97 bonny w/climate control issues - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 09-16-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
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Default 97 bonny w/climate control issues

have a problem w/ climate control at first it would take 10 min or more for air to change from default (floor & defrost) to vents in a/c auto or manual, just would take time. I tried to replace the climat control panel but no change. The heat and a/c still worked it was just inconvenient. when I pulled the vacuum connection off the air box and jump vacuum over to different lines the vents worked properly. I figured it was the control programmer (attached to the side of air box passenger floor behind glove box) also where the vacuum lines connect to. car sat a few weeks. Now it stopped changing over to A/C Heat only even though temp setting was on 60 and a/c compressor was running I could feel the air box cold.. I do not know if at the time the vent issue stopped working completly or not (my sons car) He'* away in college now, I needed a spare car (mines in shop bad motor) I tried to pull electrical connector out of programmer (not very easy) used a screw driver to pry. turned the key back on to see if maybe i could at least get a/c. Now the control module (piece in dash) has 3 dashes (with controler disconected) but I had a/c. w/high fan cold air to floor and defrost, no vents. I turn car off and plug in programmer and no change the control module does not work (3 dashes) no control for fan speed, rear defroster or temp. I tried to disconnect battery hopping it would reset but still no control just 3 dashes.
any one familure with this
Fuse on passenger floor for programmer is good

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Old 09-17-2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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Sounds like you have a couple things happening here.

The change in airflow from vents to dash to floor is controlled via vacuum. Two possible issues are common. First is the vacuum connector to the motor or the canister (under passenger front fender) are causing a low vaccum issue. Second possibility is the nipples in the HVAC connection (pretty colored hoses) are collapsed and not letting the vacuum to flow. Search on James Tharp and the word Vents to find a long post with link and fix at the end. Cheap and each for the fix BTW.

The temperature issues are likely the air mix actuator. Searching for that will yield you many good and informative threads on how to pull the glove box and observe it'* function or lack of.

As for the three dashes. Give the system some time. The dashes mean it'* peeved at you and wants a little time to get it'* bearings. Or it'* totally pissed and one of the wires/pins on the connector are bent/pulled and not making contact.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:43 AM   #3
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I think the mix actuator is working as I jump vacuum lines it switches fine. I thought the plug I disconnected was the programmer, but it may be the mix acuator as its attached to a flap inside air box (removed 1 screw and move you can hear a flap when wiggeling it) I thought the programmer was what the vacuum lines run into?
Since I took car hame last night the dashes still there. when I disconect the head unit (control modual?)
it stays on a/c and no change in hi fan speed. gets a little chilly in the morning.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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The mix actuator is a servo motor on top of the heater box that controls the heat/ac temperature mix door. Trust me when I say you probably didn't unplug it. You would have had to remove the programmer (red connector and vacuum hose part) and then when that wouldn't come out..realized there was another few wires and unplugged it from the actuator to get the programmer out.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:12 AM   #5
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OK thanks so the plug I disconnected IS the programmer (next to vacuum connector) Then I can only assume that theirs a loose wire in the plug, and thats the reason the head unit (control modual) stopped working (3 dashes).
Any easy way of pulling a little more of the harness down from programmer harness as its hard to reach. the glovebox has the vents running through so theirs no access.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
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Not really. Most of the things to do with the programmer and the actuator suck big the first time out. Once you do it, you'll see the easier ways and you'll understand how to make your life better if you ever do it again.

I've been there, done that about 5 times.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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had to run to the junk yard needed a drivers door mirror, man what a pain in the %^@#$ to get that 1 nut off.
he had another head unit to let me try, same thing 3 dashes. he did not have a programmer though, so I am stuck with checking wires in an awkward position.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:06 AM   #8
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Look to gearwrench or Sears for pivoting head ratcheting wrenches for the mirror and you will never fight that nut again.

Head unit typically isn't the problem. Even the programmer is usually not the problem. Push the seat back pretty far, recline it all the way and take off your shoes. Wrap your feet/knees over the seat back and invert. I've found it'* easier to do this stuff upside down in the car. Most times a job is hard or impossible, a different angle of view opens doors up.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:23 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the help. So 1st I need to find a bad wire (or connector) to get head unit working again.
now to get to the original problem once that'* fixed.
heat only, and slow or no reacting of change of air direction to vents.
The hoses feel nice (read here where they get soft) and nipples collapse on vacuum connector to programmer (also read here) they look fine also. When I jumped vacuum lines the air direction was worked fine (I need to check again to verify) as of 3 months ago when A/C and head was working change in temp was ok, just the air direction was the only problem.
Even though the programmer rarely goes bad (again read here) that would have to be the problem correct?
Thanks again you guys have been a boatfull of help.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:48 AM   #10
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Depends on where you jumped the vacuum. The nipples are located in the plastic that connects the car side lines to the programmer. You may want to try jumping them inside the programmer.

I'd start by pulling the plug out, looking for any bent pins on the programmer. That'* the most likely problem since it was working before.

You are completely correct, "doesn't typically happen" does not mean the programmer can't be the bad part.
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