Maintenance Tips, Tricks And Hacks For Your Vehicle

Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box – Causes & Fixes

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If you hear a clicking noise coming from behind the glove box, it is more likely that one of the electric actuators for the HVAC system is broken.

However, if you are not familiar with what an actuator is, read on to find out more about this part, what causes it to fail, and most importantly, how to fix a clicking noise behind the glove box.

Key Takeaway

  • The clicking noise behind the glove box in a car is most commonly caused by a malfunctioning blend door actuator, a component of the vehicle’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
  • The blend door actuator in your car is a small electric motor that controls the temperature and airflow in your car’s cabin by regulating the mix of hot and cold air from the heater core and evaporator.
  • The blend door actuator in cars is typically located on the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) air distribution housing, often near the heater core and evaporator.
  • Diagnosing a faulty blend door actuator involves listening for unusual noises like clicking or grinding, checking for irregularities in cabin temperature control, and inspecting the device for physical damage or improper function.
  • Fixing a clicking noise behind the glove box often involves replacing or repairing the blend door actuator, as this is a common cause of such noises in many vehicles.

What Causes Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box

What Causes Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box

The clicking noise behind your glove box is most commonly caused by a damaged or faulty electric actuator in your car’s AC system.

As a mechanic, I’ve seen this issue quite frequently. When the actuator, which controls the opening and closing of the air conditioning vents, becomes damaged, it can create a clicking or grinding noise as it struggles to function. This is often the sound you’re hearing from behind the glove box.

Additionally, another common cause can be dirt or debris stuck in the blower motor of your car. The blower motor is responsible for pushing air through your car’s ventilation system, and when something obstructs its path, it can result in a clicking noise as the motor tries to work around the obstruction.

A third potential source of the clicking sound could be the blend-air door inside your car’s HVAC system. This door regulates the mix of hot and cold air that comes out of your vents. If the door or its springs are reacting to the actuator, you might hear a clicking noise.

Finally, some drivers have reported that the noise was caused by the fresh air inlet valve motor. This motor controls the intake of fresh air into your car’s ventilation system, and if it’s not functioning correctly, it can produce a clicking noise.

What Does Your Blend Door Actuator Do?

What Causes Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box

Your blend door actuator is a crucial component that controls the flow of air in your car’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. It adjusts the temperature of the air that comes out of your car’s vents by regulating the blend of hot and cold air.

As a mechanic, I can tell you that the blend door actuator is a little motorized device situated within the HVAC system. When you adjust the temperature setting on your car’s dashboard, it sends a signal to the blend door actuator.

This actuator then moves the blend door, which determines how much hot air from the heater core is mixed with cold air from the AC system.

For example, if you set your car’s thermostat to a warmer temperature, the blend door actuator will open the door wider to allow more warm air from the heater core to mix with the cold air.

Conversely, if you want a cooler temperature, the actuator will close the door more, limiting the amount of warm air that gets mixed in.

The blend door actuator ensures that you and your passengers can enjoy a comfortable temperature inside the car, regardless of the weather outside.

However, like any other part in your vehicle, it can wear out or fail over time, leading to issues with your car’s temperature control.

Where Is The Blend Door Actuator Located In Cars

The blend door actuator in cars is generally located on the HVAC air distribution housing which is behind the glovebox compartment.

As a mechanic, I’ve often found the blend door actuator in this location, usually on the left side of the HVAC air distribution housing.

This small electric motor controls your car’s climate control system and can be accessed by removing the glove box and under-dash trim panels.

The blend door actuator looks like a small plastic box and its primary function is to control the flow of air from the heater core or evaporator, effectively managing the temperature of the air that enters your vehicle’s cabin.

It’s worth noting that the exact location may vary depending on the make and model of your car.

How To Diagnose a Faulty Blend Door Actuator

Diagnosing a faulty blend door actuator involves identifying common symptoms such as inconsistent airflow, unusual noises, and issues with temperature control.

Unusual Noises

One of the most common signs of a faulty blend door actuator is strange noises coming from your vehicle’s HVAC system.

You may hear a knocking or clicking sound that seems to be coming from inside the dashboard. This noise can often be attributed to a failing blend door actuator as it struggles to move the blend door.

Inconsistent Airflow

Another symptom of a bad blend door actuator is inconsistent airflow from your car’s vents. When the blend door actuator fails, it may not properly control the blend door, leading to irregular airflow.

You might feel bursts of hot or cold air at unexpected times, or the airflow might fluctuate without you changing the settings.

