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Old 06-23-2015, 10:00 AM   #1
jfitzi33
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Default HVAC Actuator Question

Hi saturnfans. I've used your site for some time now to help with various issues but now I've got an issue that I haven't been able much info on. I'm hoping you guys will be able to help.

I usually leave my hvac nob set to front vents. The other day I switched it to defrost to defrost the front window. After a few min I switched it back to front vents however hardly any flow was coming from the font vents. Most of the air was still coming from the defrost and floor. It seems I can only set the air to go to defrost+floor or just defrost. The nob turns just fine. I have a manual hvac controls not the auto.

I went ahead and replaced the control unit below the radio, but to no effect. I then took out the glove box and took a look at the two actuators in there. The one in the far back (re-circulate) seems to be working fine. The one higher and closer to the font does not move until I get close to the defrost setting on the nob. I'm not sure if this is the proper operation. I went ahead and removed it and moved the vent by hand. One way seems to give floor+defrost, the other way gives just defrost.

My questions are:
1. Is this the proper operation for the actuator that controls the defrost?
2. Is there a 3rd actuator that controls the airflow for the front vents or is it all supposed to be done via that defrost actuator?

Thanks in advanced for any advice.

Regards
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: HVAC Actuator Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfitzi33 View Post
I usually leave my hvac nob set to front vents. The other day I switched it to defrost to defrost the front window. After a few min I switched it back to front vents however hardly any flow was coming from the font vents. Most of the air was still coming from the defrost and floor. It seems I can only set the air to go to defrost+floor or just defrost. The nob turns just fine. I have a manual hvac controls not the auto.

I went ahead and replaced the control unit below the radio, but to no effect. I then took out the glove box and took a look at the two actuators in there. The one in the far back (re-circulate) seems to be working fine. The one higher and closer to the font does not move until I get close to the defrost setting on the nob. I'm not sure if this is the proper operation. I went ahead and removed it and moved the vent by hand. One way seems to give floor+defrost, the other way gives just defrost.

My questions are:
1. Is this the proper operation for the actuator that controls the defrost?
2. Is there a 3rd actuator that controls the airflow for the front vents or is it all supposed to be done via that defrost actuator?
Welcome to the SaturnFans! I think that I'm one of the few members in the L Series Forums that have been underneath the dash as you have and examined those actuators in operation. I'm going to assume that you car has a manual HVAC unit like the one pictured in post #3 in the link below.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...r+conditioning

So if that is the unit you have then there are only two actuators which move these vents. Any time that the fan is on you should notice movement of the mode door actuator once the knob is turned regardless of direction and starting location. The fact that this actuator moving in only a limited area, and since you've replaced the control unit, indicates a failing actuator. Some new ones may be available, but when I replaced the vent door actuator (recirculation) a few years ago these new parts were becoming scarce.
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
jfitzi33
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Default Re: HVAC Actuator Question

Thank you very much for the information. I do have the manual controls. I went to the junkyard this weekend and picked up a "new" actuator motor for the vents. While in there I took a pic of what the actuator cam connects to. It's quite a complicated little setup in there. I also took a pic of what the cam connected to the actuator motor looks like for anyone in future who has this issue.

After I put on the "new" actuator, it moved just as you said it would. No matter if it was on defrost or front vents it moved. I bolted everything back together and now have a working front vents again. Thanks so much.
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