Buick LaCrosse Heating / Cooling Problems

frankkfrankk Member Posts: 35
I have a new CX. This is equipped with the basic A/C system (not the fancy thermostat, dual zone job). I have observed a few behaviors with the recirculate button (these only pertain when A/C is engaged):

1) When I start the car recirculate is always on.
2) Under hard acceleration recirculate turns off and turns back on upon ending accelaration.
3) If recirc is off it turns on after hard accelaration has ended.

Has anyone else seen this behavior? The owners manual says nothing about this.


  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,998
    I don't have a service manual for the newer car but I would assume it's like the 200X leSabre/ParkAves. I have the auto air but manual should be same. When recir is selected manually, it turns off when car is off and restarted. I have never seen recir turn off when compressor clutch disengages during hard acceleration (to provide more power to wheels). I believe that probably is problem. Same for turning on after hard acceleration when compressor clutch is disengaged.

    I think you need to document this with a work order under warranty with your dealer. I would suspect a bad control head or switch unit or even a flaw in the main computer that turns off the cluthc for the compressor.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • frankkfrankk Member Posts: 35
    Thanks for your reply. I took the Lacrosse in this morning and they just called me. The official word is that those behaviors are intended. Anyway, the tech has offered to show me the documentation (manuals, etc.) to back this up.

    I don't mind the recirc always being on when you start the car when the A/C is on, since this is what one might do anyway to cool the cabin quickly.

    But I do not like the idea of recirc turning on by itself after heavy acceleration. I'll see what the tech's official explanation is for this one.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,998
    When the car is hot relative to the outside temp I've noticed that recirculate comes on for a few minutes automatically on both cars BUT it does not turn the light on in the button to indicate that it's on. It's equivalent to the old MAX settings on earlier cars for cooling down immediately after starting then you used the typical air conditioning positions on the slide switches the rest of the time.

    You indicated the light turns on. That's different than the Buicks I'm used to.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • evandroevandro Member Posts: 1,108
    But I do not like the idea of recirc turning on by itself after heavy acceleration. I'll see what the tech's official explanation is for this one.

    I think that someone has already said that it's probably because the AC compressor is shut down under hard acceleration. Then, on hot and humid days, if recirculation is not activated, you'd feel a blow of hot, humid air after a couple of seconds accelerating hard (as on a merge ramp).

    As long as recirculation is deactivated when the foot lightens up, I actually think that it's a pretty cool feature.
  • frankkfrankk Member Posts: 35
    Here is the official word from the tech: It has to do with the position of the temperature control. When set to the coldest position, I get the "behavior". However, all it takes is to set it to one click above coldest and everything works as normal. The tech said that this is by design.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Member Posts: 6,043
    I think the logic here is that since you have it on the coldest setting you want the coldest possible air which is recirc.
  • kairnskairns Member Posts: 8
    My 2005 Allure has 37000 kms on the odometer. I purchased it used about two weeks ago. I've noticed my AC takes a while to cool the car down. It seems like instant cold air isn't available. It can take up to 10 - 15 minutes to feel the full effect of the AC. However, once the AC comes up to speed it has no problems keeping the interior cool. I've tried all the settings including re-circulate at max fan speed.

    I also tried all the old proven methods such as opening all the windows for a few minutes to expel the hot air etc.... This doesn't make any difference.

    Is this normal for this car? My last vehicle was a 1999 Oldmobile Silhouette and I always had ample AC on demand.
  • sscott3sscott3 Member Posts: 6
    It sounds like you have lost some refrigerant. Do you have the auto system or manual controls? The auto system does not come on with high fan speed normally and it may seem like it takes awhile to work. Don't let this go over the winter before getting it fixed as the refrigerant will continue to leak out. It contains a lubricant for the compressor. The system will run on defrost in the winter to clear the windshield on the inside. If the refrigerant gets too low you could damage the compressor. Your GM dealer should be able to find the leak and refill the system.
  • eiroceiroc Member Posts: 1
    I have a 05 buick lacrosse, one day the a/c just stopped blowing air. When I have it set to heater you can feel warm air through the vents depending on how fast I am driving. Besides that no matter if I have the fan blowing at its lowest or max it will not do anything. I've heard about the blower motor, resister, and modules but I do not know were to find them. If you have any suggestion I would greatfully appreciate your help
  • NazPasNazPas Member Posts: 2
    I am having the ecact same problem in my 2005 Buick Lacrosse. Where is the blower motor located. Can someone that knows little about cars fix it himself?
  • NazPasNazPas Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 Buick LaCrosse. Last night when I got into the car the heater would not blow any air. It would not work withthe AC either. On highway speeds you can feel a tiny amount of air from the defrost vents. However it is 2 degrees in Illinois and my tows were numb last night. Please help. I would lie to fix this myself if it is something a novice could do. Possibly the blower motor? Where is it located?
  • ceejay7ceejay7 Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased an 05 LaCrosse and it seems that no matter what button I press (be it fan only, heat, defrost, etc.) the A/C button comes on. How do I get the A/C to not come on ?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,998
    Have you read the owner's manual on operating the HVAC?

