heater control panel buttons not working

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  #1  
Old 12-29-10, 09:00 AM
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heater control panel buttons not working

I recently bought a used 94 buick lesabre about 1 month later discovered defrost doesnt work. The blower works and i can adjust the blower strength (sliding control) and temperature, but the buttons affecting which vents the air comes out don't respond so air is stuck only coming out the front vents. This creates a major problem because with the cold weather, i cannot shift air to come out on the windshield, leaving me with seriously fogged up windshield and obvious visibility problems. The separate button for rear defogger works fine. Incidentally, the digital clock on the dash resets to 12:00 every time you start the car. Don't know if its related or due to some type of fuse problem. The radio works fine. Someone told me it might be a blender motor problem? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-29-10, 05:17 PM
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could be. very likely, climate control unit, one with the buttons, is not working. they are not that hard to remove though. me being me, i'd have it pulled out, and sprayed buttons with electronic cleaner, and then blown with compressed air. maybe even pull the front panel off and do some deep cleaning.
otherwise, they are cheap from junkyards.
 
  #3  
Old 01-02-11, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for your suggestion. Anything i can try on my own before spending the time and money to take it in somewhere is much appreciated! That sounds like something i can manage
 
  #4  
Old 01-02-11, 12:13 PM
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it all should start with spending $14 on repair manual.
climate control units are pretty easy to pull out. just be careful, as on my - infamous - Ford Taurus, there was some cable connected to gear, that required quite a trickery to put back on. your car might have similar design ingenuity, so, before you disconnect anything - take good note of how stuff is connected or even take pictures.
good luck.

btw, did you check fuses? have little doubt, control unit has one assigned. lesabre is fairly upscale vehicle, and you may have some electric actuators operating vent doors; that immediately comes with fuses.

btw, i like lesabres. had them rented twice, they are comfy for a guy my size.
 
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Old 01-02-11, 12:28 PM
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here's one for you:

Check the black plastic 1/4 in line for the vacuum to the heater unit from the intake manifold to the passenger side rear and to the front of the car down under the right front fender where there's a vacuum bottle that holds vacuum for when the motor loses vacuum at open throttle.

The black plastic line connects next to the big rubber tube from the brake booster.

Another check is run motor. Turn off but leave key at ON then switch different buttons on the heater control unit. If there is vacuum, you should hear the diaphragms moving vanes between different settings. You should have enough vacuum stored for about 10-15-20 seconds of changing.

Then if you're getting vacuum inside,

A/C Service Tech Tip: How to redirect the cooled air in late model GM cars

I replaced the plastic multiconnector with 1.25 inch pieces of 1/8 inch internal diameter gas line, free from friendly scrap box at NAPA.
Others have used aquarium tubing.

The black nipple layers inside the connector pull closed and block vacuum to the AC diaphragm first, with age and heat.

Take off the under dash thin plastic panel. Take off the glovebox door at its hinge with about 7 screws. Then you have good access for arms and light to the programmer box sitting anagled on the corner of the HVAC box. The programmer is held on with 2 screws, a multiwire connector and on top a little connector that goes to the electric actuator on top.
There is a plastic link at the bottom that comes from the electric actuator inside the programmer and snaps onto a wire rod with grooves on it that sets the throw of the lower vane for the passenger side IIRC. Top electric is for the driver vane temperature blend.

The blue plastic vacuum line goes to the actuator for the AC vane that closes and forces air that would go to defrost to come out the dash vents.

You can check for movement of the 4 diaphragms by taking off the plastic underdash on the driver side--all 4 are on that side. The back of the diaphragm is open and you can feel the diaphragm pull if you have motor running and switch the dash settings to different modes.
 
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