Frequently Asked Questions
Will the HeaterTreater work on a right hand drive vehicle?
Yes, it works just fine on right hand drive cars. The system is mirror image, so there is a little mental gymnastics to figure it out. I can enclose some reverse images that you can use for reference. I’ve sold half a dozen into Australia and New Zealand and more into the UK. There is some feedback from RHD owners on the listing if you want to get a second opinion.
I have a code 52 showing up when I read the diagnostics. What does this mean?
52 is a re-circ door code and is not as conclusive an indicator of failure as the blend door codes. The re-circ door tends to “bend” before it breaks. The computer will detect an out of spec condition and throw this code. Every 20 times you start the engine, the HVAC system goes through a self calibration routine. When the routine fails, the computer shuts down the actuator motor until the next calibration routine. Since the system will do a little successive learning of the door position, it generally won’t fail the second time and you will have normal operation. The door can jam in either an internal air only or external air only and usually it’s an annoyance, but the system still functions acceptably and will clear up after 20 starts. As long as this is an infrequent occurrence, most people don’t notice it. 52 is an historical code, so we don’t know when it failed or how often it is failing. You can clear the code by going into the code read mode and holding the AC button down for 20sec. If the code comes back quickly, the system is probably on it’s last legs. The door will eventually break completely, but it will fail gradually until then.
Once you get the 52 code, the re-circ door will have to be replaced eventually. It’s just a question of how tolerant you want to be until it gets to the point where it’s worth the time and effort to fix it. If you are demanding of efficient operation, it needs to be replaced.
Check operation by turning the fan on full blast and checking the air flow into the external vent between the hood and windshield. With re-circ off, you should feel a strong air flow into the vent and the flow should stop when you turn re-circ on. If there is no difference, it’s a good indication that the door is broken. If you can feel it move and the air flow into the GC through the vent between the windshield and hood are OK, it is not broken, just “stretched”. It will break eventually, but may go another year or two. There’s nothing you can do to slow down the process since the GC goes through an auto cal process every twenty engine starts. This is the process that is producing the force that bends and eventually breaks the door.
You can also check the door physically by locating a grate in the upper left behing the glove box. This grate is the internal intake vent for the system. When re-circ is off, you should be able to see/feel the re-circ door pressed against the inside of this grate and it should move when you turn re-circ on. If the door is missing or not moving, this is a definitive diagnosis of re-circ door failure.
Just a little information : The re-circ door has two positions, block external intake vent, forcing air to be pulled in through the internal vent. and the opposite where the internal intake is blocked and air is pulled in through the external vent. There is no in between. When the door breaks, both the external intake vent and internal intake vent are open and air will flow into the external vent and out of the internal vent…..like having a window rolled down all the time. If you are feeling a flush of external temperature air coming in under the dash, this is generally the problem. The door can also break off and fall down into the fan motor. When this happens, air to the motor is restricted and you will see little difference between low and high speed of the fan. This condition will cause the fan motor to overheat and the system should not be operated until the situation is corrected.
Does this work on Jeep Grand Cherokees with dual climate controls?
The standard HeaterTreater locks the blend doors together on the dual control Limited Grand Cherokee. In order to get to the passenger side motor which is on the back of the heater box, the entire dash has to be removed including evacuating and disconnecting the AC and heater lines. The Heater Treater is a compromise solution that is easy and cheap, but you do lose the dual controls. Control for both sides is transferred to the driver’s side control knob. When one side fails, figure the other side is probably not far behind.
I checked the motor behind the glove box and it dosen’t turn when I adjust the temp control knob. Do I need to replace the motor?
Most likely not. When the computer detects a fault in the system, it shuts down the motor to keep from causing additional damage. If you are seeing fail codes, it is normal for the motor to be “dead.” Here’s an easy way to check the motor: You will need a 9V battery and a snap connector. You can scrounge the connector out of a broken appliance or your child’s electric guitar, or buy one at Radio Shack. Since a 9V battery just barely has enough juice to turn the motor, you will need a new or nearly new battery. Touch the bare wires to the battery connector blades, and the motor should turn. Reverse the wires and it will go the other direction. More information is available in the tech section under “Motor Madness.”
I have a Grand Cherokee Laredo with no heat. Will this work for me?
Yes. The Laredo is built with the blend doors connected together, so the HeaterTreater will restore it to normal operation. The Limited model basically has a separate motor for each blend door. This implies that when the limit pin breaks, it has only one door to withstand the excessive force from the motor. Since the Laredo has two doors connected to one motor, it takes longer to break. The fail mode between the two models is identical, just a difference in time to fail.
Is this something I will be capable of doing myself?
This is a difficult question to answer. If you’ve mastered the screwdriver and pliers, most likely you will be able to do this. Our record to date was a 73yr old grandmother who did the fix herself and delighted in taking her GC back to the dealership and making all the techs come out and see how she had done the repair herself after being quoted $1400 two weeks earlier.
Ease of installation is a relative term based on the individual doing the fix. If you read through the customer feedback on Ebay, you’ll find some that state it was as easy as described and some that will say it took more time than advertised, but it worked when they finally got done. The commonality is that the fix works and even the dumbest klutz will eventually get there.
We also have an Affiliate Garage program to help customers who are uncomfortable doing the work themselves find a nearby HeaterTreater™ certified garage.
I have codes 54 and 56, and no heat. Will this fix my problem?
This is the most common fail signature for the blend door failure. Generally the passenger side breaks first, but sometimes it’s the driver’s side. Either way, the other door will soon fail also. The HeaterTreater directly addresses this problem and will restore heat and efficient AC to your car. The HeaterTreater replaces both doors with steel that will last for the life of the vehicle. The doors are connected together and both sides of the passenger compartment will be at the same temperature. You will have full AC and heat functionality on both sides, just no differential in temperature control.
How do I get the glove box to fully open on a Grand Cherokee
The back of the glove box has two “shark fins” that stick up from the back of the box and slide through grooves in the top of the frame. There are two rubber stops that block the grooves and keep the fins from passing through, keeping the box from opening completely. You can push the rubber stop towards the engine, opening the groove and letting the shark fins pass through. Either that or just pull out the rubber stops by pulling straight down on them. If you do this, watch where they go… they’re a PITA to put back in. The process is also shown in the GC installation video in the TECH section.
I have a Ford Explorer and the air conditioner will only blow cold air when in either max ac or if I block the heater valve off. Will this kit solve the problem? What is involved in doing the repair?
Your symptoms and observations are common for the Explorer. The HeaterTreater replaces the blend door with a metal door and is controlled by the actuator motor just as it was before the system broke. The cut for the Explorer is made into the bottom of the box and heavy duty metal duct tape is provided to seal the cut-out in place when the system is re-sealed. The tape was developed for sealing AC vent systems in the home and is a very effective product for this application. Of course, you can seal the cut with epoxy, sand it smooth and re-paint to match the box (which is out of sight anyway), but the tape is perfectly functional.
The blend door in the Explorer is on a vertical axis and can swing to any position. Your’s may be wedged into one position and held in place by the air flow, but I wouldn’t count on it staying there when you hit a bump or turn a corner hard. The door regulates whether some or all of the air flow passes through the heater core. If the door is blocking the inlet to the heater core, you get only the effects of the AC evaporator. However, the random seal of the heater core is not good and you will have some air leakage through the core, killing AC efficiency.
We offer USPS Priority and Express shipping (3-4 days, overnight) and the options are available at checkout. Depending on skill level and number of beers, the fix can take 30min to 2hrs. Either way the satisfaction of beating the Stealership out of $k and having a better solution than OEM is worth the time.