96 G.Caravan: hot air on Pass. side, not cold

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  #1  
Old 07-27-03, 07:08 PM
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96 G.Caravan: hot air on Pass. side, not cold

About 2 years ago, intermittenly it would give hot air on the passenger side vent when the slider was at the cold position. Every time the dealer looked at it under warranty, it worked fine for them. As the saying goes, "The warranty is good until just before it breaks".
Now it is always hot air, hot as can be.
What do you think is the cause of this? My guess is the slider is a variable resistor, and the switch is bad. I located instruction for disasembling the console panel where the knobs & temp slider are. Is this worth doing, or is it some type of relay elsewhere? I'm traditionally not an Auto guy, but I am trying to save my father some $$$ from taking to a shop.

gj
 
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  #2  
Old 07-27-03, 07:22 PM
Joe_F
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It probably needs a recharge. Not DIY work unless you have the proper tools, know-how and service procedures to handle it.

My vote: Take it back to the dealer and show them the paperwork saying "No problem found". Now ask they why it's still doing it again and again. They will probably fix it at no charge if it is the same problem

VW denied my sister's 2000 Jetta had a head gasket problem even though there was foam on the oil cap. Sure enough during a recall, the technician wrote on the invoice "vehicle has a blown head gasket". They tried to charge my sister with it, but she had the proof----paperwork from 2001 showing she brought the problem to their attention.

Bottom line: She got a free repair after the warranty.

Let us know what you find.
 
  #3  
Old 07-28-03, 08:57 AM
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Thanks Joe,

I interpret that there are 2 or 3 different systems?
(Driver, Passenger, and Rear?)
This is why I ask: Last year the problem was intermitten, either it was totally cold, or totally hot on the passenger side.
I believe this is one of those bugs that develops later in the vehicles life, given it is from the first 6 months of production. I remember one dealer we visited had reset it somehow electronically (recalibration).
The buttons on the console have hidden functions for service puposes, for example the 3 buttons that control the rear wiper have second functions, when pressed in pre-programed sequences I recall. Does this sound right?

gj
 
  #4  
Old 07-28-03, 10:01 AM
Joe_F
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Depends on the options the truck has. Some have rear A/C, others do not.

I would bring it back to the dealer and see what they have to say. Show them that you have brought the vehicle back multiple times for the same problem and now that the warranty is up you are stuck.

Tell them that if this is the same problem as when you brought it under warranty, they should fix it free of charge---not your fault they could not correct it when it was under warranty.

Check alldata.com for any known bulletins that pertain to this problem.
 
  #5  
Old 07-28-03, 10:03 AM
Joe_F
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There have been some bulletins about A/C problems in these vehicles. I guessed you have a 3.3 liter engine in this Caravan and came up with the following on Alldata.com:

http://alldata.com/TSB/17/96173426.html

I suggest you have the dealer print these out for you and discuss them together to see what kind of resolution can be found.

Let us know what the dealer tells you.
 
  #6  
Old 07-28-03, 04:09 PM
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Subtract the dealer's failure to service, and the requests for repair under warranty......

What component does this seem like, to be bad/mafunc.?

My father isn't interested much in bothering with the dealer, I have doubts about a resolution with them.
If I knew what components are possibly at fault, I would like to have a go at it myself first. I have to friends who are good with cars, but not necesarily with the electrical system in newer vehicles from the past decade.
gj

curiosity ?: How do most temperature controls work on new cars vs. old cars? What has changed over the years?
 
  #7  
Old 07-28-03, 04:28 PM
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When it's blowing hot out of the passanger side, what's the temp like out the center and driver's side? Might help determine what the problem is...
 
  #8  
Old 07-28-03, 04:43 PM
1_4_U
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Does it have left & right a/c. The doors in
heater a/c box work on vacume.
 
  #9  
Old 07-28-03, 06:17 PM
Joe_F
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Cool

Original poster:

Ummm, ok . I'd be getting a free repair. I skip the dealer. I get Chrysler's headquarters on the blower. I'd tell them that their product is rock bottom and the dealer might as well work on soapboxes, they "ain't" cutting it. See where that nets you. Again, if you have paperwork proving the dealer couldn't fix it, it bodes your case.

Again, there have been numerous A/C related TSB's. I suggest you find a Chrysler dealer who will print them out for you or get them from Alldata.com through a $25 subscription.

