Q: A/C not blowing out forward facing vents

asked by on

The heat and A/C will only blow out the floor and windshield vents but not the forward facing vents. What do I need to replace to fix this issue?

My car has 51000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It’s not possible for me to tell you what exactly has failed on your car. I can however set you down the right path.

There are three components at work here. The mode switch that you turn on the dash, the mode door actuator that is mounted under the dash and the mode door itself. The most common failure for this system is the mode door actuator followed by the mode switch.

You will need to do some Googling to locate the actuator, but I would get to the actuator and tap on it. Often times this will free up a frozen actuator. If once you tap on it, it begins to move, I would begin by replacing the actuator. If the actuator is very difficult to replace, I would make sure this test is repeatable to be sure you haven’t missed something else. Check the connector, it could have a bad connection.

To do some testing at the mode switch, you will need a wiring diagram and remove the mode switch. With a test light, make sure you have power and ground at the appropriate terminals at the correct time. You can also do some trouble shooting that can help you diagnose the mode actuator. Often times accessing the mode switch first can be easier do to the hard to access nature of the actuator.

Lastly, if both those seem to be working, I have seen the mode door itself have problems. If you remove the mode actuator, you should be able to manually move the mode door to test its operation. If it binds or the the air isn’t directed out the correct vents when you move it around, you will need to remove the heater box and disassemble it to see what has failed at the door.

If you feel like you need assistance with these checks, enlist a qualified mechanic who can accurately diagnose this issue with your A/C and fix it accordingly.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. A/C not blowing out forward facing vents

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Q: car wont stay running

If you say there is an "alarming" sound when it starts, then I would only suggest you have a proper diagnosis done. By doing so you'll be able to find the cause before you try and run it any more....

Q: My 1999 ford wind star came with a locked glovebox with no key. How do I get into the glovebox without damaging it?

Hello, thank you for writing in. If preventing damage, you have two different options. One is to order a new key from the dealership. The other is to have a professional locksmith pick the lock. These locks are simple enough...

Q: I have a 01 mustang dashes on odometer theft light flash I tryed cleaning fuel pump hook up and accidently touched two together

Hi John. Thanks for contacting us tonight. It's quite possible that the spark may have activated a security error code and disabled the ignition system. This can be removed in most cases by a professional mechanic by using a digital...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.