Disabling the Honda Fit's Forced Air Conditioning when Using the Defroster

The Honda Fit has an annoying “feature” - when you turn the air conditioning to either of the modes with the defroster (the two most clockwise settings on the knob) the air conditioner is forced on. The indicator light on the normal air conditioning button is not illuminated and the button cannot be used to disable the air conditioning.

The wiring diagram in the service manual indicates that this is done with a second swith in parallel with the normal air conditioning control and its light. It also indicates that in order to get at this piece of wiring, you'll need to remove the radio and the right half of the driver's dash controls. Fortunately, this is not so. You can remove only one panel with one screw and remove the electrical connector on this switch in less than five minutes.

The panel you want is the one under the radio. It is held on with only one screw and some spring clips. You will need an L-shaped tool to pull off the spring clips, such a miniature prybar

Fig 1: Top view of switch location relative to knob
Now, look at the HVAC output location selector knob. The electrical switch is located well below and to the left of this knob. FIgure 1 shows a top view of the switch location relative to the knob.

Once you've removed the panel, you're going to want to lie on your back on the passenger seat, looking upward. The switch will now appear to be on the right side, because you are upside-down. It will not be easily identifiable as a microswitch from the bottom; it will be an unidentified black blob with a three-wire connector on it. You will identify it by the connector. One of the pins on the connector is offset from the other two. The center pin is not connected. The service manual says the wires should be white and blue, but on my car (2010) they were white and purple instead. Figure 2 shows what this connector will look like. There is nothing at all similar anywhere near it, so it should be straightforward to find visually. Note that the service manual shows a two-part connector, but on my car, it was all one piece.

Fig 2: The connector and the microswitch

Once you have found the connector and the switch, use a small flathead screwdriver to remove the connector from the switch. This connector is friction-fit only, and there is no positive locking latch anywhere which you need to squeeze. This makes the removal extremely straightforward.

Optionally, tape the connector out of the way so it doesn't rattle.

Once you have performed this modification, the air conditioner will no longer be forced on, and you can control whether or not it runs using the button as usual.

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