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Heater/AC Control Knob

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 14 Dec 2011, 11:19 am
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Question Heater/AC Control Knob

My wife has a 2006 PT that she drives exclusively. She tends to run with the heater control knob turned to defrost all the time. Some time back, I was driving it back from a dealer oil change and turned it on AC. The knob sprung right back to defrost.

It turned out that the cable wouldn't move and had bent near the knob. It required a new cable and "re-timing" the control.

On my way home, I tried to change the position of the knob and it started to do the same thing. I returned to the dealer but it was near closing so I had to return another day. OK, they "re-timed the control and told may that whenever the knob is turned, you have to do it slowly and stop at each position so it won't jump time. I thought that was BS.

They cautioned me that the next time it happened, the entire heater box assembly would have to be replaced which took all day and required the dash be removed. I was told that the control door workings are not serviceable. The cost will be considerable.

So, as it is now, I was in the car again a few days ago and tried to move the knob off defrost and it rebounded back again. I have ordered a PT repair manual to get a better idea of the workings of this control.

Any ideas as to why this can't be fixed once and for all?
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Old 14 Dec 2011, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

I have a similar problem in my car but I took the wires and and the part of the knob mechanism and grease them, so is a lot better but not perfect. For now on I move the knob back and forth every time, when I want to use the defrost, just to make sure the wire doesn't get bent or snap.
The dealer is right on that. The only way to fix it good is to remove the the heater box, which I did it three weeks ago and is a PAIN to do.
Anyways, if she likes to drive on "defrost and feet" like I do, you can do the "defrost mod", so you don't have to use the AC when the defrost is on.
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Old 14 Dec 2011, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

Did you put in a new heater box?
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Old 14 Dec 2011, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

No. I didn't explain it right: I took out my wife's heater box to replace a leaking heater core and I greased the mechanism and it works like new. The problem with the cables is in my car. I drive an 03 GT and my wife drives a 01 N/A.
You can try taking the know mechanism out and grease everything and see if that helps. You have to reach really far in to get to the end of the cables, but it helped when I greased it.

BTW, the dealer is wrong about something: you don't need to replace the heater box, you just need to open it and grease everything...unless something is broken.
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Old 14 Dec 2011, 01:07 pm
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Default Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

How difficult is it to "time" the controls?
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Old 14 Dec 2011, 01:11 pm
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Default Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

I never did that. IMO that's pure BS.
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Old 14 Dec 2011, 02:06 pm
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Default Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

The way it was explained to me is that the blend door mechanism has a semi-curved sliding gizmo with teeth on it that opens one feature and closes the other as you move the selector around the dial. They said it had to be timed when the cable was replaced.
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Old 21 Jan 2016, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

The "mode" selector and "heat" control both have a gear driven mechanism behind them that drives a cable to operate doors or coolant flow. Kind of like a shifter cable on a bicycle, only a lot stiffer cable so tha it can pull and push. The gears ln the backside of the knobs are plastic as well as the housing so there is a lot of room for flex if anyhing gets in a bind. If it binds up enough, the gears will jump teeth like a bike chain. On a bike i doesn't matter, but on the heater controls ther is no leeway for things to still work properly. One tooth off and it won't go fully one way or another. The more teeth it's of the worse it is to the point it won't move at all. More than likely 1) the blend door is sticky, broken/cracked, or warped, or 2) the cable has a kink in it. If all the dealer is doing is straightening out the kink and putting it back together, it will kink again the next time it's used or shorly there after. Once a cable is kinked, it's pretty much done for. They maybe doing it to try and get the bigger job out of you. It may be there is a problem in tthe heater box, which, is a major pain to pull and repair in pretty much any car. Resetting the timing on the mode switch is not too bad if you pull it all the way out so you can work on it on a table or your lap. There's a litttle trial and error on gettting it apart and synced back right. Once you figure it out it's not bad. Once you get it synced back right, hook the cable back up and verify it works properly before putting it all back together. Check the cable with a pair of pliers to verify it is sliding smoothly.
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Old 22 Jan 2016, 08:50 am
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Default Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

You're bringing a 5 year old thread back from the dead
....but at least the info is good in case a needy owner stumbles over it someday.
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Old 23 Jan 2016, 02:19 pm
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Talking Re: Heater/AC Control Knob

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2step View Post
You're bringing a 5 year old thread back from the dead
....but at least the info is good in case a needy owner stumbles over it someday.
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