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Old 11-13-2008, 11:17 AM   #1
tlrsaturn
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Default Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Can anyone give me some input on how difficult it would be for me to replace the HVAC Control Head Module in a 2002 VUE? Time? Difficulty?

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Old 11-13-2008, 11:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

No, but what's wrong with it?

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Old 11-14-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

The hardest part is lining up the gears on the hot/cold knob with the respective cable (yes, it has a physical cable). It's not hard, but you need to take a minute or two to see how it all goes together.

Also, make sure you get the head for the 2002/early 2003 - starting in mid '03, there is a circuit in the head that activates the A/C whenever the selector knob is in the floor mode, as well as when in defrost.

~D.J.~

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Old 11-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
No, but what's wrong with it?
The fan will not operate on the 4th setting. It is like the 4th setting is dead. When I have defrost selected and runing on 3 then switch to 4 I can hear the A/C turn off and then back on if I switch back to 3.

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Old 11-14-2008, 10:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioVueBoy View Post
The hardest part is lining up the gears on the hot/cold knob with the respective cable (yes, it has a physical cable). It's not hard, but you need to take a minute or two to see how it all goes together.

Also, make sure you get the head for the 2002/early 2003 - starting in mid '03, there is a circuit in the head that activates the A/C whenever the selector knob is in the floor mode, as well as when in defrost.

~D.J.~
Sounds like something I could do myself, but I have never opened up the dash of my VUE. I repair laptops all the time and put them back together so I am sure I can keep track of how it comes apart, then put it back together. Any feedback you can give me on how to get started on pulling things out? And, how much time it would take? I really do not want to pay Saturn $325 to replace it. They ordered the part, so I can only hope they ordered the right one. I may also look to see if I can get one somewhere else.

Thanks!!!

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Old 11-15-2008, 12:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Haha, in my former position at work, I spent many a day arms deep in anything between a Dell Latitude D630 to a 12" iBook.... if you can handle working in things like those, this will be cake.

Figure an hour to take it all apart and throw it back together. I'll go through it below from memory (I have not had mine apart in about 2 years).

These instructions are for my VUE which is a manual... if yours is an automatic, you may have to pop the bezel trim out from around where the shifter contacts the lower dash bezel (by the window switches). You'll see the ring I am talking about once you get to looking at it (it's not the larger, sloped piece with the P R N D I L on i, but below that). Try to take it apart as below first, but if it is too hard to get the lower piece over the shifter, removing that ring should help.

Grab the edge of the black bezel (where the window switches are) down at the bottom - towards the center console, and pry up on it. It will spring up pretty easily. You can lift this up a bit and pull it towards you, making sure to disconnect the lighter/window switches/mirror switches. If your VUE is a manual. you'll need to pull it up and over the shifter - but the boot/shifter are all one piece and will not separate. If yours is an auto, toss this piece to the side.

At the bottom of the radio surround are a couple of screws (I think its either 2 or 4) on the sides of the pocket that lives in front of the shifter. Remove those, and that pocket comes free. I can't remember if there are any other screws, but I don't think so - if it doesn't come loose, take a look around. At this point, the radio/HVAC surround will be free, and you can lift it up slightly, enough to disconnect the dimmer and Hazard warning button switches (be careful - the hazard switch is a bit fragile in its mounts).

Pull that away, and set it to the side. Turn the HVAC knob to full cold and take note of the position it sits at.

There are some screws holding the HVAC head in now - remove those and pull the head unit forward - you won't have much room because the temp selector cables are stiff. The cables attach to the knob by a pinion gear of sorts, and it is in a "cage" that holds it to the back of the knob. I can't for the life of me remember exactly how that comes apart - but I seem to remember that the sides of that cage squeeze in and unclip from the back of the knob.

When you put the new head unit on, make sure to align the knob to full cold, and line up the gears as you snap it together. The rest of reassembly is the reverse of pulling it apart.

~D.J.~

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Old 11-15-2008, 01:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioVueBoy View Post
Haha, in my former position at work, I spent many a day arms deep in anything between a Dell Latitude D630 to a 12" iBook.... if you can handle working in things like those, this will be cake.

Figure an hour to take it all apart and throw it back together. I'll go through it below from memory (I have not had mine apart in about 2 years).

These instructions are for my VUE which is a manual... if yours is an automatic, you may have to pop the bezel trim out from around where the shifter contacts the lower dash bezel (by the window switches). You'll see the ring I am talking about once you get to looking at it (it's not the larger, sloped piece with the P R N D I L on i, but below that). Try to take it apart as below first, but if it is too hard to get the lower piece over the shifter, removing that ring should help.

Grab the edge of the black bezel (where the window switches are) down at the bottom - towards the center console, and pry up on it. It will spring up pretty easily. You can lift this up a bit and pull it towards you, making sure to disconnect the lighter/window switches/mirror switches. If your VUE is a manual. you'll need to pull it up and over the shifter - but the boot/shifter are all one piece and will not separate. If yours is an auto, toss this piece to the side.

