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95 Legacy L Wagon 2.2 4AT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So throughout the winter i have noticed that once my 95 LW/Outback warms up and the climate contol unit in the dash gets warm it stops working. As in it wont let me change the vent control or the recirc. The buttons remain illuminated but the LED the indicated the selected vents goes out and it will only continue to blow out the previously selected vents. I can still turn up/down the fan and change the hot/cold temp. When i let the car sit and cool down for a bit it starts working again....for a while. Im just wondering if anyone else has experienced this or what kind of testing i can do to look into this further. Thank you in advance for your help!

(PS i have tried googleing the problem and searching for threads related to this.)
 

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When the car is warmed up and the climate control is working as it should, does the "AC ON" light come on if you select AC and turn the fan on?

If the AC light does work when warm, then when the car is not warmed up, if you press the AC switch on and turn the fan on, does the "AC ON" light come on?

There's two initial possibilities. One is that the fuse that supplies power to the vent control and the recirc control functions might have an intermittent connection, that's bad when it's cold, but good when it's warm. It's an unusual possibility, but not impossible.

That same fuse powers the "AC ON" light (when the AC switch is pressed for "on" and the fan is turned on as well). So if the light does not come on when the car is cold, and it does when it's warm, the fuse could be the area of problem.

The other possibility is a temperature-sensitive connection or switch contact in the control panel (where the vent and recirc controls are). It could be something like the connector at the back isn't seated properly and/or the contacts aren't good, or it could be internal to the control. (I don't have info on what the wiring and switching is like inside the control module.)
 

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95 Legacy L Wagon 2.2 4AT
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok so when car is warmed up and the vent control stops working, i am still able to switch on and off the ac and the light still illuminates. So basicly all i lose is the ability to change vents. Ill check fuses and connections tonight. If that doesnt work ill try switching headunits.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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I need a little clairifcation here..
" the climate contol unit in the dash gets warm it stops working" - we are talking about the physical HVAC controller. Sometimes they go bad, not often but it happens. Sometimes just disconnecting and reconnecting the unit will resolve issues.
 

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95 Legacy L Wagon 2.2 4AT
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I need a little clairifcation here..
" the climate contol unit in the dash gets warm it stops working" - we are talking about the physical HVAC controller. Sometimes they go bad, not often but it happens. Sometimes just disconnecting and reconnecting the unit will resolve issues.
Alright, ill give an example. I start my car up each morning (~20-30 deg F lately) and the HVAC headunit works as it should. After about 10-15 min when the car is at operating temp and the vents are pumping out hot air, the LED lights (green or amber for def) go out and i lose the ability to change between the selected vent setting and a different one. Usually i am on def/floor and i cant change it to anything else or change the recirc. I can turn on the air, select fan speed, and change temp from hot to cold.....just not where the air comes from. The more i rationalize the more it seems like a bad headunit....if it were something else affecting the function of the headunit (ie: plug, fuse etc) i wouldnt be able to use any buttons when it got hot and if its a separate circuit board running the vent buttons vs the fan and temp, ac, etc then its one board going out....i havent taken it apart yet but the one in my maxima is 2 boards with sepatae fan switch....ill try that.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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Yes this sounds like a headunit with a bad solder joint since it involves electrical warmth and is consistant. Check the plug wires to make sure they all connect properly, otherwise swap a unit and see what happens
 

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Agreed. I'm not familiar with the "head unit" innards, and the schematic only shows a box, but the cold-warm characteristic is often just what nipper said -- a bad solder joint, or a bad contact in a connector. It might take only one to disable the controls for the two functions.
 

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95 Legacy L Wagon 2.2 4AT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks a lot i appreciate the feedback!
 

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take the control out and touch each solder connnection with a soldering pen to remelt the solder.

i did this and it fixed all the problem like the vent door not moving when the buttons are pushed
 
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