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Author Topic: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls  (Read 2120 times)

Offline twicelow

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'07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« on: December 27, 2011, 05:11:02 PM »
Vehicle: '07 Saturn Vue, V6 3.0 l engine, automatic, 60k miles.
Problem: Several weeks (onset of colder weather for So. Cal) ago, my daughter noticed a clicking sound coming from the top of the dash when she turned the knob to the defrost setting or changed the panel/floor vent settings. There also was a similar sound when the temp selection knob was turned. I verified the sound, it sounded like something trying to engage. gears/slot?.I think it must be an electric motor driven system vs. a vacuum system, because the engine was not on when I did the experimenting. It's not the moving a lever type that controls cables that move the directional blend doors.
Questions: 1. Am I right that it is a small motor driven system that works some kind of gear lever system?
2. How easy is it to get to it? It seems the click sound is right under the center of the dash, right above the control panel and radio. There appears to be a separate piece apart from the rest of the dash. I'm afraid to start prying without knowing where to pry and ending up breaking some plastic part
 Anybody knows or has heard about problems in this area for the Saturn Vue's?

Offline kev2

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 07:03:14 PM »
yes they are elec actuators....no fun to get to so lets try to recalibraate....
let me know sometimes more than 1 procedure to recal

ALSO while working hvac might want to replace HVAC filter

Follow this procedure exactly:
Turn key  on  -  eng not running
Calibrate the mode actuators by simultaneously pushing the A/C and RECIRC buttons on the HVAC control module 3 times each, within 2 seconds of initial push.
1. The A/C and RECIRC button LED's will flash while this calibration is taking place.
2. The calibration will take anywhere between 10 to 30 seconds depending on battery voltage.
3. The LEDs will quit flashing when the calibration is complete.
Cycle the ignition off then back on and verify proper operation.

let us know if it helps


Offline twicelow

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2011, 11:49:42 PM »
Thanks  kev2. I won't be able to get to it until this Thursday (the 29th). Will let you know what happens. Did some additional research. It appears that the plastic piece that is over the gear shift lever pries up from the back. Then one has to disconnect the connectors to the cigarette lighter,window control switches,...etc. Then supposedly there are two screws that attach the "bezel'? Remove it and then you can get at the radio and the hvac control module. Hope I don't have to do that. I hope I can remove the center plastic piece that's over the dash that I mentioned before w/o having to do the above.

Offline NickD

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 06:53:07 AM »
Hope this isn't like my 04 Cavalier MVAC mode door problems, door was jammed, wife tried to force it and bent the cable, a rack and pinion thingy to operate this door.

It wasn't too bad, screws held in the upper dash panel, removed that and the duct work to see where a piece of foam was attached to the mode door with double sided sticky tape.  Not sure what GM was thinking on this, with 195*F air blowing that dries up that sticky tape.  Nothing wrong with that foam, it just fell off.  First I tried weather strip cement, that didn't hold either.  Second time, since only the perimeter of that foam was making contact, cut out and aluminum plate and held down that foam with real screw metal screws.

Replacing the cable wasn't as easy, actually could have dipped it in a solder pot with a special flus to stiffen the end, okay for pulling, not very good a pushing.  But for 12 bucks replaced it with a new one, had to remove the front seat and console, and radio to get at it.

See on the Cruze, its all electric with push button controls, and now they have airbags in the front seats, so those are no longer easy to remove.  Just hope they figured out a better way to mount that foam.  Looked through the shop manual on this thing, line drawings are so poor can't tell how its mounted.  But hope they used screws instead of double sided sticky tape.

Let me know what you find.  Pushing a button is a lot easier than turning a knob, but hope the price of that is not a nightmare if you have problems with it.

Offline brcidd

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 06:12:26 PM »
The clicking sound is most likely a stripped actuator gear- means new actuator motor.

Offline twicelow

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 11:25:18 PM »
Thanks guys. Kev2: I tried to recalibrate, but didn't make any difference. I guess I forgot to mention that the system works, i.e. the air goes to where it is supposed to go, defrost , panel, floor etc. the clicking is more noticeable when moving the knob to the defrost and defrost/floor vents position. I also noticed that when the fan is on the higher speed positions, the clicking almost goes away. Maybe the force from the moving air helps to move the duct door thus decreasing the force needed from the actuator motor.
Anyway, I removed the shift console plastic piece and disconnected the various window control, cigarette lighter... connectors, and the was able to remove the radio/hvac console "bezel"?.  The center dash piece that I thought was separate, was actually part of the console bezel. The cosole bezel had the hvac module with two connectors: one for the fan speed the other for the various modes: rcirc., a/c, def., panel, etc. After all that, I could only see the center panel duct outlets. Couldn't see or access the actuators. Looks like I might have to pull the dash. Does anybody know where those actuators are located? Brcidd: you're probably right. Eventually the gears might get totally stripped where they wont engage at all. Now the question is how do I get to them???

