However, Iíve noticed that the temp difference is still there after 1+ hours of freeway driving.
3.   The A/C system as a whole doesnít seem to be cold enough.  I in other cars Iíve owned the A/C is ďbitingĒ cold but the Traverse is not.  The dealer said ďthe Traverse should be blowing ice cubesĒ but that doesnít describe my car.

Iíll update the post in a couple of days once I hear from the dealer.
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2011, 03:40:37 AM »

I'd be willing to bet it's your evaporator, especially if the ac line coming out of the evaporator doesn't get ice cold with condensation...mine had the evaporator issue and it's a 2009 enclave...be sure your dealer isn't lazy and actually checks INSIDE the car with a AC leak detector...
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2011, 12:11:26 PM »

      2.   The rear A/C temperature seems to be 15 Ė 20 degrees warmer that the front.  The second Chevy dealer I talked to today says that might be expected behavior as the air channels that carry the air from the front to back run near the outside of the car and take a while to cool down.  


this may be partially true.
I believe the rear has its own source of 'cold'.
Along the bottom of the vehicle are AC lines that run from the front to back.
Way in the back on the passenger side of the vehicle- behind the rear wheel- and in the bumper cavity area (above the muffler)-- are these ac lines.
So there may be a small radiator like box way back there...
(meaning cold AC air from the front- does not travel all the way back- instead- it travels from the back to the front (2nd and 3rd row)... where some if it does travel in the ceiling for a bit).


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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2011, 06:24:09 PM »

NCCHICK,

Good luck with this. Our 2009 traverse has the exact same issue. Original owner so I know the care the car has had previously so it is for sure an issue with the cars not anything on your end. Ours just left the dealer about an hour ago and though the service writer documented the issue on arrival the tech was not able to duplicate the problem. Thatís my favorite dealer response. It was acting up when they brought it around to me but cleared up before the tech could see it. Convenient! I would try different dealers as the customer svc person said but I doubt you will get a different answer. Its been my experience when it comes to "characteristic of the vehicle" issues GM is helpful but the dealer never gets much accomplished. The best you can hope for is GM will let them throw parts at it and may get lucky and fix it (probably for just a little while though) and you will just learn to live with it until you get rid of the vehicle. Then you will get some random letter from GM stating that they have documented and released a permanent fix for said issue some 10 years later. Don't get me wrong I really do love GM they make beautiful and dependable cars. They just always seem to have that one little pain in the rear thing that they can't ever fix. Kind of like a marriage you take the good with the bad. If by some miracle my dealer actually figures out the issue I will be sure to let you know. Happy hunting! thumbs up
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2011, 11:20:50 AM »

Dear Sierra04,

I have read your post directed at NCCHICK.  When you took your vehicle in and they provided you with the "could not duplicate" response, was this for the air conditioning issue? 

In order to resolve your concern, Iíd like to begin by gathering some facts and then we can work together to see how to resolve this issue.  Could you please, provide me with all the details of what you took your Traverse to the dealership for.

Please keep in mind; no one knows the idiosyncrasies of your car better than you.  Itís for this reason I highly recommend that you consider personally road testing your vehicle with the Service Manager so you can demonstrate the concern you are experiencing.  This way, before anyone exits the car, it is perfectly clear what you are referring to.  The Service Manager then can provide you with his/her recommendation regarding the concern.

I look forward to reading the additional information about your situation.

Sincerely,
Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service
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corladon
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« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2011, 11:29:41 AM »

The second dealer found that the freon was 2/3 low and only had 1/3 the charge.  No idea how the first dealer missed that, especially since they had it for two days and I specifically asked several times if it was fully charged.

The second dealer said the 2008+ came from the factory with dye in the freon and they couldn't find a leak.  No idea how a closed loop system can lose 2/3 of the freon and not show a leak somewhere.

They refilled it with freon with dye and sent us home to drive it and see how it does.  I'm concerned that it might ba a slow leak and be next summer before we notice it again which would be well past the warranty as we have almost 35K miles on the car now.

