Impala Loud Clicking Noise in Dash – Car Repair Article

12:40 pm Air Conditioning, Chevrolet, noises

Impala_Hvac_Noise 1

©  Summary: Car repair tips article related to loud clicking or popping noise in the dash of a 2007 Chevrolet Impala SS with dual climate control.  Article covers how to quickly troubleshoot and pinpoint the noise. Included are basic instructions and tools required to repair this particular problem. Click on images for a larger view.

The car in this article has been featured on DenLors Auto Blog before… it’s one of my cars! The custom interior blog, was written when we first purchased it and had the two tone leather installed – look for the related link at the end of this article. Back to the particular issue at hand. We were driving right along, when I pushed the recirculate button on the HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) controls. A LOUD clicking and clacking began immediately. I’ve heard many actuators in the dash of other cars make noise before, but this was by far the loudest one I remember. Since it started making noise as soon as I selected recirculate, I was fairly certain the recirculate door motor was the source. Just to make 100% sure, I had to check.

Impala_Hvac_Noise 2

With the glove box door opened and swung down the actuator can be seen.

While feeling the actuator, operating the fresh air and then recirculate button, it was easy to pin it down as the culprit. The next step was to remove the HVAC motor by removing the two 5.5 mm screws. It’s a tight area to work in, however it can be changed without removing any other trim pieces for access. A 1/4″ ratchet and a 5.5mm socket is all that is needed to change the part – no specialty automotive tools. 

Impala_Hvac Noise 3

Two screws, one electrical plug and out it comes. Also called a Fresh air door actuator.

It’s best to remove the actuator prior to going to the dealership. For some reason HVAC solenoids can be difficult to look up. The number “52409974” that is on the white barcode strangely does NOT crossover at the dealer. The current GM# is 15844096. At this time there’s no aftermarket ones available so the dealer is the only option.

Impala_Hvac Noise 4

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. This Chevy part is made in China.

Sad to say, but lower quality in American cars is one reason so many people only buy foreign. Our previous car was a Mitsubishi Diamante – driven for 10 years with the only maintenance performed; regular oil changes, a set of tires and a couple of  batteries.

Related Links

Chevrolet Impala SS Custom Leather Interior

Ratchet and Socket Sets

Air Conditioning Articles

250 Responses
  1. harry :

    Date: August 15, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

    I’ve always described that actuator noise as a woodpecker on speed. It’s important to note that I’ve seen the actuators make the noise with the engine off and the keys removed from the ignition.

  2. Jason Maritn :

    Date: August 25, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

    this was exactly what i was looking for, thank you so much.

    and yes harry the noise can continue without the car running. I guess that once it messes up then by default it clicks for about 1 minute or so even if key is out of ignition

  3. Jon Raleigh :

    Date: August 27, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

    Thanks for posting this information I was close to the area but was uncertain if that part was the cure.. Really appreciate it..

  4. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 27, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    No problem. Just a note… if working on dual zone there are a total of three actuators the same number – they are for fresh air, left blend and right blend. There is a fourth actuator used for mode but it is a different part number. Book time ranges from .6 to .9 of an hour depending on which one it is. Fortunately for Impala owners the dash and evaporator case doesn’t have to come out for replacement – like in the Chevy HHR!

  5. juan :

    Date: September 7, 2010 @ 10:16 am

    How much does it cost and is it a dealer only item. Thanks. Also would this cause the battery to die.

  6. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 7, 2010 @ 10:51 am

    Juan as mentioned in the article “At this time there’s no aftermarket ones available so the dealer is the only option.” Should be around $40 and no, the battery should NOT be affected by a bad HVAC actuator.

  7. John :

    Date: September 7, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

    Thanks. This was great and described the problem I’m having on my 2008 Impala to a tee! Now I can focus on fixing it.

  8. Richard :

    Date: September 9, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

    Question for dennisb: You mentioned there are three actuators under the same part number. How do I know which one to get? My 2007 Impala began having this issue, and I’d like to fix it before taking a road trip in several weeks. The actuator causing the issue is on the passenger side, like yours.

    When looking for the part online, I’m finding one reputable merchant doesn’t indicate there are three different actuators. Another merchant denotes the difference by using the following terms: air distribution, temp valve, air inlet and temp control. Since both merchants don’t accept returns, I’d like to know which one for sure I’d need before ordering.

    Thanks for this write up! It helped me pinpoint my issue.

  9. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 9, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

    Richard, I’m speaking of the dual zone system. As I had mentioned in the article, it’s difficult for even for dealers to look up the correct actuator a lot of times. I recommend removing the actuator and taking it to the dealer so you will know without a doubt you have the correct one. The only other way I would feel comfortable would be if you remove it and find it is the same as the one I have pictured, then you should be safe to go by the GM # on the box pictured. Beware of purchasing these used (like on Ebay), since they will look ok, but there is no way of knowing if they are any good without installing it. If you are worried about driving the car without the actuator a day or so until you can go to the dealer, don’t worry it will have no ill affect.

  10. Richard :

    Date: September 9, 2010 @ 5:21 pm


    Thanks for the quick response. I’ll be taking the actuator out this weekend, then. The noise first happened last week, did it a couple times, and then stopped. It began up again yesterday. I’ll likely order the part from the dealership, especially if it’s around the same price as the prices I’ve seen online (about $40 delivered).

    Thanks again!

  11. Mike :

    Date: September 11, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    Saved me time in troubleshooting. I got this 2007 impala at an auction, of over 200 impalas and 1 in 10 had the same noise. Bad gear in the actuator. Good part number 15844096. Dealer had 5 in stock at msrp of $47.64
    online at $23.82 + shipping but for a couple bucks more I got it now.

  12. karen :

    Date: September 13, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

    This was great to find. Just drove an 09 home 2 days ago and this noise started today. Hope this is the problem – it seems to fit!

  13. Keith :

    Date: September 27, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

    Thank you so much Dennisb for your advice/knowledge. However I have the same noise coming from the driver side as well as the passenger side ( only louder ). Is this another actuator and is it as easy to get too?
    Many Thanks


  14. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 27, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

    Keith, most likely the left blend actuator and either the right blend actuator or the recirculate actuator. Book time ranges from .6 to .9 each so they should all be fairly easy to access.

  15. Keith :

    Date: September 27, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

    Cheers Dennis

  16. Will :

    Date: September 27, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

    You seriously have NO IDEA how lucky I am to have stumbled across this article. I’ve found that if I use the remote start and then get in the car to drive off, it starts clicking (ridiculously loud might I add) and lasts for maybe a minute or two. Thank You a million times over! Now we’ll see if this is the problem, but it seems to fit to a tee.

  17. Tim :

    Date: September 29, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    How do you remove the glove box? I’d like to fix this myself but I usually break some little plastic something whenever I go into a dash or door panel. Thanks

  18. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 29, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

    Tim, like in the image – it’s not removed just swung down to allow access.

  19. RobM :

    Date: October 9, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

    Will try this tomorrow also. Found AC Delco Part number 15-73517 on for $21.80. Bought a coolant sensor from them recently…excellent deal

  20. Robby :

    Date: October 17, 2010 @ 1:32 am

    I have it clicking on two sides as well; behind the steering column and by the center a/c. Are either of these difficult to access? I’m guessing the one pictured above is not one of the culprits (yet, at least) based on where the sound is coming from. It’s an 08 Impala with dual zone. Thanks!

  21. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 17, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    Robby, just have to start looking for the source of the clicking. Book time ranges from .6 to .9 each so they should all be fairly easy to access. Good Luck

  22. Robert :

    Date: October 29, 2010 @ 6:05 am

    Thanks posting this saved much time. Why is the motor getting power with the ignition off? Is this a symptom of a different issue? A bad switch or relay?

  23. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 29, 2010 @ 6:19 am

    Robert, no problem, here is an over-simplification; Many times when the computer controls an actuator, it does so by supplying ground (varying resistance). Therefore power has to be supplied already for the circuit to be complete. Until the actuator has both power and ground, the circuit will not be complete and the actuator will not operate.

  24. tim :

    Date: November 3, 2010 @ 12:42 am

    if not fixed what will happen money is tight?

  25. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 3, 2010 @ 6:18 am

    Tim, we offer no warranty for the information provided here. The free tips we have posted over the last several years have helped those who are somewhat mechanically inclined (and that have common sense) to save a lot of money. It’s our reader’s decision to use the material or NOT. DIY repairs are not for everyone. Some people are better off having their car diagnosed and repaired at a local repair shop. The advantage is, that there’s a warranty and someone to hold accountable for the repair. Good Luck.

  26. Tim :

    Date: November 3, 2010 @ 11:09 am

    no im sorry i meant is this major if not fixed what will happen?

  27. Robert :

    Date: November 6, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

    Tim, I just took mine off for now. It took about 15min.