Offline NickD

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2011, 07:35:30 AM »
Only thing I could find for a shop manual on your car is http://www.helminc.com/helm/Result.asp?Style=helm&Mfg=GMC&Make=SAT&Model=VUE+&Year=2007&Category=&Keyword=&Module=&selected_media= for 135 bucks.

Not even sure how Helms is staying in business, for the last ten years, my dealers quit buying shop manual, would let me sit down someplace with a cup of coffee and even make some copies of the stuff I needed.  Since then, everything is on their computers, but do give me printouts. With my old company now in China, did have access to all this stuff.  Did break down and spent that much on my 04 Cavalier for shop manual, ha, would be 1/3 the size if they got rid of all that common sense safety information, same old stuff constantly repeated in every section.

No hope with a Saturn dealer, mine is all vacant with a huge for sale sign on it.  Could try alldata.com.  See plenty of Haynes and Chilton manuals for sale, brings a new meaning to that word, useless.

Wonder if Jim or others have an exploded drawing of your MVAC system.  One thing I am rapidly learning on these newer cars, don't need any tools, everything snaps together.

Offline kev2

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2011, 09:33:08 AM »
 
Sorry:
 not an easy to get picture with reference to location, top is HVAC box lower is actuators,
I strongly suggest this be done professionally, as is forum policy whenever SRS is involved.
A hail mary -reading description in your last post  maybe removing the blower motor - maybe?  something as the speed affects clicking?  


http://arrc.ebscohost.com/statics/gm/images/engif/000/000/933/933686.png
http://arrc.ebscohost.com/statics/gm/images/engif/000/001/284/1284981.png
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 09:34:21 AM by kev2 »

Offline NickD

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2012, 06:35:28 AM »
Reminded me of a practice had to adopt a long time ago, with ACC, hit the off button, manual, preset all the controls, in both cases the blower motor is off at night when you parked your vehicle.  Next morning, don't touch anything until the engine has warmed up, frost builds up on all those cheap plastic parts, jam, and that's when they break.  Had to train my wife to do that.

Last night was a good example in Wisconsin, warm moist air with an Arctic blast coming in, first rain, then icy rain, snow, plenty of moisture, then damned cold freezing all those plastic parts with plenty of moisture.  This is an ounce of prevention to help eliminate these kind of problems.  Frost also builds up on the blower motor shaft jamming the motor.  Either the blower motor resistor or the module blows, but never the fuse.  Heat in the engine compartment melts that stuff.

Offline twicelow

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2012, 10:19:21 PM »
Thanks guys. Well, I decided to leave things alone since it appears it's going to be a big pain in the butt to get at the actuators even to just look at them. Told my daughter since it appears to be working fine, just keep an eye on it and let me know if the clicking gets real bad or the the defr or other air flow modes quit working (don't fix it if it ain't broken).
NickD: don't have to worry about frost or freezing here in sunny So. Cal. (heh, heh...) Like I said before, the only time one needs the defrost (more like defog) mode is if one is out later at night in our wintertime (maybe 45-55 deg and some humidity) and the car was sitting outside for a few hours.

Offline twicelow

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 10:28:49 PM »
Update. Finally got around to take a look at this. On another site I found a guy who said you can get to the vent door actuator by removing the glove box. I thought I'd give it a try. After moving the passenger seat back, and contorting like Houdini, I was able to remove the 3 screws that hold the actuator in place and remove it. It was all by feel and room for only one hand, and not much at that. The actuator was held together by 3 screws. Opening it up, I found a plastic gear train driven by a worm gear on the small motor. The "aha" moment: I found one of the gears had a missing (broken tooth). It was the next to last mesh before the final gear on the drive shaft that couples to the shaft that actually moves the vent door. The drive shaft has two tabs that limit the travel to about 90 deg. of arc. I assume they correspond to the max travel of the vent door. There is also what I think is a position indicating device (potentiometer?) meshed to the final gear. Carefully marking the relationship of the drive shaft (it was against one stop) and the position indicating gear to drive shaft, I played around with position gear. There were no hard stops(limits) on it. My questions (mainly for my own edification) are: 1) what caused the gear tooth to break? Was it driven against one of the stops, before the position indicating device was able to stop the motor? 2) Are there limit switches on the actual vent door to shut the motor off when it reaches the one or the other extreme travel position? 3) How will the new actuator know at what position the actual vent door was when the old actuator was removed?4) Is there a default position on the vent door? Is there a default position on the new actuator? It's pretty much impossible to rotate the output shaft to match the door vent shaft. You're going against at least a 25:1 gear train ratio (guesstimate). Any answers will be appreciated.

Offline Mobile Dan

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Re: '07 Saturn Vue heater/ac vent/defrost & temp controls
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 10:49:34 PM »
Recommend you use shaft from old actuator( or something of similar shape) to check movement of vent door. If it's not broken or binding, then move vent door to a position to match shaft position of new actuator.

If the door is OK, all other reasons for failure are within the actuator.

 

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