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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My ATC (Auto AC/heater control) head has some bulbs that are working intermittently. It is dimmer in real life than it seems in the photo - especially with 馃槑!
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Here it is back working....
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I assume the bulbs are fine - from an old thread here they seem to be T4 bulbs...

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Am I the last man driving one of these - haha...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good to know - Maybe the contacts on the plug need a cleaning - I will try hitting it next time - I will see if it fixes the issue. Cheers
 

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Waste of time. You're looking in the wrong area if you're referring to the main screen with all the graphics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Ron - are those bulbs for the buttons and not the display? My display gets dim on the sides sometimes but gets fine and bright again randomly.
 

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Main display is Vacuum Fluorescent Display. No bulbs. Do a search for ATC display for a fix for no display.

You'll need a new ATC head as I doubt you have the skills to repair.

Try to find a newer ATC with the defrost indicators in the graphics instead of the older type with the led indicators next to the defrost buttons on the right.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks Ronbo - great! I am actually good at soldering - I am no tech but I have changed bad capacitors in old flat screen TVs etc. I will look for dry poorly done solder joints. Hey, out of curiosity can you substitute a Manual Temp Control Head (MTC) in your car built with the Auto Temp Control Head (ATC)? Thanks as always! Cheers

BTW - Here is the old thread I looked at.

Fix for dead ATC display

Funny - as it turns out - I had swapped this for a junkyard part in May 2018 - I totally forgot until I just pulled it out.
 

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It's always R14, 20, and 21 that need re-soldering.

To change to MTC, you would need a different blower motor power module and a different dashboard harness - requires removing the dash for the harness replacement. Instead of replacing the harness, you can do a hack (some cutting and splicing and connector re-pinning) on the existing dash wiring harness without removing the dash - a bit of work either way. Would be much less trouble to fix or replace what you've got.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Peva - thanks - those 3 looked fine but as soon as I touched one with a hot iron it fell right off. Not a pretty soldering job - but heading out to test!

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Ok thanks Ronbo and Peva! I put it back together - I had one misstart- had to redo it all again - R21 came off the board! In any event all is better than ever! It is much brighter!

so it all works well now - HOWEVER - the tiny little muffin fan that's built into the fan speed control knob - oddly runs all the time - it runs as soon as I plug the ATC control unit back in - it runs with or without the key! Is it temp controlled? But, it isn't hot in my car - it is only 65 degrees. This can't be normal - is it dangerous - won't it drain my battery over time? Seems crazy to me! Haha

When I search Google I see something similar on BMWs so I guess it is fine!


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Those resistors heat up. The thermal cycling takes a toll on those solder joints - shear stress from expanding and contracting. Lead-free solder isn't as strong as the old leaded solder. Looks like you used some old Radio Shack 60/40 leaded, so maybe it will hold up for a while. If you get the ends of the resistors too hot with the soldering iron, the metal plating can flake off, but hopefully there's something there for the solder to make a solid connection to.

The sampling fan runs for a few minutes after you shut the driver's door with ignition off, but should not run after it turns off until you start it up again. Dust can accumulate in the fan and make it noisier - over time, a ball of dust can form big enough to stop the fan. You can sometimes blow that out thru the tiny slots on the face if the head unit.
 
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Run the ATC diagnostics to make sure you don't have any codes. If you pulled the ATC unit to work on it without pulling the negative battery cable off the strut tower then you're almost guaranteed to have Code 36 ATC CONTROL COMMUNICATION FAILURE

Disconnect the battery for 5 minutes to clear the codes. You should always be disconnecting the battery when working on ANY electrical items...especially modules.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Oops - I did forgot to do that - I will check the codes! Thanks sgain!

Run the ATC diagnostics to make sure you don't have any codes. If you pulled the ATC unit to work on it without pulling the negative battery cable off the strut tower then you're almost guaranteed to have Code 36 ATC CONTROL COMMUNICATION FAILURE

Disconnect the battery for 5 minutes to clear the codes. You should always be disconnecting the battery when working on ANY electrical items...especially modules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Those resistors heat up. The thermal cycling takes a toll on those solder joints - shear stress from expanding and contracting. Lead-free solder isn't as strong as the old leaded solder. Looks like you used some old Radio Shack 60/40 leaded, so maybe it will hold up for a while. If you get the ends of the resistors too hot with the soldering iron, the metal plating can flake off, but hopefully there's something there for the solder to make a solid connection to.

The sampling fan runs for a few minutes after you shut the driver's door with ignition off, but should not run after it turns off until you start it up again. Dust can accumulate in the fan and make it noisier - over time, a ball of dust can form big enough to stop the fan. You can sometimes blow that out thru the tiny slots on the face if the head unit.
I am endlessly impressed! BTW - I did clean out the fan. The old Radio Shack lead 60/40 solder was from my father who was a ham. Going forward - I plan to dig out the original old ATC that I pulled out back in 2018 and fix that unit too - just as a backup. Thanks again!

According to Ronbo from a ten year old thread - I think the bulbs are T4 Halogen and Amazon has 6 for $8. I might need one.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It is back to intermittent now - so I ordered another off eBay for $45 total - will now have 2 to play with. Haha
 
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