Heater control problem

Page 1 of 2  
I described the precursor to this problem in a July 12 post ("Hot air from vents shen set cold") but I got no response to that one. The problem escalated now to the point, that the temp control dial seems to
be rotating freely, and the heater valve cable no longer operates the valve arm.
As I was browsing the Internet for similar issues, I found the following link describing my situation exactly as it was *before* yesterday, when I noticed the unfunctioning valve cable and freely rotating heater control dial. Note, that my Accord is a '94 LX model.
http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t 30540
What raised my curiosity about the above link is that the poster claimed to have gain access to the heater control through the removed glove box. This would be a great news because I don't feel like spending about $500-600 for removing and reinstalling the whole dash so so after I had the heater core replaced last year.
This problem seems to be quite common with the '90s vintage accords and one of the responses in the above link also mentioned some service bulleting on the heater control cable issue. I wonder if anybody knows more about that bulletin.
Does any of you have experience with this problem? I hope there will be some responses this time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

My theory is to trade the car before such things happen.
J.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/17/2013 9:41 PM, JRStern wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The 90's ended for me some time ago.
J.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@foobar.invalid says...

Unfortunately, so did Honda's engineering superiority.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/17/2013 02:55 PM, cameo wrote:

i can't recall if i had to take the whole dash out just to fix this or the instrument cluster as well, but with my 96 accord, i replaced the cable, reattached the controls, and it worked again. yes, it's a pita and apparently a common problem - i suspect the cable housing is some below-spec material that gets sticky when hot and starts to seize the cable inner.
--
fact check required

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/18/2013 8:38 PM, jim beam wrote:

instrument panel had to be removed, but it wasn't quite clear. I agree that the sticky cable must be at fault, though there are really two separate cables there: the shorter air mix cable that is operated by the temp control dial, and the longer heater valve cable that goes through the fire wall and activates the coolant valve. This latter valve seems to be attached fine to the valve arm, so I'm not sure which cable is damaged, and what worries me even more is whether anything else is damaged or broken by the forced turning of the temp control dial before that dial went totally free-turning.
I don't want to take that instrument panel out and then only to find out that something else is broken beside a cable and having no quick way to get hold of a new part to replace the broken part. There are some plastic parts there that could be broken, I think.
Right now I just manually turned the heater valve to close position till the colder weather comes in. Then I'll just open that valve to let hot coolant flow in the heater core. Maybe the redirection of air flow into the air vents is still working by activating the various buttons on the heater control, though I'm not sure the heater door can still be operated. If not, I just hope it is open, so the blower can direct the air through the core.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/19/2013 10:10 AM, cameo wrote:

it might be disconnected rather than broken. iirc, mine had done that when the cable stuck and the previous owner had tried to crank it anyway, but the mechanism, while plastic, was still quite strong.

classic work-around.
don't know if there's another way to access, but if there is, i bet it involves painful contortions. i just removed the panel to access the control cables. it's not too complicated.
for diagnosis, i disconnected the cable at the heater valve end and discovered the cable was not movable. suggest you check that out before ordering any parts, just to be sure. the airflow cable can be observed moving under the dash, so you can see if that's a problem, no disassembly required.
if you remove the panel, and your vehicle is the automatic, consider progressing to and removing the speedo cluster. the "drive" indicator bulb on the selector panel goes round about now and you can replace it while you've got everything apart. better yet, replace it with an led - utterly retarded to have a 1000 hour bulb in a 3000+ hour location.
--
fact check required

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/19/2013 10:40 AM, jim beam wrote:

Painful contortions are out of question for my bad back. Replacing the main realy under the dash was bad enough. :-(

I disconnected it once and it seemed to be also unmovable with the moderate amount of force I could apply there at that tight space. But I don't understand how that could tell me anything about needing to buy a new part or not. Could you elaborate?

I might first get one of those fiberoptic scopes to make checking that out easier. I've seen some fairly inexpensive models out there by Googling around. Such a flex scope can be useful for many tight space applications.

Thanks. The logic sounds the same as replacing the water pump with the timing belt. Are LED replacement bulbs readily available with the same specs?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/19/2013 04:09 PM, cameo wrote:

if the cable's seized internally, not only will the heater valve not operate, but the controls will disconnect themselves if forced. thus the way to get it all working again is to replace the cable and reconnect it all. iirc, part of the plastic outer on mine had become malformed so even if i'd somehow freed the cable inner, that outer still wouldn't properly sit in the control mechanism any more. so, if you try to move the cable inner from the valve end, you know what the likely outcome is at the other end.

no, you need to kludge it. the bulb has long wires and sits in a little plastic socket. the bulb's wires are folded over some plastic tabs that then get pressed against a piece of circuit board when the socket is inserted. you can remove the bulb, and bend the led leads into the socket in the same fashion. i suggest thinning them with sand paper a little too.
<http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Lumex/SSL-LX3044GD-12V/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtmwHDZQCdlqUPJk6OnVfwFdqmRQO8Alng%3d the best bit tho is figuring out orientation - has to be the right way around! you can get bi-directional led's but not 12v afaik.
or just swap the bulbs about. "1" or "2" are rarely used and should have plenty of hours left.
--
fact check required

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/20/2013 8:35 AM, jim beam wrote:

OK. I've got it though it doesn't look easy to replace that cable.

I've used these LED indicator lights on some hobby projects before and Radio Shack has a ton of them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/20/2013 02:11 PM, cameo wrote:

once you have the controls out, it's actually very straight forward - the routing is simple and it just pushes through the bulkhead grommet.

yes, but make sure they're 12V - you don't have room to solder in the usual series current limiting resistor for a traditional led here.
--
fact check required

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How about disconnecting the two cables and blasting release oil up inside the cable cores. You might be lucky.
Al Moodie.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/20/2013 05:46 AM, Al Moodie wrote:

they're not metal lined like old throttle cable, they're a fully plastic outer. if they're stuck, it's because there's some adhesion happening, and that's not a simple lube issue. go ahead and try, but i don't think it'll work, and i doubt the longer term effects of the oil interacting with the plastic outer.
--
fact check required

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/20/2013 8:36 AM, jim beam wrote:

descriptive name than just "cable."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/20/2013 02:15 PM, cameo wrote:

well, yes and no. traditional bowden cable has a steel helical outer. this control cable does not - it's all plastic. i'd therefore prefer to call it control cable, not bowden, but you make a good point.
--
fact check required

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I was wondering how to gain acccess to the heater control cable with minimum dash work. The link below shows a square indented panel with the two big buttons on the top and the 5 smaller ones on the bottom. It looks as if that square panel could be popped out, but I am not sure. If it can, then how to pop it out? If that's not possible, I assume I would have to pop out that entire larger, darker panel section the smaller square is located in. But then I wouldn't know how to pop that out either. Can anybody advise me on this?
http://i43.tinypic.com/wmjxon.jpg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
cameo wrote:

I don't by any means have a 94 Honda Accord outside to verify this with, but from your picture the whole panel /probably/ pops out. It's /likely/ held to the dash by metal spring-clips on plastic tabs.
Tools similar to :
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)> come in handy
GW
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/27/2013 1:15 PM, Geoff Welsh wrote:

Thanks for the tool tip. I hope Harbor Freight has something similar.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/26/2013 08:07 PM, cameo wrote:

sorry, need to check the service manual to be sure. istr that you had to take the center console out to get at two screws that hold the control panel in, but maybe you'll get lucky - i left them out on mine just in case i needed to get back in without removing all the rest so maybe the guys that did your heater core did the same.
--
fact check required

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.