About a month ago on not that busy day for Z Auto Service we have received a car with a customer complaint that A/C does not work. After short diagnostic on 2003 Toyota Highlander 3L we came to a conclusion that temperature does not change from hot to cold due to the issue inside of the a/c heater control head unit. The solution seemed easy. Nevertheless, shortly after shopping around for prices we found that new units run around 1000$ just for the part. That was unfortunate because customer had just purchased a part and with upcoming summer in Colorado vehicle without a/c was not an option. Nobody expected a/c repair, which usually seems like piece of cake, to be over 1000$ in total repair. We have also checked recycled part suppliers for an option of a used unit in order to find an affordable solution for the customer. That is where we started realizing this is a rather common issue. Even recycled parts were expensive enough and hard to find. On top of that with no warranty offered and with no 100% guarantee for a compatible part nobody wanted to risk 500$ to try it. Fortunately, the job itself was not that labor intensive. According to the book, it takes half an hour to remove and replace control head. With customer's permission we decided to take the unit apart and see if there would be anything visibly broken and if we could fix it.
The video below covers how to fix a broken wire inside of a/c heater control unit on 2003 Toyota Highlander that causes temperature not to switch from hot to cold. You will need basic tools and common sense that might possibly save you 1000$ dollars. Enjoy! And if you have any questions or need to consult, please - do not hesitate to contact us at Z Auto Service and we will be more than happy to help you with all that we can!