  28. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 8, 2010 @ 11:44 am

    Tim, sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought you were asking for a gauarntee (in addition to the free information in the repair article).

    Robert is right you can just unplug it temporarily without causing any harm to anything else. This will also allow you to be sure that you are working on the correct actuator.

  29. BOB :

    Date: November 17, 2010 @ 7:48 pm


  30. BOB :

    Date: November 17, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

    Also, the problem I’m having in my car is that it seems to make a popping sound or snap sound in the right corner of the dash area by the pillar. Would this be caused by expansion of the plastics or an actuator? It seems to happen when the sun comes out and im driving. it also seems to pop when I get in my car and drive for a few miles . it will usually pop only one time in the right passenger area of the dash. At night, I seem to get little ticks or clicks from above my instrument cluster area or sometimes the ticking noise seems to be coming from my drivers side (left side) air vent. I am not so sure why it does that, but am wondering if its just the temperature changing in the evenings especially when its cold out and things are starting to warm up and or expand/contract? I have been reading a lot about the actuators being the cause. can someone tell me what they think is going on? I would appreciate any advice in what to do . Thanks!

  31. dennisb :

    Date: November 18, 2010 @ 9:20 am

    Bob, thanks for unlocking the caps.

    Could just be heating and cooling causing your popping like you already suspected. GM’s do have a reputation of being “rattle traps.” If it were an actuator you would be able to temporarily unplug the actuator in the vicinity of the sound and see if the noise goes away.

    You may want to try cardboard between the trim panels temprarily to see if that would help pinpoint the noise. If you can pinpoint it, you may then be able to remove the panel and place a small strip of velcro or something similar between the panels – trim it so it cannot be seen with the panel back in place.

  32. BOB :

    Date: November 18, 2010 @ 10:04 am

    Thanks Dennis, I had just talked to a dealer tech about my concern. he stated that it is probably the passenger side temp actuator and the inside outside air actuator. part # ‘s are the same for each. 15844096. You can order them online for 23 each. Would the air inlet valve actuator aka., temp actuator, etc ..make a popping sound as the near the far right pass side air vent? What i have learned is that they seem to strip bc of the cheap plastic used in them. Thus, needing replaced.

  33. Stephanie :

    Date: December 13, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

    Thank you for the great information! I have been experiencing the same issue with my 2007 Impala since late fall. Do you know if this would also affect how the heater works? Currently warm air will only blow if the car is moving. In a parked or stopped (such as at a stop light) cold air blows from the heater.

    Thank you in advance for any information you can provide!

  34. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 13, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    It’s possible. I would replace the noisy actuator and see if it fixes the other problems as well.

  35. Iman01 :

    Date: January 2, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    Thank you for posting this! It helped me out a bunch!

  36. Anthony :

    Date: January 9, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

    I’m really glad I stumbled onto this article. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to write it because you’ve given me the answer to something that I haven’t had the time to figure out yet. I do, however, have a further question and was wondering if I could get a little bit of input.

    This popping started a few months ago and, due to work/time restrictions, I haven’t gotten it fixed. Now that winter has hit, the popping has gotten worse and hits harder. It’s also brought on a couple new issues, my defroster is not really defrosting unless on high and hot enough to suffocate a small child but it will only defrost half of the windshield and the direct spot that the door vent is blowing. At the same time, since this has gotten worse, if I change the blower selector or blower strength, it can take up to 30 seconds for it to recognize that. Any thoughts on whether the two can be connected to the same issue or should I start looking further?

  37. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 10, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    Anthony, it depends on which actuators are faulty (as far as the defrost problem). I can’t imagine how the blower problem would be related. I would fix the known problems (the loud actuators) and see if any of the other problems are taken care of – then move on. If the AC is not fully charged and working properly, it may not be helping to remove moisture from the windshield. See our other articles for more information regarding this.

  38. Anthony :

    Date: January 10, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    Ok! Thank you very much for your help!

  39. Trey :

    Date: January 20, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

    Not sure if this is possible, but I have had a similar problem as Anthony and
    would like to know if he figured it out.
    My A/C works fine until the outside temperature is around freezing or lower.
    Then nothing will make the A/C come on.
    The windows fog when the outside temperature drops via a front and will not de-fog.
    This is very scary when driving and all of the sudden I can’t see out.
    Anyway your input has been gratefully informational.


  40. Larry :

    Date: January 24, 2011 @ 12:01 am

    I recently had the left side actuator replaced (2007 Impala), dealer charged 4.20 hrs labor. (same part: 15844096)
    Now the right side is clicking. You indicated labor should be about the same for both sides. Did the dealer overcharge me? Thank you

  41. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 24, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    Larry, I would ask to see the labor reference showing 4.2 hours. I looked the labor times up in Mitchell, they are as follows:
    Air Inlet, Recirculation .9
    Temp Door, Left .8
    Temp Door, Right .6

  42. Larry :

    Date: January 24, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    Service manager just told me “GM warranty pays 2.8”. Not sure how that translated into 4.2 – didn’t get the gist of the gobbldey gook he was spouting. Told me right side pays .8 however. When I told him the numbers you found, he said “that could be other “valves”. Don’t know how to confront him on this, but he also said he’d “help me” on the right side repair.
    Don’t know why women complain that they always get ripped off; seems like us guys do also!

  43. Larry :

    Date: January 25, 2011 @ 2:15 am

    Went to the dealer this evening, he showed me on his computer that GM paid 2.8 hrs. to replace the actuator and that they marked it up 40%, hence the 4.2 hrs. (@ $98/hr) I was charged for replacing the left side.
    He suggested that the hrs. you found in Mitchell’s was for something else, saying that if there was such a huge difference that GM would’ve caught it by now.

  44. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 25, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    Larry, I understand that dealer warranty time is less than normal book time. Mitchell lists that as well. I recommend to others reading this, that are faced with this repair, to go to a repair shop that uses the Mitchell labor guide or do the job themselves if they feel comfortable. It also would be interesting to call a different Chevy dealer and get an estimate over the phone for the left temp actuator (same part: 15844096).

  45. Larry :

    Date: January 25, 2011 @ 11:48 am

    Called another dealer this morning, he looked it up, called it an “Air Door Actuator”, and quoted 3.5 hours for the left side, so I guess the 4.2 I was charged by the first dealer wasn’t too far off.
    Thank you for your help.

  46. Larry :

    Date: January 26, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    Well, the squeeky wheel gets the oil! I guess my “complaining” about the rate paid off (in a way) as they replaced the one on the right side for no labor charge, only had to pay for the part. Now I only hope that these replacement parts last longer than the originals!

  47. dennisthe menace :

    Date: February 19, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    I have a 2008 Impala that the acturator will click even if I open and close my car door.

  48. FuriousD :

    Date: April 15, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

    Thanks for the article, you have cured my headache and saved my wallet!!

  49. larry strobel :

    Date: April 27, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    just replaced the left side under dash, im not a mechanic, but only took me 1.5 hrs to fix, part 51.00 at dealer, they want 4.5 hrs to fix, maybe the GM mechanics need to go back to school.

  50. Joseph :

    Date: April 27, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

    I have a 2008 Chevy Impala LT that has the same exact problem. I was wondering how hard is it to remove the glove box door?

  51. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 27, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    Joseph, as you can see in the images, I was able to just swing the door down out of the way. If you want to remove the glove box for more access, just start taking screws out and see how involved it is (may not be that hard). My recommendation is to just swing the door out of the way though. Good Luck

  52. Steve :

    Date: May 10, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    Have a 2008 and when I change my climate controls the brown plastic behind the jail like bars is the item making noise. Is there any correlation between that and the above pictured Actuator with the 52409974 part number. I am totally confused sorry

  53. Patricia :

    Date: May 20, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    OMG. That’s exactly what my car is doing. I bought a 2006 used Impala and this clicking noise is kind of weird. I only use the recirculate mode and it must be that then. thank you so much for the information. At least i know how to start facing the problem.

  54. chad :

    Date: June 1, 2011 @ 2:47 am

    I have a 2006 impala with dual climate control and the clicking is on left side by glove box. its really really LOUD!! It starts off slow and toward the last 5 seconds it speeds up then stops and lasts for a 1 min. I’ll open my door and it will start and no matter what I do it ticks. Changed to recirculate mode and that does nothing. I dont use that mode much either. Dealership said they have no idea what it is. do you think its the actuator or something else or both?

  55. chad :

    Date: June 1, 2011 @ 2:48 am

    Either mode will tick, but when I remote start it doesnt until I turn the car on to. Thank you to whoever helps.

  56. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 1, 2011 @ 6:41 am

    Chad, not sure why it doesn’t start making noise with remote start until you turn the key on, but it really doesn’t matter. The best way to pinpoint the noise is to put your hand on the actuator when it’s making noise. You will feel the thump (click/popping) that will let you know for sure which one it is.

