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Hey there! I have a 2010 Kia Forte Koup, I bought it back in 2015. Since ive had it, my heat & a/c have only worked on 1 and 2. 1 works soft, 2 is a little harder, but then i go to switch it to 3 or 4 & it cuts off, go back to 2 & its fine, but with it getting so hot here lately, its been really hard to keep it cool! Also, my cool air & hot air work fine, just doesnt blow enough. Does anyone know what this could possibly be, or how to fix it? I dont know anything about cars, but ill do my best to answer any questions if anyone has any & thinks they can help!!
Thank you so much in advance!
- Karlie Simmons

Also, I used to not drive very often, so it was never a problem. I drive my car a lot more now, so that's why three years later, its a problem!
 

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Based on prior reports, your issue is almost definitely a melted switch, and it will need to be replaced in order to restore the higher speeds of the blower. And once the switch is repaired, try to avoid high speed completely, and use 3 as sparingly as possible.
 

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I concur. The switch itself is probably bad. You could always get one used from eBay or a salvage yard. New once are probably not cheap. If your handy with tools its not a hard job to swap it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I concur. The switch itself is probably bad. You could always get one used from eBay or a salvage yard. New once are probably not cheap. If your handy with tools its not a hard job to swap it.
Thanks for the reply!! That's kinda what i thought as well, but after reading several posts on here, im kinda unsure. It seems like it makes sense for it to be the switch itself, but then why does it work when i use 1 and 2? Also, the whole point of me wanting to get it fixed is so i can use it on 3 and 4, I know nothing about cars, but would love to be able to fix it and use 3 and 4.
 

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Based on prior reports, your issue is almost definitely a melted switch, and it will need to be replaced in order to restore the higher speeds of the blower. And once the switch is repaired, try to avoid high speed completely, and use 3 as sparingly as possible.
Thank you for the reply! The whole point of me wanting to get it fixed at all is to use 3 & 4. The 1 & 2 setting are just not enough when the heat index is 109, lol. Also, wouldn't i smell something? If a wire is melting? That's a very distinct smell.

Now that I'm using my car a lot more, & winter is around the corner, I'm going to need good heat to be able to drive as well, the 1 and 2 settings will not be enough. I'm not sure what to do at this point! & taking it somewhere is going to cost me about $90 just for a diagnosis.
 

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I had the same issue with my 17 Forte LX. It WAS NOT the switch. It was the plug on the blower motor. The cheap plastic insulator between the power and ground wire melted and they shorted the power supply to the motor. CHECK THE PLUG before taking the dash apart and buying another switch. I replace the connectors with insulated connectors that I bought at O'Reilly Auto Parts for about $7.00. In retrospect, I probably could have just cleaned this thing up and put a plastic or rubber insulator piece in between the wires and reused the old plug. Oh well, anyway, my fix cured the issue and I didn't have to dig too deep in my pocket. Please check that plug on the blower motor first, okay?
 

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I'm not sure where the blower motor is on your car, but on mine it's under the glove box on the passenger side. Slide the passenger seat back and you'll be able to see the wires and the plug on the bottom side of the blower motor. It's easy to unplug and look at. I used the flashlight on my cell phone to illuminate it. My blower motor was held in by 3 Phillips head screws. This is something YOU CAN DO by yourself with a Phillips screwdriver and a little bit of finger strength.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had the same issue with my 17 Forte LX. It WAS NOT the switch. It was the plug on the blower motor. The cheap plastic insulator between the power and ground wire melted and they shorted the power supply to the motor. CHECK THE PLUG before taking the dash apart and buying another switch. I replace the connectors with insulated connectors that I bought at O'Reilly Auto Parts for about $7.00. In retrospect, I probably could have just cleaned this thing up and put a plastic or rubber insulator piece in between the wires and reused the old plug. Oh well, anyway, my fix cured the issue and I didn't have to dig too deep in my pocket. Please check that plug on the blower motor first, okay?
Okay!!! I will check it out when i get off work later today! Thank you!
 

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... The whole point of me wanting to get it fixed at all is to use 3 & 4. The 1 & 2 setting are just not enough when the heat index is 109 ....
Unfortunately the electrical parts that Kia used, along with their inferior method of powering the blower, has resulted in a systemic issue with the switch. Again, that statement is based on multiple prior reports of the exact same issue on other first generation Fortes. The higher 2 settings have separate physical circuits within the switch, which is the reason they can fail while the lower 2 settings still work.


.... Also, wouldn't i smell something? If a wire is melting? That's a very distinct smell. ...
Although I've never seen one of these failed switches first hand, I believe they're subject to a slow melt, rather than burning. And that in turn causes the electrical connections to become detached at the point of the melt. That slow melting likely produces little, if any odor.


.... I'm not sure what to do at this point! & taking it somewhere is going to cost me about $90 just for a diagnosis.
I'm totally sympathetic for anyone who doesn't DIY and has to pay those horrific shop repair bills, especially at the stealerships.

Something just occurred to me that you could try, if it's a match for your personality. You may or may not be aware that Kia/Hyundai has been for past few years under tremendous pressure from auto regulators, as a result of massive engine failures and fires. So the very last thing that these automakers want at this point is anything new that puts them further into the spotlight.

I'm not aware of any formal complaint about this switch melting having been made yet, and Kia certainly wants to keep it that way. So what I'm thinking is that if you can calmly and effectively approach Kia with your case, they MIGHT be willing to do a 'goodwill repair', in order to prevent your story from going public.