Haven't had a chance to check the front and rear cooling temps yet, but will get a chance to this weekend.
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2011, 02:49:18 PM »

Hi Michelle,

WOW, I wish I had had an outlet like this to voice concerns when all the issues with my 2004 GMC Sierra (hence the username) first started it would have saved a lot of time and phone calls. As for your question. The dealer was able to duplicate the issue with the A/C but only the service writer. By the time the tech had the vehicle it was blowing perfect, just like NCCHICK's. One minute its perfect the next its not. It is irritating that one dealer employee documents the issue, without me going into great detail in my description to him. And the tech canít find a problem. This is my wifeís car so I am only privy to its issues on the weekends or the occasional meal out. I understand the dealerís position on this as GM will not pay them to go on a witch hunt. My guess is that this isnít the first one theyíve seen but as there are no codes they canít go trying to find the problem. So they leave it to the GM engineers to find. My issue is we are at 33k and about to go out of the part of the warranty that covers this and they canít track down the issue. The steering gear is an issue with these cars and ours has already been replaced but GM is working on the permanent fix so we have deal with a squeaky steering wheel until they figure it out. Itís just like the intermediate steering shaft on my sierra. It was an issue from the first year of that body style (1999) and the fix was just released in '08, thatís 9 years and two body styles. I had like 4 shafts put in and countless "grease and replace" fixes. Or the beam shake, this has been an issue since the 1988 extended cabs were released, the hydraulic body mount fix was just released for the 2011 models. I've had a Ď95 and this Ď04 that have it and just dealt with it as a truck thing. Now that there is a fix the dealer wonít fix it as it is out of warranty and not considered a defect, just bad design. Or the main problem with my Ď04 a transmission that has NEVER worked right, it won't die or anything like that just shifts like crap. I have something like 84 carfax reports on that truck all related to the trans. GM finally let the dealer put in a trans that fixed the issue for 5 months. When the issue came back I was exhausted and just learned to ignore it. Interesting thing is Inside Lines own long term tester (an '07) with the same 4L80E trans but a completely new designed truck had the exact same issue with a crappy 1-2 shift that my old '04 has, so again an issue that made its way to two completely different vehicles. I realize this is a lot of info and not all about the vehicle in question. But I see the cycle I started with my sierra over 7 years ago starting again with this Traverse. Its starts with reassurance and ends with service managers cussing you out on the service drive telling you that you are "hyper critical and should just ignore it".  I was actually told that verbatim. Despite all of that I will always buy GM.
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« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2011, 05:05:55 PM »

Dear corladon,

Thank you for the update of your visit to the second dealership.  I am glad that they were able to provide you with some information about your situation.

I look forward to reading the temps of your vehicle since your Freon has been refilled.

I hope that you have a great weekend planned.

Sincerely,
Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2011, 06:09:13 AM »

Tell your dealer to use an electronic leak detector inside the car to determine if the evaporator is leaking.  My 09 Enclave had a leaking evaporator, and it took several visits to get this sorted out.  My dealership had replaced several evaporators right after mine on Acadias and Enclaves...seems some cheap parts may have been used, gotta love those cost accountants!
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2011, 01:06:01 PM »

corladon,
I am sorry to hear you are having problems with your Traverse however I am glad I came across this thread.  I could have written this thread almost identical to the problem we are experiencing with our 09 Traverse. To say I am "frustrated" would be an understatement.  We are retired and haved owned GM vehicles our entire life of driving, currently owning 4 (09 Traverse, 01 Grand Am, 03 Corvette, 67 Corvette).  We bought a 2009 Traverse new in February 09.  We bought the Traverse because we have 4 granddaughters and needed a vehicle to take them all with us.  Living in the country ANYWHERE we go (bread, milk, etc) we have at least a 20 mile roundtrip.  Since February 09 to present we have put 55,500 miles on the Traverse mainly highway miles.  2 days ago as we were heading down to pick up the girls for the week-end after about 90 miles on the interstate the front fan, no matter which speed it was on, quit working.  The vents were still cool to the touch but no fan. The fan symbol was on but nothing coming out.  I pulled over to check fuses and after about 20-25 minutes with engine off the fan started working again.  When it did there was a strange noise coming from directly in front of driver.  It lasted for a few minutes then stopped.  Just like in your case the rear A/C did not seem as cold as the front. The town my son lives in does not have GM dealer so I took it to a reputable shop (over 30 years) to check it out.  After the check-up the tech told me the evaporator was leaking.  He said the reason the fan would quit working was because the evaporator would freeze up.   He said it was a labor intense job because they would have to remove the dash, and it would cost over a $1000.  Since we were babysitting the grandkids for only 4 days we had made several plans to head into St. Louis for some sightseeing.  This was all put on hold because of the AC problem as it is in the 90's this week-end.  Back to the tech, he advised me that even though the car had 55,000 miles there is NO WAY the evaporator should need replaced this soon.  I TOTALLY AGREE!! It is not like the evaporator is out in the elements, it is hidden under the dash.  He said I should go back to my dealer and speak with GM.   I just returned from his shop about an hour ago.  On the way back to my son's I called the dealer (Jackson's Chevrolet in Sullivan, Il) and spoke with the service manager and salesman I bought the car from.  I have bought other cars thru them over the years and have a good relationship with them. The service manager said he was sorry but there was nothing he could do to approve getting it fixed, I would have to go thru GM.  He gave me the number to call GM Customer Service to start a claim.  I have an appointment Monday to have the dealer check it out.


