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Hi all, I have a 98 Outback and a problem. The buttons that
control the air direction (face, feet, defrost, recirculate, etc.) are flaking
out on me. When I got the car this past spring this control panel worked fine
with no problems, but a couple months in the buttons started failing to work
every now and then. I noticed this partly because the green light which
indicates which button is active did not turn on anymore, regardless of which
button was depressed, and now they hardly work at all. When I go and start it
on a cold morning, everything seems fine and the buttons function properly, but
once the car warms up, the indicator light goes out and they quite functioning.
I don’t think it’s an issue with the motor that actuates the flaps in the dash because
when it works, each direction setting is reached fully within 2-4 seconds. I
suspect a power issue to that circuit of the dash because at night, sometimes
the backlighting in the air control panel flickers or part of it goes completely
out. Note that the AC button, temperature selector and the fan speed control
are all functioning properly, I haven’t had problems with those. Also, I doubt
that the problem is soda residue because if that was the case, wouldn’t they
just quit working period? Mine work under certain conditions for unknown
reasons. Any help would be greatly appreciated,



 



David

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More than likely it's your HVAC control panel. These cars seem to have an inhearent problem of the contacts in the switches desoldering themselves. I know my 90 is like that and 05-06 HVAC had this problem as well. I haven't heard of it as much in the late 90's but I wouldnt be surprised if that's the problem.

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I would just unplug the HVAC control and plug it back in, that may clean the contacts, if that doesnt work sounds like the HVAC contoller is bad. 

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Ok so I took the HVAC control unit out, or at least it is all disconnected, ready to be looked at, but now I'm not sure what to do next. I have to have it back together tonight cause I have to drive it tomorrow. I guess if anything I'll endup doing the unplug-replug test that Nipper mentioned. As far as​ can tell, the sockets and the contacts all look fine, none of them are bent or corroded. Any ideas on what to do next?

 

David

Edited by geek500

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The problem is on the back of the circuit board where the plug pins are soldered to the board, they tend to desolder themeslevs and typically you just need to hit them with a soldering gun for a couple seconds to reheat the solder.

There is an informative thread on legacy central about this it talks about the first gen legacys but, I'm sure it would be a similar process. I'll see if I can find the thread and I'll post a link.

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