  57. chad :

    Date: June 2, 2011 @ 2:26 am

    well i looked today and i found the one i believe cause well you can see it thump the air flap haha. its the same one in the pic actually but really the one problem is getting the piece of crap out. and your right it does look cheap and do you have a good store online thats cheap that i could possibly buy from? thanks again!

  58. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 2, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    Chad, I would purchase the part from the dealer for the resons I mentioned in the article. Good Luck

  59. Lloyd D :

    Date: June 3, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    @dennisb – Auto Tool Sales
    I just wanted to thank you for helping me figure out what the knocking noise was behind my dash pasengerside in my 08 impala ss,SAVED ME ALOT OF BREAD! It was kind of hard to get out but i finally did,lost a screw in the process but thats ok.$47.00 is better than payin the dealer 300 bucks…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  60. mike hummell :

    Date: June 9, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    I just started having the knocking noise on my 2010 Impala, at 43,000 miles. They wanted almost $300 to fix it at the dealership. If this problem is so common, why doesnt Chevy fix it or get the parts from another manufacturer. I have never had this porblem with any of my other chevy vehicles. Is there a service bulletin or recall on any of this?

  61. francisco portillo :

    Date: June 13, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

    Dennis is there any tip u have as to taking the upper screw out I’m having a really hard time, I’m using a 1/4 rachect and a 5.5mm socket dont know if its because my hand is too big or if I’m doing it wrong?….plz help

  62. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 14, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    1/4″ drive socket and ratchet seems to work the best. Good Luck

  63. Travis :

    Date: June 14, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    Dennis, what did you remove to let the glove box swing?

  64. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 14, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    Travis, all you do is pull the stop tabs in on either side of the glove box when it is open nearly all the way. Once these tabs are moved towards the center of the storage compartment the box can be swung downward. Good Luck.

  65. Travis :

    Date: June 14, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    One last question. I’m one of the “not so mechanically inclined” people you spoke of. To remove the fuse or wires it should just pull out right or is there something i’m missing? I just want to make sure I don’t pull the wires out and ruin something.

  66. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 14, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

    Travis, the wire plug connector (no fuse) will be easy to figure out once you look at it.

  67. Eddie :

    Date: June 22, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    Same problem, “clacking”, but varies from R to L side, but predominately R side. It does NOT make sense that both actuators would go out at almost the same time. Could this be a “computer” problem? If yes, how would you reset computer? Possibly disconnect and then reconnect the fuse supplying power to the actuators?

  68. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 22, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    Eddie, nice thought but no such luck. As you are finding out, the actuators on this model is a common failure. The actuators are the same age, so it is possible for them to fail around the same time. Good Luck.

  69. Mark :

    Date: June 24, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

    Dorman makes these now, part# 694-108. Their catalogue states redesigned housing for longer life. Thanks for the article. I am going to change one tonight for my baby’s Momma.

  70. Chad :

    Date: June 26, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    I’m having this problem with my 2007 impala. Last summer my ac stopped working, I noticed that the 10 amp fuse that controls the ac had blown. When i would replace them they blew again. Took the car to the dealer and they said it was the ecm and replaced it. That did not correct the problem and they suggested that I replace the ac compressor and I did. Now the air works the fuse doesnt blow but 3 of my actuators seem to be making this sound (some more than others) and it seems to be draining my battery now. Any suggestions?

  71. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 26, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    Chad, you may have more than one issue. I would replace the noisy actuators since they are obviously bad. Then, diagose the the low battery problem if it’s not resolved with changing the actuators. If the problem persists, you may have a bad battery or weak charging system. Good Luck

  72. Steve D :

    Date: June 27, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

    Have the same problem on my wife’s 08 Impala LTZ with 39 kmiles. I just disconnected the the power from the fresh air actuator for now. Hopefully I will get a chance to replace it soon. Now the car has 9 detents on the AC mode control instead of the normal 5 ( dash, bilevel, floor, defrost+floor and defrost plus a detent between each). Any idea on this problem other than an expensive trip to the dealer?

  73. Jerry S :

    Date: June 28, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    I recently had my 2008 Chevy Impala worked on because the check engine light came on, I was told that it was the “Evap Vent Solenoid”. They fixed the car that same day and I picked it up later. The very next day I started hearing this very loud knocking noise under the dash on the passenger side. When I called the dealership they told me to bring the car back and they would look at it. The mechanic told me it was the air flap actuator and it would cost $300 to fix. I have never heard this noise prior to taking my car to the dealership to have it worked on. Could this be something that they inadvertently caused to happen when working on the first problem?

  74. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 28, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    Jerry, I understand the timing of the clacking noise starting up in the dash would make you suspect faulty workmanship, but the problems are totally unrelated. One has nothing to do with the other and are NOT located near each other. Chalk this one up to coincidence. The good news is; you can fix the actuator yourself if you want and save some money. Good Luck

  75. jaime duran :

    Date: July 6, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    hey Dennis b, i go the same ticking issue on my 07 impala. i disconnected the power source and same thing, i tried the one on the driver side and noise was still there. any suggestions what it can be ?

  76. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 7, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    Jaime, it is most likely an actuator that you are NOT finding. You may want to get some help from a local car repair shop. Once you feel the actuator that is making the noise, you’ll know that it is the ONE that is causing the problem. Good Luck.

  77. jaime duran :

    Date: July 7, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    Dennis, so there are more than 2 actuators? where would the 3rd on be located?

  78. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 7, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    Two on passenger side and one driver’s side. Listen for the sound and it is easy to find. Louder and longer it makes the noise the easier it is to find. Good Luck.

  79. Jack Bovee :

    Date: July 17, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    I followed your instructions about installing actuator and it worked perfectly. My only cost was $60.00 for the part. You saved me approx $125.00 on labor.

    Many Thanks Jack

  80. Thomas :

    Date: July 19, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    Had to replace two on the passenger side on my 2006 Impala, thanks saved me the cost of labor.

  81. Lisa :

    Date: July 26, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    Dennis I’m afraid I may break my glove box, it won’t go down any further unless I use some force again I’m afraid I’m going to break it.

  82. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 26, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    Lisa, there’s no savings if something gets broken in the process! I recommend taking it to the dealer in your case. Good Luck.

  83. Bobby C :

    Date: July 27, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    If there are so many people with the same problem, is it possable that there is a recall on this part? I was thinking about calling the dealership & asking this question but i need to know the actual name of the part. My problem is on the driver side, would that be the left temp door actuator?

  84. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 27, 2011 @ 11:26 am

    Bobby, It doesn’t hurt to ask. But there is no recall on a lot of common problems. The one on the driver’s side is a “mode actuator”. Good Luck.

  85. Ray :

    Date: August 1, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    I had this problem start this past weekend. Now my battery won’t hold a charge. I am going to pick up this part today to see if that fixes it. I checked the battery and alternator. the alternator is charging the battery and the battery is taking the charge. However, something drains my battery overnight. I am hoping that the ticking continues through the night even with the car being off. One more thing, thank you for posting this. It’s going to save me on HIGH DEALERSHIP labor costs.

  86. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 1, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    Ray, I know you said you checked the battery – if the “dead battery” problem continues, the battery may need to be load tested at at local parts store. Good Luck.

  87. Ray :

    Date: August 2, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    **Update: Adavnced Auto Parts said the battery was good but it was not. Autozone replaced it this morning. The AC Delco battery in there was about to explode. However, the guy said for some reason it wouldn’t tell the alternator to stop charging it so the alternator would charge the bad battery and it would work for hours before going dead. When the tech replaced it, th battery had a touch temperature of approx. 135 degrees…. dangerous stuff. But now my car starts and no annoying woodpecker sound lol. I just wanted to share what I learned about my battery just in case anyone else still had their factory battery installed and was experiencing the same problems

  88. Bob :

    Date: August 4, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    I changed the actuator but have another clicking near the middle of the dash. Is there another actuator? I took the old one apart after replacing and found the nylon gears chewed. The w actuator took care of some of the louder clicking but still have clicking in center behind the radio area.

  89. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 4, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    Bob there are three actuators.

  90. ka :

    Date: August 4, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    Hello. I have a 2009 Chevy Impala and have experienced the same problems for a week now..I pulled open the glove box and the right actuator is clicking and thumping and its connected to a middle part that open and closes. This middle part is white on top and black at bottom behind a peice that looks like a bar structure. This part is vibrating along with the actuator. I would like to know if this is 2 seperate issues or is it just the actuator making that part vibrate as well? Thank you

  91. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 4, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    Ka, the actuators are the common problem here – there are 3 actuators, so check all of them.

  92. Bob :

    Date: August 4, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    Thanks Dennis. I’m guessing the other two are just a bit harder to get at. Do they look about the same? I’ll update the procedure as you did for future reference for others.

  93. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 4, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

    They vary a little, but all about the same book time according to Mitchell labor guide.

