Join Date: Feb 2005
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It started doing it again a few weeks ago, and I just now finally got around to replacing the switch (not a cheap part ...).
Used the Haynes/Chilton book -- see the heating section first (Ch. 3?) and then dash center console bezel (Ch. 12?) for instructions. Took about two hours.
For my 2000:
Didn't have to remove the glovebox or disconnect the manual HVAC control wires at either end, and was able to replace the switch with the control unit still in the dash. But had its three retaining screws out, and tilted it up and down to get at the switch. It doesn't have any screws, etc. itself, but you do have to pry up, with a small flat screwdriver, a retaining lever from the top side of the control unit while pushing the switch toward the front of the car.
Oh -- the face plate of the HVAC control unit just pops off after pulling out the A/C compressor switch (yes, it just pulls straight out!) and removing the four little lever knobs (they just pull straight off). I had the big dash center console bezel popped off an inch or so, and from behind was able to push the face plate toward me fairly easily. But it is thin, so be careful!
Then lots of wire connectors to get off to get the center console off and out of the way. Good time to clean all the little corners in the bezels. Also, when you're done, don't forget to reprogram the radio after reconnecting the battery (and getting blasted by the alarm system).
2000 RAV4.1 L
Special Edition version
Stock, except stereo system,
turbo exhaust, air temp gauge