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2004 Nissan Maxima SE 4dr Sedan Auto

2004 Nissan Maxima
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Mid-Size
20 mpg city / 28 mpg hwy
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April 12, 2013, 9:06 am

Sean F

Question: Is my climate control unit malfunctioning?

I have a 1998 Nissan Maxima GLE with the automatic climate control system. For a few weeks it has been stuck blowing only hot air, and even with the system off the interior becomes uncomfortably hot. This despite it being cold outside. Last night I ran the diagnostic test outlined in the factory service manual and it produced two error codes: 26 and -26. According to the manual this means that the potentiometer associated with the air mix door motor is both shorted out and open. During the diagnostic the A/C compressor did come on and everything else checked out as being fine. After the diagnostics the car now only blows cold air-- no heat whatsoever. So, obviously the problem is that the mix door motor is not working, either because it is defective or because the control unit itself is bad. The problem is that the air mix door motor is almost completely inaccessible, so I'm actually hoping it's the control unit since that is relatively easy to replace. What makes me think it's the control unit is that during the diagnostic it gave those conflicting codes-- something can't be both shorted out and open at the same time, right?

April 13, 2013, 10:28 am

Ron W
Expert Mechanic

It probably is the blend door motor. They are a common failure in all makes and models. the controller is much less common. And you are right, many times the whole dash has to be removed to replace them. If the control hear is inexpensive, you might try that first (esp since the door moved from hot to cold during the diagnostics), but I suspect you may have to change the door motor to fix your issue.

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