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I have a 2015 USA model NV200 that I purchased new. I currently have about 70,000 miles on the van. I live in Florida so lots of heat and humidity throughout the year. Also, I've been driving for 46 years and have owned many different vehicles.

I have always felt that the air conditioner in my van was substandard. It works but I feel it should have worked better. I believe the temperature selector system/cable was defective from the start and here's why. When rotating the temp selector switch from hot to cold or the opposite, there always seemed to be a point about mid travel that had tension. Not quite a sticking point but a noticeable amount of extra tension when rotating the knob. Then one day not long ago, bam, the switch didn't work at all and there was no tension when rotating it back and forth. Unfortunately it was stuck in the heat position. So after a nasty afternoon ride home with the Florida heat and the vents bleeding hot air, I tore into it.

I took off the panel surrounding the ac control assembly and removed the radio so I had more room to work and a better view. The temp control cable had come out of its mounting hole which is on a plastic tab on the back of the rotary knob. The cable runs to the left and goes down behind the panels to the duct work near the floor to the right of the gas pedal. All the temp selector knob does is open or close a door/damper in the ducting. It is a straight mechanical setup.

The cable that had come loose is pretty stiff and has a sharp dogleg in the end of it that is supposed to keep it in place. The cable is fairly substantial and not easily manipulated. That said and factoring in the dogleg bend, I could not get the cable back in the hole and even if I did, whatever defect had been causing the sticking/tension point and ultimately caused the cable to come out of its hole would still be there and I'd likely have the cable come out of place again. Also, to even get the cable back in its correct position, I would have to do more disassembly to get the proper angle to reinstall the cable through the hole in the tab.

So, being hot, tired, and aggravated, I decided to put a bend in the end of the cable with some needlenose pliers to get it back through the hole. After attaching the cable and removing the interior panel next to the gas pedal so I could observe the cable as it actuated the damper, it seemed I had the temp selector working correctly again. (I was wrong!) I put everything back together and my ac wasn't as cold as it should be. Because I never have had my ac serviced and felt it was always substandard, I took my van to my local shop guy. I had him evac the system, refill the refrigerant, and check everything out. He checked for Nissan service bulletins as well. There were no SB's. The ac system was working at an optimal level. I had told him about the temp selector problem and what I had done so he checked the damper. Although it seemed I had a functioning temp switch, when turned all the way to the cool position, the damper was still open about an 1/8" allowing hot air to mix with the cool. As a side note, I had previously washed out the condenser coils with a garden hose just to insure they were dissipating heat properly. This is a good starting point when servicing any ac system and if its a typical residential split system, cleaning the evap coils can make a huge difference in cooling.

The temp selector cable is NOT available as a stand alone replacement part. You have to buy the entire HVAC control assembly which is $350 from Nissan! The other kicker, this part was readily available/in stock from the main Nissan parts warehouse here in Fl. Why??? I speculate that there is a problem Nissan knows about but won't publicly acknowledge or recall because this shouldn't be a normally in stock part and because my van has had this problem since it was new.

I had the mechanic insure that the damper was fully closed and told him I'd check vent temperatures before I make a decision on what to do next as I wanted to see what temps the ac was putting out with a damper verified closed and the ac working at max capacity. I picked the van up, brought along my infrared thermometer and started driving. Holy crap, my ac was colder than it ever had been!! After 3 or 4 minutes I started to check temps at the 4 dash vents. I was getting 30 +/- degrees from every vent reading.

I believe the damper has never fully closed off the duct and there was always a slight hot air bleed into the vent which caused the max cold ac setting to still seem a bit substandard. I am also convinced this is/was a problem in the initial manufacturing process. Without completely tearing the control system apart, I cannot tell what the problem actually is. Possibly some kind of pinching in the cable installation?

So---- I know my temp selector works with my rig job on the cable end but does not work properly and will not close the damper completely, so after closing it all the way manually to get max cooling, I cannot use the heat because it will not fully return to max cool with the cable actuator/temp control and we have plenty of hot weather to come. I can't bring myself to spend $350 to replace the whole hvac assembly plus either paying someone to install it or figuring it out myself so until the weather cools off, I will leave it as is and enjoy a ride that is cooler than it ever has been.

After it cools off, I will revisit the issue and try to either rig a new connection point at the back of the temp selector or possibly even run a whole new cable to a completely different location.Spending a bunch of money is the absolute last option I will consider. Whatever I do, the main thing will be to physically verify that the damper is closing all the way. This is where I screwed up last time. I was hot, tired and dirty at the end of the day and did not inspect it closely enough.

If you suspect you may have a similar problem, here is the quickest way to find out. Get an IR thermometer and first check your vent temps while cruising down the road with the ac set to max. ( I should have done this before anything as this would have given me some valuable info.) Now you have some starting point data. If you are not getting at least +- 35 degrees at your vents, you most likely have a problem and should probably have your ac system checked to verify it is operating up to full capacity. Next, remove the body panel that goes down beside the gas pedal. It is easy to pop off/on and will expose the cable and damper that is almost at floor level. Don't pry off any interior panels with metal tools, screw drivers, etc. as there is a good chance you will damage them. You can pick up a set of plastic pry tools for $10 to $20 at most any auto parts store. Now visually and physically check the damper position. It only takes a small amount of movement to cause a slight gap allowing hot air to affect your cold setting. Manually close the damper so you have max cold ac temps and make a run down the road and measure vent temps again. Also, I checked all my temps when the outside temperature was mid 90's and humidity very high.This obviously isn't a permanent fix. If you find you have the same problem be prepared to spend 5 to 6 hundred bucks to fix it at a shop.

I would like to hear of anybody who has encountered this hvac problem. I just don't think I'm the only one who has this problem. Or am I ?? As far as a permanent repair, I'll be addressing this when what we call winter in Florida actually arrives. I'll shoot for a follow up post then. If you

are an automotive hvac pro, please feel free to chime in and critique this post or provide any other pertinent info. Constructive/instructive criticism or opinions always welcome.


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