There are a lot of components that go into your car’s heating and air conditioning system. When one of them isn’t working correctly, it can be challenging to know where to start troubleshooting. One common issue is with the blend door actuator.
This part controls the airflow direction through your car’s vents, and if it isn’t working correctly, you will notice problems with the temperature in your vehicle.
- What Is A Blend Door Actuator? How Does It Work?
- Can You Manually Turn A Blend Door Actuator?
- How Do You Know If Your Blend Door Is Stuck?
- Can I Unplug Blend Door Actuator?
- How Do I Reset My Blend Door Actuator?
- What Are The Symptoms Of A Failing Blend Door Actuator?
- Can You Test A Blend Door Actuator?
- Can The Blend Door Actuator Be Repaired?
- How Much Does A Blend Door Actuator Replacement Cost?
- When Should You Replace Your Blend Door Actuator?
- Frequently Asked Questions
In this article, we will discuss how to tell if the blend door actuator is broken and whether or not you can manually turn it.
What Is A Blend Door Actuator? How Does It Work?
A blend door actuator is a small motor located behind the dash that controls the position of the blend doors. When you change the temperature on your climate control, the actuator moves the blend doors to direct airflow to either the heater core or evaporator depending on whether you have the AC turned on or not. If your actuator is not working, you will not be able to change the temperature on your climate control.
Can You Manually Turn A Blend Door Actuator?
Yes, you can manually turn a blend door actuator, but it is not recommended. You could damage the actuator or the blend doors if you do not know what you are doing.
So, when you are having trouble with your climate control, it is best to take your vehicle to a qualified technician who can diagnose and repair the problem.
How Do You Know If Your Blend Door Is Stuck?
If your blend door is stuck, you may notice that the temperature in your car is not consistent. The air may be warmer on one side than the other, or the temperature may fluctuate between hot and cold haphazardly. So, if your blend door is stuck, it will need to be repaired or replaced.
Related content: Why do I smell burning oil through my vents?
Can I Unplug Blend Door Actuator?
Yes, you can unplug the blend door actuator and still have your heater and AC work. The actuator is responsible for opening and closing the door that allows hot or cold air into the cabin.
If it’s unplugged, the default position is for the cold air to come in. So if you’re in a warm climate and unplug it, you’ll probably want to plug it back in when you’re done with your repairs.
How Do I Reset My Blend Door Actuator?
First, disconnect the battery. Next, remove the door panel and locate the actuator. With the door panel removed, you should be able to see and access the actuator. Finally, rotate the actuator clockwise until it stops.
Once it has stopped, reconnect the battery and test the door. If it still does not work correctly, then the actuator may need to be replaced.
NOTE: If you have an electric door, make sure to disconnect the power before starting this repair. Otherwise, you could damage the door or the actuator.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Failing Blend Door Actuator?
For a failing blend actuator, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- The temperature in your vehicle is not consistent. You may notice that one side is warmer or cooler than the other.
- There is a clicking noise coming from the dash when the heater or AC is turned on.
- The airflow from the vents is not as strong as it used to be.
- The air conditioner is not blowing cold air.
Related content: Why does my heat only work when driving? Answered
Can You Test A Blend Door Actuator?
To test whether or not the actuator is working, you’ll need to access it. The blend door actuator is located behind the glove box on the passenger side. With the glove box open, you should see two white plastic boxes with metal rods coming out of them. One of these boxes is the blend door actuator.
Step 1: Remove the negative battery cable from the terminal.
Step 2: Pry off the retaining clip that secures the actuator to the HVAC housing using a small screwdriver.
Step 3: Pull the actuator out of the housing and unplug the electrical connector from it.
Step 4: Apply 12 volts to the two wires on the connector using a test light or voltmeter. If the test light illuminates or the voltmeter reads 12 volts, then the actuator is getting power and is working. If not, then the problem lies elsewhere.
Step 5: Plug the connector back into the actuator and push it back into place in the housing.
Step 6: Reconnect the negative battery cable to the terminal.
In situations where the actuator is getting power and working, the problem lies elsewhere. The most likely culprit is the blend door itself. The blend door is what the actuator moves in order to control the airflow through the HVAC system.
Can The Blend Door Actuator Be Repaired?
The answer to this question is, unfortunately, no. A blend door actuator is a sealed unit, and once it goes bad, it must be replaced. There are no repairable parts inside the blend door actuator.
The good news is that blend door actuators are not expensive and are relatively easy to replace. Most importantly, replacing the blend door actuator will fix the problem, and your HVAC system is back to normal.
How Much Does A Blend Door Actuator Replacement Cost?
The average cost for a Blend Door Actuator Replacement is between $315 and $ 360. Labor costs are estimated between $ 180 and $230, while parts are priced at $130. This range does not include taxes and fees and assumes that both the motor and door are replaced simultaneously.
When Should You Replace Your Blend Door Actuator?
You should replace your blend door actuator when it breaks or when it starts making noise. When it is broken, you will not be able to control the temperature of your car. If it starts making noise, it may be difficult to hear other sounds in your vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my blend door actuator is failing?
The easiest way to tell if your blend door actuator is failing is to listen for a clicking noise coming from the dash. Additionally, you may notice that the temperature in your car is not consistent.
Can I replace the blend door actuator myself?
Yes, you can, but it’s not recommended. Doing so can cause damage to the actuator or door. If you need to replace the actuator, it’s best to consult a professional.
What are the consequences of not replacing a failing blend door actuator?
When you don’t replace a failing blend door actuator, the temperature in your car will continue to be inconsistent. Additionally, the clicking noise from the dash may become more pronounced. If you notice either of these symptoms, it’s best to consult a professional.
So, can you manually turn a blend door actuator? Yes, but it’s not easy, and it’s not something that we would recommend. If your blend door actuator has issues, we suggest taking it to a professional mechanic to check it out. Trying to repair it yourself could end up doing more harm than good.
Brian is an auto technician who writes DIY repair articles and creates how-to videos for MechanicAsk. He focuses on common repairs like brakes, oil changes, and lighting. Brian draws on his 5 years of dealership experience to explain repairs in an easy-to-follow manner, even for novice do-it-yourselfers. His technical articles always include detailed tool lists, supply checklists, and visual guides.