Automotive Electronic Climate Control – 1995 Ford

The problem with my controller was that it would no longer respond to a temperature change request. It was stuck on cold and when I tried to dial in a warmer temperature nothing would happen. I noticed a faint click coming from under the dashboard that sounded unfamiliar but didn’t follow it up at that time. The dealer told me that it was the controller module that had gone bad since it was displaying a trouble code right on the temperature screen. The code was (H2). The service manager at Ford looked all over and called several people and no one could give him an answer as to what that trouble code was for.

I bought the new climate controller and installed it but the problem was still there. Now I was out $300 because I couldn’t return the controller because it was an electronic component. So as not to introduce possibly another problem I re-installed the original controller so things were back to where I started. I decided to pursue the clicking noise coming from under the dashboard since it was new. The noise led me to the actuator motor that actually opened and closed the heater door within the vehicle ductwork. The actuator was in one of those tight places under the dashboard that required removing the entire dashboard to get to it properly. I could have tried to squeeze it out but that would be taking a chance of breaking the heater core housing so I removed the dashboard.

Before removing the dashboard I disconnected the battery because there were many wires and wiring harnesses that had to be disconnected and I didn’t wan to short anything out.

Once I had removed the actuator the problem was obvious. There is a gear drive on the motor and the gear was stripped right at the place where it had been engaged to keep the temperature in the cold sixty degree, position. I can only assume that the trouble code in the climate control screen appeared when the actuator tried to drive to where it was set to and actually drove past that point. I never found a really good schematic for the climate control circuitry to see if there is a feedback circuit but there must be one or something similar to have set the trouble code.

To help prevent this problem from happening again I now leave the climate control set at sixty-five degrees instead of sixty degrees in warm weather. That seems to prevent the motor in the actuator from driving hard against the stops and stripping the gear. So if you have a Ford product with an electronic climate control and you are having a similar problem start with the $65 actuator. If you are fortunate enough to not be having any problems with yours you may want to consider keeping the temperature setting away from the extreme ends of its travel.

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