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Jeep Cherokee HVAC Problems

Q. Vincent, 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0 liter engine, manual transmission with 130,000 miles. Last year I noticed my air vents were not blowing out air on any setting A/C or heat. When I turned on the A/C or heat, air would come out both the defrost and foot vents. I think all the settings for the defrost and foot vents were on. I could handle this.

Jeep Cherokee HVAC Problems

Even though the A/C on Jeeps is known not to be too spectacular, the car does not get cold, hardly at all in the summer. I have checked the levels of R-134 or whatever version is needed for mine, I took it to a family friend certified A/C guy. I survived the summer with no cold air; at that time the head was working fine.

This winter the heat started to not come on as soon as I turned the switch. Randomly a couple minutes later I would hear a little click and the air would start coming out the defroster and foot vents, okay, that's fine. Just today the heat turned on for a minute then turned off and it now refuses to come back on.

The only thing I have done that was close to any of this in the car was replacing the stock radio with a CD player. Very randomly about once every couple weeks for a second I smell what is like burnt plastic.

The last problem started last year also. When I would turn the car on, particularly more when the heat switch was on and I turned the car on, it would start and then turn right back off, maybe once or twice then it would run fine. This seems only to happen in the cold weather.

Thanks so much for listening to my problems with this! I appreciate your help so much, and your site has been a big help with problems in the past and new additions to my beloved jeep!

Jason

A. If this started after you installed the CD player, then I would have to say that you did something wrong. I can't tell you what you did wrong since I wasn't there when you put it in.

My advice is to remove the CD player and repair all the wiring you cut. Then reinstall the stock radio and hopefully your HVAC controls will start working, assuming the HVAC control switch isn't burnt out. If they do then you know for sure it was something you did when installing the CD player.

Other than that, you can check for the proper vacuum at the door motors. Remove them, one at a time, and see if they respond to the control switch. If the all do, make sure the mode doors move smoothly and freely. If the door motors don't respond, and there is vacuum at the motors, you need to replace the bad motor(s).

If there is no vacuum to the door motors, you probably have a bad control switch.

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