At the bottom of the radio surround are a couple of screws (I think its either 2 or 4) on the sides of the pocket that lives in front of the shifter. Remove those, and that pocket comes free. I can't remember if there are any other screws, but I don't think so - if it doesn't come loose, take a look around. At this point, the radio/HVAC surround will be free, and you can lift it up slightly, enough to disconnect the dimmer and Hazard warning button switches (be careful - the hazard switch is a bit fragile in its mounts).

Pull that away, and set it to the side. Turn the HVAC knob to full cold and take note of the position it sits at.

There are some screws holding the HVAC head in now - remove those and pull the head unit forward - you won't have much room because the temp selector cables are stiff. The cables attach to the knob by a pinion gear of sorts, and it is in a "cage" that holds it to the back of the knob. I can't for the life of me remember exactly how that comes apart - but I seem to remember that the sides of that cage squeeze in and unclip from the back of the knob.

When you put the new head unit on, make sure to align the knob to full cold, and line up the gears as you snap it together. The rest of reassembly is the reverse of pulling it apart.

~D.J.~

This is the same way to remove the radio. Just my 2 cents worth.....

...
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Stop telling these secrets... you just put my stock 1/2 DIN CD Player with optional skips in jeopardy!

~D.J.~

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Old 11-15-2008, 02:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

It is super easy... just make sure you turn the dials to the same positions as before you took it off. I got a new dash a while back and it had an extra one in it hehe and it was no issue replacing it even though it didnt need to be raplaced (i just wanted the dash piece)

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Old 11-15-2008, 03:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

In general, I have found the VUE to be exceedingly easy to work on once you figure out the common way that everything seems to be put together.

My smart is similar, albeit strangely put together.

~D.J.~

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Old 11-16-2008, 07:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

As to at which point in time the change was made to the compreesor activating in 'Floor register' mode, my wife bought her '03 VUE in early November of 2002. I bought mine at the same dealer in late November of 2002. Hers does not have this feature, but mine does. When I discovered what was happening (AC on in winter) I checked my manual which did not specify that. The dealer replaced the head unit and it continued to do it, which is when we all found out it was intended.

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Old 11-16-2008, 08:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

If the fan doesn't work on the 4th (high speed setting), could there be a high speed relay that could be checked out?

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Old 11-16-2008, 10:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

I thoguht a blower motor resistor was out as well... however - if it is killing the compressor when he cycles to 4, it makes me think that the head unit might have lost its mind.

~D.J.~

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Old 11-17-2008, 01:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by termite View Post
If the fan doesn't work on the 4th (high speed setting), could there be a high speed relay that could be checked out?
IMO the fan switch is bad. In the fourth position the full voltage is sent to the fan motor. The voltage is routed through the resistor for fan speeds 1-3.

...
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Another thought:

On the 02-05's, (IIRC) the fan switch can be physically removed from the back of the HVAC unit. It might be worth taking that off and checking the contact points for corrosion before putting in an entirely new HVAC unit. You may be able to fix it if you go in there with a wire brush and gently clean them, then throw some dielectric grease on.

If this DOES work, you could save a good chunk of money.

Did your dealer quote $325 for LABOR or $325 for parts AND labor?

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Old 11-17-2008, 11:06 AM   #16
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioVueBoy View Post
I thoguht a blower motor resistor was out as well... however - if it is killing the compressor when he cycles to 4, it makes me think that the head unit might have lost its mind.

~D.J.~
Thanks for all the information. I thought about the resistor also, but realized that should only come into play on the lower speeds. Also, like you pointed out, the compressor going off also, points to the switch. Saturn said they are sure the problem is the control head, but I am not sure how they determined that, tested it maybe. Someone else asked about the quote, Saturn quoted $325 parts and labor.

Tahnks everyone for your posts. I will try pulling out the control unit, maybe clean the switch contacts, and then replace it if that does not work. Maybe I can get a replacement part cheap at a junk yard.

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Old 11-17-2008, 06:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

how much does just the hvac controls cost? is is very easy to switch them out without an issue. Also how much do used ones cost?

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Old 11-17-2008, 07:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by YourMainParadox View Post
how much does just the hvac controls cost? is is very easy to switch them out without an issue. Also how much do used ones cost?
That's actually what we are talking about.

It's actually a modular unit, much like a stereo.

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Old 11-17-2008, 11:50 PM   #19
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

I ran across blower schematic (2005 VUE) while looking for something else ... attached in case its not commonly available.

Appears 12 vdc is applied to one side blower motor and ground ... with varying level of resistance (direct for HIGH) to ground is applied to other side motor.

Quality might be lacking ... I scanned at 150 dpi to meet attachment limits.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Hvac-Fan.pdf (113.8 KB, 79 views)

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Old 11-18-2008, 03:16 PM   #20
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Default Re: Replace HVAC Control Head Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by YourMainParadox View Post
how much does just the hvac controls cost? is is very easy to switch them out without an issue. Also how much do used ones cost?
The new part is ~$150 dollars. I am unsure about used, but I am looking. Will reply again if I find used outlet. As for difficulty, read the rest of the post for more feedback, until I try it myself.

Regards,

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