So, Ill start at the begining. I have a 98 SLE. I worked in England from August 2008 to August 2009. The car was parked in a shed in MN over the year, with the battery unhooked and on blocks.
When I came back and started driving it this fall, it seemed fine. But the weather was average, not too hot to need AC and not too cold to need heat, so I didn't notice any problems. As it got colder though, I noticed problems.
On startup, the electronic display flashes, indicating a stored trouble code. (I have single electronic climate control, not dual) I tried to shift the air from the defrost to the vents, and to the floor. It wouldn't budge, it was stuck on defrost only. Also, it would only blow cold air, not hot. The Tech 2 said it was the Air Mix door, and so I diagnosed it and the book said it was the HVAC programmer that was ****. I called around, and got a local junkyard one for $50. (The stealership one was $479)
Plugged it in, and wala the vents change now! Its magic. But, the thing still blows cold air on warm startup. I dug further, and pulled out the glovebox to watch the Air mix door arm. Sure as ****, on warm startup it goes all the way to the left, thereby letting in outside cold air. I took a long screwdriver and coaxed it back to the right, and it will stay there, thereby giving me warm air.
I plugged in a tech 2 diagnostic computer from work, and it shows that as I adjust the temp, the air mix door counts change accordingly, which makes me believe that the programmer is commanding it properly, but for some reason the acuator just gets stuck on count 56. (0 counts is full hot, and 256 counts is full cold for those who dont know)
So, can the electric motor in the air mix door actuator go haywire? Why would it not do what is commanded? A new actuator is 60 bucks my cost through the dealership, so I dont want to put this part on it if it wont fix my problem.
I have seen through researching that sometimes the gears crack inside of the actuator, but would that be causing my problem if I can manually push the door closed while it is still atatched to the actuator?
Just looking for experience here, as Im sick of having to use the dcrewdriver everytime I get in the car for heat. I would like it to be fixed right.
The car has 160xxx miles on it.
Please let me know if you need more info or anything too.