Question about 1999 Dodge Caravan

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AC/Heating unit has died in the winter.

I don't know what the problem is, but when i play with the dials controlling the temperature, the level of the fan, and the position of where the air blows, you can faintly hearing clicking or other small noises coming from in behind the console. Any suggestions?

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This clicking sound may be more evident now that you are aware of a problem ? You may have a bad plenum actuator switch . It is mounted on the side of duct work and they will make a loud click sound

Posted on Mar 14, 2014


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expansion valve looks like is not openning or the capilary tube is bad

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SOURCE: 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with no heat, no ac, blows room temp air on all fan settings

The upper passenger side firewall has a little black line passing through it . Usually it is broken. There is also a ball on the drivers side firewall behind the hinge

Posted on Nov 04, 2012

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Both Heat and AC blow the same air.

You are probably going to be at the mercy of a shop to get this fixed.
The climate control system uses an inside and outside temp sensor to decide what kind of conditioned air you need. There is a main HVAC controller called a Remote Climate Control Module and the engine and body computers also play a role in the process. Then you have blend doors that are controlled electrically that open and close allowing air to pass thru the heater and ac boxes.
All of these components and circuits may need to be tested to find the problem. And yes the dash could need to be removed to access some of those components.
As long as the shop guarantees the repair will fix the problem, you should be safe. A dealer will have the most to lose if you blast them in public for not fixing it. A small garage, not so much.

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Both AC and Heat blow the same air.

Sounds like a flow flap or vacuum control head issue. The system uses 1 blower motor and one fan resistor. Both systems are intergrated to produce a BLENDED temperature. This means that to raise A/C temps originating at say 20 degrees to come out of the ducts at 45 degrees for cooling you need airflow through the heater core WHILE the A/C is on.
This is done with a blender flap. Hot air that is potentially matching the water thermostat (165 degrees) is expelled to blend with the 20 degree air to raise the discharge temperature to 45 degrees and up.
In winter, the A/C is engaged by design to keep the compressor lubed with oil. Usually this happens in Defroster mode, but through either Design or defect, may occur in heat position.
Now some of the Digital Climate control units have a Diagnostic sequence you can activate with certain button pushing combinations. Research Your Model, Year and then Climate Control Diagnostics on the internet. The sequence is something Dealers know about.
This Diagnostics would identify a malfunctioning Flap valve actuator.
I recommend people to visit a Salvage yard which allows you to dismantle a car yourself and see how the car is built.
Hope this helps and makes sense to you.

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The A/C is blowing when the heater is turned on. What could be the problem

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In the winter when I am using my defroster or other interior heater to heat the interior and/or the glass and windshield, frost and or ice will build up on the edges of the windshield and or both side...

Hello, Thank you for letting me assist you. Let's look at your problem. I don't see a year or model for your vehicle so I will assume it is 1990 or newer. Manufacturers for some reason setup the defroster setting to activate the AC compressor regardless of what you have the temperature setting set to anytime it is turned on. This becomes problematic in some regions. I know when I drive through Pennsylvania during the winter I had to change my windshield washer fluid from cleaner to a 50 /50 mix of cleaner and alcohol/deicer fluid in order to stop the icing on my windows. Your problem though, as I understand your post, is there is ice forming on the inside of the vehicle.

The first thing to make sure you are setting the air control to recirculate instead of bringing air in from the outside. Second, make sure your using a 60/40 mix of Anti-Freeze in your radiator and that your radiator is properly filled. Normally you use a 50/50 but in your case you seem to be in a colder region and being a little stronger on the Anti Freeze will ensure you don't have a motor freeze. Next you need to check your thermostat. If you haven't replaced it in the last 5 years I would replace it. In colder regions you really need the thermostat to make sure your actually building heat up before water is cycled from the radiator. The next check is to make sure your actually getting heat to the heater coil on the inside of the vehicle. Start the vehicle and let it idle for about 10 minutes. This should be enough time for the engine to heat up and for the thermostat to open. Then turn the heater on with it set to your mid-level vents. If you have no heat coming through the vents you need to check your heat control valve and AC compressor. If your set to heat and not defrost the AC compressor should not be running. Make sure the control valve on your main heater line is open. The main Heater line is a 1" or 5/8" line that runs from motor to the firewall, it will have a control valve on it that is either cable controlled or more commonly vacuum controlled. The vacuum controlled system are more problematic as any vacuum leak in the system will cause it to malfunction plus the vacuum controller where you set the temperature inside the vehicle can cause problems and is hard to isolate. The good news is you can by-pass this control in the winter even if you only do it for testing. Remove the controller and put a straight pipe in its place. If you don't have water running through that hose either your water pump is bad or you have a blockage. Now, assuming you have water flowing through that hose, if the heater works when the vehicle is sitting and idling but it gives you trouble when your driving there is one more option. I don't recommend doing this except in very cold climates as it can cause you to overheat and you have to remember to undo this trick when it gets 50 degrees or warmer. You can partially block the radiator. Be careful not to fully block it and be aware this will cause more resistance when the vehicle is moving. They sell kits in cold climate areas that are made of canvas to partially block the air flow through the radiator but you can make one using cardboard or a piece of canvas just don't use anything plastic. This will reducing the cooling capacity of your radiator and increase the warmth of the water going to the heater core. I normally see these in areas like Canada, Colorado or Alaska in the winter but there are cases when you may need them in other states.
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