    Air Inlet, Recirculation .9
    Temp Door, Left .8
    Temp Door, Right .6

  94. Todd :

    Date: August 7, 2011 @ 11:22 am

    Temporarily zip tying the large group of electrical cables out of the way is something I would suggest. It made getting the second screw out much easier after struggling with the cables while removing the first screw. I zip tied mine to the support piece for the blower motor in picture two ( near the word “Delpi” ).

    These actuators are available from most auto parts stores but you have to wait for shipping to the store or your house. The local Chevy dealer had it in stock ($47), which is a little higher but I got it on a Saturday.

  95. vette :

    Date: August 11, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

    I have a 2007 impala. yesterday I went to start my car and it click and didnt start. then I turned the key again and it started. I turned on my ac and the carr started shaking. i got scared and turned the car off. then I tried to start again and it didnt start again,but this loud ticking kind of sound came from under the glove compartment. I took the key out and still ticking. tried to start again and no start and ticking stopped. after about an hour the car started no more shaking or ticking but check engine light stayed on. ac off took my chance and drove home. Is all of these symptoms related to the air actuator? or is it a coincidence that it all happened at once?

  96. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 12, 2011 @ 6:40 am

    Vette, low voltage in a car’s battery can cause all kinds of crazy things to happen. If a clicking actuator is accompanied by a low or bad car battery, the logical thing to do is have the battery and charging system tested (the battery or alternator could be bad). After the electrcal system has the proper voltage, I would replace any actuators that continue to be noisy.

    The battery is the heart of the electrical system; side affects from having low voltage can be expected, especially when a car has barely enough power to turn the starter to crank the engine. Good Luck.

  97. queenie :

    Date: August 14, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    I had the clicking in my dash in the glove box area for a while when I used recirculate it stopped. Now the air wont come on at all. So would it still be the actuators and I should replace all three?

  98. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 15, 2011 @ 6:17 am

    Queenie, sounds like a problem with the blower (fan) if it’s not blowing at all. Good Luck.

  99. Steve :

    Date: August 15, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

    I too have a clicking coming from the right side of dash behind the glove box. Though its only after I turn the engine off. I found the same actuator as you show in the pic, though when I unplug it, the sound continues. The sound is actually being made by what looks to be the cabin filter. (White object in second the pic behind bars). None of the actuators seem to be clicking or vibrating, only the white object(cabin air filter?). Would unplugging the actuator stop the clicking or would the whole peice need to come off. Thank

  100. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 15, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

    Steve, the actuators are the common cause of clicking – however unplugging them would silence them for test purposes. Maybe there’s a cricket wedged in the cabin air filter? Just kidding, Good Luck.

  101. Steve :

    Date: August 15, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    The filter under the winsheild is not moving when the clicking is happening. The white door in the filter in picture 2 is what’s clicking. Seems as it is moving back to it default position when the engine is shut down, though something is blocking it or it is misfunctioning. Thanks though.

  102. Bob :

    Date: August 15, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    Dennis, I contacted you back on Aug 4th about the clicking under dash. I replaced the Recirculating actuator and got the faint clicking near the radio the next day. The clicking was the right blend actuator. I found all the actuators on line from
    They have parts for everything and half the cost of dealer. Part #15-73516 left blend actuator (AC Delco), (DORMAN) Part # 604-108 Rt Blend actuator. Total cost with Shipping Priority Mail $58.64. Chevy dealer wants double. Total R&R 1.4 hrs. 7/32 socket (2 screws each actuator), remove inner glove box shell for easier access.

    Bought from auto parts website on-line for $58.64 shipping included priority mail for both blend door actuators.

  103. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 16, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    Bob, thanks for letting us know how your job turned out. The aftermarket actuators can’t be any worse than the OE ones in this particular application. I XXXX’d out the website name because that particular online parts store has started selling tools that directly compete with some of ours in certain instances. We provide free repair help here (via our tool/repair blog), but not free advertising for competitors – I hope everyone understands). i.e. Burger King wouldn’t allow McDonald’s coupons to be handed out inside their restaurant.

    With that being said, anyone can Google the product numbers you’ve provided and find them online easily now. Thanks again.

  104. Bob :

    Date: August 16, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    Steve, I understand perfectly. Thanks for your initial help on the first actuator. Even though only one more actuator went south, I replaced both at the same time as they are right next to each other to save time. I would recommend to anyone that if one goes bad to go ahead and replace all three at the same time to save both time and money.

  105. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 16, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

    Bob, thanks for understanding. It’s up to the individual if they want to repalce all of them at once or not. I replaced “one” about a year ago and have not had anymore fail yet. It’s just luck of the draw.

  106. Teresa :

    Date: August 16, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    Hi Dennis… this site came in very handy today. My daughter’s 2009 Impala was clicking under the dashboard. Dealership was going to charge $300 labor + $50 for the part! We bought the part, I installed it and saved her $300. I’m a 56 year young grandmother, so I know if I can do it ANYONE can! Thanks for this helpful website.

  107. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 16, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    Teresa, Wow, that’s great, glad the article helped. Thanks for the comment.

  108. Agnes Strother :

    Date: September 28, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

    I am also having the clicking problems with the 2008 Impala,and need to know that a “shade tree mechanic” can replace the actuators,because the dealerships are expensive,and I thought I needed a motor.

  109. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 29, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    Agnes, luckily you found the the right repair article.

  110. Max :

    Date: October 4, 2013 @ 11:23 am

    I had the same problem for the last 2 months. And today I decided that needed to be fix. Took me 40 minutes to fix all this. I have 08 impala. And sure enough all I did was to follow this instructions and problem fix.

  111. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 4, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

    Max, that’s great. Keep us in mind, when you need a car repair article or automotive tools ( We have some Youtube videos and a Facebook page with special offers. Have a great weekend.

  112. Mike :

    Date: October 6, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    Was hoping I would see it in this thread but… This sounds like the issue I am having and want to check it out. Before I break something, can you tell me how to “swing” the glove box door down. Appreciate any info. Thanks

  113. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 6, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

    It’s been a couple of years since I did this repair and the car is gone now. So I don’t remember and can’t go look at the car now. But the door should have something that stops it from going down. Look for that and it should be simple to figure out. Good Luck.

  114. G. O. :

    Date: October 14, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

    I have a 2007 Impala. When I turn the A/C off I get a loud rapid clicking sound from the glove box area.I replaced the fresh air door acuator but I have the same problem. Help!

  115. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 14, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    G.O. I would have my hand on the actuator (one at a time) when someone else turns the engine off so I can be ready to verify which actuator is making the noise. Good Luck.

  116. Mindy Powell :

    Date: November 21, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

    Thanks so much. I have extremely limited car knowledge and I replaced the part within 1 hour that includes the 20 mins to the part store and back. Woodpecker on speed noise is gone. Part was $36 before the discount I found online. So easy a girl can do it, yes I’m a girl.

  117. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 21, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

    Hey Mindy. Girls have many great talents. Good Job.

  118. Nick Thiel :

    Date: November 26, 2013 @ 12:52 am

    I have an 08 Impala that’s had the right side actuator noise.I just unplugged it and the noise stopped. Recently, however,I’m getting a similar noise in the center of the dash behind the dual climate controls. I’m thinking it’s another actuator, but can you tell me where that actuator might be located? (Where is the best access?) Thanks in advance for the help.

  119. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 26, 2013 @ 7:29 am

    Nick, just listen for the noise and follow the sound. Usually you can look underneath the dash with a flashlight and find the noisy one. The more noise and the longer it makes it, the easier it is to find. Good Luck.

  120. James D :

    Date: November 29, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

    Wow … there are enough people with this same problem to start a club! Like everyone else … I have got a woodpecker in the dash. When I swing the glove box down, I can touch the actuator farthest to the right and it is the one making all of the noise. Which actuator is that one? The dealer’s highest price quote to repair actuators is the “Mode” actuator. Is this one the Mode actuator? How do you “see” the screws to unscrew them (they are facing to the right, but that surface is not visible. Excellent site / postings!

  121. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 29, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

    The one on the right behind the glove box is the recirculate/fresh air door actuator. There’s no need to see the screws, but you could use a small mirror if you wanted to. The mode actuator is towards the center of the dash and that controls which vents the air comes out of – bottom, middle or defrost.

  122. James D :

    Date: November 29, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    Would you not need to be able to “see” the screws (head on) in order to be able to unscrew them? This is the most informative board I have seen …. and I have been looking at a bunch of them. I am assuming that you sell specialized tools … are any of them usable (ie require little skill) by amateurs like me?

  123. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 29, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

    James, we do sell specialty tools, however, as mentioned in the article “A 1/4″ ratchet and a 5.5mm socket is all that is needed to change the part – no specialty automotive tools.” Since you know what size socket to use and you can see by looking at the new actuator where the screws are, there’s no need to have a direct view of the screw heads. Good Luck.

