Hvac door actuator replacement (Flapping noise on passenger side)

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Hvac door actuator replacement (Flapping noise on passenger side)

Postby tothebone » Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:54 am

To all of those who have had the flapping noise happening behind the passenger side of the dash when the fresh air is selected on the hvac (and the noise goes away when you switch to recirculate), I have fixed it. Thanks to this forum (I forgot who posted the actual part number) but I went to http://www.1stchevyparts.com, popped in part number 88970277, Hvac - Controls - Actuator Actuator, vibe, air inlet valve 2003 - 2007 and purchased the part for:
Items Total: $25.37
Shipping: $7.25
Handling Fee: $7.25
Order Total: $39.87

You can see the (removed) from inside the car with the glove box removed, but you cant get to it.

You do have to remove the dash. Use the instructions from here:
http://forums.genvibe.com/zerothread?id=9977

Once you get the dash all apart, you can see the actuator pretty clearly:


Use a small flat head or something similar to remove the wiring harness.
Removing the actuator is a problem because the fasteners have tiny little heads and you can't use a screwdriver. Luckily, I had a tiny open end/Box wrench that fit perfectly. DON'T ATTEMPT THIS WITH OUT A WRENCH LIKE THIS! a ratchet probably wouldn't fit in there. Here is what I used:

It took a while but I finally got the two screws out and pulled the actuator off its little post. I put the new one on and tediously used the tiny wrench to tighten the screws. MAKE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN YOU DON'T CONFUSE THE OLD AND NEW ACTUATORS. Putting the old on back on would suck.

Once you re-attach the wiring, proceed to reassemble the dash as indicated in the dash removal instructions.

Follow the precautions to make sure the airbags don't explode, turn on the car and verify that the flapping noise is gone. It was on mine, so I am happy now.

Total time to complete task: An hour and forty five minutes. Good luck! Hope this helps!

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (tothebone)

Postby joatmon » Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:39 pm

Thanks for the nice write up.
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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (joatmon)

Postby tcam » Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:59 am

oh man, I wish I had seen this "how-to" earlier. I just had that fixed like a month ago. They charge like $25 in labor or something.
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Postby WaveAction » Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:38 am

awesome write up..when does this flapping noise occur?? like mile-wise..would be good to make this a sticky so everyone can find it for future use
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Re: (WaveAction)

Postby tothebone » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:32 am

I've heard it can occur at completely random mileages. Some early on, some much later. Mine occurred around 89k. I meant to post follow up pictures as I took the actuator apart and the main gear that moves the fresh/recirculate door open and closed was missing 2 teeth out of the gear. But, I threw it away instead.
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Postby engineertwin2 » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:02 am

I did the same work...it wouldn't be a mileage issue. Rather, it is dependent on how many times the A/C recirc is actuated on and off - and even then it wouldn't be consistent. Mine happened at about 38k miles.
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Postby Rouse » Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:45 pm

Glad I found this mine just started doing this at 79K, taking the dash board apart doesn't sound like too much fun

Are you guys sure you need to take the dash off?
There must be some way to get a socket on that head and then use a small wrench?

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Update

Postby Rouse » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:44 am

Called Toyota (Toyota Town in London, ON) today for a price on the Actuator for the fresh air vent (They refer to it as a Damper Servo). They quoted me $207.40 just for the part with no installation.

I then called GM (Brian Finch) and they quoted me $68.40 big difference there. I then called back Toyota Town and asked them if they had made an error. I told them that GM offered the same part for the above price and his reason for the difference was that the Toyota part was probably made in Japan and GM's in the US. Either way this seems to be an ongoing issue between the two auto makers. Sometimes Toyota comes in cheaper on a part and sometimes GM does. What a joke though, they are the same part.

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Re: Update (Rouse)

Postby aggieauto » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:10 am

I called the GM dealer, they ask 65 plus tax.

ordered from the http://www.1stchevyparts.com part is $28, shipping and handling 14.5, total $42.5. ordered Tuesday, arrived Friday. Very fast, even the local dealer need 24-48 hours to get the part and I need to go ther twice.

