2004 Honda CR-V A/C blower problem: Was I ripped off?

The ac blower in my CR-V stopped working. The shop told me that the ac control head was out. I asked them if they tested the blower motor and the blower resistor and they said that both were operational. I authorized the repair. When I picked up the vehicle, they told me that when the control head was replaced, the blower resistor was not working, so that was replaced as well. Was I ripped off? Maybe the resistor was actually ok? Maybe the resistor was the actual problem and the control head was ok? Maybe they did the diagnosing bad and both were really out and the repair was legit? Any input would be appreciated.

Maybe on all accounts. So what? Does the A/C work fine now? If so, great. If you feel like you spent too much money at that shop to get your car repaired? never go there again. I think any of your questions above could be a possible “yes”, but I also don’t think anyone in this forum can definitively tell you one way or the other. Do you expect the shop to tell you “yeah, we screwed up and changed the wrong part at first, then finally we found the real defective part, but we’re going to charge you for both and tell you that two parts went out at once” ? I somehow doubt you’ll hear that from any shop. In all fairness to the technician, maybe he/she did check your resister block initially and found it good, and because it was handled, being removed and reinstalled, and over the years those resisters (just coils of wire) do become brittle, so maybe after the head was changed, the resister block ended up broken. It could happen to you, or me, or anyone else. If you are looking for a definitive “got ripped off” or a definitive “got a good diagnosis”, I’m afraid you won’t get one here.

Thanks for the opinion, and no, I was not expecting someone to divine what actually happened through a message board. Just wanting opinions.

Did you get this “AC control head” back? I’m kind of curious as to what it looked like. I’ve worked on a few Ac systems, including Honda’s and I’ve never seen one, but I confess, I have not worked on the AC system of a 2004 CRV.

Did the blower work with the AC off? Did it work in vent only, defrost or heat mode? If it didn’t, then why would anyone even replace a part that only affects the AC system? Did you check the other modes?

If you feel that you got ripped after reading this, then do as benny… suggested, don’t go back to them and I would add, don’t recommend them to friends.

Some cars do use a control head to operate various heater/A/C functions and it’s my opinion that all replaced parts should be retained for the customer. The customer should also make it a habit of requesting those parts back if it is not offered. (short of oily, greasy, or fuel saturated ones)

What I would be concerned with here is the resistor being bad. Many electrical systems are like a string of dominos. One leads to another.
In other words, the resistor could have given up because of the long term effects of a dragging blower motor. Going through the progression, a blower drawing more electrical current will overheat the resistor and the control head or relay; whichever is used.

Short term, not a problem. Over a year or so it could be. As an analogy, just think of stringing some extension cords together and gradually adding electrical appliances to the end. Eventually, connections are going to heat up and burn.

You know, I did not get the parts back. I have had this shop do work for about three years and they have always been professional and above board, so I guess I didn’t even think to ask.

In reference to the blower: it did not work on any fan setting, directional setting, temperature setting, or with the AC on or off.

With one night to brew, I have come to this conclusion. What really got me upset was that I was told that the resistor tested fine before the repair, then when I picked the car up I was told that the resistor had to be replaced. If they called me before replacing the resistor I would have been upset, but I would have authorized the repair: I live in Laredo, Texas and AC is a must.

So, about your concern about the resistor: are you saying that maybe the blower motor is dragging and caused all of this and may go out in short order?

Or are you saying that maybe the control head and resistor going out together were related due to one malfunctioning and putting stress on the other?

Yes, a dragging blower motor can take out a resistor, control head, blower relay, etc. and you’re correct in your assumption.

A new or near new blower motor may draw X amount of current. As the motor ages and wears the amount of current drawn goes up. Current translates to heat so you can see that if a new blower draws 5 amps of current when on the HIGH speed position what will happen when it ages and the current draw goes to 9 amps for example.

That is my point behind the extension cord analogy. More devices being added to the end of the string of cords is equivalent to a blower motor aging and dragging.
The blower can actually be checked without disassembly. Simply gain access to the blower wiring, apply an ammeter to the circuit, and check the current draw while the fan speed is in various positions.

There is a tendency for mechanics to make an educated guess at a problem rather than verifying exactly what the problem is though.
There is one case in which a resistor can fail in which the blower may not be at fault and that is if something falls (trash through the DEF. slot for example) into the ducting system and gets stuck in the wire coils of the resistor. This may stick to the coil and burn through by causing a hot spot.
This does happen but it’s far more rare than a dragging blower.
Hope some of that helps.