  124. Travis :

    Date: December 21, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

    Thanks for this posting, just replaced the acuator today. I found it best to remove the panel under the dash (three push pins) and do the electrical connection through the glove box. FYI the new GM# part number for this is 22754988 (at least for the right acuator). There were only two screws holding mine on although there are three holes (maybe replaced before, not sure). The chattering is gone, thank goodness as it really drives one crazy. Dealership stated that this is a very common replacement item and they sell a lot of them.
    Thanks again for the posting.

  125. bonnie :

    Date: January 11, 2014 @ 10:21 am

    Hi dennis, I have found this thread and recently purchased a 09 impala. I have the loud clicking noise in the right side dash. I woke up and my car wouldn’t start. After jumping it, got to work and after 15 minutes wouldn’t start again. I took the car to autozone to check the battery and he said its a little low but didn’t want me to waste money if its not the battery. So last night I hooked my battery up to a charger overnite, car started up but as i was pulling out of the driveway, it died out. I was going to jump the car but as soon as i hooked the cables up to my car, without hooking them up to the other car, my car started right up. do you think the battery needs to be replaced?

  126. bonnie :

    Date: January 11, 2014 @ 10:22 am

    I can’t get to the dealership until monday, is there any temporary advice you can give me?

  127. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 11, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

    The way to know for sure if the battery is bad is to test it after a full charge. Also have the charging system tested to make sure it is capable of recharging the battery. The actuator could run the battery down if it continues to click for more than a few seconds after the engine is turned off. There’s no temporary fix except for just trying a battery and see if the problem goes away. But it would be best to fully charge the old battery and test the battery and charging system. You could temporarily unplug the actuator until you have it replaced. Good Luck.

  128. Bill :

    Date: January 24, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

    I got a 2007 Impala SS. During the fall, I hit the recirculate button and heard the ticking noise coming from the passenger side. I didn’t have time to fix it, but now that it is winter, my windows frost over. I believe the blend door may be stuck in the recirculate position. Do you think the bad actuator is causing this problem? I haven’t tried the recirculate button in quite a while.

  129. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 24, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    I believe the door is stuck in the fresh air position not the recirculate position. But yes the actuator could likely be the problem especially since you heard it make noise when you selected recirculate. Good Luck.

  130. TSmith :

    Date: March 10, 2014 @ 8:37 am

    I have a 2004 Impala LS (dual climate control). I don’t hear any ticking noise, but I have absolutely no heat coming out of any vents, only cold air. I’ve checked coolant levels (which were fine) and heater hoses near the firewall (both were hot) and the temperature gauge is behaving perfectly normal. When I run the AC, it’s also working fine. I’m wondering if it it’s the actuator for the AC/Heater duct that’s broken. And, if it is, where is it located?

  131. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 10, 2014 @ 8:41 am

    The actuators are behind the glove box and behind the radio to the left. But two actuators one for the drivers side and one for the passenger side are not likely to stop working at the same time. I would suspect air or a restricted heater core. Good Luck.

  132. chris C. :

    Date: March 20, 2014 @ 11:44 am

    My 2008 impala is making a clicking noise from the dash behind…. I was wondering would it be hard for me to replace this actuator myself?

  133. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 20, 2014 @ 11:50 am

    Chris, this is pretty basic. Skill level required rated between 1-10 I’d say a 4. See the article and comments above for more info. Good Luck.

  134. Dougster :

    Date: March 20, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

    Dennis, I think we should call you the “mechanical god”…excellent advice! I had one of the actuators go out a year ago…I ended paying approx $700. Guess what’s back now…yeah, the clicking started again a few days ago. At the time, the service guy told me there were *4* actuators…but, you say only 3, correct? I’m 60, but, have been fixing my cars most of my life…financially, I’m better now, so, I let someone else fix my car. But! After reading this page, I’m ready to take a stab at it myself…so, you get to them by going behind the glove box? The dealer had told me they have to take the whole dash apart (2008 Impala)…if I don’t have to take the dash apart, then, I’m ready…I don’t think you realize how much your are helping us…thanks again…

  135. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 21, 2014 @ 7:31 am

    Dougster, not sure about all of that, but thanks. It’s possible to have a fourth actuator if it’s a dual zone system. Meaning, driver side and passenger side temp control. The best way to find which one is bad is follow the noise. Once you find it, you should be able to tell how hard it is to remove. If the labor time from their labor guide says .7, .9 or 1.1 hours, the whole dash is not coming apart. Ask to see the labor time for the different actuators if you have a doubt (or just find the bad actuator and judge for yourself). Good Luck.

  136. Sweetpea :

    Date: March 25, 2014 @ 11:47 pm

    I have a 2010 Chevrolet Impala LTZ. As described above I have a very loud ticking noise on the passenger side. It starts up when i open the door to the car. I start driving and usually within 5 minutes it will start. It just happened yesterday, so i decided to Google to see possibilities of what is wrong. From the above posts it appears to be the actuator, does that sound correct? I will try to follow above but I am just a little confused about there is three? I am going to attempt to fix this myself, I am a female and am totally clueless about cars, but it appears that I may be able to do this. Thanks and any other advice would be wonderful!

  137. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 26, 2014 @ 7:21 am

    Sounds like you have this common issue. Follow the sound to the bad actuator. It’s not really necessary to know what all the actuators do, but since you asked why there’s three; There are different motors (actuators) for different doors withing the system.
    1. One for fresh air mix or closing off the outside air altogether and recirculating the cabin air – this would be the MAX or Recirculate function.
    2. One for changing the airflow from floor, middle vents or defrost – this is called Mode.
    3. And on single zone systems (no separate controls for passenger and driver side temp) one for adjusting the hot air mix, either allowing some hot air from the heater core or closing that flow off completely to allow full cold AC. Good Luck.

  138. dowmach :

    Date: March 27, 2014 @ 9:19 am

    What a great site.My 08 Impala LT started with woodpecker stuff yesterday.It only makes the noise when you open the door or close it.All the controls work when you change from floor to defrost,cold to hot ect. The clicking sound seems to be coming from the central dash behind the vents.I have read all the threads about left and right side actuators.I cannot see any way possible to get my hand that far up under the dash. Is there any way to remove the control panel to gain access to this area without major headache?

  139. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 27, 2014 @ 9:47 am

    Labor time is only 1.3 hours or less so you shouldn’t have to take a lot apart. To the best of my memory I could see the actuators from the floor looking up. It may be necessary to remove some trim panels and/or glove box to better access. Good Luck.

  140. kevin :

    Date: April 4, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

    I replaced the acuator on my 2008 impala on the passenger side but its still ticking what could be the problem

  141. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 4, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

    Kevin, there’s more than one. That’s why it’s best to verify which one is making noise. It is possible to have more than one bad at a time. Good Luck.

  142. Renee :

    Date: April 5, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

    I have a 2008 impala and yesterday it started this loud clicking noise under the dash. It does it when I hit my unlock button on my keys. It stops after a short while. We sat in it tonight and didn’t turn the car on. It clicked a while then stopped. When got out I locked it back and it started clicking again. What could this be? Is it the same thing? Any information would be greatly appreciated!

  143. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 6, 2014 @ 9:24 am

    Renee, If I was working on the car I would follow the sound right to the source. It is very likely that this is the problem. No one will know for sure until the source of the noise is actually traced down. Good Luck.

  144. Damon :

    Date: April 6, 2014 @ 11:19 am


    Does the actuator drain your car battery, my battery has been having issues lately and I’m wondering if the actuator clicking AFTER I remove my keys has anything to do with the drainage of the car battery.

  145. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 6, 2014 @ 11:47 am

    It’s possible but not likely. It’s more likely that your battery is just bad. I recommend having the battery load tested. If the battery is not fully charged, it will need to be before they can properly test it. Sometimes marginal batteries will not accept a full charge. In that case, if the battery is more than a couple of years old I would replace it regardless. Also make sure that the charging system is working properly and there’s no more than one amp (preferably around a 1/2 amp) drain with everything turned off. The vehicle’s computer and saved data requires some power draw when the vehicle is turned off, which is normal. Good Luck.

  146. JJ :

    Date: April 20, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

    The recirculation actuator is bad on my 2006 Malibu. I was able to get the left screw out with a socket but it will not work on the right screw. Does it take a tiny 5.5mm wrench for that one?

  147. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 20, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

    Don’t remember changing one on a Malibu but it should be all the same size screws. Good Luck.

  148. Pauly :

    Date: May 8, 2014 @ 8:34 pm


    I want to replace all three of these actuators on my 2010 Impala. I am familiar with all their locations, but I just want to know if they are all the same actuator. So, the recirculate air door actuator, the right temp door actuator, and the left temp door actuator. Do all of these call for the same part #?

  149. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 9, 2014 @ 7:59 am

    Parts guys sometimes have problems getting the correct actuators (we don’t sell these parts). So, personally, I would check the number right on the actuators. Good Luck.