Me? The dealer would be fixing this or at minimum giving me the TSBs to figure it out .
 
  #10  
Old 07-28-03, 09:51 PM
knuckles
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Click on the link below for a TSB that may pertain to your problem.

http://www.batauto.com/techs/96_Caravan_TSB.zip

Information provided courtesy of Alldata. Used with permission at www.batauto.com
 
  #11  
Old 07-28-03, 09:57 PM
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hey green jacket---if you have dual(or single) temp slides in the front, you have a completely electronic setup, called ATC. if it's a temp 'knob' it's all mechanical and ignore this entire post. i've never taken a control head apart (yet) but i can't imagine it not being two potentiometers(variable resistors) this comes out with i believe four phillips screws, two hidden on the bottom and one wire connector on the back. the number one cause for failure is coffee, soda, or any sticky beverage of choice getting spilled into it, as the cup holder is conveniently placed one inch in front of these controls. the buttons are usually stuck solid and i've seen temp slides pretty sticky before too. the one bulletin from chrysler states to remove the control head (from the car---on a work bench)and spray MP-50 into the stuck parts until they're free. this doesn't always work though.

being all electronic, there are MANY secret tests that you can perform with different combinations of buttons, far more than i can describe here. maybe ask a dealer very nicely if you can read the section of the service manual for a few minutes, then get caught up in the reading of it all, wait for a service writer to be not so busy, and ask kindly if you can photocopy the section you need. (may or may not work, but worth a try)


the system is a true dual unit, but with one evaporator and one heater core, so if the other side is hot or cold---those parts can be eliminated. the passenger zone temp actuater(electronic) is right above the driver's right foot . lay on the driver's side floor and look up to the heater box with a flashlight, there should be three actuators on that side of the box(some cars have a little shield in the way, two or three phillips screws underneath) only two actuators if there is 'one' temp slide.


with the key on, you can turn the mode knob and watch the top actuator( i think) move through it's range, the lower front is the driver's temp control and the lower rear is the passenger temp control. i have tapped on actuators before to get them moving(then i know what it needs) sometimes they stay working, sometimes they just creep a little with each tap, sometimes they don't work at all--then i find another caravan in the shop and borrow it's control head.

the manual says to not leave the actuator plugged in and not be bolted to the a/c box, there are no internal stops. the control head, upon calibration, reads the resistance of both stops of actuator and internal 'door' and uses that to guage where to position the door.

if you need to recalibrate things, like if the battery was disconnected for a long time or you had the control head out(same thing) it's simple. fan on hi, mode selected to face, one or both temp slides on cold, then (car running) hold the top left and bottom left buttons down for like five seconds, until all the buttons light up, then release. the control head will run all the doors through all the positions and remember the stops(calibrate) it's done when just the top left light is flashing very slowly, touch it once to exit the test. if anything else is flashing, it failed the test and something is wrong, what button stays lit is an indication of what's wrong(a code) and you'll need the service manual copy to troubleshoot from there.


basically, with common sense and a copy of the service manual(and rarely a DVOM) you can figure this thing out, i've never been to training for this yet(it's only been out eight years now) and what i know here is what i've figured out by myself.


note: with documents (old receipts from a dealer) for this same problem stating it's an intermittent problem and they found nothing wrong, and a call to the customer service 1-800 number in the owner's manual, you might get some assistance, whether chrysler buys the control head or the actuator or even the labor too, it's worth a try after you figure it out. stranger things have happened. it helps if you/he is the original owner and had an extended warranty.


let us know where you get with all this info
 
  #12  
Old 08-15-03, 08:50 AM
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Thumbs up thank you: mike in nj

Here's what I found: I finally had a convenient time to run the test when I was thinking of it at the same time. I was in the KMart parking lot wainting for wsomeone to come out of the store and pushed top and bottom. The complete cycle took a minute or two, and the result after nothing else was changing is the first light blinks once, the second three times, and repeating. After pressing the top left to exit, the first two blink together. Unfortunately it seems to stay this way. After starting up and stping several places later such as the gas station, it only once didn't blink (first two together). None of the other lights function under this condition, however all fujctionality such as recirculate, AC, r.wiper, etc. all do work.

What next? The passenger side is still hot. What so the actuators do, redirect the air to the vents (face, floor, etc.) or operate where the air circulates through to be heated/cooled?
gj
 
  #13  
Old 08-15-03, 08:59 AM
Joe_F
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To my knowledge the actuators control the direction of air and where it goes.

