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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

First time posting here - I tried searching to find my answer, but didn't find my exact situation, which is:

-When I have only the floor vents turned on, I can hear air being blown, but cannot feel air coming out from the floor

-When I have only the dash vents on, only the 2 on the ends of the dash work, the ones in the middle do not. I have tried closing the outer vents, and then I can get a trickle of air our of the middle vents, even on highest setting (again, hear air being blown)

-Rear vents not working at all

-Defroster vents all work perfectly

It will blow cold and hot air out of the vents that are working, so it doesn't seem like it's the blend door actuator. Does this sound like a mode actuator issue, or something else entirely?

I have a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited w/87,000 miles on it. Thank you in advance for the help!

Note: When I first start my car, if my air is on a mid-high flow setting, I will hear a clicking sound for a few seconds, then it goes away. Not sure if that's related....
 

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Electrical issue, vacuum issue, or straight up blockage are my guesses.
 

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air mode door actuator. do a little research on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both - I've been researching "air mode door actuator", but all the pictures/threads I come across seem to be for the blend door actuator.

Is the product in the picture I attached the same thing as the blend door actuator (it's listed as an Air Door Actuator on Dorman's website)? If so, is there a separate part for the "air mode door actuator"? I've been searching, but can't seem to find a different part for that.

As for potential blockages, is that something that can easily be checked, or do I need to take apart the dash in order to check that out?
 

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The clicking noise you mentioned....

With the car off but set to the run position, set the fan speed to the lowest speed. then change the mode between feet, face...etc Listen for a clicking noise. that would narrow it down. if the clicking happens then I would lean towards the mode door or the mode door actuator being the fault.

If you hear clicking noises then its either the actuator it self is faulty (broken plastic gears inside) or the mode door it self is broken/stuck...etc

so if it makes noise, to figure out which one it is, you would want to remove the actuator, with it still plugged in, change the modes face,feet...etc and see if it completely cycles around. if it works 100% then i would lean towards the door. I personally have not taken one of these off or been up in the dash that far but if you do remove the actuator, try and manipulate the door manually using your fingers to rotate the shaft that the actuator moves.


oh btw i tried looking up the part as well, i did not find any aftermarket offerings in regards. PM vin and ill get exact OEM part # for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Smoke, I really appreciate the detailed explanation (the picture is hugely helpful too!) I will try to do the testing you mentioned this weekend - I have a 2 year old at home, and a wife due in about a week, so I may get delayed. But getting this done before it's 90 degrees outside is certainly a priority, and I'll be sure to update again with whatever results I find. Thank you again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, so I did the testing you mentioned, and found the following:

1. With the vents turned on low, when I click the main (dash) vent button I immediately hear the clicking noise, which will either stop after about 7 seconds, or if I turn it back off.

2. Same for floor vent button

3. Defroster button does not make the clicking, and is the only one working 100%

So this would mean that it's something to do with the mode actuator, correct? If so, does anyone have a write-up on how to remove/replace that? I haven't found any instructions/videos for that, only for the blend actuator.

Thank you again Smoke, couldn't have narrowed down the issue without your help. Now it's just a matter of whether I can fix it myself, or if I'll have to pay waaay too much money having a shop do it.
 

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this is something you can tackle with some basic tools. remember to remove the unit and test it while its not bolted to the car to verify the fault.
 

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I will assume that you did the basics, like popped the hood and made sure the vents aren't all clogged, and that you replace your cabin air filter as needed. Critters can do a number on the HVAC air-flow plumping. Nothing worse than sticks/leaves blocking stuff or preventing actuator movement.
 

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Warped seperator plate in the middle of the HVAC box, binds the doors...

Hyundai TSB for the concern,, dont pay crap for warranty,, as the entire dash has to come out to remove the HVAC box (dump coolant + A/C).. then tear box apart to replace the plastic plate,, then re-assemble car
 

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Warped seperator plate in the middle of the HVAC box, binds the doors...

Hyundai TSB for the concern,, dont pay crap for warranty,, as the entire dash has to come out to remove the HVAC box (dump coolant + A/C).. then tear box apart to replace the plastic plate,, then re-assemble car

Where were you two days ago :laugh:

Here is the TSB in regards.

You can print it out and show them this.

If you went ahead with the path I was leading you on, you would have removed the the motor and try to manipulate the mode door by hand (with fingers or with a pair of pliers) and would have felt it stuck. which points to this TSB.

Let us know how you make out with the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
deadrx7 - Yes, I have already checked under the hood, and confirmed no clogs there, and have also recently replaced the cabin air filter. Thank you for the suggestions though.

Smoke/sbr - Each of your responses are a bit conflicting - the steps provided by smoke do show having the take the dash apart, but seems like it's only about 20 screws total, so not an impossible sounding job. sbr's description says I would need to dump the coolant, which isn't something I'd be very comfortable with - but is that if it's the HVAC box itself, and not the actuator?

I'm thinking if I take the dash apart and can see the mode actuator, I should be able to watch it and see if that's the culprit, and if it's not then it's most likely the HVAC box issue. Does that sound reasonable to you all?

Again, thank you guys very much for all the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Whoops - didn't see Smoke's last response on page 2 prior to my reply. Thank you for that documentation, that clears everything up.

Sounds like I'll be needing to get this done by professionals, but I might wait on it, as it sounds like it will be a pricey job. I'll post as soon as I have an update though.
 

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Whoops - didn't see Smoke's last response on page 2 prior to my reply. Thank you for that documentation, that clears everything up.

