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VF HVAC Dead?

Discussion in 'VF Holden Commodore (2013 - 2017)' started by RossK, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. RossK

    RossK Member

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    Hi guys,
    need some help with a new to me 2014 VF Evoke Wagon LPG - Ex Telstra.
    I picked it up at Auction and so far I've got 2 issues.
    1. The whole climate control HVAC unit seems dead, no lights, no nothing.
    I've checked rear, cabin and under bonnet fuses, all OK. I've tried pressing "Auto" to turn it on, nothing, disconnected battery for 30 mins, nothing. So now I'm stumped as to where to look next.

    2. Both Lowbeams are not working, I'm hoping its blown both bulbs, but is that likely. Is it something to do with the allways on Telstra unit that gets fitted - where is that? The only odd thing I've found here is that the Relay that's supposed to be fitted in the under bonnet fuse box for the Low Beams is vacant - Position 55, or R14 from the owners handbook. The high beams work and the relay for that is there. Is this missing because its been pulled by some lowlife at the auction yard or is it due to the Telstra always on feature? I haven't pulled the globes yet, as they aren't easy to get to.

    Thanks
    Ross
     
  2. stooge

    stooge Well-Known Member

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  3. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Unless GM/H has taken a design queue from the Apollo 13 command/luna module carbon monoxide filter debarkle, i’d think the high beam relay is interchangeable with the low beam relay.

    Assuming high and low relays are the same, you could try taking the high beam relay out and placing it in the empty low beam position and then checking if your low beams work. If low beams then work, you know you need to buy another relay.... If they don’t work, you need to check the fuse and/or the globes and/or the wiring. Putting a relay in the low beam relay position should do no damage so is the easiest thing to try first.

    If the high and low relays are not interchangeable, well shame on GM/H’s designers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  4. RossK

    RossK Member

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    Thanks Skylarking, the high and low beam are different relays, but the starter relay seems to fit, so I tried that, no joy. I had to work yesterday , so buying bulbs today and will try that, its usually the most obvious thing. BUt have you seen whats involved in changing a low beam bulb, shame on Holden. I love my Holdens, but even Ford put the FG's Low beams inboard so they accessible from under the bonnet.

    HVAC has me stumped still, I checked all the fuses I could find related to the HVAC, all good.
     
  5. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Don’t know about the Telstra always on headlight feature but I’d think it would be the BMC that is coded for such a function (IIUC in the USA, people can buy “features” and have GM add the appropriate codes against the vehicle VIN within their database so dealers can flash what is needed).

    But who knows, Telstra may simply jimmy the wiring. You could always ring and discuss what was done to the vehicle with the previous owner (telstra fleet?). Otherwise, possibly the dealer can advise and even check and reflash the BMC to standard. Worth asking either/both of them.

    As for checking the low beams. If you have a multimeter you should be able to check the relay energiser pins within the engine fuse box work as intended. You should also be able to apply 12v directly to the pin going to the bulbs and have them light up. Doing such would check the wiring and globe more easily and without having to jack up the car and get to low beam via the wheel well. Usually the relay itself have the pin functions listed so you can use that as a guide to which pin within the fuse block does what function.

    If you are unfamiliar with headlight relays, google can help but below is a brief but boring outline (only looked at first minutes but you can search for better)



    As to HVAC, who knows. Maybe someone fiddled with vehicle wiring and botched things up or didn’t reconnect correctly. Does it all look unmolested and standard?
     
  6. RossK

    RossK Member

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    Headlights working, it was just globes, phew.

    Interior looks unmolested, its getting power to the Hazard switch and the light under the heater controls, both of which get their power from the HVAC control panel, so its getting power to the panel.
    I may end up at the Auto sparkie down the road, who's pretty reasonable and get him to have a look for me.
    Thanks for the advice so far.
     
  7. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    It’s rather odd for two globes to die at the same time but problem solved which is good.