 
   Sorry for the late reply, RL got in the way.

   NCCHICK, thanks for the tip but I always use the recirculation option.  Not only does it cool the car faster but it also helps eliminate outside smells from getting in the car.  One of my pet peeves with the Traverse is that the recirculation button seems to reset every time we turn the car off and back on.  It always defaults to the off position.  The manual confirms this behavior:
“Press to turn the recirculation mode on or off.  An indicator light comes on when recirculation is on. When the engine is turned off, the recirculation mode automatically turns off and must be re-selected when the engine is turned on again.”

   I called a different Chevy dealer and scheduled an appointment to drop the car off tonight.  Hopefully they will be able to find the problem (if one exists).

   To recap the three problems I’m having the A/C system:

1.   The original problem in the first post where the A/C system basically shutoff.  I haven't had that problem again but I’ve never experienced that kind of behavior with any of the cars I’ve owned or been in.
2.   The rear A/C temperature seems to be 15 – 20 degrees warmer that the front.  The second Chevy dealer I talked to today says that might be expected behavior as the air channels that carry the air from the front to back run near the outside of the car and take a while to cool down.  However, I’ve noticed that the temp difference is still there after 1+ hours of freeway driving.
3.   The A/C system as a whole doesn’t seem to be cold enough.  I in other cars I’ve owned the A/C is “biting” cold but the Traverse is not.  The dealer said “the Traverse should be blowing ice cubes” but that doesn’t describe my car.

I’ll update the post in a couple of days once I hear from the dealer.

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« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2011, 01:21:07 PM »

corladon, did the second dealer check the evaporator?  The tech that just checked mine out said many shops do not check that.  He said many times they can not find the leaking freaon from that area because it is mixed with the condensation.  Also someone mentioned there is packing or foam in that area that could be soaking it up.  I don't know this for a fact just what I heard. 

Michelle,
I was coming back to my son's from the shop and planned on contatcing GM but thought I would check online to see if anyone else experiences this problem.  Being a GM representative could you give me some guideance as to who to contact?  I like most others hate to have to explain a problem to 4-5 different reps getting to the correct party. Thank you.  If you would rather answer directly my email is: shooter1951@frontier.com

The second dealer found that the freon was 2/3 low and only had 1/3 the charge.  No idea how the first dealer missed that, especially since they had it for two days and I specifically asked several times if it was fully charged.

The second dealer said the 2008+ came from the factory with dye in the freon and they couldn't find a leak.  No idea how a closed loop system can lose 2/3 of the freon and not show a leak somewhere.

They refilled it with freon with dye and sent us home to drive it and see how it does.  I'm concerned that it might ba a slow leak and be next summer before we notice it again which would be well past the warranty as we have almost 35K miles on the car now.

Haven't had a chance to check the front and rear cooling temps yet, but will get a chance to this weekend.

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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2011, 02:28:27 PM »

Shooter, it's not only the evaporator that's troublesome, it's the HVAC case as well.  They warp with the heat from the heater, and that causes the actuators (which move the blend doors) to have problems.  My dealer showed me the warped HVAC case where one blend door wouldn't go all the way back.  On my 09 Enclave they first replaced the actuator, HVAC control module, and reprogrammed it, but the same problem kept coming back.  Once they replaced the HVAC case everything has worked properly so far (knock on wood).  When I did a little research online, I found different part numbers for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 HVAC cases, which indicates a possible redesign.  In addition, there's a TSB on this HVAC case problem too.