  150. Rowdy :

    Date: May 14, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

    Thanks a ton. Saved me a lot of time. Very easy to understand.

  151. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 14, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

    Glad the article helped. Keep us in mind if you need automotive tools in the future.

  152. spookytay :

    Date: May 21, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    Great help, I was thinking if there’s a clicking sound, then the actuator is working but it’s not working correctly (not calibrated right). I removed the noisy actuator and fiddled around with the knob that it attaches to, turning it back and fourth and leaving it in the opposite direction from which it started. Put the actuator back on and tested, no more noise, I think it just needed to be calibrated back to the right spot.

  153. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 21, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

    It self calibrates, but may have a worn tooth on a plastic gear. You have moved it enough to make it work awhile longer. Good Luck.

  154. Skeeter :

    Date: May 22, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

    Thanks for this information. I have a 2010 Impala and I don’t think it can be reached through the glove compartment on a 2010. My son does all the work on my car and I thought after reading this, that I could unplug it until he can get to it, but that did not work. Is the 2010 the same as the 2008?

  155. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 23, 2014 @ 7:47 am

    Skeeter, you may want to refer to a repair manual or a crash book at the dealer for locations of the actuators (or just listen for the noise to locate). However, I see that from 2006 to 2013 are ALL the same body style which is the ninth generation Chevy Impala. Good Luck.

  156. mytigjmc :

    Date: May 30, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

    Just an FYI, it does affect the battery after time if not fixed. Lesson learned….I am heading home to pull this part as soon as my son shows up to jumpstart me….

  157. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 31, 2014 @ 9:09 am

    I would do a load test on the battery. It could be that the battery has failed. Good Luck.

  158. chrisR88 :

    Date: June 6, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

    Dennis I have a 2008 impala with the clicking on both sides I can reach the passenger side, but I can’t seem to locate the one on the driver side. Please advise.

  159. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 6, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

    Follow the noise or find someone who can. Good Luck.

  160. Katrina Marrow :

    Date: June 13, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

    Hello Dennis, I have a 2008 Impala LS. The actuator on the passenger side has been clicking for a few months. On Thursday, my A/C started blowing warm air. Could this be because of the A/C Air Inlet Actuator? or do you think my compressor may be gone.

  161. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 15, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

    Most likely not related, especially since the actuator for the inlet cannot cause the AC to completely stop working. I would hook up AC gauges to see what the readings are. See our AC Gauge Readings explained article for more information. Good Luck.

  162. Duckster :

    Date: June 17, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    Just done a 08 Impala. Thanks for information, once I got the box to drop, fairly simple. Had to work at a little to get the the new to line up, but works great and no annoying clicking!!!! Thanks

  163. fatboy :

    Date: June 17, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

    Will the blend door actuator cause ac not to work?

  164. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 18, 2014 @ 7:21 am

    Glad the article helped. Please keep our website in mind for future tool purchases

  165. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 18, 2014 @ 7:26 am

    It’s possible but not likely. The blend actuator (and door) in the case does what you might expect, it blends the cold and hot air to adjust to the desired vent temperature. I would check the AC separately. See our AC articles, especially the AC Gauge Readings Explained for more information.

  166. Brent :

    Date: June 18, 2014 @ 10:24 am

    Just had this happen. Took it to the dealer to fix. $231.00 later they fixed it. Wished I had googled and found this search earlier…

    $80 for the part and $150 in labor!!

  167. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 18, 2014 @ 10:25 am


  168. Nick Thiel :

    Date: June 18, 2014 @ 8:41 pm


    I have a 2008 Impala and the left side actuator that controls the left side temp is clicking like crazy. I’ve found the other two (thanks to your help some time ago) but I cannot find the left one. It seems to be up above and to the right of the accelerator pedal. How do i get t o the darn thing? Does the center console need to come out? Thanks!

  169. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 19, 2014 @ 7:36 am

    Nick, I can’t remember for sure but I think you need to remove the knee bolster underneath the steering wheel to gain a little more access. We no longer have this car so I cannot just go out and look to be able to tell you for sure. But one thing’s for sure is that the noise will lead you to the source of the noise – the bad actuator. Good Luck.

  170. Fultonm1 :

    Date: June 26, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

    This is great, I almost had the dealer fix it but found this! Saved me a couple hundred bucks in labor at least. Thank you!

  171. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 26, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

    Glad the article helped. Keep us in mind for your future tool needs.

  172. T :

    Date: June 26, 2014 @ 11:43 pm

    Have a 2010 Impala and when I turn my air off that’s when I start hearing the noise; so do you think it’s the actuator? I called the dealership and they said it could be fixed, but I mean if all these Impalas are doing the same why isn’t it a recall on these cars?

  173. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 27, 2014 @ 9:42 am

    Yes. A common failure pattern is what it’s called. And just because a common failure occurs doesn’t mean it has to be a recall especially when it’s not a safety concern.

  174. Jesse :

    Date: June 28, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

    Where can I get a diagram to locate all the actuators?

  175. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 28, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

    The parts department at the Chevy dealer will have that for your year. I just listen to find the bad actuator, that’s the easiest way for me. Good Luck.

  176. Loretta Nolen :

    Date: June 29, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

    I have a 2011 chevy impala and it makes a knocking sound coming from the dash board. it makes it when it is off and also when it is running. I’ve only had it for a year. what could be the problem.

  177. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 29, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

    Regardless of how long you’ve had the car, the problem is an actuator like the article discusses. Follow the noise to find the bad actuator. Good Luck.

  178. Karl :

    Date: July 3, 2014 @ 6:06 am

    Hey Dennis, I have a 2010 Impala. I hear the clicking noise behind the dash. What if I just unhook the power to the actuator? Will my air still blow hot/cold? Because the noise is so irritating. And the replacement is not in my budget right now. Need help for time being! Thanks

  179. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 3, 2014 @ 10:44 am

    Karl, the door should stay in whatever position once you unplug the power. So if it’s cooling when you unplug the actuator you should be fine. Good Luck.

  180. RRSKCMO :

    Date: July 23, 2014 @ 11:36 am

    Dennis – This has been a great help. I followed your instructions and found both the problem actuators right away. The space was a little tight for my hands but I got two out in under an hour. The dealer where I got the replacement parts said the China parts supplier has a quality assurance issue …well NO S@#$%! This is a recurring problem the dealerships are making a boatload of $$$ on. And they are charging a premium for the replacement parts. But thanks for your instructions – they were dead on and my AC works fine on the 2010 without two of the three actuators out.

  181. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 23, 2014 @ 11:45 am

    Glad the auto repair article helped. Too bad Chevy resorted to China parts. Remember the old jingle Chevrolet used a long time ago? Unfortunately, the heartbeat of America thumps a little fainter than it used to.

  182. MikeD :

    Date: July 24, 2014 @ 9:03 am

    Hi Dennis,

    Thanks so much! This helped me figure out the noise I’ve been dealing with for a few days now. I do have a couple of quick questions about these actuators. I have an 06 Impala LT, and they only seem to click when I use the remote start.

    I have noticed though, if I make any HVAC setting change (mode setting, recirc on or off, etc) the noise stops for about half a second, then resumes. Is there a particular actuator I should check?



  183. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 24, 2014 @ 9:15 am

    Not sure why it would happen with the remote start as opposed to manually starting, that’s strange. No particular one to check, just listen and follow the sound to the faulty actuator. Good Luck.

  184. ken :

    Date: July 26, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

    My question is simply is this knocking noise something to worry about? or just a strange noise that will occur from time to time when using the air conditioner?

  185. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 26, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

    Nothing to worry about. Nothing that will cause damage to anything else. Just a sign that the actuator (one or more) is failing and may stop opening and closing the doors properly which will affect AC/heat, mode or recirculate operation. You can keep using it until the noise becomes too unbearable or the AC or heat is no longer working satisfactorily.

  186. ken :

    Date: July 26, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

    thanks dennisb — that is what I wanted to know — will tell my daughter to turn the radio up! :)

  187. Darrell :

    Date: July 30, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

    Hey Dennis … how long can you leave wire unhooked from actuator to stop noise till you repair it before it mess something else up… i only need two days

  188. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 30, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

    Indefinitely. Just may not function properly. Good Luck.

  189. rosy :

    Date: August 1, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

    Please help just replaced left actutator on 2010 chevy impala now ac is good on drivers side but blows hot on passenger side

  190. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 1, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

    Rosy, I never had that issue. Perhaps when the system calibrated itself after the new actuator installation, the right side actuator failed? Maybe you could try unplugging the rs and plugging it back up to see if it can calibrate. Otherwise it may need to be replaced also. Good Luck.

  191. Dave :

    Date: August 7, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

    2006 Impala 3.5 engine: My a/c has gone out and I can’t get any fresh air. Have been told that it is not possible w/o a/c working.

