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'92 Es 300 Dead Stereo, Dead Climate Control

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A coworker of mine has a 1992 ES 300 (just under 180K) with stereo and climate control that both quit working suddenly as she was driving. The stereo does not turn on, and even with the car running, the climate control functions exactly as it would with the car off--that is to say, not at all. There is no blower and no display. Pressing the "Auto" and other buttons results in neither the expected audible beep nor any other response from the system. However, the clock readout (set in the upper right corner of the climate control face) continues to function normally. The car starts and runs fine. The only other anomaly I found is that the power mirrors do not work either. Windows, door locks, flashers, interior light, etc. continue to operate just fine.

I began pulling fuses based on the circuits defined in the owner's manual. Seems the stereo is under multiple fuses (I believe three) but the climate control is just under fuse #31 (40A, located in the passenger's side kick panel). I removed that and found the metal indicator inside looked a little corroded. Also, fuse #8 (I think--don't have the manual, but it's 15A blade-type, behind the plastic door to the left of the steering column, middle row, far right) was clearly blown.

She was going to get replacement fuses so I could test those, but in the meantime--provided fuse #8 and #31 don't solve the problem--could something more serious have caused simultaneous failure of the stereo and climate control units? I'm familiar with the '90-'94 LS 400/SC 300/400 blacked out displays and have witnessed blower motor failures in other cars, stereos that needed a code after the battery was disconnected and so forth, but here both items are just DEAD. Even if fuses are the cause, it seems a bit odd for everything to have happened at the same time.

Any ideas?

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it probably is just the fuses though it depends on the type of car and how it's made. I know i had to replace my fuses before when i plugged in one of those lighter port outlets. and basically i couldn't use the radio and i believe the air conditioning because it was all on one fuse. i replaced the fuse and it was working fine, but yea hopefully it's just the fuses. Hope this helps.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey, thanks a lot. Yes, it was actually just the fuse. #31 had no effect whatsoever. #8 fixed both the climate control and the stereo. I was initially concerned the source had to be something more serious.

This is kind of bizarre. I got into my Lexus ES300 (97) today and the AC was blowing hot air. When I turned on the radio, the display lit up and the antenna went up but no sound ... oddly enough the AC works (tho weirdly) when the radio is turned on. Could this be the fuse?

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  • 8 months later...

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