Heater Control Motor, My Heat Doesn’t Work and I Hear A Clicking SoundOctober 10, 2008
This is a common problem with 2002-2003 Mitsubishi Galants and I am sure other years as well. The problem starts with a clicking sound like a piece of paper stuck in a fan when the temperature control dial is turned all the way to cold. Mine started with a consistent slow click on the two coldest settings which only went away by turning the dial past the first two clicks. Eventually it would click more rapidly but went away on its own. The heat finally stopped working and the only way to get it to work was to turn the dial all the way to cold until I heard the clicking and let it stop on its own. Then the heat would work. Finally, after being set on cold the whole summer, the heat would not work at all and I could not get a clicking sound.
The cause of the problem is described very well in this forum:
I will describe how to fix this problem with pictures. I apologize right up front for the messy pictures as they were an afterthought and I was in a hurry because it was going to be stinking cold the next morning. I will get better pictures and post them later.
The problem is caused by a faulty heater control motor (Mitsubishi Part# MR958603). You will be surprised when you go to buy the part at the dealer at how they may recognize the part number and tell you how many they have sold that day! You can only get this part new at the dealer. The first dealer I checked had one that day but sent it out to a shop. He checked another dealer and they had 12 in stock!
The tools you will need are as follows:
- Philips screwdriver. (it helps to have a cordless drill, it makes it go much faster)
- A ¼ or 3/8 ratchet. The ¼ ratchet works best
- Several metric sockets ranging from 10mm to 13mm. I can’t remember now which ones I used as it has been a couple weeks.
- A long extension for the ratchet.
Here’s the part. This will help you recognize it when you tear apart the dashboard. I paid about $150.00 for the part. It is well worth the price once you drive a day in the cold without heat.
- Start by removing the glove box. Open it and then push in on the sides of the glove box. It is held in place by a tab on either side. Once the tabs are removed from the slots, drop the glove box down a bit and lift it. The hinges are open at the bottom and should lift right off the track.
- Remove the face for the radio and climate control. It is just held in with clips. Get a hold of it and pull. You can move the gear shift if it makes it easier.
- Remove the grey side panel that is in between the door and the dash board on the passenger side.
- Remove the grey panel from underneath the passenger side dash. There are several brass colored screws holding it in. I think I counted 12, but there may have been one or two more. Four of the screws hold in the climate controls. The climate controls can just dangle once the panel is removed. You will have to unscrew the grey panel under the driver side dash to get at one of the screws, but you don’t have to remove it completely. It takes some pulling and position adjustment to get the panel off because it covers the passenger side and the control panel, but once you figure out the correct angle it comes out pretty easy.
- Remove the black panel from below the passenger side dash. This is the piece that is below the grey piece you removed in the previous step. It is held on by a couple of black plastic fasteners similar to door panel clips on the bottom that just pulled out with the help of a screw driver. They look like this.
There are also a couple screws at the top of the panel if I remember correctly.
- Next remove the blower unit containing the motor, fan, and housing. There is a wire clipped to the top of the unit you will have to remove. There are several bolts and screw holding it in place. Use the sockets and screw driver to remove those. This is what the unit looks like when it is removed.
- After the blower is removed you will have to remove three pieces of duct work. They just snap together, so they should just pull out. These are the parts outlined in yellow. I will get better pictures of the individual parts for later posting.
- One more piece to remove before you can get to the heater control motor. There is an electronic device mounted right in front of the heater control motor above the metal coolant lines that feed the heater core. It is a black box with two wire clips attached to the side. There is a third wire behind the device that you will see once it is removed. None of the wires need to be unclipped. It is mounted on a metal bracket held in place by three screws. Remove the three screws holding the bracket to the center console and let the device dangle. This will give you enough access to the heater control motor to remove and replace it. This is kind of a blurry picture of the device after I have unscrewed the bracket and it is dangling. Once again, I will get a better picture.
- The heater control motor should now be accessible. It is held in place by four screws. You will probably have to lay upside down on the passenger side floor to see the screws to remove them. I hope you are small. Move the seat all the way back for easier access. Remove the four screws and the heater control motor will pull right out. Here is the old motor still mounted to the center console.
- When putting in the new motor make sure the metal arm is fitted into the slot on the white actuator of the motor. I put a dab of grease on the metal arm after installation to make it move easy.
- Replace all the other parts in reverse order and take it for a test drive! Don’t forget to reconnect all the wire clips you disconnected.