A bad blend door actuator can make rides uncomfortable for the vehicle's driver and passengers. If you can't fix the assembly immediately, you might be able to bypass it. But how can you do this? We researched that concern for your convenience, and here's what we found.
Some temporary DIY solutions exist to help you bypass your vehicle’s blend door actuator. Certain methods you may try are:
- Turn off the climate control system
- Disconnect the actuator
- Use a pin or paper clip
You should learn the details about these methods to avoid applying further harm to the blend door actuator or your vehicle. So continue reading as we talk about these possible solutions in greater detail.
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Methods To Bypass A Blend Door Actuator
Method #1: Turn Off The Climate Control System
Take note that the blend door actuator typically works when you turn on the vehicle’s climate control system. So turning off that system won’t put the blend door actuator in further harm. That way, you can maintain what’s left of the assembly’s structural integrity until you can fix it.
Method #2: Disconnect The Actuator
If you want some cold or hot air to enter your vehicle’s cabin, you may want to disconnect the blend door actuator from the climate control system. Bear in mind that it’s unwise to keep the climate control system running for extended periods if you use this technique.
It's because one of the responsibilities of the blend door actuator is to control the door or vent that allows hot or cold air to enter the cabin. With that door or vent closed, only a small amount of hot or cold air can gain access and circulate your vehicle's interiors.
With the actuator disconnected from the rest of the climate control system, it should be wise to allow the heating or cooling to run for a few minutes. Then, turn it off until you need it again.
Note: The location of the cord or wire connecting the climate control system to the blend door actuator often differs for each vehicle model. Check your owner’s manual or request help from the vehicle’s manufacturer to help you find the location of that assembly.
Method #3: Use A Pin Or Paper Clip
Your vehicle may have a climate control system that acts as a complete unit. So disconnecting the blend door actuator may prevent the vehicle HVAC system from functioning. Instead, you can make the system “think” that it still has an actuator after disconnecting that assembly.
After removing the actuator, place a pin or paper clip in the same location as the disconnected assembly. Bend your chosen item for it to have an “L” shape. Then, place one end into the socket for the actuator while the other end goes into the actuator’s mount.
Take note that this technique may take require some trials and errors before it works as intended. However, it can be a good solution if it might be a while before you can repair or replace your faulty blend door actuator.
Note: Without the blend door actuator, it might be difficult to fine-tune the settings on your vehicle’s climate control system.
How Do You Know If Blend Door Actuator Is Bad?
You and your vehicle may encounter certain signs that tell you when you need to pay extra attention to the blend door actuator. Here are some relatively common symptoms to check out that may indicate if that assembly is faulty.
A clicking or ticking sound may emanate from the cabin’s vents. This noise often means that the blend door actuator is trying to move but fails. Turn off the climate control system immediately if that light clicking or ticking sound turns into a loud knocking racket.
You can also read our post on what to do if you hear a clicking noise coming from your car’s air vent for additional insights into this particular subject matter.
Adjusting the settings on your vehicle's onboard climate control system may yield incorrect results. If so, the blend door actuator might be the one at fault. You'll know if this assembly is to blame if fine-tuning the climate control's settings do little to nothing to change the indoor temperature.
Another sign of a bad blend door actuator is if the airflow from the vents is inconsistent. It may change from hot to cold (or the other way around) frequently.
How Do I Reset My Blend Door Actuator?
Perhaps resetting the blend door actuator may restore its normal functions. You can complete this process by following these steps:
- Turn off the engine and engage the hand or parking brake.
- Allow the engine to cool before proceeding to the next step.
- Find the blend door actuator in your vehicle and disconnect it.
- Turn on the vehicle’s engine and its climate control system, if you can.
- Move the blend door actuator’s through the climate control system’s knobs or the infotainment system.
- Turn off the engine again and allow it to cool.
- Reconnect the blend door actuator.
- Turn on the engine again and check if the actuator assembly if the problem persists.
If you’re looking for the process to reset your Honda Accord’s climate control system, check out our post highlighting that concern to know the steps.
How To Replace A Blend Door Actuator?
If your blend door actuator is still giving you problems, and bypassing it isn’t an option, it might be time to replace it. But before you do, ensure that the replacement actuator fits your specific vehicle model. Avoid installing random blend door actuators or you might put the vehicle at risk of experiencing further harm.
Next, make sure to prioritize your safety always. Some of the safety measures you should be following are:
- Maintain cleanliness for your work area. Don’t leave spills and pieces of equipment on your walk path to prevent falls and other accidents.
- Wear proper clothing. Pants and long-sleeved clothing are ideal for you to avoid direct contact with harmful objects.
- Wear safety gear. Equipment like a respirator, goggles, and work gloves can help prevent nose, mouth, throat, eyes, and skin irritation while you’re working on your vehicle.
- Don’t eat near your vehicle. Crumbs and other foodstuffs may enter and become lodged in certain parts, leading to other problems.
- Turn off the power when needed. Disengage the engine and/or disconnect the battery’s negative terminal to reduce the risks of accidental electric shocks.
After preparing for this operation, continue by following these general steps:
What You’ll Need
- Panel remover
- Socket wrench
- Remove the hard plastic covering underneath the center console and next to the gas pedal.
- Locate and disconnect the old blend door actuator.
- Remove the bolts securing that module. Pull it out afterward.
- Install the new blend door actuator in the same location as the old unit.
- Secure the new module by screwing its bolts into the mounts.
- Disconnect the negative wire attached to the car battery’s negative terminal.
- Reconnect the negative wire to the negative terminal after 1 minute.
- Turn on the vehicle’s engine and wait for at least 4 minutes before turning it off again.
- Re-engage the vehicle’s engine and turn on the climate control system to check if the new blend door actuator works as intended.
Note: Some of the steps mentioned above may not work for your specific vehicle. Request help from automotive experts if you need help in replacing a bad blend door actuator if you need the professional assistance.
You can also watch the video below if you need a visual guide for this procedure. Take note that the blend door actuator replacement process highlighted in this clip ends at about the 7'35'' mark. But you can continue watching the rest of the video if you find it interesting to learn about replacing a center console:
How Long Does It Take To Replace A Blend Door Actuator?
The blend door actuator replacement process should take about 30 minutes to complete. But the completion time may take longer than expected if you run into problems.
Bypassing a blend door actuator is possible by using certain DIY techniques. But it’s still ideal to replace the faulty assembly for you to enjoy long-term results. Remember, specialized technicians are available to help you in troubleshooting and replacing your vehicle’s blend door actuator if you don’t want to deal with those tasks by yourself.