Installed today. took 1.5 hour to remove the dash. then a hell lot time to remove the two screw. You do need a 7/32 socket and a very skinny 1/4 drive. There is a supporting bar right in the way, my finger was cut bleeding due to the very sharp edge. Remove it (2 10mm nuts). and more space to work, the i used 3/8 drive with 1/4-3/8 adaptor.

forget to plug in the wire after all the excitement. but the plug is accessible through the opening of the glove box, so an easy snap.

Now works very good. except a bleed finger.

Don't trust the matrix service manula it is sort of misleading and not quite complete. the manual shows the actuatuor is on the right side but it is on the left.

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (joatmon)

Postby srglink » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:26 am

the exact size of the socket or wrench is 5.5 metric. I bought a micro 1/4 socket wrench from autozone and used a 5.5 metric socket and removed this unit in about 15 minutes from the time I pulled the glove box. it is tight but you can reach it fairly easily. I am still looking for a good price on the unit. toyoto wants 130 locally and gm in the 50 range. I was on a sight last night that had them for 27 and free shipping if you bought $50 worth of parts. I am looking thru my history to find it again. Do not pull your dash out. you can access this part from the glove box opening. If any one need pictures I will post some. by the way the problem with my unit was a stripped gear. it must have a tork sensor and when the door closes it shuts the motor off. there were two teeth stripped. that is what caused the problem.

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (srglink)

Postby Kamikaze » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:50 am

When this goes bad is it the noise where when you hit a bump there's a rattle that sounds like something is loose from the passenger side of the car?

It's been driving me nuts, and I can't figure out where it's coming from. At first I thought it was a CD case that was between the seat that was rattling.

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (Kamikaze)

Postby Kamikaze » Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:25 am

anybody??

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Postby pfaunce » Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:45 am

Thanks for posting everyone. My 2003 Vibe just started the flapping noise at 115K miles. It goes away if I press the recirculation button on the dash. A few miles later I press it again to turn recirculation off and the noise stays gone. Looks like I'll have to shop for a new part tonight. Thanks again for the good information.
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Re: (pfaunce)

Postby n2ho » Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:49 am

There is a Russian language Vibe forum (http://myvibe.ru/board/index.php), and I just found there a brilliant solution of mentioned problem (http://myvibe.ru/board/index.p...w#new). Here it is in my translation:

1. Remove the glove box.
2. Remove the radio.
3. Take small socket wrench (6mm or 7/32).
4. On the heater core there is a small black box just above the air filter - this is the actuator for the HVAC door.
5. Detach the connector with wires.
6. Remove 2 screws with the mentioned wrench.
7. Remove the actuator mechanism from the shaft.
8. Open the mechanism (there are clips on the perimeter).
9. Pull out the large white plastic gear (which has 1 or several teeth stripped creating the problem), turn it 180 deg counterclockwise and put it back.
10. Assembly all in reverse order.
11. Enjoy!

Some explanation: the shaft of the HVAC door is rotating on about 90-110 deg. only and the half of the gear is never in use. That's why it is possible just to use the gear's part with good teeth turning the gear on 180 deg. There are no end switches there and the circuit shuts off the motor by measuring current consumption (possibly causing stripping of gear teeth). The radio removal is not necessary, but makes work easier.

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Re: (n2ho)

Postby ldworak » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:55 am

I see this is an old post. Did reversing the gear work for a while. Think I might try this if I don't have to take the entire dash off.
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Re: (ldworak)

Postby jake75 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:36 am

FYI - I paid about $200 (total parts $80 and labor $110) to replace this actuator at the dealer in November 2008. I only have 32,000 miles on the Vibe but it is almost 6 years old. Warranties ought to be 36 months or 36,000 miles WHICHEVER COMES LAST. When BP Procare was in business their repair warranty was 24 months or 24,000 miles whichever came last. Maybe that's why they are no longer in business.
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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (tothebone)

Postby dzknmd1 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:32 am

I did this job on our 2003 at 77K miles but the part failed a few months prior to that. I went by these excellent instructions (thanks Ragingfish):

http://forums.genvibe.com/zerothread?id=9977

This part was not easy to access even with the whole dash apart. Anyone that can do it through the glove box opening is a better man than I.