If the dealer is going to replace the front evaporator, I would have them check/replace the HVAC case too since this is a HUGE job and you wouldn't want them to have to do it twice.  I know - they took out my dashboard twice already to fix the evaporator and HVAC case, and I have less than 16,000 miles!
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« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2011, 04:55:36 PM »

gig229,
Thank you for your response.  Since this just happened I haven't had a chance to research it too much but plan to.  The fact of changing HVAC cases for 3 years in a row is puzzling.  I have not searched for that bulletin yet, do you have any further info on it?  It is frustrating anytime you have car problems, more so now for us.  Our granddaughters age 2, 7, 10 and 12 along my wife and I have been looking forward to having some adventures here in St. Louis and now we are trapped with a vehicle with no A/C and 90 plus degree heat these 4 days.  And I know we are going to be faced with a HUGE argument with GM over this.  The reason we trade cars every few years is so we have something DEPENDABLE!!  We have had so many GM vehicles in the 40 plus years of driving I can't remember them all.  Plus ones we bought for our 2 sons.  Just since 1990 we've had a 89 Grand Prix, 91 Lumina, 92 S10, 94 Silverado, 96 Jimmy, 2000 GMC Sierra 4x4, 90 Corvette, 91 Corvette, 03 Corvette, 05 Avalanche,  and the 09 Traverse!!  You would expect more from a $40,000 vehicle!!

Someone mnentioned early on they didn't think their Traverse A/C was as cold as others they have had when it was new and I agree.  With some of the suggestions about adjustments you have to make for it to run right, why is that?  Are they putting out a less than adaquate product that you have to compensate for? 
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« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2011, 03:58:21 AM »

Shooter see my post here: http://www.traverseforum.com/index.php?topic=1988.0.  I explain some of the AC issues.  I don't have the TSB # for the HVAC case; my service adviser told me about this.  I did some research on the part numbers, and here's where I found different part numbers for 2007-2008, 2009, and 2010-11 for the automatic temperature control HVAC air distributor case:

2007-2008 Acadia, Outlook
----------------------------------------
20917744 - Manual temperature control
25953596 - Automatic temperature control

2009 Enclave, Acadia, Traverse, Outlook
----------------------------------------
20917744 - Manual temperature control
20826180 - Automatic temperature control

2010-2011 Enclave, Acadia, Traverse, Outlook
----------------------------------------
20917744 - Manual Temperature Control
20917742 - Automatic temperature control

As you'll see, there's several different part numbers for the automatic temperature control HVAC air distribution case, which most likely indicates a part redesign.  From what I understand, since a TSB is out for the HVAC case warpage, not all will experience this.  It may be a bad batch of parts from a specific supplier.




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« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2011, 08:38:01 PM »

I am having the exact same problem with my 09 traverse.  The ac comes and goes...  Mostly doesn't work.  I am 8000 miles out of warranty and the dealer wants the 120 diagnosis fee to check out.  I put gauges on it and the pressures are fine.  The compressor kicks on fine.  Is there a way to manually check the codes on the hvac control panel?  Mine is an ltz with auto temp control.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
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« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2011, 09:29:13 PM »

I took mine to the dealer today and they checked but could not find the leak.  I told them  the shop in Edwardsville said the evaporator was leaking however the tech at the dealer couldn't find it.  They recharged it and charged me $118. instead of the original $157.   They said to keep an eye on it.  With temps forecasted to be plus 90 all week that shouldn't be a problem.   I called the shop in Edwardsville when I got home to thank them again and let them know what was going on.  The shop owner said about 2 hours after I left their shop another customer brought a 2009 Acadia in with the exact same problem.  
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« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2011, 03:04:13 AM »

Engineereric remove the two black panels under the dashboard, and look underneath with a flashlight.  On the passenger side closest to the center console you will see 2 actuators for the vent mode and passenger temperature.  On the passenger side, above and in back of the glovebox you will see the recirc air actuator.  On the driver side is the driver temperature actuator.  When you change the specific ac control, you should see the actuators move.  If they don't, you either have a problem with the actuator, wiring, or blend door.  Really easy to do.  Your dealer can read the error codes on the ac module as well.
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« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2011, 11:47:56 AM »