    Not sure how many connectors are at the back of the HVAC faceplate/module but maybe some plug is not pushed in well. You can look at the VF workshop manual and see what plugs are involved and how difficult it is to pull the front faceplates so you can check the wiring.

    (Edited to add that a link to the manual was previously provided by @stooge in post #2).
     
  8. RossK

    RossK Member

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    Pulled the facias off and pulled the HVAC control panel out, all plugged in well and seems OK.
    So I"m guessing that its either a dodgy connection somewhere in the harness or a BCM issue.
     
  9. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Within out VF’s, HVAC seems a complex beast to work with and the convoluted nature of the workshop manual doesn’t help in quickly gaining a fuller understanding of all the components and their interrelationships.

    But there are HVAC specific DTC you should first check for. Maybe a wifi/by OBD plugin tool can see such DTC’s maybe not, I’m not sure.

    You should also check communications with the HVAC module which I think requires Holden specific tools or manufacture specific OBD tools that are more capable than the wifi/bt modules we play with o_O

    Maybe you can also check the HVAC control module which I think is under the glove box and ensure connectors are plugged in as you’ve already checked the HVAC control dial plugs. Then look at and check all fuses.

    Other than that it will require a trip to Holden service department.

    I’ve only briefly scanned the workshop manual and haven’t found a good overview of the wiring and associated modules yet so can’t offer any more help.

    Good luck with it.
     
  10. RossK

    RossK Member

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    Thanks, I have the workshop manual, and yes, not much help, but it did identify a couple of extra fuses worth checking, but to no avail.
    HVAC module appears OK.
    It's now at a trusted Auto Elec. My mechanic (that I occasionally use) said it was beyond him and to try the auto elec first, Holden last resort.
    I will report back when I here from them.
     
  11. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Do note that the workshop manual mentions connecting the car to their diagnostics equipment and checking communication with the HVAC module and that it operates appropriately with a resetting process available if not. Not sure what equipment auto elec’s have and whether they can reset such modules.
     
  12. RossK

    RossK Member

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    Auto elec apparently has the right equipment, he just rang and said it has a code reporting a fault in the Canbus sytem, but doesn't say where.
    It's not something He's seen before so He has requested more diagnositic info from Holden, who apparently are usually helpful. So just waiting on that to continue.
    Facia and HVAC module are in working condition though, he said he can get it to fire up using the diagnostics, but won't run on its own.
    This level of Auto electrical is way beyond me.
     
  13. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Your problem seem to be progressing towards a solution which is a good thing. Hopefully it wont progress towards an expensive solution o_O

    Without access to manufacturers service documentation and diagnostics equiment, the level of electronics within our modern vehicles is in many cases beyond most. Even more so, it is a pity the manufacturers try and keep such info away from that pesky Joe Public :confused::mad:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  14. Smashfist

    Smashfist Active Member

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    Some actually make it available. Any Joe Blow off the street can buy an MDI from Bosch and buy a subscription to the AC Delco TDS which includes SI (service information), Tech2win and GDS/programming access.

    They typically have a sook when they find out that yearly subscriptions cost the same amount that a dealer pays, couple of grand a year and about $1200 for an MDI (plus a laptop to run it). Fair's fair I reckon.

    If you can snag a second hand MDI (they're being phased out slowly for MDI 2 units), single and 3 day passes for GDS and SI access are very reasonable, and you can buy single vehicle programming passes cheap (that give you the ability to program all modules in a vehicle once).
     
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  15. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    @Smashfist, I have a complete set of the old printed service manuals for a few of the older vehicles I’ve owned. They are a great resource though these manuals were somewhat expensive at the time. However, back then they were a one time cost but in today’s dollars still much cheaper compared to the current full time electronic access methods.

    Today, access to information is structured to be cost prohibitive for many a DIY enthusiast. It isn’t even close to being fair so having a sook is probably warranted though a waisted emotion on these heartless multinationals.

