How to Troubleshoot Automatic Temperature Control

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Automatic temperature-control systems control both heating and cooling with a single temperature setting. On its own, the unit can monitor the temperature and then chose heating, cooling or a mix of both. In comparison, a manual climate system requires you to adjust the temperature yourself each time. Manual systems have an on-off switch and a temperature control knob. Though your automatic system is convenient, a variety of things can go wrong with it, and you may need to troubleshoot.

  • If nothing happens when you turn on the automatic control system, check the main system to see if it has blown a fuse. Refer to your owner's manual for the fuse location on your unit. If it has blown, you'll need to replace the fuse with one that has the same amp rating as the one that no longer works.

  • Have the wiring diagnosed by a professional if you install a new fuse and it, too, blows. This means there is a short or overload in the wiring. A repairman should be able to repair the wiring system for you.

  • Hook up a scan tool (which can access and read HVAC codes) to see if it can communicate with the control module if the fuse is OK but the automatic control system will still not turn on. Your control module may have died. No communication between the two indicates a dead module or a wiring fault. In this case, you need to call a technician.

  • Reset the automatic control system with a scan tool if the battery was recently disconnected or replaced and the system will not turn on. The control module needs to "relearn" the various air flow control doors. This will help it control the air flow and temperature.

  • Tear apart your dashboard and the HVAC system only if you are skilled at technical repairs. You will need to have a very accurate diagnosis on these systems. In addition, parts are very expensive and you will need specialized tools and training to work on these units.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check manufacturer recommendations before making adjustments to your automatic climate control system.

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