Blend Door Actuator Replacement (Cost & Steps)

Is your car air vent circulating cold and hot air at different levels? Are you finding it difficult to adjust your car temperature using the AC button?

Do you hear a clicking or noisy sound coming from your ac vent? These signs might be an indication that your blend door actuator is faulty and you need a blend door actuator replacement.

The Blend door actuator is one of the not-so-talked-about components of a car, and they do not stop you from driving but can create discomfort while driving.

In this article, we let you know what symptoms suggest you need a blend door actuator replacement and how much it will cost. We also go through a step-by-step guide on how to perform a blend door actuator replacement yourself.

Let’s get started

Symptoms of a Bad Blend Door Actuator

if you notice the following bad blend door actuator symptoms, you need a blend door actuator replacement immediately.

  1. Knocking sound
  2. Clicking sound
  3. Any Other Strange Noises.
  4. Inconsistent or fluctuating Airflow
  5. Unstable or fluctuating temperature.
  6. Venting out Wrong Temperature.

Also Read: Brake Light Blinking (Causes & How To Fix)

How to Replace a Blend Door Actuator

How to Replace a Blend Door Actuator

You can perform a blend door actuator replacement if you have the right tools and a little knowledge of car repair.

You can Check Amazon for an OEM actuator; you can get it at a relatively moderate rate in most cases.

It would be best to get some tools such as a 5.5 mm socket for GMC, Chevy, Ford, Cadillac, and Lincoln vehicles.

Step 1: Take Off the Glove Box or Lower Dashboard Panel

Locate and disconnect the mounting bolts that hold the dash plastic cover on the passenger side; a small socket and ratchet will help you do this. Sometimes, this screw might be hidden, so look inside.

When you’ve located and disconnected the mounting screws, gently pull them out from beneath the dashboard. This will expose the heater box and the different controls, including the wiring.

Step 2: Remove the Door Actuator

A typical side temperature actuator serves as a double climate control unit. Blow the box; you will see where the blend door actuator is hung, which is easy to replace.

Start by unscrewing the wiring safety clip on the harness of the blend door actuator using a small screwdriver. Be gentle while doing this, don’t use much force because these clips are brittle and can easily break.

After you have released the door, pull down the wiring connector and remove the blend door actuator; be careful and be gentle while doing this. Inspect the connector for any rust or corrosion; clean it if necessary.

Step 3: Remove the Actuator

Find the blend door actuator mounting screws and remove them. The number of screws should be around two or three.

There may be screws in awkward places; a small universal tool will be needed to remove them. To prevent the loss of screws, place them in a small container once removed.

Once you have removed all the screws, the actuator will become loose. Hold the actuator gently and pull it out of the mount.

Step 4: Turn the Air Door Pivot

Before installing the new blend door actuator, it is advisable to turn it manually in the right direction to ensure it is not stuck. This will prevent the blend door actuator from failing.

Move the door pivot back and forth; it should move freely and make full travel. If an obstruction is in the way of the actuator, it will not be able to move freely or expand its range of motion, causing the new actuator to fail.

Obstructions like a pen, a toothpick, a small toy, or gum can cause it to fail. You will need to remove the heater plenum if the door is stuck, this will resolve the problem, and then you can start the installation of the new unit.

As a safety precaution and to ensure that you are not changing the wrong actuator motor, turn on the blower motor and move the door in both directions. The air temperature will change as you move the door in each direction.

Step 5: Match the New Actuator

Make a comparison between the bad and new actuator, examine the wiring harness connector terminals and ensure they are the same. You are now ready for the installation of the new part.

Step 6: Install the New Blend Door Actuator

Just like you inserted the mounting screws, install the new blend door actuator in the same place. Cross threading the mounting screw can cause strip or over-tighten, so be careful when doing the threading.

After the screws are properly positioned, plug the wiring harness connector back into the actuator. When you hear a click sound, that’s a sign of proper connection.

Step 7: Reinstall the Cover or Glove Box

After you have completed the installation, recheck the work and reinstall the plastic cover. You may face some jostling before locating the bolt holes lined up, so don’t give up.

