Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Peoria, IL
Drives: 03 Kia Rio Cinco
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
||LinkBack||Thread Tools||Display Modes|
I have the same problem with our '04 Rio, as I posted about in this thread.
My stepdad owns an auto salvage yard, and after I mentioned this problem to him, he said it's a common problem that he's seen among certain models of vehicle (he's seen the same problem in Tempo's, Oldsmobiles, and others). Essentially it sounds like a design flaw with the affected vehicles that especially likes to rear it's head in cold conditions.
My working theory is as follows. It should also be noted that my stepdad isn't a professionally trained expert persay, but he does have over 10 years experience owning and running his salvage yard and has worked on countless vehicles over the years. I trust and value his opinion. With that said, please take this with a grain of salt, as I said it's just a theory!
Due to the extreme cold weather (ie: below -30 C) experienced in some climates, the unfortunate folks who are forced to park outdoors like to start their car before leaving and allowing it to warm up for 10-15 minutes to a comfortable temperature. On some occasions, life happens and people get delayed getting out to their vehicle and it can end up sitting running for 30 minutes or longer. Additionally, sometimes people wait in vehicles (for example, waiting for a spouse to get off of work) and sit inside with the heater running for extended periods of time. Another example would be a long road trip where the heater is running for hours at a time. NOTE: I'm not condoning any of the above, just observing.
The longer the car is running with the heater going, the more heat builds up in the cavity in behind the heater control switch. Due to a design flaw (lack of proper air flow), this heat builds up to the point of either partially melting the plastic plug that connects to the heater control, or causing heat-related fatigue that eventually causes a connection problem inside the plug.
My stepdad mentioned that the easiest way to fix this is to locate a salvage heater control switch, and also cut the connector plug from the salvage vehicles' wiring harness. Then it's a matter of removing the melted/damaged plug and soldering the new plug to the car's wiring harness. Then with the switch and plug replaced, hopefully this problem will not happen again any time soon. I asked about replacing the entire wiring harness, he said this is definitely overkill for a problem that can be fixed just by replacing the plug.
I had read Rio767Pilot's suggestion to test the current draw on the blower motor, and mentioned this to my stepdad. He said it's definitely a good idea, as extra current draw could be the root cause of the overheating in the first place.
It seems that the best preventative measure for this issue would be to not let the vehicle sit so long unattended (or alternatively, not run the heater for long continuous periods), as to prevent heat build up inside the cavity behind the heater control switch.
I hope this helps!
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|