I do like the idea of flipping the gear 189 degrees to save money on the part.

This part is prone to failure. Anyone that has not encountered this probably never changes their recirc setting or has just been lucky.

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Re: (ldworak)

Postby n2ho » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:34 am

Reversing the gear should work OK since only half of this gear actually works. I didn't do this mod myself (there was no need so far), just found solution of the problem there and translated to English. If these guys in Russia were able to do it, why anybody else can't? I think the idea is worth to try.
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Postby kaz » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:49 am

if you want to do it quick and cheap follow the process above. as long as you got the small wrachet (finger size) you don't need to take out anything but a glove box. it is tight but doable.
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Postby jsimon63 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:15 am

I know some folks don't think it can be done without removing the whole dash but it can...by removing the radio and the glove box.. there is a post on here about it with pictures too.
http://forums.genvibe.com/zero...69899


Just copy and paste this link above.

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If using the remove glove box only method is it necessary to disconnect...

Postby West Coast Viber » Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:23 am

1) negative battery cable
2) AND/OR go through the disable air bag steps (including removing appropriate fuse)?????

I'm going to try to go through the glove box first, then if that doesn't work i'll remove the radio (and IF I do that, I will disconnect the neg. battery cable and wrap the end of the cable so it doesn't accidentlly make contact.

Thanks to you guys & gals here and the invaluable resource this forum provides I was able to determine that while my car was parked unattended for a few hours a couple of days ago while I was enjoying Muir Woods National Park a mouse or some other vermin DIDN'T crawl up and reek havoc in the engine compartment causing a loud and constant ticking sound described earlier in this thread, but instead my car ('05 model) with approx. 63K miles without warning fell victim to the HVAC recirculation issue.

Oh, by the way I was able to determine this sound or issue wasn't related to the engine because if i turned the key to the "on" position without turning all the way to actually start the engine the clicking would occur. That was kind of a relief as I didn't know then if it would be safe or not or cause damage to drive home and was hoping that this fact would also be a less costly item to fix (yes, I will flip the "actuator piece" 180 degrees).

Also, by pressing the recirculation button to the "on" position the clicking noise does stop (temp fix).

As I work through this process or thereafter if I can add anything of value (that hasn't been said before) I'll post the info on this thread.

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Re: (n2ho)

Postby piznarish » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:09 am

Thanks all for the instructions! Once again this forum has saved me $, and given me satisfaction in doing it myself. I was able to use the through-the-glovebox technique. I did remove the radio, however, I didn't use it to put my hands on anything; I used it just to locate the servo and see the 2 screws to remove. I will add that I was able just to use the 7/32 socket by hand, without the ratchet. The screws were not very tight. The upper screw is very difficult to find and get your hands on (even after removing the radio), and after much fiddling around, I found the technique that worked for me to get the upper screw out...USE BOTH HANDS -- Use your left hand w/ just the 7/32 socket and with the right hand to get over to top of the servo from the right side. With your right hand, locate the upper screw, secure the socket and unscrew w/ the left hand. I would recommend disconnecting the servo wire once you get the screws out -- then you can unclip it easier. After you are ready to install a new servo or "180-rotated-white-cog, refurbished servo", make sure you reinstall it w/ the flap in the air conditioning unit in the right position. After I removed the servo, the air flap fell down, so, when I reinstalled the servo, I had to rotate the rod (which the servo rotates) back into the right position (for me it was recirculation position). To get it in position I had to remove the air filter, with my left hand rotate the rod, then hold the flap w/ my right hand (through the filter hole) while I reseated the servo and tightened the first screw w/ my left hand. It took me about 2hrs. However, if I didn't remove the radio, had my technique down, it would have probably been less than an hour.

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Re: (piznarish)

Postby ghostpuppy » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:20 am

I didn't quite believe this fix was do-able without removing the dash but after a couple hours of fiddling it's true. Also I didn't even touch the radio, just feel around the actuator and you'll find the two hex heads you need to remove. It's insanely cramped quarters but it's possible with strong fingers or a really really small ratchet.

