What Happens When An A/C Actuator Goes Bad?
You might be thinking to yourself, what is an Actuator? We have had a few vehicles come in with this issue, that can range from a quite difficult job, to one not so intricate. Depending on your vehicle make and model this might be an extensive repair, in other cases, it could be a quick fix.
An Actuator or Blend Door Actuator, is a small electric motor in your vehicle that runs in forward and reverse motion to move the Blend Door/ Air Mix Door between fresh air and re-circulation modes, hot and cold air flow, and floor/defrost modes. The Actuator is what actually went out with one of these vehicles. So, the Blend Door was not swinging back and forth, causing the hot/cold airflow to be minimal. In another vehicle, we diagnosed a similar issue but the Actuator was working correctly. The Blend Door/Air Mix Door broke on one side, to where it ceased to swing in its proper motion. Two separate parts, both working towards the same goal.
The most common symptom of the A/C Actuator going bad or when the Blend Door is stuck is when you feel inconsistent air flow coming in. The desired air you want whether it be hot or cold, is being diverted incorrectly, so you are not getting a consistent temperature out of the A/C system. Likewise, vehicles with dual climate control, if the control is responding to one side of the vehicle, but stuck on the opposing side, that indicates a bad Blend Door Actuator.
When the Actuator goes bad, it is usually one of two reasons. In this case, with the Jeep Wrangler, we had the Actuator motor go out. This led to the Blend Door not moving at all, no movement means no consistent air flow, or it is stuck in one setting. The other cause could be coming from the gears in the Actuator. the gear parts are made of plastic, it is not uncommon that they can break after so much wear. As the gears wear, sometimes they may start to slip and in turn, create the knocking noise you hear coming from just below the steering wheel. (Make sure your volume is up, so you can hear the sound!)
In our other vehicle, it was not the Actuator that needed repair, but the Blend Door or Air Mix door that needed replacement. The Actuators are usually external parts that you can replace from the inside of the vehicle, under the steering wheel, up behind the dash. That is, without having to remove the dash to get to it. However, when the Blend Door needs replacement, you must take out the entire HVAC case that holds it. Usually, the only way to get to that is by removing the entire dash, sometimes even the windshield. Quite an extensive job! Depending on where home is for our client, and the climate, the A/C and heat system use can be frequent. It could have also been a faulty/weak part that the manufacturer installed that caused the break.
Florida residents going into these summer days, it is imperative you get a diagnosis of your A/C issues. We can diagnose any repair, no job is too big or too small. Call us today to book a reservation, we provide the best service around, and have reputable technicians and service managers that will make sure you are satisfied with all repairs and service. We have been in business for over 30 years, & family owned and operated. Other reasons to choose our shop:
- We are a Napa Gold Auto Care Center
- We have ASE Certified Technicians, L1 Master Technician, and Master Techs.
- Free Shuttle Service in and around Venice, Englewood, and Nokomis
- Comfortable Waiting Area .
- In-house Financing through Napa Easy Pay
- Napa Peace of Mind Warranty
- Digital Inspections
- Early Bird drop off
- After hours pickup/drop off