After driving the car for 30 minutes to let the A/C get going, I took an analog oven temperature gauge and put it in one of the front A/C vents and checked the temp.  I was running in the 48 degree range.  Iím not sure if thatís a ďgoodĒ temp or not for a 2009 Traverse.
It feels better but still maybe not quite as cold as some of the other cars Iíve driven.  We only have 700 or so miles left on the warranty.  Iím going to try and get the second dealer to look at the A/C system one more time before the warranty expires.

I will say that the A/C system in the Traverse is very different from the other cars Iíve owned:

1.   The fan noise when itís on high is very loud, to the point of making it difficult to have a conversation at times.
2.   It still doesnít seem to have the ďbitingĒ cold of other cars.
3.   Apparently Chevy knows how best to set the recirculation button as it always defaults to the off position.
4.   The compressor makes this ďsighingĒ kind of sound as it comes on and off.  Other cars Iíve owned make a similar sound but the Traverse is much louder.
5.   The rear A/C is very loud.  This is the first car Iíve owned with rear A/C so I donít have anything to compare it against, but with the rear A/C and the front A/C both on high itís very difficult to have a conversation in the car.
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« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2011, 12:04:42 PM »

1.   The fan noise when itís on high is very loud, to the point of making it difficult to have a conversation at times.
3.   Apparently Chevy knows how best to set the recirculation button as it always defaults to the off position.
5.   The rear A/C is very loud.  This is the first car Iíve owned with rear A/C so I donít have anything to compare it against, but with the rear A/C and the front A/C both on high itís very difficult to have a conversation in the car.

1-- its louder when its on recirculate vs air from the outside.--- could that be it?
3-- probably because many people turned on recirculate- thinking its only inside air--- but they had no idea that the compressor was running... so they default to off-- to make sure compressor is off and does not use more gas than needed- (just the other day my dad- who now drives my ex 03 Traiblazer told me- that when he uses recirculate air is just as cool as if AC were on-- but AC light is OFF.... I had to explain how it works).
5-- if you have the AC on recirculate- and turn on the rear AC-- the vehicle SUCKS in air from the cargo area on the right. (opposite side of where the jack storage is) and yes it will make noise.
To try to quiet down- select a bi-level- instead of all the air coming from the vents that blow at your face- make it so that it also blows at your feet- that will help quiet down... (and make sure your vents are fully opened.... partially closed vents will make more noise (turn the know that closes the vent).
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« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2011, 02:09:29 PM »


corladon,
On our 09 Traverse what you described is almost identical to ours.  I assume every 09 Traverse is set up the same in Auto mode:  When you turn the a/c on in AUTO mode it is on the highest fan speed possible and blowing only from the face vents.  I usually don't use this mode except when it is extremely (like this week), we usually turn the AC on in the mode to blow both upper and power vents.  last week I bought a themometer to stick in the vents to check the temp, after ours was recharged 2 days ago it is in the 48-50 range when on AUTO mode.  1, 2, 4 and 5 of your post is identical to our Traverse, but that may or may not mean both of ours are "normal" since we are both having problems. 

My situation now is that
1. I had it recharged 2 days ago at the dealer
2. They could not find a leak but did say they would contact GM in my behalf if it leaked out again.
3. Charged me $118 instead of the $157 original bill
4.  My wallet can not afford a $100 hit per recharge if it leaks out again.
5.  The tech at dealer said they could not "get to" the evaporator to see if it was leaking.  The service manager said they could possible stick a scope or similar device up drain to see if there is a leak but didn't think any of the techs would want to chance ruining their scope.

I called the shop in Edwardsville after I got home from dealer to see how they knew it was the evaporator and he said they could see the dye at the drain tube.  I am going over to my shop after lunch and put it on the lift to see if I can find it.  I will post if i find anything.  Good luck

TheI
After driving the car for 30 minutes to let the A/C get going, I took an analog oven temperature gauge and put it in one of the front A/C vents and checked the temp.  I was running in the 48 degree range.  Iím not sure if thatís a ďgoodĒ temp or not for a 2009 Traverse.
It feels better but still maybe not quite as cold as some of the other cars Iíve driven.  We only have 700 or so miles left on the warranty.  Iím going to try and get the second dealer to look at the A/C system one more time before the warranty expires.

