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I have the exact same problem with our 2004 Kia Rio. I've done some cross-referencing and it looks like 2003-2005 had the same heater control, so I figured I'd post in this thread instead of starting a new one.
About a week ago the blower fan speed control switch in our '04 Rio stopped functioning properly. I originally thought it was the blower motor resistor (had the same problem on my '03 Blazer), but I am now convinced the problem is with the heater control itself. As the OP describes, ours only works on '1' and not any other setting. Holding the switch in like a button does indeed start the heater again, which turns off the moment pressure is released from the switch.
I removed the bezel and the four screws holding the heater control, and I noticed if I had the heater control hanging loose, it would function normally. When put back into place, it would stop working. I grabbed some electrical tape and wrapped it once around the wire/plug leading into the speed control switch. Then I pulled it taut and secured it tightly, and for a day or two this worked nicely.
Unfortunately it seems to get quite warm inside the cavity behind the heater control, causing the electrical tape to melt and let go of the wire. Based on how warm it gets in there, I'm not too comfortable with the zip tie solution suggested above. After two failed attempts, in vain we tried taping the switch from the front with a taut piece of electrical tape. This only seems to work for about 15 minutes or so before the tape gives out.
Now, the heater switch is to the point where it requires a significant amount of pressure to activate the heater. It also no longer works on '1', it simply doesn't work unless pressure is applied. I'm getting worried that continued use in this state will degrade the switch to the point of no longer working -- horrible timing to happen in the middle of winter!
I've managed to locate a salvage heater control. My question is, can anyone outline the procedures involved in removing and replacing the heater control switch? The bezel and four screws are simple, and the plug leading to the speed control switch seems easy enough to remove. Other than that I'm stumped. I just can't figure out how to disconnect the vent and temperature controls which are connected via pull-cables instead of wires. I checked the shop manual and couldn't find the info I'm looking for. A description on how to remove and replace the switch would be excellent; with pictures would be a godsend.
Sorry for rambling, I just wanted to ensure I got all the details across. I'm a pretty technical and hands-on guy, and if possible I'd like to install the new heater control myself instead of paying someone to do it.
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