Temperature Control Issues

A clear sign of a faulty blend door actuator is when your heater blows cold air even though you’ve set it to hot. This happens when the blend door actuator fails to open the door wide enough to allow warm air from the heater core to mix with the cold air from the AC system.

Conversely, you may also experience your AC blowing warm air if the blend door actuator is stuck in the position that allows more warm air to mix in.

Locating the Faulty Actuator

To determine which blend door actuator is faulty, you’ll need to listen carefully to where the unusual noises are coming from.

The location of the sound can often point to which actuator is causing trouble. In many vehicles, there are multiple actuators, so identifying the correct one is crucial for effective repairs.

All of these symptoms can indicate a faulty blend door actuator. If you notice any of them, it’s best to consult with a professional mechanic who can accurately diagnose and fix the issue.

How To Fix Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box

A clicking noise behind the glove box is coming from a broken actuator that is trying to move the blend door in order to adjust the commands from your climate control panel.

If you have this problem, here is how to fix the clicking noise coming from behind the glove box:

1. Required materials

  • Blend door actuator
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers

2. Remove the glove box compartment

The broken blend door actuator is located behind the glove box compartment. This is why we need to remove the whole glove box compartment. In order to remove the glove box compartment from your vehicle, there are a few steps to take.

The first is to consult the owner’s manual for instructions from the manufacturer. If no instructions are provided, it is important to note whether there are fasteners holding the glove box in place such as screws or clips.

If so, these should be carefully removed with the appropriate tools such as a screwdriver or pliers. Once these fasteners have been taken off, the next step is to open and extend the glove box outward. If necessary, use two hands while extending so that nothing slips out of position prematurely.

This will give you an opportunity to access any additional connectors or fasteners that may need to be disconnected before removing the tray entirely. Finally, use caution when pulling out or lifting up the box since it may contain additional items or wires in need of removal first.

3. Locate the blend door actuator

What Causes Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box

Locating the blend door actuator can be easy, especially if you ordered a new one and you already know how it looks.

Once you remove the whole glove box compartment, you will gain better access and you will be able to find it. The blend door actuator is usually located next to an air duct.

4. Remove the broken blend door actuator

What Causes Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box

The blend door actuator is held in place by one or two screws (depending on the make and model). But, most of the time it is just one screw.

The tricky part is here to get your hand in and actually remove the screw. This is why you might need a short screwdriver. Slowly unscrew it. Watch the wiring and make sure you don’t yank anything off.

Once you remove the screw, catch it and store it safely. At this point, you should be able to pull out the broken blend door actuator.

There will be one wire connected to the blend door actuator. It can be removed by pressing and pulling the plastic connector. Remember which wire it was so you will know which one to connect to the new blend door actuator.

5. Install the new blend door actuator

What Causes Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box

Installing the new blend door actuator is a reverse operation from installation. First, connect the wiring to the actuator and then place it and secure it with the same screw that you removed earlier.

When you are done, move the actuator from left to right to see if there is any play. The actuator should be firmly in one place.

At this point, you can actually test and see if the new actuator is working. To do so, start the car and adjust the temperature on the AC. The operation of the new blend door actuator should be silent.

6. Reinstall the glove box compartment

To reinstall the glove box compartment, you need to do everything that you did in reverse. Lift the glove box compartment up against the dashboard and slowly secure it one clip and one screw at a time.

Again, when you are done, there should be no play. The glove box should be firmly in one place.

FAQs

Q: Where is the blend door actuator located?

A: The blend door actuator is located behind the glove box.

Q: How can I access the blend door actuator?

A: To access the blend door actuator, you will need to remove the glove box.

Q: Can I fix the clicking noise behind the glove box myself?

A: Yes, it is possible to fix the issue yourself if you have some mechanical knowledge and the necessary tools.

Q: Is the clicking noise behind the glove box covered under warranty?

A: This depends on the specific warranty of your vehicle. It is recommended to check with your manufacturer or dealership to determine if the repair is covered.

Q: Is it safe to drive my vehicle if I hear a clicking noise behind the glove box?

A: While a clicking noise itself may not be immediately dangerous, it could be indicative of a larger issue with your HVAC system. It is recommended to have it checked by a professional to avoid any potential problems.

Q: Can a clicking noise behind the glove box affect the performance of my AC?

A: Yes, a faulty blend door actuator can cause issues with the airflow and temperature control in your vehicle’s HVAC system, affecting the performance of the AC.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, if you’re experiencing a clicking noise behind your glove box, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.

Ignoring it can lead to larger and more costly repairs down the line. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can identify and fix the source of the clicking noise.

MECHANIC APPROVED

✔️ REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Vide Polowenski, Senior Mechanic

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest mechanic SOPs.

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