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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 07-20-2012, 08:22 AM   #1
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Heater control module / AC problems

I've been sitting on this problem for a while. I have the standard manual climate control. No matter what position the slider is at it always blows hot. No matter what button is pushed it always comes out of the face level vents, never defrost or floor. With the blower off I still get air coming through the vents whether recycled air button is pushed or not.

My understanding is that there are a few motors that control the system. One for temperature, one for which vents it blows through, and one for recycled/outside air.

Being that the only buttons which work are the **** that controls fan speed, rear window defrost, and the A/C on/off, I figured that the control unit (as seen in picture) is shot. I ordered one and installed it, no change.

As I don't know much about the overall components of that system I broke down and took it in to Nissan to at least diagnose it. They came back rather quickly and said it was the "Heater Control Module"

Am I missing something here or is the picture I have not the Heater Control Module?

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:54 AM   #2
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The photo is the control module for the heater and a/c. It is made up of independent parts, the fan switch, the temperature slider, the outlet push buttons, a/c on, etc. The control unit is fed power by fuse # 19 (10 amp) and the control unit will then send power to the air mix door motor (temperature) and the mode door motor (which vents).

Having 2 bad motors at the same time is unlikely, so I think that your problem is electrical such as the fuse or maybe a broken wire. Find a pink wire with a blue stripe in the wire harness connector and check that it has 12 volts when the ignition switch is on. Also check that the wire is seated all the way in the connector. It is near the center of the biggest connector with the most wires in it, opposite side of the locking clip.

Also, the recirculate (recycle) is working exactly as it should.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Dennis. I checked fuse 19 and it appears to be good, just to make sure I swapped it anyway. I tested the pink wire with blue stripe and it does get power. There is a second pink w/ blue wire on the smaller harness next to it, I also tested that one which seems to be good. All wires look to be seated properly and none appears to be stripped or damaged insofar as I can tell by looking.

I agree with you that it seems unlikely both motors died at the same time which was how I came to the conclusion it was the control unit.

Appreciate any further guidance you can give me. Is there any way to test the motors themselves? I did notice that I can hear the motor move when I push the recycle button on and off so I believe you are correct in that working. I can't hear anything move (or attempt to move) if I push the vent selection buttons or move the temp slider.

Edit: Just reread my original post and part of it sounded unclear. Though I say the vent selection buttons don't work, they do light up to the corresponding button, they just don't actually change where the system vents. Not sure if that really changes any tips or not but wanted to try to paint an accurate picture.

Last edited by ffcbairn; 07-20-2012 at 02:09 PM..
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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I don't know what to tell you to look at or try next. My 97 max had a bad air mix door motor that died in the heat setting. I did the diagnostic procedure in the FSM. It looked easy enough but I had a hell of a time doing it. I suppose that's what you should try next, though. Ditto for the mode door motor (controls which air vents).

The air mix door motor diagnostics starts on page HA 179 and the mode door motor diagnostics is right after that.

I don't think that the FSM has an actual motor test in it. The FSM procedure basically has you check for voltage and if you have voltage and the motor doesn't move then the motor must be bad. If you don't have any voltage then the control panel must be bad. You could jumper power to the motor yourself and see what happens but I think the FSM procedure is good in that respect.

Last edited by DennisMik; 07-21-2012 at 09:50 PM..
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
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Alright Dennis thanks for trying. This has been one of the more difficult problems I've had to deal with. I feel like I am chasing some obscure electrical problem. I was sure the new control unit was going to fix it as other than the fuse there aren't too many common points of failure. I will be really surprised if both motors end up being bad considering the whole thing stopped at the same point. That makes me wonder beyond the motors and I just can't figure out where else it could collectively fail unless they both run off the same power line.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:40 PM
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