    When the AC turns on per settings, it's probably turned off by pushing the AC button and the light will go off. In defrost the compressor will be turned on always down to the ambient shutoff of about 50 deg. F.

    Having the AC turn on is not a negative. It reduces humidity in the air and reheats it with the heater core to give a more comfortable system. When the outside temp is below 50 deg. F. the compressor does not turn on, so the AC is not actually cooling the air (50 is colder than it could cool it anyhow).

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • fotschtofotschto Member Posts: 2
    My 2010 LaCrosse intermitantly blows cold air when the controls are set to manual (air conditioning off), no recirculation and air to blow out the vents. It will blow very cold air for a minute or so and then go back to the outside air temp. It will periodically repeat itself. I have taken it to the dealer twice and they say "It is operating Normally." I know that is not true. Has any had similar experiances? Any solutions?
  • fotschtofotschto Member Posts: 2
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Not sure exactly what you are saying.
    You've put it in a manual mode.
    You've pushed a button or something telling the A/C pump to not engage.
    You still get cold air as if the pump is running.
    Does that sound right?
    If you are in a defog or defrost mode it generally overides the A/C off switch. If outside temp is near freezing the pump will not engage.
    Can you hear the click that occurs when the pump engages and disengages? That is have you verified the pump is actually running?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,998
    The previous post is right.

    In defrost and some defog settings with floor air and windshield air the compressor is enabled if the ambient temps are warm enough. There is a cutoff, possibly about 50 degrees for the compressor being able to run in other modes asking for AC cooling. But in defroster / defog mix it may be lower.

    Your next step is to open the hood when the outside temps are above 50 and start the car with the heater settings where you're getting the cold blast. Then go to the front of the car and look to see if the center hub of the compressor is turning with the belt pulley or if it's disengaged.

    Also you can touch the metal freon tube going to the condenser unit that's in front of the radiator. One of those tubes will be hot if the AC compressor is running. The other silver tube will be cool. They may have plastic coating over them to help insulate, so they may not be silver/aluminum color.

    If the tube is hot you know the compressor is cooling.

    It's possible there is an intentional short term engagement of the compressor when the car is set for vents under the conditions you describe. It may be to circulate freon in winter months to keep the seals oiled with the lubricant so they don't dry and shrink.

    Good luck. Tell us what you find when you test out the system.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • jlim1jlim1 Member Posts: 50
    I am looking for source of part number and manufacturer of the heater core quick disconnect tool. The Buick LaCrosse ('10~'11MY) uses the quick connect to secure the heater core pipes to the coolant hoses. I believe there is a service disconnect kit/tool out there, possibly made by SPX/OTC or Mac Tool.

    This plastic disconnect kit/tool for LaCrosse has got to be larger than that OTC 6046 which is the tool to remove the conventional quick connects used in the GM trucks. The 6046 is too small to go on the Buick version.