I will say that the A/C system in the Traverse is very different from the other cars Iíve owned:

1.   The fan noise when itís on high is very loud, to the point of making it difficult to have a conversation at times.
2.   It still doesnít seem to have the ďbitingĒ cold of other cars.
3.   Apparently Chevy knows how best to set the recirculation button as it always defaults to the off position.
4.   The compressor makes this ďsighingĒ kind of sound as it comes on and off.  Other cars Iíve owned make a similar sound but the Traverse is much louder.
5.   The rear A/C is very loud.  This is the first car Iíve owned with rear A/C so I donít have anything to compare it against, but with the rear A/C and the front A/C both on high itís very difficult to have a conversation in the car.

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« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2011, 07:57:03 AM »

Speaking of air conditioning, yesterday was a "true test" of how well it works. Here in Rochester NY we set a record of 98 degrees. I stuck a thermometer in the main vent, with the outside air temperature indicating 102, the vent was putting out about 48 degrees, cooling the outside air, not in recirculation. Thought that was pretty good for a 2 1/2 year car.

Another issue, I think has been brought up before, but not resolved, when I run the compressor, and then shut it off, I get a rotten odor after the compressor is shut off for about 10 - 15 minutes, then it goes away. This happens each time I use the AC, and only when I shut off the compressor. My old Chevy Venture had the same issue, and I finally learned to live with it. Do we have a cabin filter in the 2009 Traverses, that I can change? Haven't had a chance to look around or in the manual. Any ideas would be appreciated, other than to put air fresheners in the vents.......
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« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2011, 08:43:24 AM »

Another issue, I think has been brought up before, but not resolved, when I run the compressor, and then shut it off, I get a rotten odor after the compressor is shut off for about 10 - 15 minutes, then it goes away. This happens each time I use the AC, and only when I shut off the compressor. My old Chevy Venture had the same issue, and I finally learned to live with it. Do we have a cabin filter in the 2009 Traverses, that I can change? Haven't had a chance to look around or in the manual. Any ideas would be appreciated, other than to put air fresheners in the vents.......

I don't believe most Traverse's have the cabin air filter, but you can still get that rotten smell without the cabin filter. The cause is most likely leaves and dirt that have fallen down into the cowling, where outsite air is pulled into the blower motor. This is the area just infront of, or below the windshield. You need to take that cover off (may have to remove the wiper arms to do so) and get all of the debris out of there. This debris build up can also cause a wet floor board if it is allowed to build up to much, and clog the drain.

Do you park your Traverse outside quite a bit? This will allow the leaves to get into the cowling much easier.
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« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2011, 11:21:23 AM »

Ah! Thanks Greg, will give it a try, and clean it out, then report if I see anything smelly in there. I park the Traverse in the garage at night, but it' s outside most of the time. Also, has been in the woods for several days at a time on numerous times on Boy Scout campouts.   Cool
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« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2011, 02:45:30 PM »

to try to diminish that smell-
every so often run the fan on HIGH- and FULL HEAT.
let that heat dry out any mold that may be growing in there.... since its nice and humid.
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« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2012, 10:20:44 PM »

I purchased a 2009 fwd Traverse summer of 2012 with 70,000 miles. It has rear ac digital controls on back of center council and digital auto controls up front. We had a hotter than average summer and when we bought it both the front and rear ac worked great. after about a month we figured out from someone riding in the rear that the rear vents were just blowing warm air while the front vents were ice cold. Ive checked the controls over and over and make sure its on recirculate but it wont change the rear temp.I do automotive work and I know the freon amount is correct, in fact it continued working this way the rest of the summer. Then twice on a very hot day while driving we could notice that the front vents were blowing out a fog, just like dry ice. Just a slight amount it doesnt effect seeing and there is no smell, it looks just like a small amount of dry ice. Hopefully someone has an answer. We like the Traverse but may be forced to get rid of it
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« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2012, 10:09:16 AM »

Most A/C systems will emit a "fog" or "mist" when the outside air is at a certain humidity level and the A/C is cooling at a certain temperature.  It's when you notice a smell or oil feeling to the "fog" that you need to be concerned about a leak somewhere.