If you have successfully put the cover in the right place, begin the installation of the screws. Don’t tighten the first screw until the others are in place to avoid difficult installation. You will create an imbalance if you do, which makes installation difficult.

When you are done with the reinstallation of the cover, turn on the engine to test what you have done by putting on the AC, then move the control from hot to cold and from defrost to the mid and floor positions, do this and to make sure the actuator is working correctly.

Check out this video for more tips on blend door actuator replacement

For example, according to Toyota’s website, a 2006 Toyota Camry blend door actuator is estimated to cost about $225. The labor cost alone for replacing a Toyota Camry blend door actuator can be around $375.

It shouldn’t take more than an hour to replace a blend door actuator since the process is quite simple. Labor costs depend on the local repair shop and car model and type. For most cars, it’s around $75-$150; in general, the total price could be about $300 to $500 if you replace it at an auto repair shop.

If you are using luxury or high-performance cars, you won’t spend more because the actuator does not affect the performance part of the car.

However, if your vehicle has multiple climate control zones, more than one actuator will be in your air conditioning system. If they all fail, you will need to replace all, which entails more cost.

Also Read: U Joint Replacement Cost

How to Save Money on Blend Door Actuator Replacement

Cost management is essential to everyone, so saving money on car part replacement is also necessary.

There are two ways you can save some cash on a blend door actuator replacement, either by getting a cheap Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or an aftermarket part, Or go through our guide to do the job yourself.

You can even combine both methods to save more.

1. Buying a Non-OEM Blend Door Actuator

Apart from your car’s original manufacturer, some third-party manufacturers make blend door actuators that can fit into your vehicle.

Autozone, for example, makes a cheap third-party blend door actuator; they can be as cheap as $25. Remember that the blend door actuator you want to buy must fit your car.

If it doesn’t fit your car, it won’t work, and you will need to buy another one that will fit, thereby spending more.

In addition, if you notice that the cost of purchasing a none OEM part is the same as buying an OEM part or if the price is higher, you should buy an OEM part instead.

Furthermore, be careful when buying aftermarket or non-OEM parts; you can get good parts from them at a cheap rate, but often their products are of low quality.

We recommend you read customer reviews before buying the product, which will help you understand what previous customers think about their products.

Also, try and buy only a warranty non-OEM product so that whenever it fails, you can get back your money or buy a replacement at a small cost.

2. Replacing Blend Door Actuator Yourself

To save yourself from the troubles of buying non-OEM parts, buy OEM parts instead, then you can do the replacement yourself to save some cost.

This is a good idea because blend door replacement is not difficult; you can comfortably do it yourself with the correct tools and if you follow our guidelines. It won’t take you more than an hour to perform a blend door replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions – Blend Door Actuator Replacement

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Blend Door Actuator?

A blend door actuator replacement costs between $150-$500, depending on the car’s make and model. Labor costs between 100-$300, while a blend door actuator itself can cost around $150. 

What Happens When the Blend Door Actuator Fails?

When you have a failed blend door actuator, you will no longer receive your desired temperature from the temperature control; this results from the blend door being stuck in one direction or another.

How Long Does It Take To Fix a Blend Door Actuator?

It will take about an hour or two to replace a blend door actuator, including testing it. 

Can I Drive Without a Blend Door Actuator?

Yes, you can drive your car with a bad or without a blend door actuator; however, you will be making both yourself and your passengers uncomfortable because they cannot get their desired temperature while in the car. So to drive comfortably and make everyone happy, call a mobile mechanic to fix the problem. 

Does the Blend Door Actuator Have a Fuse?

Yes, a blend door actuator does have a fuse. For the 2010 Ford F-150, the fuse can be located in the fuse panel, in the passenger’s footwell. This panel is found behind the plastic door, and it has a fuse on it. 

Can You Manually Move the Blend Door Actuator?

If the actuator needs to be replaced, you can flip the moving arm/hinge of the blend door manually to point towards the hot temperature by using your finger. 

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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