Heater Switch? '92 Cavalier

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  #1  
Old 12-11-02, 01:34 AM
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Question Heater Switch? '92 Cavalier

Hi. When I switch from vent to heater to defrost, or whatever, when I move the switch, the heat just keeps coming mostly out of the vents, with a tiny bit out of the defrost, and a tiny bit near floor.

So I suppose what I'm saying is that regardless of where the switch is set, the place where the heat comes out of doesn't change.

I know I could get a new switch (I think that's what they called it) at an auto wreckers for $35.

Can someone tell me if it is a difficult thing to replace? or will I just be able to undo a few screws, pull the plate out, and simply unplug it right there? or is there more to it?

I recently pulled out my old tape deck and put in a new one quite easily, even though I'd never ever done anything like that before. All it was was a couple little plugs that were right there!!!

Anyhow, any advice re the heater switch?

Thanks!
Marie
 
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  #2  
Old 12-11-02, 03:21 AM
Joe_F
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Most GM's have a rotary vacuum switch at the back of the A/C head controller.

This is usually the problem here. A couple of bucks at any AC Delco distributor or GM dealer. A couple of screws and it's changed.

Not hard at all. Leave the wrecking yard part where it is---with the rest of the junk .
 
  #3  
Old 12-11-02, 09:44 PM
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Joe - Thank you for your reply.

Do you know of a site that would give me step-by-step directions on how to fix the problem (i.e. show me where to find this switch, etc.) Also you mention the back of the A/C head controller. This might sound really dense, but do all cars have an A/C head controller with a switch, or just cars with air conditioning (which I don't have)?

Sorry for all the questions. But I will attempt to fix it myself if it is really straight forward.

Thanks again. I totally appreciate your reply!

Marie

P.S. If I went into the local Chev dealership and simply asked for a 'rotary vacuum switch', would they know what I was talking about? Thanks.
 

Last edited by Marie12345; 12-11-02 at 10:01 PM.
  #4  
Old 12-12-02, 12:38 AM
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This link might help you to get the control panel out.
http://www.cybrrpartspro.com/Chilton...13CH06_19.HTML
 
  #5  
Old 12-12-02, 10:00 AM
Joe_F
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The only dense question is one that is not asked....

Stevo gave you some good advice. Barring that, go to any GM dealer's parts counter and ask to see the exploded view of the A/C control from the parts book. Ask them if there is a rotary switch on the back of the control (called a head switch by some) which will control where the air comes out of .

Most GM's do have them. I changed it on my 84 Olds..it was 8 dollars in my case.

If autolibrary doesn't have what you need, then you will probably need to get an Alldata.com subscription for 25 bucks annually, or the GM service manual.
 
  #6  
Old 12-12-02, 07:52 PM
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woohooo Thanks for the info! I will be sure to post back - hopefully to let you know that I fixed the problem and that it was a breeze! lol

Thanks again.
 
  #7  
Old 12-15-02, 07:09 PM
Mech24
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Smile Re: Heater Switch? '92 Cavalier

Originally posted by Marie12345
Hi. When I switch from vent to heater to defrost, or whatever, when I move the switch, the heat just keeps coming mostly out of the vents, with a tiny bit out of the defrost, and a tiny bit near floor.

So I suppose what I'm saying is that regardless of where the switch is set, the place where the heat comes out of doesn't change.

I know I could get a new switch (I think that's what they called it) at an auto wreckers for $35.

Can someone tell me if it is a difficult thing to replace? or will I just be able to undo a few screws, pull the plate out, and simply unplug it right there? or is there more to it?

I recently pulled out my old tape deck and put in a new one quite easily, even though I'd never ever done anything like that before. All it was was a couple little plugs that were right there!!!

Anyhow, any advice re the heater switch?

Thanks!
Marie
 
  #8  
Old 12-15-02, 07:13 PM
Mech24
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Think this will fix your heater

Dear Marie, I think when you put in your tape deck you messed up the heater. Alot of times the radio is next to the heater control and when you replaced it you probably knocked the vacuum hoses off of the heater control or you pinched them. Pull the tape deck back out and check all the small vacuum hoses to the heater control unit to see if they are still connected or any are pinched. Good luck.
 
  #9  
Old 12-16-02, 12:13 AM
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Mech - Thanks for your post. I appreciate it!

I wish it was that simple, but actually, I put the tape deck in a couple years ago, and my heater worked fine after that. This latest problem started happening about a year ago. Thanks though!

Joe - I went to the chev dealership yesterday and the guy there didn't seem to think that would be the problem, but said it was possible. He offered no other possibilities though. And I didn't push for any info/suggestions, as he was quite a cranky old fart. Oh well.

Anyhow, they didn't have the part in stock so he ordered it. (It's $20 up here in Canada.) It should be in around Thursday.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Thanks again.
 
  #10  
Old 12-16-02, 10:56 AM
Joe_F
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Not only is he a cranky old fart, he's a stupid one, too. LOL.

I can't say with 100 percent certainty it is your problem as I do not have the machine in front of me, but I can tell you that every GM that I have seen with this problem, has been this.

Another thing to check are the vacuum lines going to the vacuum reserve tank. On most GM's, this is a round ball about the size of a softball or volleyball under the hood.

I don't recall what it looks like on that Cavalier. I have an older one (1989) and I don't recall one of those on there. My older GM's have it (such as my 84 Olds 88).

If the line is cracked here or at the throttle body, you'll get poor vent performance.

My vote's for the rotary switch behind the dash/AC control. This is because it seems to get air into the car, but at the wrong place.