Something's amiss somewhere here and has been missed by too many people, including the dealer.

Man, gotta love my old simple GM C60 system. Vaccum problems are either split lines or the vacuum wheel on the back of the A/C controller. That's it . LOL

Original poster: Have you looked at the bulletin Knuckles provided????? Looks like it may solve your problem or point you in the right direction!

Information is KEY!!!
 
  #14  
Old 08-15-03, 08:59 AM
Joe_F
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To my knowledge the actuators control the direction of air and where it goes.

Something's amiss somewhere here and has been missed by too many people, including the dealer.

Man, gotta love my old simple GM C60 system. Vacuum problems are either split lines or the vacuum wheel on the back of the A/C controller. That's it . LOL

Original poster: Have you looked at the bulletin Knuckles provided????? Looks like it may solve your problem or point you in the right direction!

Information is KEY!!!
 
  #15  
Old 08-15-03, 07:30 PM
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What component changes the temperature? (What is at the other end of those wires, or on the other side of some type of circuitboard controller? Tomorrow I plan to see what the condition of the control head is. First the pond construction in the front yard must be completed. Yes I looked at Knucckles link to a service advisory, it does pertain to the problem.
gj
 
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Old 08-15-03, 07:52 PM
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the temperature actuators control right vs. left temp.
the mode selector (on the dash)is common to both sides.
try rereading my third, fourth and fifth paragraphs, it explains what i usually do to figure these out. if you still don't understand, say so, and i'll try to explain a bit clearer.

you never said if this was a single or dual control system(one or two temp slides on the dash)

i've seen you posting a lot in the electrical forum--are you an electrician(i have a question for you)
 
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Old 08-15-03, 07:54 PM
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joe, i thought the option C60 simply meant "air conditioning equipped"

i know even today's isuzus use the same codes C60=A/C (G80=posi too)
 
  #18  
Old 08-16-03, 05:38 AM
Joe_F
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C60 means A/C, yes, but some cars have "optional A/C".

For instance, my 89 Cavalier only has regular A/C (bottom lever says "COLD HOT"

My '82 Toronado had semi-auto A/C which is C65. You could also get C60 that year.

C60 works just fine. Gets you cold without all the bells and whistles .
 
  #19  
Old 08-17-03, 05:17 PM
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Dual control, driver control is shared, it also controls the rear temp. I reread 3,4,5: have to run, Ill reread later and give a better responce.
gj
 
  #20  
Old 08-20-03, 06:26 PM
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Smile

An actuator determines where the air circulates through in the HVAC system, causing one or both sides to be hot or cold, and there is a seperate damper-like device for directing air to the vents, correct? The actuator for the right-pass., side is stuck making the air pass through the heater making it hotair?
Am I on the right track now?
I just asked a HVAC tech who was doing a major boiler jobabout a few techniques to add to my knowlegde: One doesn't learn without asking.

gj
 
  #21  
Old 08-20-03, 08:21 PM
mike from nj
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I'M BACK!!!!

i changed some settings in my preferences, then i couldn't log in anymore. multiple e-mails to the webmaster and forums administrator yielded nothing in the way of a response or any help whatsoever, so, i changed my screen name slightly, lost all my (ever so important) # of posts, and am back.

green jacket---actuators control everything that happens inside your heater box. one actuator controls one door. all are electric. one controls the modes(face, floor, defrost), one controls driver's temp, and one controls the passenger temp. i suspect the passenger's actuator as being bad.

you need to look up on the side of the box above the driver's feet to see all three. with the key on, turn the mode knob, you will see the mode actuator turn. slide the driver's temp control, you will see the driver's temp actuator move. then slide the passenger's temp slide, you will see the remaining actuator not moving(lower rear one) tap ever so gently on it and it should move with the temp slide on 'cold' if it does move then, you need that piece there.


let me know how it goes.
 
  #22  
Old 08-22-03, 08:55 PM
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Van is in the shop, today while out with Sis and Dad, it started quiting when the accelerator did not get pressure. I made a few phone calls and we made a U-turn for the town the other direction from home to swap vehicles, the 98 Cirrus was ready to be picked up after inspection.
Without explaning alot, it is not likely to be a super quicky job with minimal expense, I think there are several problems which just happened to sync together today while at the traffic light by the CVS.
Perhaps this HVAC problem will be fixed too.
gj
just an update
 
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