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Front defroster locked on AND entire center stack buttons all locked up

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Front defroster locked on AND entire center stack buttons all locked up

Old 02-29-2012, 08:16 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Florida
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Default Front defroster locked on AND entire center stack buttons all locked up

Hello all,

I have a 2012 Mustang Vert with 1200 miles that I picked up from Thirfty as a rental for a month in Orlando Florida.

Yesterday while driving with A/C on, the HVAC system suddenly changed to front defroster full blast HEAT. I couldn't change anything. The system locked me out of not only all HVAC controls, but also all radio controls (can't turn radio volume up or down, can't change stations, can't change any other HVAC options). Controls outside of the center stack area still work like window controls, the info section in the center gauges still works, only buttons in the center area are locked out.

I searched a few forums and threads and noticed that the front defroster automatically coming on seems to be related to a vacuum leak, but would that also lock me out of all other controls?

Turning the car on then off doesn't help. I've disconnected the battery, and all that did was keep the radio locked on AM 590 ;-)

Since this has happened, occasionally, while driving, the front defrost button will still stay illuminated, but the fan will shut off. Still, all buttons are locked out of the center stack but at least the blasting hot air stops for a few minutes, then starts up again.

It rained for a day here in Orlando and another search in the forums led me to water possibly getting through the passenger side wheel well into floor/wall inside the passenger side floor/wall and shorting something out near the passenger side fuse block/bus area where the Sync fuse might be?

I've called Thirfty and they are out of convertibles and the local Ford dealership doesn't touch fleets even when their under warrantee.

Just wondering if anyone had some ideas to help me out. We really want to keep our Mustang Convertible while we are here in Florida for a month.

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Old 02-29-2012, 10:11 AM
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2012 and 1,200 miles is bumper to bumper warranty so why rack your brains. Just make an appointment with a dealer and have them fix it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:50 AM
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It appears you have only 2 choices:
- Keep the vert, and tolerate the problems. (Shorted contacts in the smart junction box due to a water leak will cause the problems you've described, and swapping out the SJB is the usual solution.)
- Swap the vert for a coupe.

Last edited by ski; 02-29-2012 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:01 PM
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It's a RENTAL.... Take it back....
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:35 PM
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Location: NY
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that is the default setting if the HVAC controls are disconnected or the module goes bad. It is either the radio or the dash panel (HVAC controls are managed through the head unit). but most likely a short from the rain. I wouldn't want to be the guy that buys that car from the rental company in a year or two...

Last edited by bones302; 02-29-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:26 PM
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Leave the top down and drive it....

Just return it or put up with the problem.....
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:16 PM
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Location: GA
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I wouldn't let this kill your vacation/trip. Don't stress too much. I believe you mentioned Ford won't touch the rental. That seems sketchy, I don't see why they can't. It's their car for goodness sake. Have you told the rental place about it? If so, ask if you can take it to a shop to get it at least looked at. If the fix is expensive, obviously don't go that route. Since it's a convertible, drive with the top down as much as possible to avoid getting annoyed by it. When you take it back, don't say anything to them if you haven't already Another thing, call periodically from a different phone asking if they have any convertibles in. If they do, tell them what you believe happened and then that's on them, they'll send you on your way in a new one! Good luck!
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:20 PM
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I'd just take it back and get another rental lol....
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:42 PM
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Location: Temple, TX
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+1... take it back and get something else, even if it's not a vert... God forbid this electronic gremlin spreads and next thing you know the keyless entry fails or the brakes stop working... Both highly unlikely, but wouldn't you enjoy being on vacation away from everyday stress and not having to stress about this stuff too?

Enjoy the vacation.

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Old 02-29-2012, 07:03 PM
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One of the reasons Ford will not deal with it is it needs to go thru the rental companies system to be serviced....not just a renter taking it into a shop.
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