The NHTSA and Kia have gotten to know each other VERY well over the past few years, and that is a huge weapon for you to make use of. What you would need to do is state that you're prepared to file a safety issue complaint with the NHTSA about the melted switch on your vehicle being a potential fire risk. And also say that you will be hiring a lawyer for a small claims action. You can also mention having a source (this forum) where other examples of melted switches can be found.

If your local dealer declines to help you on this, then tell them you are going to open a case with Kia Corporate, and will mention your contact with that dealer. If they show you the door, then follow through and open the case with Kia Corporate, giving them the same information.

I can't tell you for sure that either one of these actions will be successful, but I do know that Kia has almost certainly been replacing some good engines, just to create the appearance of being totally proactive. So I think there's a good chance they would also replace a much less expensive control module, in order to avoid yet another chapter with the NHTSA. And the simple fact of the matter is there should be a safety recall for this switch, because NOTHING on a vehicle should ever be melted by electrical current.

Again, I don't know if this works for who you are. Some people can do this type of thing very effectively, others not at all. What's required is a calm but persistent delivery of the facts. A wild-eyed, angry customer approach would almost definitely fail.

If this is not something you're able to do, then the only alternative is to pay the repair bill. If so, take it to independent shops, and ask specifically for an estimate to replace the control module/switch. Tell them you're fairly certain that's the problem. I don't know if any of them will give you a quote based on what you think the problem is, but it's worth a try to avoid getting gouged by the stealership.
 

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Okay!!! I will check it out when i get off work later today! Thank you!
You need to know that Chuzz has a second gen 2017, where the wiring/components are completely different than yours. I'm not saying that your problem can't be a plug/connector, just that his vehicle does not use the same wiring as yours, and component locations will not be the same either.
 

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You need to know that Chuzz has a second gen 2017, where the wiring/components are completely different than yours. I'm not saying that your problem can't be a plug/connector, just that his vehicle does not use the same wiring as yours, and component locations will not be the same either.
I realize that, I actually believe they are under my steering wheel. Can I not just replace the whole thing, maybe? Like, the control switch, all the wires, etc?
79181
79182
 

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I realize that, I actually believe they are under my steering wheel. Can I not just replace the whole thing, maybe? Like, the control switch, all the wires, etc? View attachment 79181 View attachment 79182
You need to know that Chuzz has a second gen 2017, where the wiring/components are completely different than yours. I'm not saying that your problem can't be a plug/connector, just that his vehicle does not use the same wiring as yours, and component locations will not be the same either.
Honestly, at this point I want to take the easiest way out to fix this. I don't need to make a deal of this with anyone corporate. Like ive said multiple times, i have no idea what im doing or talking about, lol. But would it not be the same to just replace the whole piece?
 

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Honestly, at this point I want to take the easiest way out to fix this. I don't need to make a deal of this with anyone corporate. Like ive said multiple times, i have no idea what im doing or talking about, lol. But would it not be the same to just replace the whole piece?
It didn't sound to me that you would be trying to DIY this yourself, so I wasn't thinking along those lines. But in any case the proper approach is always to examine the parts (connectors and switch in this case), before replacing anything. And yes, it would be the entire control unit that you posted, if that is what's damaged.
 

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I would rather do it myself if able to, but ive got a couple things to look at now, so thank you for your help! & once its fixed, ill post what the problem was, & how we fixed it! Thank you so much!
 

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Kiaguy007 is absolutely correct. My assembly looks like the one in the top photo. I went so far as to remove mine, disassemble it and even lightly sanded the copper contacts on the back of the wheel switch. I was kind of peeved that I did crack one clip,but you can't see it once it's reassembled, so no big deal. I was more aggravated at myself for not going with my first instinct to check the blower motor. I've been working on cars (my own) for over 45 years and know better than to second guess my instincts. I still think your blower motor connector should be at least looked at. Don't just dismiss that idea. I'm not sure where it is on your car, but would THINK it's still under the dash and not that hard to access. One of the more knowledgeable members will know. This is my first Kia.
 

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Kiaguy007 is absolutely correct. My assembly looks like the one in the top photo. I went so far as to remove mine, disassemble it and even lightly sanded the copper contacts on the back of the wheel switch. I was kind of peeved that I did crack one clip,but you can't see it once it's reassembled, so no big deal. I was more aggravated at myself for not going with my first instinct to check the blower motor. I've been working on cars (my own) for over 45 years and know better than to second guess my instincts. I still think your blower motor connector should be at least looked at. Don't just dismiss that idea. I'm not sure where it is on your car, but would THINK it's still under the dash and not that hard to access. One of the more knowledgeable members will know. This is my first Kia.
My husband actually checked when I got home, it’s under the glove box. If I were to pull it out & look, would 1 & 2 quit working when I put it back in? I don’t wanna mess anything up by just looking at it right now.
 

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No, 1 & 2 will still work. He doesn't even have to pull the motor out. All he has to do is take a bright flash light and shine it on the bottom of the motor where the plug is attached. If it's burned like mine was, it's going to be quite obvious. It'll be black! Sorry I haven't replied sooner, but have had my hands full with the wife having had foot surgery and dealing with a faulty trunk lock, These cars sure use some cheap plastic!
 

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My blower motor was just held in by 3 Phillips head screws. Very easy to remove. Just take the 3 screws out and the motor drops straight down. It makes releasing the plug a lot easier if he drops the motor out of the hole.
 

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I wonder if Karlie Simmons is going to check back in with us and let us know if her hubby got the problem solved? Oh, well.
 
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