Hearing a clicking sound from behind the glove compartment of my vehicle for the first time caused me a scare. The noise sounded like a damaged blend door actuator. Naturally, I don’t like hearing even the littlest of car noises.
So, I pulled over and checked the electric actuator for the HVAC system. Behold my suspicion was confirmed. What other reasons can cause these consistent clicks? What are the appropriate fixes? Read this post to the end; I’ve offered detailed insight.
What Causes Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box
The most common cause of a clicking noise behind the glove box of your vehicle is a damaged electric actuator for your AC system. What is the Air Conditioner actuator and where can you find it in the car?
Good question! The HVAC actuator is a mechanical control component or electric switch which regulates the amount of air that gets into your car cabin.
Now, let me tell you a few things about the HVAC system. This component features gears that help the blend door open and close. This is why the gears are also called blend door actuators. Typically, the actuator serves to move, close, or open the blend door.
While doing this, it changes the temperature setting on the HVAC system. However, once the actuator gears break, you’re most likely to hear the random clicking noise behind the glove box.
So, how does the AC actuator work? First off, the actuator is located behind the glove box or the console center. The blend door actuator works with an electric motor and is fastened to an arm directly behind the glove box. It consists of two critical parts: a rod connected to the interior flaps and an electronic engine.
While the rod helps control airflow into your car cabin, the electronic motor reinforces to power a mixing wheel. Remember, your car AC helps maintain comfort during the scorching climatic conditions. The AC blend door actuators control airflow while closing up the air opening in the cabin.
How to Fix a Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box
So far, I’ve explained the AC actuator, how it works, and how its fault can cause a clicking noise behind the car. Here’s a step-by-step approach to fixing the problem.
- A screwdriver or pair of plier
- A new blend door actuator
- A clip remover
Steps to follow
Step 1: Unscrew the glove box
Once you’ve noted the noise coming from behind the glove box of your car, the first step is to remove the glove box itself. You may need a screwdriver, clip remover, or a plier, depending on whether the box is fastened by clips or screws. Once done, open the glove box and extend it outward, using your two hands. While extending, ensure you’re careful to avoid any damage to the box via slipping. Take off the tray once you’ve unscrewed any other fasteners.
Step 2: Locate and take off the broken actuator gears
Now that you’ve extended the glove box outward, you can easily access the broken blend door actuator. This is the reason your car is producing the great random clicking noise from behind the glove box. The blend door actuator is often located beside an air duct. It’s fastened securely in place by screws or clips, depending on the automaker or model.
Select a short, small screwdriver, but be careful while unscrewing the broken door actuator. This way, you can avoid yanking off any wire or part of it. Try to carefully pull out the damaged actuator by simply pushing the connector.
Step 3: Install a new blend door actuator
Once you have successfully removed the broken actuator, it’s time to install a new one. Care must be taken not to install a cracked blend door actuator. Check it very well to be sure that it’s intact. Now, connect the electric wires to the actuator to secure it in place. Fasten it to the glove box using all the necessary screws. If any of the screws are bad or without threading, replace them with new ones to tighten the component firmly.
Step 4: Start your Car
After tightening the blend door actuator, check if there’s any play by moving it from left to right, and vice versa. Once you’ve confirmed it’s properly installed, start your car to be sure the new blend door actuator is working. Adjust the AC temperature on the thermometer. This time, you should hear no noise coming from behind the glove compartment. The actuator should produce a silent or quiet operation as the car idles for a few minutes.
Step 5: Replace the Glove compartment
The second to final step is to reinstall the glove box of your car. But first off, switch off the car. Take the reverse steps you take when uninstalling the component. Whether it’s located in the console center or dash, the glove box should be held up against its casing. Slowly secure it firmly in place without any play.
Step 6: Restart the car
The final thing to do is to restart the car and allow it to idle for a few minutes. You can drive the car around to listen to the sound. If you hear a clicking noise from the glove compartment, then your installation is bad or the new blend door actuator is faulty. Remove the component and restart the entire process all over.
How much does the HVAC Blend Door Actuator cost?
The good thing is that the cost of replacing the actuator or the entire HVAC system is budget-friendly. On average, you’ll spend as low as $150-$500 to replace an HVAC blend actuator. The cost might depend on where you live and the technician’s labor cost.
Can I replace my AC Blend Door Actuator myself?
Yes, you can. You can save yourself a few bucks since the procedure is seamless and the steps simple. Make sure you have enough technical know-how because the technical effort required to replace the components might be frustrating. You should also show extra care when working on the HVAC system to avoid damaging any other costly components.
I understand that noises from any part of the car can be frustrating, especially when you cannot easily track them. But a random clicking sound behind or above your car’s glove compartments is an issue you can track. When you hear the noise, it’s not time to panic. A quick check beneath the dash for the AC actuator will reveal a lot about what’s wrong. The HVAC might have broken. Ensure to take your safety seriously. I hope this article helps you resolve any subsequent issues about the clicking noise from behind the glove box.