Sounds like I'll be needing to get this done by professionals, but I might wait on it, as it sounds like it will be a pricey job. I'll post as soon as I have an update though.
SBR works on these cars every day so if he is saying that's your problem then id side with him. If he thought there was any likely hood that it was just the motor not working then he probably would of said to go ahead and go my route and diagnose it with the flow chart I provided.

I don't know if this would be under warranty or not, the TSB states that "normal warranty applies".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I decided to take some things apart so I could at least check the mode actuator - I have attached a picture of what I believe it to be. I did not take it all the way out, mainly because I couldn't get the BCM out and ran out of time to work on it.

I then ran a few tests, changing from head, to main, to floor - I could feel the actuator vibrate when I was adjusting them, but it never actually moved, it remained in the same position no matter which one's I cycled through to. I couldn't tell for sure where the clicking sound came from, but the actuator vibrated for the same length as the clicking.

Based on that, does it sound like there is a chance it's the actuator, or would a warped separator plate cause these symptoms with the actuator?

I promise I'll stop bugging you guys after this post, just want to see if it's worth removing the actuator, or just bite the bullet and take it in to be repaired. Thanks you all, as always!
 

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So I decided to take some things apart so I could at least check the mode actuator - I have attached a picture of what I believe it to be. I did not take it all the way out, mainly because I couldn't get the BCM out and ran out of time to work on it.

I then ran a few tests, changing from head, to main, to floor - I could feel the actuator vibrate when I was adjusting them, but it never actually moved, it remained in the same position no matter which one's I cycled through to. I couldn't tell for sure where the clicking sound came from, but the actuator vibrated for the same length as the clicking.

Based on that, does it sound like there is a chance it's the actuator, or would a warped separator plate cause these symptoms with the actuator?

I promise I'll stop bugging you guys after this post, just want to see if it's worth removing the actuator, or just bite the bullet and take it in to be repaired. Thanks you all, as always!
In order to pinpoint this issue, one would need to fully remove the actuator and then try and cycle it's use. if it articulates fully then i would look at the door. i would try and articulate the door's movement manually by hand by manipulating the plastic door levers in the provided picture. If the doors move freely then its just a bad actuator. if the doors are hard to move or completely stuck. then you have a door issue. It is a possibility that the motor is bad due to stuck door. Excessive load on the actuator gears can lead to failure of the actuator (its all plastic inside).

To fully diagnose this issue your self you need to go all the way with the removal of the blend door actuator. Only then will you know if its just the actuator, the blend door, or both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you very much Smoke, that certainly makes sense.

I'm going to take it apart sometime over the next week, when I have a bit more time. I couldn't get the BCM out before, that's what held me up, but I'm sure I can get it.

I'll update again when I determine if either of those are the culprit. I called around about the Heater Box Separator - $11 part, $1,000 labor to replace it.

If it ends up looking like that is the issue, that will probably be the end of the car for me. Between $800 for a starter last month, $1,000 for that, and $2,000 needed to replace other things (bad springs struts, tires, front brakes), I would end up spending almost as much to get this car back up and running than it's currently worth.

I love my Sonata the first few years, but after the adventure I had replacing the rear pads/rotors and all of these issues that have now crept up in the past few months, I think I'm over this car.

But again, I will post whatever I find out, just in the hopes it can help someone in the future. Thank you all for your assistance, you guys have been an amazing help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update:

I was finally able to get the Mode Actuator removed so I could visually inspect it, and found that it seemed to be working properly (it adjusted for every mode setting I selected, including combinations of different modes).

I was also able to manually open the vents for both the floor and the main (dash) vents, using their respective levers that the actuator is supposed to control.

I am not sure what that means exactly, so I was going to just reinstall the actuator and try testing again, but I spent over an trying to get it re-installed, and I had no luck. It seemed like it was on a few times, but then when I tried to adjust the settings I heard that clicking noise again, and could feel it was not able to move. I'm not positive whether I was installing it incorrectly, or if there is another issue at play.

I finally gave up on trying to reinstall it (for now), and just set both levers to the "open" position for the floor and main vents, so now both of those are blowing air. However, the defrost is now not working after doing that, which probably just means I didn't set something properly. But since it's getting hot, having those 2 modes working is more important that defrost, so I'm just going to leave it for now.


TL;DR version - it seems like the issue may be with the actuator/doors themselves, and not with the separator plate after all, as if it was the separator, then I do not believe I would have been able to get the vents to work. It's good enough for now, I'll dealt with trying to get it completely working again at a later date. Thanks again for all the help!
 

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Thank you very much Smoke, that certainly makes sense.

I'm going to take it apart sometime over the next week, when I have a bit more time. I couldn't get the BCM out before, that's what held me up, but I'm sure I can get it.

I'll update again when I determine if either of those are the culprit. I called around about the Heater Box Separator - $11 part, $1,000 labor to replace it.

If it ends up looking like that is the issue, that will probably be the end of the car for me. Between $800 for a starter last month, $1,000 for that, and $2,000 needed to replace other things (bad springs struts, tires, front brakes), I would end up spending almost as much to get this car back up and running than it's currently worth.

I love my Sonata the first few years, but after the adventure I had replacing the rear pads/rotors and all of these issues that have now crept up in the past few months, I think I'm over this car.

But again, I will post whatever I find out, just in the hopes it can help someone in the future. Thank you all for your assistance, you guys have been an amazing help!
If you were able to adjust the doors without using a lot of force then there is a possibility that the actuator it self is no good. You can open it up and inspect the cam gear inside for visual damage. It's a possibility that the gear might be partially stripped and under a slight load it's skipping. Glad at least you got air flow now.
 

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I went to change my actuator tonight but the green piece came out as well and now i cant get it lined up. Anybody near Ottawa ont can do that for me or help.
 
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