  192. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 7, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

    Dave, you have a fresh air door that lets fresh air in when the AC is NOT set to MAX (aka recirculate). Don’t expect it to be cool fresh air. If the AC works or not has nothing to do with the actuator/door that allows this. I’d look to see if this door is working when you switch the controls back and forth from max to normal. It’s the one behind thge glovebox. Good Luck.

  193. SAN :

    Date: August 18, 2014 @ 9:58 am

    Thanks for the post. Due to convenience I’m having the dealer replace the fresh air door actuator. It cost $230.00 at a Nothern NJ Chevy dealer for those wondering how much.

  194. charlee :

    Date: August 21, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

    Thanks for the info, especially what tools are needed. We just removed the blend door actuator, on my 2010 Impala LT. Now I know why the dealer charges so much. There’s not much room, and a wire bundle constantly in the way, but I found there is more ratchet handle room below the actuator, (instead of out the glove box door like I first attempted). Ordered the part from Napa for $41.55, in tomorrow. If all goes the same or better on installation, I will have spent approx. an hour or less, plus the part fee :) Call me frugal.

  195. Sam :

    Date: August 23, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

    Hi Dennis,

    Handy hint for some:

    I was able to remove the part but it was frustrating because of the tight spaces and I dreaded installing the replacement. So I purchased two 5.5mm sockets and permanently epoxied (steel expoxy) the socket to each screw. It was a lot easier to reinstall. The sockets remain under the dash attached to each screw, waiting in anticipation for the next time this part fails.

    “Open stock” sockets are available at your hardware or tool store. It cost me under $5 for both sockets.

    This may help for those with larger or less than nimble hands.

  196. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 23, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

    Sam, thanks for taking time to comment. Your solution may not be for everyone, but you still saved a lot of money as opposed to paying someone.

  197. derrian :

    Date: September 1, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

    I have a 2010 Impala that makes this noise whenever I unlock the doors and turn the car off. I checked the motor on the passenger side on the right and unplugged it but it continues. Is there one located in the center of the console and can I access it myself?

  198. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 2, 2014 @ 8:55 am

    Yes, there are three actuators, possibly four if you have a dual zone system. Just listen for the noise and it will take you right to it. Good Luck.

  199. ttwanh :

    Date: September 7, 2014 @ 12:30 am

    I have this same problem, just started yesterday so I have been reading thru the comments. Mine also ONLY makes this noise if I start my car with the remote and once in the car and insert the key and turn it. I think that is because when you use your remote, the blower motor is on and once you insert the key and turn the car on, the blower slows down. I hope this makes sense. I am going to show some of these comments to my husband and see if we can fix it ourselves. Heck, I might do it myself! Thanks so much for your help.

  200. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 7, 2014 @ 9:01 am

    Thanks for the comment. Regardless of when the actuator is making noise it needs to be replaced. Good Luck.

  201. AnotherDay :

    Date: September 14, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

    Your post inspired me to tackle this. This started about 3 months ago. The clicking occurred when the car stopped or the air conditioner was on. With Fall and Winter coming on, I thought I better do something about it. I replaced the two actuators on the passenger side.

    Two things I would like to add:
    1. Concerning the actuator on the blower motor, I had better luck using a tiny wrench instead of a socket. 2. Something else I had to do was plug in the new actuators before they were installed and change the A/C controls to get the slot lined up with the shaft.

    Thank you so much for posting this with such detail and the pictures. It wasn’t a fun experience, but I’m so glad I didn’t have to take it to the shop and pay who knows what.

  202. Michell Adams :

    Date: September 22, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

    There should be a recall on a clicking noise on a 1998 Chevy Impala. I shouldn’t have to try to fix it myself.

  203. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 22, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

    Michell, I think you must mean 2008 not 1998. Even a 2008 is now almost 7 years old (nearly 3 years past the warranty period). Nothing lasts forever. Good Luck.

  204. Adams :

    Date: October 2, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

    Hey Dennis…Thank you for the great help. I have a 2008 Impala, I don’t hear any clicking noise. Cold air blow from the all the vents perfectly. When I turn on the A/C on the warm air, cold air blow from the 2 left side vents (driver’s side) and warm air blow from the 2 right side vents (passenger’s side). Do you think actuator can cause such problem?

  205. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 3, 2014 @ 7:19 am

    Sure a bad actuator for the driver’s side zone could cause this. Good Luck.

  206. Pamela :

    Date: October 11, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

    I couldn’t believe that I would really find all this info on the internet. My clacking started when I turned on the blower while driving on the highway. Yes, it also clacks when I am out of the car and the engine is not turned on. I have a 2008 Impala which seems to be the car that this occurs the most with. Thanks with the info on cost….at least I have somewhat of a heads up.

  207. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 12, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

    Pamela glad you found our information. Good Luck.

  208. Mary :

    Date: October 13, 2014 @ 8:51 am

    Hi Dennis, I read through all the comments and didn’t see this problem: I had the clacking noise only when the driver’s side temp was turned all the way to the coldest setting – if I warmed it up even one click it would stop, so that was my fix. Now it’s not clicking but won’t change zones from vent (which is a problem in “getting colder” Michigan! I need the defrost!). Is this one of the actuators, and if so, which one? Thank you for all the great advice!

  209. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 13, 2014 @ 9:12 am

    The blend actuator is bad on your Impala, not the recirculate/fresh air actuator like mine. Yours is located on the driver’s side. It’s easiest to find them when they are making noise. Since yours stopped making noise, it’s most likely completely stripped and that’s why it’s not working at all now. You should locate two on the driver’s side, they are a little harder to access than the recirc. actuator that’s located behind the dash. Good Luck.

  210. Deyanira :

    Date: October 24, 2014 @ 10:49 am

    Hello, I was just reading through some of the comments. I have a 2011 Chevy Impala LTZ & it has started making the “knocking noise”. At first it just would do it when I put the AC on cold. Now it has starting doing it when I open my passenger or driver door. It is also doing it when I switch the knobs from cold to hot. Would this also be the same actuator issue?

  211. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 24, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    Most likely. Follow the noise to root of the problem. Good Luck.

  212. Alan K. :

    Date: October 26, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

    Great article and Thank You! I have 2011 Impala LT dual climate control. There are 4 actuators, 3 have same part# and 4th is a mode actuator. One is on driver’s side behind radio, take 3 pushpins out of cover under dash, move two wire harness clips, it is above/behind radio on right side of steering wheel. OK to see, a little awkward to get to. The other three (two same and mode actuator) are easily seen by removing glove box AND glove box inner shell: there are 7 screws, you may have to pry a little on bottom of dash to get shell out. You NEED to get shell out to change the mode actuator, barely see it if you don’t. 3 actuators are rectangular, mode actuator is oblong. Doing this now as we speak, total time maybe 2 hours for all of it. Bless you, good luck, and thanks again for the blog! Oh yeah, same 3 push pins on passenger side panel, and screws for actuators are 5.5mm use a 1/4″ drive ratchet, maybe flexible driver head if you have one. Best of luck, someone posted heartbeat of America a little fainter now…unfortunately I agree GM is less than what it was. Hopefully they will get better quality someday! Thank you again!

  213. Steve :

    Date: December 13, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

    For us airheads who can’ do the simplest task…. any way to find out the size to replace the 2 screws that hold the actuator?

  214. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 13, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

    I would either use the “trial and eror method” trying screws from my junk drawer, or pull another screw from one of the other actuators for matching up. Good Luck.

  215. JohnC :

    Date: December 17, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

    Thanks for this thread. I note you have been answering questions on the actuators for over 4 years! Mine is the fresh air/recirc one on my ’06 Impala. I removed it today. My question: When I install the new one, is it “plug and play”? Or is there some calibration I need to do so that the actuator “knows” what position it is starting from (fresh air vs. recirc)? Thanks!

  216. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 18, 2014 @ 7:05 am

    Hey John, yeah, this has been a popular article over the past few years. You might also notice, that between August 2011 and September 2013 there’s a gap for comments. I was too busy to keep up with answering comments, so I turned comments off for awhile. To answer your question, the system is self calibrating. Computers are great, right?

  217. JohnC :

    Date: December 20, 2014 @ 9:15 pm

    Thank you! Just waiting for the new one to get here. Love saving money with DIY repairs! Thanks again!

  218. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 21, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    John, thanks for the comment. Keep us in mind for your future tool needs. Good Luck.

  219. TIM :

    Date: January 5, 2015 @ 8:37 pm

    Its a 2008 Impala LT 4 door with dual climate controls (ie left & right), I have been trying to drill down through this thread (and others) to try to determine the total number of actuators there are and the respective part numbers of each one.

    Right now I have need for the far right and the center ….. all and any information would be most helpful.

