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#3804 of 4457 2004 Grand Prix GTP - Air Conditioner peformance problem
Jul 07, 2004 (12:14 pm)
I purchased a 2004 Grand Prix GTP via direct factory order in Sept. 2003. The vehicle has performed generally without problems until this summer when, in fairly hot weather (>/= 90F), I notice the AC takes a long time to cool the cabin, especially after it's been sitting in the sun for a few hours, (this is with the fan and thermostat set to max cool and recirculate button on). Even after 15-20 mins, having open the windows initially to let the hot air out, the air coming out of the vents is not very cool, and definitely not ice cold, as my Nissan SUV puts out. It feels more like just the fan blowing, with little refrigeration. I have taken the GTP to 2 different Pontiac dealerships, who have checked the freon level, done a 'dye' test (for freon leaks?) and temp. check and told "nothing is wrong, it's cooling to 45 degs - thats' how it's supposed to work.". I even had my salesman let me sit in a new '04 GTP on the lot and check the AC, and it seems to be the same way - takes at least 10 mins to blow cool, and never ice cold. One of the service advisors at the dealership made the comment, "GM redesigned their AC units a while back". I don't know if he meant there was a change in the type of freon, which I think has been done industry wide, or something else, but I haven't been able to find any info on this on the net. Wonder if any other '04 GP owners have experienced the same thing, or if this is unique to my GTP? I've owned quite a few non-GM cars in the past 20 years with AC's, and this definitely is not cooling very well compared to them. Any suggestions - other than to move to Canada or Alaska?
#3805 of 4457 Re: 2004 Grand Prix -- New Owner [rkw2 #3743]
Jul 07, 2004 (1:10 pm)
Just read your question about the 'heat' problem inside your new GP. I have a Sport Red GTP with light parchment leather, but I have noticed after the car has been sitting in the sun for several hours, the cabin is quite warm, and despite cranking the AC up to max., opening the windows initially, and then putting on the recirculate button, I can't get it to cool down sooner than about 15-20 mins. When it's really hot out, it feels like the air coming out isn't even refrigerated. Had it to the dealer 3X (2 different ones) and had the AC thoroughly checked and told everything was as per specs. Even sat in a new GTP on the dealers lot, with max AC on and it seemed to work the same - quite a long delay in cooling down. Now that the hot weather is here - wonder if anyone else has noticed this problem and if this is unique to the new GP, or model-wide for GM now? This is my first GM car, but family members have owned many Buicks, Chevys and Pontiacs over the years and they always had strong air conditioning - to the point where you had to turn it down it got so cold after a few mins. Defnitely not the case with my '04 GTP.
Jul 08, 2004 (10:07 am)
Well living in Canada in July is just as bad as anywhere for heat with all the humidity right now. With the humidex it can top 100F around here. The a/c in my 04 GT works great, ice cold. I can not see how they will not fix or replace your unit. Clearly something is wrong.
#3807 of 4457 Re: [dan165]
Jul 08, 2004 (11:58 am)
Thanks for your input. Question - if you have your GT in the sun, 90F or higher for a few hours, with the cabin hot when you get in, how long does it take to cool down to where it's comfortable (or you have to turn down the AC)? Mine is definitely not getting 'ice cold' so guess it is defective, but dealer is unwilling to do anything. Guess my only recourse is writing to zone manager, or Detroit, a lot of good that will do! - Bob
Jul 08, 2004 (1:15 pm)
The biggest problem with contacting Detroit is that two different dealers have pronounced the system as operating properly. Being in a dealers shop will not duplicate the conditions you are having in the parking lot. One thing that could cause something like what you are talking about would be if the recirculation function is not working and the hot outside air is still coming in. A test to determine if the air is stuck on outside, is to place a piece of paper the size of a dollar bill on the outside air inlet grille. With the A/C on in either bi-level or vent , observe the paper. If the paper is pulled down and stays down on the grille when recirculation is pressed, then the air recirculation door is stuck on outside air.
Jul 09, 2004 (5:12 am)
It takes about 5 minutes driving to really cool down from peak 100+ heat.
My suggestion is to talk to the service manager of the place where you bought the car. If you have done that, make an appointment with the owner of the dealership and have him come down and sit in the car with you. You have a lot more clout at the dealer you bought from as they want you back as a customer. I can't tell you if your car a/c is as cool as it should be but perhaps ask to sit in another GP and compare with the manager and show him it's not right.
#3810 of 4457 Grand Prix AC PRoblems
Jul 09, 2004 (7:45 pm)
The AC on my 2004 GP also does not cool down properly. I'm in NJ and we have not had the dog days of summer yet and it takes a very long time to cool down the car. If I'm driving at 55 mph or more it is acceptable, but not great. But at lower speeds its not very effective. I've found that the dash board gets extremely hot and I can sometimes feel the heat coming off of that. This maybe part of the problem. I've used the sun reflectors when I park the car and they do not help. Even my wife who is always cold has complained that the car is too hot. I've complained to the dealer twice about it and as others have stated they tested it and its within the factory specs. The service writer told me that I was the first to complain about it. (yeah right).I just dread getting into the car when we get the 95 plus high humidity days.
#3811 of 4457 Re: Grand Prix AC PRoblems [rkw2]
Jul 10, 2004 (12:40 pm)
OK, guys - here's the deal on my AC problem. I DID SIT IN ANOTHER 2004 GP (GTP, brand new, on dealer's lot) and it was the same lousy performance on the AC. Car was sitting in the hot parking lot all day, salesman started it up and we sat in it with doors closed. It took a very long time (at least 10 mins) to get barely cool air coming out, and after about maybe 15 mins it became cool. This is about the same way mine works, and it looks like others are having the same thing (see RKW2). I would conclude that this must be a poor design issue (eg. cutting corners on AC unit BTU ratings to save a few bucks?) and not a mechanical malfunction with my vehicle's AC, since another similar GP worked the same, and at least one other person is experiencing the same poor performance. So, besides trying to contact the zone mgr, who so far has been unresponsive, my only recourse is to contact GM Management and tell them what a lousy piece of cr*p AC unit they're putting in their new GP's. Not to mention to spread the word far and wide that the new GP AC's system is a cheap, poorly performing unit and to avoid buying this vehicle unless they never plan to need AC! If any of you are experiencing a similar problem, please write in to this forum, contact Zone Managers and GM Corporate. I'm probably stuck with this lemon, but I'm not going to let GM get away with selling this crap to the public. Too many well engineered vehicles out there that blow ice cold after 5 mins. No more GM crap for me.
#3813 of 4457 Re: Grand Prix AC PRoblems [rkw2] [bobinnj #3811]
Jul 10, 2004 (1:47 pm)
For those interested in contacting GM Corporate, I posted several names and an address I found off their corporate site (www.gm.com), but it was removed by the sysop. Apparently posting names of officers of publicly traded corporations like GM, who are in the public domain, is not permitted here. If any of you are interested in contacting GM CEO, VP's of N. America sales/service, etc., you can find them on the GM site under investor relations (click the link to corporate officers) along with their mailing address in Detroit.