Also the gear flip fix worked great. No parts cost, no labor cost!

My only big error was when I was reaching in through the air filter slot holding the flap closed during the reinstall I cracked of the flimsy door that holds the filter in. Had to go with a duct tape (uggggh) fix on that.

Great forum.

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Postby DwarvenGod » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:58 am

Hey thanks a lot for this post guys.. glad to hear it's not a major problem... Soon as it gets warmer ( working on a car in -18 weather sucks the big one ) .. I'll fix that up... guess I lucked out since my Vibe's at 230,000 kms and it just NOW has that annoying problem...
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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement

Postby ColonelPanic » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:56 am

My most sincere apologies to Toyota on this one -- I've been cursing your crappy, faulty engineering on this commonly failing part. It seems my anger was misdirected:

Quote, originally posted by Rock Auto part number application thingy »

CHEVROLET COLORADO 2004
CHEVROLET COLORADO LS (2006 - 2008)
CHEVROLET COLORADO LT (2006 - 2010)
CHEVROLET COLORADO SPORT 2005
CHEVROLET COLORADO SPORT LS 2005
CHEVROLET COLORADO WT (2006 - 2010)
CHEVROLET COLORADO Z71 2005
CHEVROLET COLORADO Z71 LS 2005
CHEVROLET COLORADO Z85 2005
CHEVROLET COLORADO Z85 LS 2005
CHEVROLET SSR (2003 - 2006)
GMC CANYON 2004
GMC CANYON SL (2006 - 2008)
GMC CANYON SLE (2006 - 2010)
GMC CANYON SLT (2006 - 2010)
GMC CANYON WT (2006 - 2010)
GMC CANYON Z71 FLEET (2004 - 2005)
GMC CANYON Z71 SL (2004 - 2005)
GMC CANYON Z71 SLE (2004 - 2005)
GMC CANYON Z85 SL (2004 - 2005)
GMC CANYON Z85 SLE (2004 - 2005)
ISUZU I-280 2006
ISUZU I-290 LS 2007
ISUZU I-290 S (2007 - 2008)
ISUZU I-350 2006
ISUZU I-370 LS (2007 - 2008)
PONTIAC VIBE (2003 - 2008)
PONTIAC VIBE GT (2003 - 2006)

So unless Toyota was building Chevrolet/GMC trucks I guess GM's to blame on this one.

Anyway, I look forward to trying this in Kari's car here in a couple weeks. She's going to need recirc in the summer! Luckily it's fine with fresh air, it only starts thumping when switching to recirc.

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (ColonelPanic)

Postby ou.grizzly » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:59 am

Quote, originally posted by ColonelPanic »
My most sincere apologies to Toyota on this one -- I've been cursing your crappy, faulty engineering on this commonly failing part. It seems my anger was misdirected:

So unless Toyota was building Chevrolet/GMC trucks I guess GM's to blame on this one.

Anyway, I look forward to trying this in Kari's car here in a couple weeks. She's going to need recirc in the summer! Luckily it's fine with fresh air, it only starts thumping when switching to recirc.

Depends on who the supplier is for the part; do you think it is a Toyota based item or not? Remember, the recall on the power steering units in the Cobalts and etc I read somewhere were supplied by Toyota.

???

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (ou.grizzly)

Postby ColonelPanic » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:34 pm

Not sure, maybe not since the Matrix uses a different HVAC box anyway (so i assume the Corolla does too.)


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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (ColonelPanic)

Postby ou.grizzly » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:01 pm

Quote, originally posted by ColonelPanic »
Not sure, maybe not since the Matrix uses a different HVAC box anyway (so i assume the Corolla does too.)


This is true, forgot the HVAC System was different in the Toyota and Vibe. True GM part then.

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Postby nepvibe04 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:27 am

If anyone is having this problem right now and needs the part let me know.
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Re:

Postby ColonelPanic » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:11 am

Finally got around to ordering the part... Good times ahead.
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Postby ColonelPanic » Fri May 07, 2010 12:25 am

Got the part in and tried to install it.. Thoroughly cussing GM and Toyota all the way.

