Buying a A/C Heater Control: Your Guide to Getting the Right Heater
So let's say the A/C & Heater Control (the module that controls the heat or cold) that your car came with is in need of a replacement. Usually, it's a simple matter of going to your dealership and asking for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) A/C heater control replacement parts to be installed (which you'll pay for including labor unless your car insurance agrees to pay for it instead). However, you have the option to buy your own A/C heater control at a local auto shop or through the Internet. If you can't install it yourself, though, you'll still have to pay for the labor of installing it.
Considerations When Buying an A/C Control Replacement
Here are the things you need to know about purchasing A/C heater controls.
- Aftermarket versus OEM: With OEM, you pay a premium price for the A/C system heater control because they're assured to fit with your car since they're made by the original manufacturer. With aftermarket, you pay less but you risk more in finding which one is OEM quality. The trick here is to get a balance between price and value.
- The Correct Info to Ensure Vehicle Compatibility: It's easier to zero-in on what type of A/C system or components you'll need by providing the make, model, and year of your vehicle (found at your driver's side door jam or user's manual). Is it a car, a truck, a jeep, or an SUV? You should also know when the car was manufactured or rolled off the factory production line so that you could get good parts for your A/C and Heater replacement needs.
- Price versus Value: As with any commodity, the worth of the item depends on its inherent value. Finding the right A/C heater control is a piece of cake because many of them are vehicle specific and it's recommended that you don't try your luck with "universal" or generic A/C controllers. The trick here is to find a balance between affordability and quality so you could get maximum value for your investment.
- Warranty Considerations: Your new A/C heater control replacement might also vary in terms of warranty. Some aftermarket or OEM parts come with a lifetime warranty (with certain limits regarding accidental damage, damage during installation, and other disclaimers). Others only last a year (which calls into question their durability).
- External Design and Switch Type: The external design of your A/C might be different from the aftermarket one you're buying, so pick and choose the one that's closest to the A/C heater control module you're replacing. It could be a knob type with a rounded dial that you have to turn to get the hotness or coldness up inside your car. It could be button based and has a digital display for its thermostat instead. There are even controls that make use of a small lever you can turn up or down.
In a Nutshell
At any rate, your air conditioner and heating system dictates what comes out of your computer's A/C, allowing you to adjust the temperature of your vehicle at will to counter the coldness or hotness outside. Therefore, it's extremely inconvenient to have it malfunction or not work for whatever reason. If you can't get your dealership to get you a replacement A/C control for free by warranty, you can check out compatible aftermarket or even OEM parts that are offered to you cheaper than what your dealer is selling you.