I believe this is the part you are looking for. It will have both this # and a GM # on the box. I guessed that we are talking about a 4 cylinder vehicle (this is from Acdelco.com):


To add to the Shopping List, please select the Quantity of the desired Parts for your vehicle.
Click on the underlined part number to view part images. Please note that not all images are available yet.
1992 CHEVROLET CAVALIER RS L4 2.2L 134cid GAS FI N Engine VIN = 4
Qty Req Qty ACDelco Part# Description
HVAC / VACUUM CONTROL VALVE
01 15-71873 VALVE,HTR & A/C CONT VAC

The image of what it looks like: http://207.74.147.153/internet/parti...rtnbr=15-71873
 
  #11  
Old 12-17-02, 12:49 AM
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Wow......you are SO helpful! Thank you.

I will make sure I come back and post once it's all figured out.

Thanks again.
 
  #12  
Old 12-23-02, 08:25 PM
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Picked up the part today and it looks just like that picture in the link. yeehaw

This afternoon I took the plastic piece off the console and tried to look behind the heater. On the back right, I could see that little thingy and when I move the switch on the front to direct where the heat should go (vent, defrost, heater, etc.), I could see the 'thingy' (rotary switch I think you called it) and it does rotate.

So my question is......could the rotary switch still be the problem (even though it does move when I move the switch on the front of the console to redirect where the air should be coming from)? Or because the rotary switch does move, does it therefore mean the problem is definately something else?

Jeez, I sure hope this makes sense!

Thanks.
 
  #13  
Old 12-23-02, 08:45 PM
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FWIW, my Pontiac had 2 eletric motors that contolled the settings. One did the vent, the other just opened and closed the 'max a/c' vent. My Dodge on the other hand was vacuum controlled, as was a Buick I had.
 
  #14  
Old 12-23-02, 08:45 PM
Joe_F
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Yes, the rotary switch will still work/rotate and be bad. The diaphragm inside will go bad, or a port could be cracked.

I've done a couple where they were so brittle, they broke in my hand.

Let us know what you find.
 
  #15  
Old 12-23-02, 10:52 PM
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My 72 Pontiac rotary valve was just a metal to metal seal when I opened it and you could see nothing wrong with it. I assume there wa some sort of seal between the 2 halves and that it was worn out. Replaced the valve and all was better. Still works today!
 
  #16  
Old 12-24-02, 01:22 AM
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Thanks again, you guys.

I probably won't get to it till Friday. I'm assuming in just kinda plugs in, but when I was checking it out today, I couldn't pull it out. I think I'll do an internet search to hopefully get step-by-step directions on how to do this. Probably a good idea for me! lol

Anyhow, thanks again. I'll let you know what happens.
 
  #17  
Old 12-24-02, 07:36 AM
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Not likely to find step by step R&R directions---that's service manual material. Something you should own .

You can try autolibrary.org through my "The Basics" below, but there's not much to it.

Get to the control and pull it out as far as you can. There are little push fasteners that hold the vacuum harness onto the rotary wheel. Using a small screwdriver or needle-nose pliers, push them off. Try to save them for future use.

One screw usually holds the vacuum wheel to the control. Remove it, pull out the old wheel and put the new one in its place. Put the vacuum harness on and put the pushnuts back on. If you can't save the pushnuts, it's no biggie, it will work without it.

Bolt the control back in and give it a whirl. See if the the problem is solved.
 
  #18  
Old 01-19-03, 04:31 PM
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:(

Darn.....A friend and I took off the old rotary switch and put the new one on. Wow......It took us absolutely forever!! lol

Anyhow, got it all back together, turned it on, and not only was it exactly the same as before, but now the rear window defog. wasn't working. So this afternoon I spent 2 hours just hooking the rear window defog. back up. I took off the plastic front plate thing, unbolted the tape deck so I could get to the heater assembly, got that pulled out, tried to unhook the rotary switch again, then noticed that all of that was unnecessary --- I noticed an unplugged wire that simply needed plugged back in so that the rear window would defrost again. {sigh} Oh well...at least I can see out the back window again. lol

Anyhow, someone mentioned to me that they had the same problem and all it ended up being was a wire that had come loose. However, it was her mechanic that fixed hers, and she has no idea where the wire would be. Is she just confused, or do you think that a wire that had come undone could have caused this problem with my vents/heater? Does that make any sense to you?

If so, does anyone know where, under the hood, I would look for this (where the wires connect to something else under the hood) ?

By the way, I now have a repair manual for my car, but haven't found that it has helped at all. It covers General Motors 1982 through 1994. Any directions/suggestions I've been given here have been way more specific than in the stinking manual.

The back of the manual has pages and pages of electrical systems, but there's no index to these wires. Does anyone know where I should look under the hood? left, right, back, under, etc. This is getting so frustrating that now I AM DETERMINED!!! lol

Thanks again for any advice.
 
  #19  
Old 01-19-03, 04:47 PM
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this is a vacum problem and not electrical if you open up the hood , and trace your vacum lines from firewall to engine more than likely you will find a leak or broken vacum line which is causing your problem, most gm vehicles have a 3 way vacum check valve that prevents you from losing vacum to your heater controls while you are driving and the engine vacum is changing, alot of them also have vacum resoirvers which may not be very easy to find sometimes thay are on the drivers inner fender below the battery.
 
  #20  
Old 01-20-03, 04:57 AM
Joe_F
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As noted before, there has been a lot of hokey pokey in the dash the radio being installed and things being jostled around in there.

I agree with BeJay. Look for a vacuum problem. The "wire" the person refers to is actually a vacuum line.

Pitch that manual you are using or use it for a table prop. The only manual worth anything is the GM OEM manual, but it's pricey.

The links in my signature file have where to buy them or you can find them used on the 'net.
 
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