Removed the radio and glove box. I can get the bottom bolt out no problem from underneath the dash... I can reach the top bolt from the radio opening. It is being difficult, however... Right now the best thing I have to work with is a socket and a tiny ratchet. That worked well on the lower bolt. I can reach in and get the socket the on top bolt but I have no way to turn it. One idea I had was to take a 1/4" chisel and stick it into the socket and use that to turn the socket. But as I tried to turn the chisel, it had some obstacle from above it was hitting which knocked the socket off the bolt.

So it's not a matter of me reaching the bolt, my scrawny hands are OK at that. It's more of an issue of finding the proper combination of tools to get the job done. Any suggestions on what I can use?

EDIT: I remembered after I got it all put back together that I got a nice collection of nutdrivers last year for Christmas.... Going to give that a shot, not sure what will become of it. If that doesn't work, I'm stumped.

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Re: (ColonelPanic)

Postby ColonelPanic » Thu May 20, 2010 3:12 am

Well, no nutdrivers to fit it. Bought a swivel thingy for the socket to try to see if I can get that on there, nope.

Stuck the socket on teh bolt and then turning it with a screwdriver. Got it out, got the new actuator installed and bolted on... Had a very rough time getting the top bolt to start but eventually managed to get it sufficiently tightened.

And at the very last second, I lost the socket somewhere in the dash. Looked all over for it but could not find it. I've dropped it umpteen times during this adventure, however most times it would land on the floor or land on the metal brace that runs from the firewall on back. I did have the socket wrapped in duct tape (to keep the bolt held on and to make it easier to turn) so I'm hoping that if it does come in contact with something it won't hurt anything. I've looked and felt everhwere I had access to under and inside the dash, never found it. Tried probing around with my magnetic pickup tool (which was very helpful for retrieving the socket before) and it's not finding it. Pulled up the carpet and didn't find it under there either. Hopefully it works itself loose as the car is driven.

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Re: (ColonelPanic)

Postby capobeach » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:58 am

This just started happening to me. Recirculate stops the clicking, fresh air it clicks.
I'm really not looking forward to dealing with this. I wanted to throw this idea out there and get some opinons on whether or not it will cause more damage.

With the glove box off, I noticed that if I stopped the travel of the flap before it is completely closed, it does not click. I thought of I shimmed the opening with a piece of weather stripping, the door would close most of the way and I could still get some fresh air. Will this be bad for the actuator, or does it feel the resistance and shut off?

If my theory is correct, it would cause the actuator to stop on the last few "good" teeth. Any thoughts?

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (tothebone)

Postby erikscott » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:05 am

A few things I found that will make this job easier.

(1) I never could remove the top screw that holds the actuator on. I wound up prying the thing a little bit away from the HVAC housing and it snapped clean off. Honestly, I was just trying to flex it enough to see where the screw was. Once it broke off, though, it was pretty easy to see where the screw was and I had room to get it out. The shaft and the lower screw hold this part plenty securely. I saved the extra screw in case I ever need to replace the whole thing.

(2) You don't have to take the actuator apart to turn the white gear 180 degrees. Just put 12 volts on the two pins and let the motor spin it around for you - takes 30 seconds or so for it to go that far. If your gear teeth are really messed up, it may bind up on you. Just reverse the power leads and spin it around the other way. There shouldn't be any need to take it apart at all. Unless...

(3) I not only had a broken white final gear, but the plastic shaft that went through the intermediate blue gear was broken. My solution was to take a 9/64ths drill bit. Drill out the gear to fit nicely on a 9/64ths, then drill the stud it goes into and finally drill through the other housing half. When you're done, chuck the drill bit's smooth end in a vise and whack it with a hammer - the bit end will fly off and you now have a precisely mating piece of hardended and tempered drill rod. Reassemble everything using your new high speed steel shaft instead of cheeseball plastic, and you're back in business.

