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2002 Mazda Protege Question: Proper operation of heater



SamIam, 2.0L 4 Cylinder, Audubon, NJ, April 14, 2009, 17:14

Car has 45K. Should the AC compressor and radiator fan cycle on and off when the temp control dial is on hot, fan control dial on 1-4 and the air flow selector dial is on the floor only position? (AC button is not depressed). Mine does; it also does this in the floor-windshield and windshield only position which I believe is correct. The AC compressor and fan do not come on in the dash only and the dash/floor position which I believe is also correct. Dealer replaced heater control unit at a cost of $328.42 but nothing has changed. 1) how should the heater operate; 2) what could the problem be if the heater controls are not working properly; and 3) what should I do?

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  • Answer #1

    Bret Bodas from RepairPal Test Shop, September 16, 2009, 11:07

    Did you find out if this is normal the operation or if it was a problem? Were you charged the $328 for a part that didn't resolve the issue?

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  • Medium-star Best Answer
    PJG December 14, 2009, 22:48

    I'm not sure if this helps- but I've owned my 2002 Protégé ES since it was brand new and my AC unit has always activated when the air selector is in the floor position. When I asked about this at the time, they informed me it was how it was designed and completely normal. At the time they said it was simply to keep the windows fairly fog free in cold weather. They (Mazda) advised me to use the "mixed" (vent/floor) if I felt I must avoid running the AC unit in that position. It's been fine over the life of the car with no issues- but I will say I do experience that issue mentioned in the TSB section on this site where the AC light flickers out when the fan is in the No.2 position. I'll be having this repaired since there is a TSB on it here.

    I also believe that this feature is outlined in the manual as well. You would be correct that the AC DOES automatically operate in the floor/Defog and Defog modes automatically, as many cars these days do.

    I would suggest if you need a more definitive answer that you contact Mazda's North America Headquarters here in Irvine, California. You could also contact the Tustin Mazda Dealership (Tustin, California) and ask to speak to one of the Master Mechanics most familiar with this car. They have always provided me with excellent service and they seem quite knowledgeable. If you were to look them up on the USA BBB.org (http://www.bbb.org/us/) and Enter "Tustin Mazda" (Tustin, CA) that as of this writing, they have an "A" rating which has always made me feel better! They're not cheap, but then you're just asking a question- and that's free. Good Luck!

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