Clicking Noise Coming From Air Vent In My Car – Why? What To Do?

Hearing a clicking noise from your car’s air vent can be both annoying and worrisome. But why is it making that noise? Also, what can you do to fix this problem? We researched these concerns for your convenience, and here’s what we found.

The clicking noise coming from your car's air vent might be the result of loose screws. If not, the issue may be with a bad compressor or a faulty blend motor. Make sure to troubleshoot your car to find the source of this sound. Then, use the appropriate solution based on your findings.

You should continue reading this post. That way, you'll learn the details of the causes of the clicking noises coming from your vehicle's air vent. We'll also discuss some techniques that may help you in solving this problem at its source.

air conditioning in the car , Clicking Noise Coming From Air Vent In My Car - Why? What To Do?

Why Is My Car AC Vent Making A Clicking Noise?

car dashboard with clock and vents

A car’s AC vent may cause clicking or rattling noises if it has loose mounting bolts. If so, you may only need to tighten these fasteners to eliminate the noise.

But the noise may persist after tightening those bolts. Check the compressor or the blend door motor, as these assemblies can also cause problems to your car’s AC system.

Bad Compressor

The compressor is the core unit of your car’s AC system. It’s responsible for putting the coolant under high pressure to allow it to flow to the system’s condenser. From that point, the refrigerant transforms from a gas to a liquid substance, helping produce cold temperatures inside the vehicle’s cabin.

However, car AC compressors can become worse over time or because of certain external forces such as vehicular accidents. Aside from the clicking noise, you might be able to diagnose if your vehicle’s compressor is bad if certain symptoms exist. Some of these signs are:

  • Air blowing out of the vents isn’t cold
  • AC is cycling on and off without any human interaction with the controls
  • Telltale signs of leaks in and around the vehicle

You can also read our post on the dangers of a Freon leak in a car if you want to gain additional insight about that topic.

Faulty Blend Door Motor

Also called a blend door actuator, this module functions by controlling the vehicle’s climate control system. Oftentimes, a small plastic box houses this motor, protecting it from potential harm. Nonetheless, harm can still befall the blend door motor, causing the clicking noise.

If the blend door motor is faulty, it may produce other problems aside from the clicking noise. Some of these possible issues are:

  • Knocking noises or other unknown sounds
  • Inconsistent AC performance
  • Wrong temperature produced by the climate control system

How To Replace A Car AC Compressor?

Car aircond compressor during maintanace work.

Replacing a car AC compressor generally follows a relatively standard procedure. That means that most of the steps mentioned in this section may apply to your specific vehicle model.

However, it’s still ideal to check your owner’s manual or consult with the car’s manufacturer to check for additional steps or processes to complete before starting this replacement task. Once you’re ready, continue reading and follow these steps:

What You’ll Need

  • AC manifold gauges
  • Socket wrench set
  • Wheel chocks
  • Jack stands
  • Floor jack
  • Extension rod
  • Breaker bar
  • Serpentine belt tool
  • Torque wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Panel clip pliers
  • Universal joint socket
  • Replacement AC compressor

Step-By-Step Guide

1. Secure The Vehicle

Disengage your car’s engine and engage its hand or parking brake. Next, chock the wheels so the vehicle doesn’t move or roll out of the driveway or parking site. Then, make sure that the engine cools before opening the hood.

2. Flush The Refrigerant From The AC System

Attach the AC manifold gauges to the car’s air-conditioning system. You can watch the video below if you need help completing this step:

3. Remove The Wheel

Use the floor jack to raise the front of your car. Install jack stands underneath the chassis to support the vehicle if the jack fails. Then, remove the driver side's wheel to expose the access point to the AC compressor.

4. Remove The Old Compressor

Remove the rubber bolts securing the access point’s cover using the panel clip pliers. Make sure to store the fasteners in a safe yet fairly obvious place since you’re going to need them for the cover’s reinstallation later.

Next, remove the bolts securing the hoses to the old compressor. Take out the hoses from the compressor afterward.

With the hoses out of the way, disconnect the electrical connections from the old compressor. Then, loosen the serpentine belt with the serpentine belt tool. Unscrew the remaining bolts afterward so you can pull out the old compressor from its mount.

5. Install The New AC Compressor

Remove the wiring harness from the old compressor and transplant it to the new unit. You only need to unscrew the screws from the wiring harness to remove them from the old assembly.

Install the new compressor to its mount in the engine block. Then, go through the previous steps in reverse order to secure the new AC compressor for your car.

Once the new compressor is intact, charge the car’s AC system with a fresh batch of coolant. Watch the video below if you need help with that particular task:

After charging your vehicle’s AC, start the engine and turn on the cooling system. Set the air conditioner to the highest setting and check if the clicking noises are still coming from the vents.

Check out this car AC compressor on Amazon.

You can also watch this video to see a visual guide to the steps mentioned above:

At this point, you might also be looking into checking your car’s Freon levels. If so, read our post highlighting that topic to learn the steps to the procedure.

How Do You Replace A Blend Door Actuator?

Mechanic with scan tool diagnosing car in open hood. Closeup

Like replacing a car AC compressor, changing a vehicle’s blend door actuator often requires you to check your owner’s manual. Otherwise, consult with your car’s manufacturer if you need to complete certain procedures before you can start the replacement process.

Take note that blend door motor replacement jobs might be dissimilar among different car models. So take the time to ensure that you follow the correct steps.

Here’s a look at how to replace a blend door actuator for a RAM 2500 to help give you a look at how to complete this process:

What You’ll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement blend door actuator

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Turn off the truck’s engine and engage its hand or parking brake.
  2. Open the glove compartment and remove the shock-absorbing strap.
  3. Press the tabs at the bottom of the glove compartment and pull the container out of its mount.
  4.  Disconnect the electrical connector from the old blend door actuator.
  5. Unscrew the screws that secure the old motor. Pull out the old blend door actuator afterward.
  6. Line the plastic knob with the port on the new blend door motor.
  7. Insert the plastic knob into the terminal on the new motor while paying attention to its orientation.
  8. Attach the connector to the new actuator.
  9. Screw the new motor in place.
  10. Turn on your car’s engine and activate its AC system to check if the clicking noises persist.
  11. If the noise is gone, don’t forget to return the glove compartment to its original position.

Check out this replacement blend door actuator on Amazon.

Check out this video if you want to see a visual representation of this replacement job. The following clip will also show you a good tip on how to align the plastic knob to your new blend door motor:

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Blend Door Actuator?

If done correctly, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete a door actuator replacement job. But expect the procedure to last longer than expected if you run into additional problems.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An AC Actuator In A Car?

Close-Up Of Air Vent In Car. Red emergency button on a dashboard of car.

Prepare to spend about $300 to replace an AC blend door actuator in your car. But the overall costs may depend on multiple factors, including your vehicle’s specific manufacturer and model.

The professionals handling the replacement job may also charge you additional fees, particularly if they need more parts to complete the procedure.

Final Thoughts

Take the time in troubleshooting your car’s AC system to find the source of the clicking noise coming from the vent. Perhaps you might only need to tighten some loose screws to eliminate the noise. Otherwise, you may need to replace the compressor or blend door motor.

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