I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. I have been having a problem with the air conditioning or should I say the heater control. During these hot, summer months when I try to use the A/C, I get hot air coming out of the drivers side vents while the passenger side is nice and cool.
This car is equipped with dual zone heater controls, so I am thinking this is the best place to start. How big of a job is it to replace this control, and how much
am I likely to spend?
These types of systems can be tricky to diagnose. There is a “blend door motor” inside the dash that opens and closes the airway to the passenger and driver area.
You could have a dash control problem….the push button control unit itself or you could have a problem with one of the blend door motors not opening. I have seen more problems with the blend door motors than the actual dash control head.
In either case…it can be an expensive repair. The dash control is expensive, although you can buy a used one from a junk yard, and the blend motors are pretty cheap but take an act of congress to get to inside the dash board.
I would recommend you pay the dealership or a trained a/c mechanic who is familiar with automatic climate control to at least diagnose the problem for you, then you can make the decision to do the repair yourself or pay someone. It will be an expensive and timing consuming guess if you guess the wrong part.
If it is the dash control head, get one from a junk yard and install it yourself. The only real trick is finding all the plastic fascia mounting screws holding the control assembly to the dash which are usually hidden very well.
Very rough estimate numbers
$135 labor for dash control head plus part
$275 labor for blend door motor plus part
$75 for diagnosis
Reader Follow Up
Thank you for this good advice. After doing some more driving I do suspect the blend door motor, as this problem is hit and miss. Meaning it comes and goes with no apparent reason. I will have a dealer diagnose it and I make the recommended repair.
Thank you again