As for the rear, they have their own evaporator core.  It hasn't been uncommon to read on these forums that the rear cores have been found to be leaking, usually at the lines going into or out of the core.  You can remove the rear panel and take a look to see if there is an indication of leaks back there.  It is located on the right rear side of the vehicle I believe.
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« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2013, 01:06:53 PM »

Did you check to see if the heater core valve actuator is working?
We just had one go out at 58000 miles on 2009 Traverse.
It would get stuck in the hot position with the valve open that controls hot engine coolant entering the front air box (air handler box like in a home AC). When I pulled the passenger side glove box and lower panel I could see the motor trying to work and could help it out by pushing directly on the valve to get it where it needed to be.

Thus, if the "Hot <-> Cold" selector dial was turned to "Cold", the valve would likely still be part way open and the hot coolant entering the heat exchanger in the air box would be fighting any cooling efforts from the evaporator. Result: AC would appear poorly functioning.

Anyone know if there are separate valves for both front and rear air boxes? This might cause some discrepancy between front and rear cooling capability as well.   

My dealership is Covert Austin
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« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2013, 11:31:11 AM »

@09TravCovertAustinTx, while I donít have the technical information you were asking about Iíd be happy to forward your ďshout outĒ to Covert Austin if you would like.

I realize this post is coming in late as Iím still trying to play catch up from being out of the office last week.

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

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« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2013, 03:38:39 AM »

I live in Waco, TX and am having the same air conditioning issues with my 2009 Chevy Traverse.  I don't have a lot of money to give to a mechanic to fix, but do have an extended warranty that will cover the cost of repair...HOWEVER, after reading these posts, it seems as if the dealership may not find a problem...


@09TravCovertAustinTx, while I donít have the technical information you were asking about Iíd be happy to forward your ďshout outĒ to Covert Austin if you would like.

I realize this post is coming in late as Iím still trying to play catch up from being out of the office last week.

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service


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« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2013, 08:30:13 AM »

Hi Wacotx07,

I am sorry to hear you are having an issue with the air conditioning, and in Texas too!  I am happy though to hear that you have the extended warranty.  If you would like to schedule an appointment at the dealership, I would be happy to help. 

Jessica
Chevrolet Customer Care

I live in Waco, TX and am having the same air conditioning issues with my 2009 Chevy Traverse.  I don't have a lot of money to give to a mechanic to fix, but do have an extended warranty that will cover the cost of repair...HOWEVER, after reading these posts, it seems as if the dealership may not find a problem...


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« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2013, 03:17:10 PM »

Okay, so I have a simular problem, however,  I have no problems with air flow I just cant get the temperature to fall too far below 80 degrees unless it is a much colder day.  I have checked the actuator doors and they appear to be working properly.  I have also checked levels of freon, this done by a mechanic, who evacuated what was in there and put in fresh freon.  I am beside myself.  I have good air flow in the front but it does not cool.  The rear a/c is working great.  Any suggestions?
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« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2013, 03:36:45 PM »

the only thing I can think of-- is the 1 mode door is not closing fully-- so that only COLD air gets thru-
it may only be closing to the point where it blends hot/cold air.

On here somewhere theres a procedure to remove the AC system fuse and leave it out for x minutes- they put it in.
it forces a mode door recalibration---
..

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« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2013, 03:24:45 PM »

I've had the compressor replaced under factory warranty 2 years ago - and now the evaporator is being replaced under the extended warranty.  Thank goodness for the warranty or I'd be out $1700 for this repair.  I also had the #2 ignition coil replaced under the extended warranty ($400) The AC system on this vehicle is shameful... I cant believe so many people are having problems and GM has done nothing to help. It looks like I will be extending my extended warranty.   I think next time I'll be buying a Hyundai Santa Fe.   Sad
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« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2013, 10:42:59 AM »

We have a 2009 Traverse and are having the following issues.  The system is charged up but ECM wouldn't actuate A/C clutch relay, and it isn't recognizing a request from HVAC control module!  Any suggestions??
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« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2013, 11:40:02 AM »

Golden176pond,

I would be happy to assist in scheduling a dealership appointment to have a certified technician diagnose it.  If you would like to send me a private message with your name, address, phone number, VIN, vehicle mileage, and name of preferred dealership, I can start the process for you.  Thank you!

