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Cadenza A/C Variable Displacement Compressor

221 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  junkhardwaremonkey
2014 Cadenza. Apparently the prior owner had the A/C compressor replaced about 3 years ago. A/C has been working fine. Until suddenly it wasn't (after someone else borrowed the car).

Checked the fuses. All good. If this was a normal compressor, my next check would be the a/c clutch. But, I have discovered it has a variable displacement compressor (never seen that before).

I am about to connect the gauges and check pressures to try to tell whether the compressor is engaging or not. But I am working blind here. Does anyone have any information/specs about these A/C units? Like what the High/Low should be looking like, and since these do no cycle on/off, what behavior should I expect? Any other troubleshooting suggestions? I do not want to throw freon at something when I do not know the proper pressure...
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I am updating so that hopefully this will help someone.

I checked the 4 fuses that indicate they are related to A/C. 3 inside the vehicle and one in the engine compartment. All tested good.

I attached gauges to the a/c. Both sides are reading ambient temp + some, but seem to be about equal (my gauges are cheap, so I do not 100% trust their readings based on experience. They are always close though). When turning on the vehicle and the a/c nothing changes.

I pulled the connector for the electronic control valve. I hacked a method to apply 12V power to the valve without the vehicle running. I could hear the valve move -- so it seems to be working.

Voltage into the control valve is 11V. It does not matter if the a/c is turned on or not. Always 11V. SO I am suspecting it is electronic before the control valve.

More later.
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Thanks for sharing your troubleshooting process. Will see if I can find some more info for you in the shop manual. I also recently had my A/C stop blowing cool - took it to a shop (I'm in Korea, so not really sure what to expect). They said it was low, so they did a charge. Asked if there were leaks, he mentioned they put dye in, but I think the conversation got lost in translation. At any rate, it's blowing cool now.

Some others mentioned they had to replace the proportioning valve (I think that was the name of it). I'll look it up and let you know.
Sorry, not proportioning valve, it was the expansion valve. Below is the link to the AC portion of the Shop Manual, hopefully will help you.

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@Yooshaw Thank you. The DVM tests and readings for normal will be hugely helpful in diagnosing without throwing parts!

Side note: I am shocked that it does not address high/low pressures at various conditions. Working under the premise that standard R134a applies, although the concept of variable compression seems like it would invalidate that premise.
Best of luck, I'm no expert when it comes to vehicle A/C systems, but know better than to just throw freon or parts at it - always go to a mechanic for A/C troubleshooting (past checking fuses).
Howdy! Have you ever found the issue? There's a neat 2014 Cadenza my friend is interested in and it also has an intermittent AC issue. We'll take a look at it this weekend once we finished installing the new rotors and wheels on the Tacoma. The owner had the compressor replaced about two years ago so we'll take a couple of tests first.
Howdy! Have you ever found the issue?
I am still working on it. Waited 4 weeks for the dealer appointment, paid them $200 for "diagnostics" and they literally said, "we don't know. You need to start throwing parts at it. Let's start with $1700 for the low pressure lines."
I have been through all the logic of the system and ruled out a LOT. It is still a simple system. If you know A/C, you can replace everything (except maybe the lines) for under $800.
@Yooshaw Was that shop manual for the 2014 Cadenza. I am asking because the self-diagnostic from the Climate DTC is now throwing a code 24 -- which does not exist in that manual. I think it may be unrelated because the windshield was just replaced, and it might be the defrost sensor.
This is where I am with diagnostics. See the photo. I have evacuated, replaced the thermal expansion valve since I could not test it. I checked for clogs at the condenser and evaporator. Pulled a strong vacuum and could only refill to ambient levels (pressure equal on both sides). It just doesn’t want to open somewhere. dealer said compressor was working. I see the bolt spinning st the same speed at the pulley, so I agree. After thinking it through, I am replacing the Electronic control valve. Even though it is giving readings within spec, that doesn’t mean the actuator didn’t break from the ball seal, and if stuck open, it would have this effect.
Font Material property Parallel Diagram Schematic

The code 24 is my only clue, and I think it is unrelated. BTW, the manual is wrong. It says hold mode and press off several times. Do the opposite. Hold off and press mode multiple times.
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