    This issue of service information access IS being looked at via the franchise royal commission but sadly i doubt we’d see much change happen via ACCC submissions as they are still suffering regulatory capture. I won’t be holding my breath waiting for change :oops:

    But thanks for reminding me to chase some knowledge of these MDI service tools and TDS subscriptions. I’ve still got 6 years before warranty runs out so no hurry for me as I won’t be self servicing just yet. However, I do wonder how long the older MSI tools will continue to have access after MSI2 becomes the standard (as the servers they connect to may shut them out after some time). I’m not really wanting to buy an orphan tool for my possibly orphaned vehicle (if GM drops the Holden brand from the market).
     
  16. Smashfist

    Smashfist Active Member

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    I'd imagine the GM software will still be available. When I exited the dealer I worked at we could still connect and update/get security clearance for a Tech2 and it supported all sorts of orphan vehicles (i.e. Saab, Hummer, etc). Plenty of dealers are likely to keep original MDIs around as they weren't cheap and will still be useful for older (mainly pre MY19/MY20) vehicles.

    My reference to sooking is more about third party repairers who have this information available but refuse to play on the same playing field as a dealership. It's there if you can justify paying for it.

    For individuals, access starts at something like $40 or $50USD per 3 day block - half price or less than an hour's worth of diagnosis time at a dealer.

    If I recall go to www.acdelcotds.com and you can find out info for subs there.
     
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  17. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I still prefer printed workshop manual that is accessible to me 24/7 rather than buying a 3 day block each time I want to look at something. Just personal preference but it’s good to know GM won’t orphan the old gear so it’s a solution I may look into (at a later time).

    I do find it odd that Holden doesn’t sell a genuine PDF workshop manual down under since GM (affiliate?) does sell the Chevy SS workshop manual in the US.

    As for 3rd party service businesses sooking, I suspect Holden service may get some kickbacks as part of their franchise agreement with Holden that put the 3rd parties service businesses at a disadvantage. Maybe the sook is justified, maybe not.

    In a perfect world, GM/H could have designed these vehicles at trivial extra cost to allow service diagnostics and programming via MyLink. That would have put dealer service, 3rd party service and the home mechanic on the same footing - heaven forbid. But it’s not a perfect world as GM wants to do all it can to protect their dealer service business at the expense of 3rd party information access so not a level playing field. Oddly, GM is more open with info in the US as I suspect it’s forced by law. Down under, the idiots run the asylum and previously available info from government web sites was removed.

    But thanks for the heads up on the tools, I may call on you when i get closer to going down that part ;)
     
  18. Smashfist

    Smashfist Active Member

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    Nope, can confirm it's exactly the same price for dealers as third parties. There are plenty of back end shenanigans money wise but dealers pay a yearly subscription fee for SI/GDS/programming access. The shenanigans are for all sorts of other things, i.e. mandatory rental car program, customer satisfaction incentives/kickbackes etc.

    There is a PDF version of the workshop manual floating around on here, I don't have access to SI anymore as I'm not at a dealer but the PDF copy is essentially screenshot extracts of the online version and 100% the same.

    They COULD have allowed more freedom on them but it's always a trade off, particularly when using the same part across a number of vehicles. For example the body control module is the same part across a bunch of different cars, so it doesn't come preconfigured with any software - you have to install the module then connect to the GM servers and download the correct package for a VIN. The online system also ensures that when you replace a particular module, by making you connect online and download it, you have the latest software version for bug fixes. Older vehicles (i.e. the VE platform) had some "dumb" modules that came preconfigured with software ready to go, but when the software was updated for some sort of bug it makes the existing stock basically worthless (a good example of this is the HVAC control modules, they had software part number supercessions as well as hardware revisions).

    The current setup is essentially the best tradeoff for all these factors, and while GM don't HAVE to make it available to everyone, they choose to (at a reasonable price I reckon too, excluding the MDI tool).
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  19. RossK

    RossK Member

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    Final update - faulty HVAC module and control panel, both replaced and now functioning as normal.
     
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