Jessica
Chevrolet Customer Care

We have a 2009 Traverse and are having the following issues.  The system is charged up but ECM wouldn't actuate A/C clutch relay, and it isn't recognizing a request from HVAC control module!  Any suggestions??
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Darrin B
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« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2013, 06:55:04 PM »

Sounds Like a Mode Actuator. We were having the same issue with our 2010 Traverse. We brought it into the dealer and they found that the actuator failed. They replaced the actuator, and $350 later, and it works. So far in the last four months we had a leaking strut, water pump that had to be replaced and now this, oh and the traverse has 40,076 miles. Ford here I come!!!
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tfaljr
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2013, 04:44:20 PM »

I have a 2009 Traverse LTZ with dual climate controls, and I only have air conditioned air blowing out of the 2 drivers vents, the passenger vents, second row, and thirds row vents blow outside temperature air when set to sixty degrees, I can get all vents to blow hot air,  floor air, defrost air and recirculate. basically all of the actuators seem to be working properly. (I removed both dash covers and can see all 4 actuators moving, 3 on the passenger side and 1 on drivers side). I have read many threads and cannot find anyone with this specific problem, I have also pulled the a/c fuse and recalibrated the actuators which has not helped. I am a mechanic and want to fix this myself, but cannot locate the problem. thanks for your help.....
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greentraverse
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2013, 07:56:03 PM »

tfaljr:  Check out your battery charge.  I bought a 2009 Silverado in April with dual zone A/C.  While installing towing stuff, I ended up dragging down the (4 yr old) battery after a few hours of having the ignition on.  When I went to drive across town the truck started and I got cold air on the passenger side.  However, the drivers side started out cold, but quickly went to hot.  After driving around for 30 minutes (recharging the battery), it fixed itself.  Hasn't come back since.  So I suspect you've got a dying battery.
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tfaljr
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« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2013, 04:18:45 PM »

@ greentraverse I just installed a new battery 3 weeks ago, and the charging system is charging at 14 volts........
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greentraverse
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« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2013, 06:05:00 PM »

Quote
I just installed a new battery 3 weeks ago, and the charging system is charging at 14 volts........

Well, in that case, you've now exceeded my knowledge of the subject!!
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« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2013, 07:56:10 PM »

I have a 2010 that's starting to have issues. Defrost is blowing cold air out of the dash ( as if it were in the a/c mode) and no air coming out at the dash near the windshield or side dash vents onto the door glass. When in a/c mode, working part of the time. On a two hour drive today, got a cold vapor mist from the center dash vent on the left. A few minutes later, it felt like just ventilated air from outside. Also, the air pressure went down in the vents. Argggghhh!
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« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2013, 08:43:07 AM »

Hi boxerpaw99!

I'm sorry to hear this!  Have you had the vehicle diagnosed at your local dealership?  If not, I would be happy to schedule an appointment for you.  You may send us a private message at any time with your full contact information, VIN, vehicle mileage, and name of involved dealership.  Thank you!

Jessica
Chevrolet Customer Care

I have a 2010 that's starting to have issues. Defrost is blowing cold air out of the dash ( as if it were in the a/c mode) and no air coming out at the dash near the windshield or side dash vents onto the door glass. When in a/c mode, working part of the time. On a two hour drive today, got a cold vapor mist from the center dash vent on the left. A few minutes later, it felt like just ventilated air from outside. Also, the air pressure went down in the vents. Argggghhh!
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« Reply #57 on: September 25, 2013, 11:04:13 PM »

I also have had problems with the AC in my 2009 Chevy Traverse. I've had the compressor replaced under factory warranty about 1 year ago - and now the evaporator is being replaced under the extended warranty.  I'm so happy that i decided to purchase the extended warranty. I agree with others that the AC system in this vehicle is very poor quality.  My warranty is up in two months and if history repeats it self I'll be visiting the deal this time next year.  Something needs to be done to make these systems more reliable.  Can anyone comment on if there have been any changes to the AC system in recent years?  If so are the replacement parts updated?
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