Total effort - four hours and a band-aid. :-)

Erik

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (erikscott)

Postby Blueridge9 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:57 am

Good ideas everyone. I wish I could have saved some money and done this myself. Or thought to rotate the old gear, or get to it without having them remove the dash board.

I had this problem last May at 76000+ miles so my mechanic ordered the recirculator door activator (part #88970277 $86.00 + labor). He showed me how the one he removed had teeth on the plastic gear broke off so the gear did not turn smoothly anymore so when it got to the broken teeth it would get stuck and then "snap" across and that is what made the knocking noise under the dashboard. Of course they said you can't just replace the damaged gear but have to replace the whole thing. I took some pictures.
http://i278.photobucket.com/al...2.jpg

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (tothebone)

Postby alibrat23 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:48 am

I found that you do NOT have to remove the whole dash board. You do need the 7/32 open ended wrench. You can get a midget combo set from sears for about 20 bucks that works well. You do get a little scratched up if you're not careful, but it's do-able.

You have to take out the glove box, but then you can access it.

Not sure if this helps anyone, but it's a ton less work than taking off the whole dash! :D

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Re: Hvac door actuator replacement (tothebone)

Postby Vibe4us » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:28 am

Once again GenVibe saves the day!
I started getting the flapping noise a couple of weeks ago at about 100,500 miles on our '04. Based on the excellent info from everyone in this discussion, I was able to repair my actuator by rotating the gear 180 degrees. It's really tight in there, but I was also able to remove and replace the actuator by removing only the glove box. Since the 2 screws that hold the actuator in place are mounted in plastic, I found that I could use a 6mm bit driver in my fingers to get 'em out and in. Cost: $0 + a couple of hours.
Thanks, y'all- we love our Vibe, and GenVibe rules!
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Postby llebcire » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:31 am

Just did this tonight - pulled the dash, moved the gear and completed procedure in 1.5 hours.

Thanks for all the advice - I would have never known the gear failed and could be repaired so easily without replacing!

Certainly saved me $$$!

-Eric

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Re: (n2ho)

Postby llebcire » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:33 am

Just be careful with the clips so they don't snap off!

Otherwise, piece of cake if you're mechanically inclined and have patience.

-Eric

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Re: (llebcire)

Postby jake75 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:37 am

I wonder if they ever fixed this defect - i.e. can we expect this same problem with later model years.
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2003 Vibe 1.8L Neptune AT Mono Power Pkg 1/27/03 [sold 2/2/09]
2007 T&C SWB 7/31/07
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Re: (jake75)

Postby BlueCrush » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:08 pm

Mine just started doing this a couple days ago. Looks like it will be fun to replace. Yay!
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Re: (BlueCrush)

Postby boomermsu » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:21 am

I just did this yesterday in about 15-20 minutes with only glove box removed.

1/4 inch ratchet and 5.5mm socket is the only tools required.

remove wire harness
ratchet with socket to get screws started rotating out.
fingers and socket to turn screws the rest of the way out.
pull actuator. Replace with new or flip gear (I replaced with new)
position actuator
start screws with fingers (making sure to not cross thread)
drive them with fingers and 5.5mm socket until can't turn with fingers anymore.
complete tightening with 1/4 inch ratchet and socket. Be careful so you don't strip screws in plastic.
attach wireharness
I did move the one wire out of the way for a little more space.

It was much easier than I anticipated.

Did a new cabin air filter and blower motor assembly while I was in there.

Kevin
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Postby nittanydoug » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:21 am

Add me to the club. Started the car at lunch and thought "oh crap I threw a rod" with all of that noise. Then noticed it was doing it with the key in the acc position. Pulled the glove box off and just pulled the wires from the actuator so I didn't have to listen to it while I drove. Hope to get to it sometime this weekend. It looks to be a packed weekend so I hope I'm in the sub-hour range for this.
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Re: (ldworak)

Postby kstees » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:31 am

I fixed mine using the russian 180 trick. The only thing I discovered was that the bolts are 5.5mm. Still need a second wrist to get in there.
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Postby nittanydoug » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:15 am

got in and out quickly but I don't think the 180 trick worked for me. now it doesn't move the "flapper" at all. it tries but seems to be too much resistance. It I get it started it appears to work but don't know the issue.
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Postby sublevel4 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:35 am