    If anyone knows, please advise. Thank you.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    edited October 2010
    Have you tried NAPA?
    Why are you wanting to do a disconnect on a vehicle that is so new?
    Also Rock Auto and GM Parts Direct may be sources if you have a part number. But carefully read the rules of GM Parts Direct.
    You may also try ordering it through the dealer's part center. If it is a special tool, they likely order theirs direct from who made them for GM.
  • doug2011doug2011 Member Posts: 1
    Buick LaCrosse 2010
    AC Compressor is on all the time even when you turn off the AC button on the dash. Is this normal for the compressor all the time?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    No, not normal, but what mode do you have it set at?
    Which model of Lacrosse, that is does it have dual air?
    Do you have the defog button depressed?
    You'd think the compressor would be tied to the light on the button, but some foreign models used that method and the owners may broken the button trieing to shut it off when they had it in defog or defrost mode which automatically calls for the pump to be on.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Have you spoke with your dealer about your concerns? If not, I would recommend doing so. Please keep me updated on your situation, and feel free to email me directly.
    GM Customer Service
  • campbells770campbells770 Member Posts: 1
    Okay, some of what you guys are saying is completely sounding somewhat like what we are having issues with. We have had the air conditioning reset, we have had the "brain" to the electrical system replaced. . we are out of options. What happens is if you have air conditioning on it will completely stop blowing at set fan rate and will barely blow. Even if you take it off of auto and put it onto manual, there is no air flow. Anyone having this problem? Sometimes if you pull over and turn car off, it may solve it, but not every time. We are so over this car. :mad:
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    edited July 2011
    I'm beginning to believe it was built in HELL!
    What you are describing sounds as if the problem has to be in the electronics, the interior stuff.
    With complaints of horrible smells entering vehicle in recirculate, a dealer did the door check. That is the divertor doors inside the system to blow to various areas and blend temperatures. He told me he thought the recirculate door was not fully closing. And that they installed an update. None of it helped.
    I don't know what the update was for, but I got a hint that it might be because some had icing of evaporator and that was said to be occurring in recirculate.
    I think GM got their thinking crossed. I live in a humid climate and want moisture removed as much as possible most of the year. If the vehicle cooled to the point fan slowed enough, icing could occur on evaporator under some conditions. With orifice tube systems, that usually indicated an improper charge or malfunction of cycling switch. But this system uses an expansion valve which is controlled by the temp at the evaporator. The only time I've seen icing on a system that used an expansion valve is when the system was low on freon, or very infrequently, a defective expansion valve.
    In our vehicles, expansion valve is better because they are more efficient and you will see better cooling when vehicle is first started. You won't have to wait for pressures to build and stabilize as in R-134 systems using orifice tube.
    When you put in manual, do you mean that you manually crank fan speed up. You should see indication on display? Does the air temperature from outlets change?
    So you have to reboot the whole darned car. I've found that with some other items, such as navigation system.
    The computer system on these vehicles needs updating very much so. It needs to be able to record these anomalies that are intermittant so the dealer does not think we are crazy.
    And in the back of my mind lingers that issue that was known to burn up, ie damage electronic components. It was because of missing diodes that were to block voltage/current spikes from the system. That was a 96 Olds Aurora, yet 09 Malibu had same missing parts and exact same fix. Does our 2011 Lacrosse have it too?
    Those spikes will look for the weakest component in the system seeking a path to ground. It can punch a hole in the junction barrier of that semi-conductor. If it is big enough, instant death. If it is small, it can last a long time, but it might be of the right size that it shows up regularly and removing power allows it to heal for a short time. The most common way of troubleshooting such a device is to heat it with a hair dryer, tip of soldering iron, etc. Or spraying them with freon to cool them and then they might start working. Also, if it worked on AC power, a variable transformer could be used to change input voltage over the acceptable range.
    Gee, writing this reminded me of what I saw when the first battery went dead. Display was showing voltage at 18 volts. That is pretty high for a 12 volt system and believe it is never supposed to go above about 14.6V.
    I'll be glad to follow on any reply.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    The recirculate is controlled automatically in the fully automatic position. It will open and close as needed (if working properly). The short duration of WOT, no compressor, will put it in recirculate if it was not previously. This is for all cooling settings and an effort to maintain constant temperature. Fan speed may also increase for a short duration.
    It might be nice if there was some indication of what is actually happening when in auto recirculate. Otherwise you will have to use one of the two manual settings of flow through or recirculate.
  • paulyp2paulyp2 Member Posts: 1
    the car blows heat but when it is colder than 40 degrees outside the defrost wont work vent floor works just no defrost ? summer time defrost works in fact defrost only works when you dont need it
  • lacrossesoakedlacrossesoaked Member Posts: 87
    I am not an expert so take this as just as thought option: maybe your defrost never works. When it is warmer outside, the defrost is using the outside air temp which is enough to do the job. Here is my story: I too have a '05 LaCrosse. My defrost stopped working. Turns out, I had overfilled the battery cells and unbeknownst to me, the acid boiled out a little bit, trickled down the side of the battery, dripped onto the vaccum hose under the battery, ate through the hose. This vacuum hose just happened to control the defrost cycle. New section of vacuum hose fixed the problem. So maybe your vacuum hose is bad somewhere along the line.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,998
    Judging by the diagrams and parts, your HVAC box is controlled by electric actuators. No vacuum diaphragms used.
    Parts #3, 5, and 21 in the diagram are electric actuators. #5 looks like the one that controls the mode valve to change the path of air flow.

    You are going to need to take off the underdash plastic hush panel, if there is one, and watch the actuators while you change the settings on the dash controls for temperature, direction of air flow, and whether air in brought in from the cowl or recycled. Those are the three valves. I've been told the valves have a white portion in the moving parts, such as nylon, that makes it easy to see if they are moving.

    You may have a mode valve that is binding up when the actuator tries to move it, and it not going to the defrost position.

    The defrost position should be the default if the electric power were to fail in the heater circuit for the safety.


    http://www.gmpartsgiant.com/Page_Product/PartDetail.aspx?Make=Buick&Model=LaCros- se&Year=2005&MakeCode=B&ModelCode=W&CatalogCode=4W1&eCode=L26&majorIndexID=09&mi- norIndexID=2W09-031&SortKey=2

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • randyoddsrandyodds Member Posts: 1
    2013 Lacrosse. Hotter than hell in car. Radio works. Heater buttons, heated seat buttons, heated steering wheel button, fan speed, temp. None of these buttons work. What is going on? But heat coming on defroster. No buttons lit up. I think heat even comes out vents.
  • sweetbabettesweetbabette Member Posts: 1
    My heat was fine Sunday night. Didn't drive Monday and on Tuesday when I went to start the car it was dead. A few clicks and lights the first time, then nothing on the second try. AAA came out and looked at my battery. It turns out the corrosion wasn't cleaned properly when the battery was installed last year, nor were the cables tightened all the way. The starter and alternator are a-ok. He jumped the battery and I drove a bit to charge it and things have been fine on that front ever since. But, my heat is no longer working. The air blows, but it's ice cold. Temperature gauge reads it's normal level. The car was dead to the point of the clock resetting to 12:00. I had my blend door actuator replaced in September because all I could get was heat. Any insight as to what is going on? Thanks--Jessie
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