Why would moving a car stereo break the aircon?
December 14, 2014 3:01 PM   Subscribe

My wife removed the stereo from our 2006 Renault Scenic to extract a coin that had been stuffed in the CD slot by one of our lovely children. This wasn't the first time she'd done this, and there haven't been any problems in the past. However, upon returning the unit this time, the dash controls for the stereo were found not to work, only those on the steering column. She removed the unit again, checked the fuses, replaced the unit - and now the bloody air conditioner is dead.

Coincidence? A simple electric glitch? Some horrible overloading situation that has blown something expensive? Appreciate any insights / simple tests we can do to diagnose the issue before I drop it in for a repair.
posted by obiwanwasabi to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Not the specific act itself, as exhibited by previous extractions, but any number of things could have caused collateral damage. Other quickconnect plugs inadvertently loosened or disconnected, blown fuses, bad grounding or an unseen short.

It be pretty impossible to troubleshoot here without putting hands-on.
posted by humboldt32 at 3:44 PM on December 14, 2014

I'd take the stereo, remove the HVAC head unit, and re-seat all the plugs.

There are often more than one fuse box in a car - one under the hood and one under the dash. Make sure *both* don't have blown fuses.
posted by notsnot at 4:19 PM on December 14, 2014

Renaults have notoriously bad electrics (ask me how I know). When you refer to the AC being dead, do you mean the air conditioning specifically (i.e. the part that chills the air) or the blower not working (i.e. it won't blow any air at all, chilled or not)? I ask because the latter is a common problem with Scenics (only 2 of the 4 blower settings worked on ours). So it could just be coincidence that it failed at the same time you removed the stereo.
IIRC the fix for the blower dying was the entire wiring loom being replaced, which is fairly expensive.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:36 PM on December 14, 2014

Response by poster: The dash controls for the aircon are active, in that I can raise or lower the temp and fan speed, turn AC on or off, and the appropriate indicators light up. However, they don't actually do anything - nothing comes out of the vents, hot or cold. It's completely still and silent.

Will check other fuse boxes - thanks.

This isn't the first time the AC has failed; that was a few days after we bought it, when we could suddenly either have AC, or an engine, but not both. $1500 repair for the dealer (in warranty, thankfully). Hopefully this is a loose plug or a fuse.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:42 PM on December 14, 2014

Response by poster: Mechanic 1: We think it will take four and a half hours to remove your dash so we can replace a $400 part.

Wife: I can remove the dash in five minutes. (So she does, to prove a point.)

Mechanic 2: Two wires have fused and your aircon controller is busted. That'll be $600 parts and labour.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:13 PM on February 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

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