I did mine this past weekend. I went through the glove box opening and the radio opening. if you have small arms you could do it from the glove box opening. took me a few hrs most of it was trying to get to it and get the right equipment 5.5mm socket.
Most of the clips on mine broke when i was trying to get it open. Mine turned out not to be missng teeth but a broken post on one of the gears(blue one on mine). I machined a new post out of a nail and drilled out the hole in the housing and glued the post in place. put it all back together and reinstalled. Works like a charm, No more clicking.
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Similar problem solved in a way that seems too easy to be true

Postby Pauldog » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:02 pm

I'm not getting any noise, but the recirculation button doesn't do anything. I still get air blowing through the vents with the button pressed and the fan off.

Is this also caused by a bad gear?


[By the way, for the 2005's generation at least, the Corolla and Matrix use the same cabin filter, which is not quite the same size as the Vibe's. That would lead me to guess that the Corolla and Matrix have the same air box in the glove compartment. But I have a Vibe, so I'm posting here instead of at a Toyota forum.]


I removed the door to the glove compartment, and tried to look at the flap when I pushed the Recirc button. I could hear a soft sound only brielfy, and nothing much seemed to happen to the flap.

Several days later, I put my fingers on the flap and pushed the recirc button. Nothing happened, so I unpushed the button, pushed on the flap with a small amount of force, and pushed the recirc button again. Voila! The flap moved, and the air stopped flowing into the cabin. I pushed it a few more times, and now it seems to work!

Now I'm wondering if I got the flap stuck when I was changing the cabin filter last month. The Corolla filters I had on hand weren't the right size, so I made a filter by cutting a piece from a 1" thick furnace filter to fit in the slot.


A couple of days later, I checked out the flap more carefully before reinstalling the glovebox door. There seem to be three flap positions:

1) Recirculate (flap is parallel to the cabin filter, blocking the outside air)
2) Fresh air (flap is perpendicular to the cabin filter)
3) Same as #2, but with the bottom of the flap farther out by a tiny amount)

Position 3 seems to be the problem. When I pushed the flap into that position, it wouldn't move when I pressed the recirc button, unless I pushed the flap slightly inward.

Normally, the flap is in position 1 or 2, but it can get into position 3 by accident or if I push it there. My original problem must have been caused by the flap being in that third position. I think that someone working near that part of the ventilation system can accidentally get the flap stuck in position 3.

Sometimes the flap seems to be stuck in position 3 on its own. It seems to be random.

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Postby Pauldog » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:04 am

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Re: (sublevel4)

Postby wingman7000 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:01 am

I replaced mine today and went pretty smooth using the glove box and radio removal method. I did however have trouble with the a/c-recirculate switch when I was putting it back together. a yellow prong broke off the back. Does anyone know what it does or know of a part number?

547963=16256-DSC05513small.jpg
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Re: (wingman7000)

Postby joatmon » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:39 am

Quote, originally posted by wingman7000 »
I replaced mine today and went pretty smooth using the glove box and radio removal method. I did however have trouble with the a/c-recirculate switch when I was putting it back together. a yellow prong broke off the back. Does anyone know what it does or know of a part number?

A New whole switch assembly will not be cheap, don't know the part number.

The piece that broke off is used to retain a mechanical cable that is connected to the air direction switch. When you select either full or half defrost, the cable moves and will automatically turn off recirculate. The designers feel you will not be able to remember that fresh air will defog the windshield faster than interior air.

I have that cable disconnected, and I almost never use recirculate mode, and it's one more thing to disconnect/reconnect whenever I pull the radio bezel. If you do not replace the switch, and do not reconnect that cable, then recirculate will still work fine, you would only lose the "feature" where recirc will get turned off automatically when you switch to defrost.

My recommendation is to leave the cable disconnected, save some $, and if you tend to use recirc, then remember to turn it off for faster windshield defrosting.

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