You start your car and notice the climate control display is not working. That can be as annoying as it’s inconvenient. But before you get all worked up, note that this component is a wear-and-tear item like any other.
That means it’s also subject to malfunctioning and failure at one point. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix, depending on the cause of the problem. We researched, and here’s what we’ve got for you; read on.
Why Is My Car’s Climate Control Display Not Working?
There are many possible reasons why your car’s climate control display is not working. The battery could be too weak to power the display. It’s also probable that the blend door actuator is broken; a blown fuse, a defective temperature sensor, or the display itself is faulty.
Let’s elaborate on this for you:
Pro Tip: Sometimes everything may be okay, only that there’s an electrical fault in the system. To fix that, all you would require to do is to reset the car’s climate control display. Turn off the vehicle and disconnect the negative terminal of the battery for about 15-30 minutes. The error may disappear once you reconnect the power. Think of it as a restart or reboot of the electronic control unit (ECU).
Battery is Low
A weak battery can affect your climate control display and the AC system. It can cause the system to function erratically, intermittently, or not at all. The battery might be strong enough to support most of your car’s electrical systems. But, it may still be too weak to run the AC compressor.
Some obvious signs you have a weak battery include dimming light on the display module. Sometimes you might also smell a strange odor similar to rotten eggs, which indicates a leaking gas from the battery.
How to Fix: Check your battery to know whether it’s delivering the correct voltage. A multimeter will help you do that with accuracy and precision. A good battery should produce between 12.4 to 12.7 volts. As you check, ensure that the terminals are clean and there are no visible cracks on the surface. Also, tighten the connections for proper electrical flow. If the battery is low, recharge it or buy a new one if it needs replacement.
Dead Temperature Sensor
Modern cars have state-of-the-art heating and air conditioning systems. These systems efficiently achieve and maintain comfortable cabin temperatures. AC systems do that with the help of various sensors. Typical cars have two sensors, the ambient temperature sensor (switch) on the outside and the internal sensor inside the cabin.
These sensors work in tandem to ensure your AC system performs optimally. That keeps the interior temperature at comfortable levels. If one or all fail, the AC will also not work. Therefore, if your car’s control display is relatively new and has no signs of wear or damage, a faulty sensor(s) might be an issue. A failing sensor usually triggers a fault code in your car’s ECU. That means you’ll probably see a faulty-sensor red light flashing.
How to Fix: If you haven’t seen a warning light on the dashboard, use an OBD2 scanner to check for faults on your vehicle’s climate control sensors. Replace the broken sensor(s), and your system will be back on!
Broken Blend Door Actuator
A blend door actuator (motor) is a small device that works with sensors to control your AC system. Your climate control uses the actuator to blend warm and cool air and achieve the desired temperature inside the cabin.
Due to continuous wear and tear, the blend door motor can break and stop working without warning. The control display will function erratically or cease working altogether when that happens. A failing actuator can also produce noticeable noise.
How to Fix: Replace the blend door actuator. The parts are readily available in your local auto store online. You might need to consult a professional or car dealer to find the suitable actuator for the car model, make, and manufacture year.
A Problematic Fuse
If the battery, sensors, and the blend door actuator are okay, then one or more fuses may be the cause. Your climate control display relies on electricity from the battery and the alternator. Fuses commonly blow, and a blown one in the circuitry will cut off the power making your system not function. Moreover, check for loose connections, dirt, or corrosion in the fuse holder. They can cause the fuse suddenly stop working or cause intermittent open circuits.
How to Fix: First, you need to identify the problematic fuse. Ensure you test all the fuses in the power distribution center (PDC), also known as fuse and relay panel. You’ll find this panel under-hood (left-front corner of the engine compartment). It usually has a black plastic cover on top. Cars are different. So, consult your owner’s manual to find the exact panel location and the AC fuses inside.
You’ll need a multimeter or power probe (Power Probe IV Auto Diagnostic Tool) to test the status of the fuses. If you find the fuses are the problem, clean the dirt and corrosion, or buy new ones and replace them. A fuse replacement is one of the easiest and cheapest repairs, and anyone can do it. A typical auto fuse costs about $1.5 to $2, depending on the size and design.
Faulty Climate Control Display
As mentioned, the control display, that physical unit inside the cabin, can malfunction. The component has dials, buttons, and screens for adjusting the internal temperature. Also, this module features electronic hardware for controlling the heating and cooling equipment.
Since you’re constantly dialing, pressing, or touching these buttons and dials, a mechanical issue is bound to happen. It could be a loose dial, broken button, damaged screen, an electronic mishap, or any other defect. Your control display may have experienced one of these defects, especially if it’s old and has undergone a lot of wear and tear.
How to Fix: Reproducing a broken climate control module is challenging. Thus, replacing the whole thing with a new one is the most cost-effective action. The good thing is that it’s easy to find an aftermarket module at an affordable cost.
Your vehicle climate control display is critical. It ensures you enjoy a comfortable riding experience. Thus, it would be best to repair it as soon as possible when it malfunctions. We have discussed common causes of the “climate control display not working” and how to fix each.
Hopefully, our article will help you figure out the root of the problem and fix it. If you can’t handle the potential situation by yourself, you should seek the help of a reliable mechanic.