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Chevy Caprice Classic
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How does the comfortron air conditioning of a 1981 classical caprice work?


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Answered 2008-01-03 07:15:36

I worked on comfortrons on 1973 - 1976 Chevrolet B-body models 25 years ago, and if the 1981 is the same (which I think it is), the system operates using electric current to control a vacuum powered modulator to control both fan speed and air temperature to the passenger compartment. There is only one temperature sensor located on the top right of the dashboard panel, presence of this sensor grille was a very easy way to tell at a glance if a car had the comfortron option. The user control panel had several settings, a Lo-Auto-Hi which would run the fan on low speed, automatic control, and high speed respectively. Vent was a setting that would cool or heat the cabin according to the temperature dial setting on automatic fan speed, without running the air conditioning compressor. De-ice would send full air to the windshield at high fan speed, however I cannot remember if it also sent full heat regardless of the temperature setting. It did engage the air conditioning compressor though. If the user control panel was set to Off, the air output temperature was still regulated based on the temperature dial setting, although the fan would not blow. The most common problem with these units I experienced was failure of the temperature sensing module on the heater coolant hose. This is a component that keeps the fan from turning on until the coolant temperature warms up (to about 60 or 80 degrees F). Easiest fix was to replace with a unit from the parts yard, however today fewer cars are available for parts.

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