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
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.
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.
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
From some of the Internet posts that I saw it appeared that only the
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Thanks. The logic sounds the same as replacing the water pump with the
Are LED replacement bulbs readily available with the same specs?
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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