  220. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 6, 2015 @ 7:14 am

    Tim, I would say since you have dual climate control the total number of actuators is four (it would be three if you didn’t have a dual zone system). I understand if you want to replace them all at the same time, in an effort to be done with this problem for a longer period of time. The best way to get the numbers are right off the old actuators. For some reason, in my experience, actuators are looked up incorrectly many times even by experienced dealer parts guys. So the best method I found is to provide the number off of the old actuator, so there’s no mistakes. Good Luck.

  221. Rob :

    Date: January 24, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

    Have you ever had. Different actuator go bad other than that one? I have two. The one in this article as well as another one which I believe is in the center of the dashboard that operates the hot and cold lever. Although I am not sure as there are three more besides the one you spoke about. I was wondering if you knew or had a video/article showing any of these other actuators.

  222. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 26, 2015 @ 7:57 am

    Rob there can be a total of four if you have dual zones (one for passenger and one for the driver’s side). The process is just about the same. Listen for the noise to pinpoint the bad actuator. Then remove only what is needed to access and replace it. Good Luck.

  223. sherri :

    Date: February 21, 2015 @ 9:32 pm

    I have a 2009 impala and we have 2 actuators out and the noise in the dash is still going full force what could the problem be, if I have them both out thanks sherri

  224. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 22, 2015 @ 8:50 am

    Follow the sound to the bad actuator. Could have up to four actuators total. Good Luck.

  225. marsha senn :

    Date: March 24, 2015 @ 12:30 pm

    I was so glad my daughter was able to find this article. My clicking noise begins as soon as I open my door or as soon as I use my key fob to unlock my door. Also click begins when turning off the A/C. It lasts about 60 seconds, sometimes a little longer. My question is if I go to a dealership and have them order the part can I have my own mechanic friend install it or will the dealership make me get the repair done in their shop?

  226. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 24, 2015 @ 12:36 pm

    Marsha, the GM parts department will sell to you or your mechanic without the service department involved. I’d have your mechanic remove the actuator to insure that you purchase the correct one. Good Luck.

  227. Sharon :

    Date: April 3, 2015 @ 6:02 pm

    OK so I’m taking this to mean that my actuator (is there only 1) on my 2006 impala is bad. It clicks when going from hot to cold, internal to external, and outside air to inside air.

  228. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 4, 2015 @ 12:21 pm

    Sharon that’s the most likely cause. And there are three to four total depending upon if there’s a split zone (Passenger and Driver temp control) system or not. Good Luck.

  229. Steve H :

    Date: May 6, 2015 @ 9:33 am

    Wow dennisb! It’s hard to believe you’ve been on this topic for almost 5 years…I replaced my driver side blend actuator on my ’09 Impala dual zone system last weekend to cure the knocking issue. No more knock but now I am not getting AC from driver side dash vents, just warm air. Passenger side OK. I have attempted re-calibration a few times by pulling 10 amp “display” fuse under the hood, with temp controls set to cold, AC off, fresh air selected. This is not curing the problem. Any recommendations? Thanks.

  230. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 6, 2015 @ 10:11 am

    Steve, I’d check to make sure it is installed properly. If it is try unplugging it and plugging back in to calibrate. If still not working perhaps it’s a defect. Good Luck.

  231. Steve H :

    Date: May 6, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the feedback. Some blogs say that with a dual zone system the only way to calibrate it is by using a scan tool. Can you confirm or refute? It seems to me that if calibration is inspired by removing a fuse or disconnecting the battery, all actuators would calibrate, not just some….

  232. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 6, 2015 @ 12:31 pm

    In my experience, I’ve never had to use a scan tool to recalibrate an actuator. I have had to unplug and plug them in, for them to self calibrate. They go from stop to stop and they’re done.

  233. Steve H :

    Date: May 12, 2015 @ 11:05 am

    Hi dennisb. I discovered that one of the 2 contacts on the blend door actuator was bent preventing contact with the mating harness connector. Once I overcame that problem, and did another system reset, the actuator is behaving properly. Thanks for your advice!

  234. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 12, 2015 @ 11:18 am

    Steve, glad you got it figured out.

  235. JarvisW :

    Date: May 14, 2015 @ 1:58 am

    2008 Impala, recirc actuator, same problem. Here’s the strange part: Took the “bad” one out, disassembled it. Gears look a little worn but good. Reassembled it and it has FAR more power than it takes to drive the duct open or closed. Reconnect harness, leaving it uninstalled, change recirc mode, and the “logic” drives the output shaft four full turns and stops! Switch modes again, it makes four full turns in opposite direction and stops. The kicker?: It only takes a QUARTER turn to open/close the duct! Thoughts?

  236. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 14, 2015 @ 7:35 am

    Not strange at all if you understand how the system works. The computer is looking for “stops” so it can calibrate the motor control. Since you have it disconnected, the computer cannot find a stop and it appears the door or actuator is broken, so it discontinues (aborts) attempting to calibrate. As far as the gears appearing OK, there’s a lot of stress on these tiny gears at the stops. You may get a little more life out of the actuator if you’re lucky enough for the less worn parts of the gears to end up at the more stressful position at either stop. Since these actuators are so frail to begin with, I would have just replaced it. But if you’re willing to experiment, there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re willing to do the job again if needed. Good Luck.

  237. JarvisW :

    Date: May 15, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

    I see. Thanks! Oh, I’ll replace it…and the other while I’m in there. I just want to make sure the logic isn’t broken.

    It seems as if during calibration the delay after the last pulse (when it hits the stop) required by the logic is too long, thus putting undue extended strain on the gears.

    So then is the failure mode of the actuator that during calibration it’s unable to send clear enough pulses to detect, or that the gears eventually wear to the point they can’t endure the extended stopped pressure?

    Thanks again for your YEARS of patience on this one issue 😉

  238. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 15, 2015 @ 3:09 pm

    The actuators are made in China and are the weak link. They do take a lot of stress but this is how the system was designed. I’m definitely not an engineer, just someone that’s seen the problem over and over. Have a great weekend.

  239. Jrod :

    Date: May 31, 2015 @ 12:19 pm

    I was told mode actuator requires 5 hours of labor to take dash apart. They want $575 . Am I able to do this repair. Also, they said it is located by left vent. Any advice

  240. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 1, 2015 @ 6:56 am

    Not sure what you mechanical abilities are or what year your Impala is… Have them show you the 5 hour time in a book or in the Mitchell or some other labor guide. Good Luck.

  241. Carl :

    Date: June 16, 2015 @ 11:30 pm

    2002 Impala 3.8L.
    Hi, I have never heard a clicking noise and my hot/cold blend and dual zones work fine, but the airflow is stuck on some defrost, some dash and some floor. Could this still be the mode actuator? Where is it located on a 2002 Impala? What does it look like and is it the same or different than the other three actuators for this car? I have the dash, center console and glovebox out right now for other reasons and figured now is the time to tackle this issue as well.
    Thanks for the great info and insight.

  242. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 17, 2015 @ 7:16 am

    Carl, could be actuators, doors or the control head. It’s impossible to check operation with the dash out. All you could do is check for broken doors with the dash out. Refer to a service manual for exact locations for your particular model. Good Luck.

  243. Carl :

    Date: June 17, 2015 @ 7:51 pm

    Thanks Dennis and I think I miscommunicated the dash thing. I have all the panels, center console and glovebox removed, not the dash and plumbing out.
    How hard is it to see that mode door actuator, I can’t seem to spot it. Would taking the radio out help? Is that actautor the same as the main blend and right/left zone actuators, or is it different?
    Much appreciated……

  244. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 18, 2015 @ 8:33 am

    Not sure if they are the same part numbers. Usually yo can see up underneath the dash with a light while operating the controls and looking and listening for movement. Taking the radio out might help, not sure on that model. Good Luck.

  245. Bob :

    Date: July 2, 2015 @ 7:06 pm

    Hi Dennis,
    Like the millions of other people here with the actuator problems. I would like to know. I have pinned my bad actuator as the outside/recirculate Right side actuator. I disconnected the wire becasue I couldn’t stand the noise anymore. But, can get at it well enough to remove the bad part.

    What functionality would i be missing if I left the bad part in but disconnected?

  246. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 3, 2015 @ 7:15 am

    Not sure what position the door is in. It could be closed off to the outside air. open, allowing outside air in or somewhere in between. If it’s open allowing outside air in, MAX efficiency for AC or heat will never be obtained. The system without the benefit of the door ever being closed to the outside air has to heat or cool the outside air instead of recirculating the inside air and either heating it or cooling it more efficiently. In short the ac will never cool as well and the heater will never heat up as much as it should. If it’s in the closed position not ever allowing outside air in, you won’t have the benefit of allowing cooler outside air in when first getting into the car in the summer time. I usually run the AC with it NOT on Max until the car cools a little and then switch to Max. The part is not that expensive and it’s not hard to change, so I would change it rather than live with the above mentioned conditions. Good Luck.

  247. dan :

    Date: July 15, 2015 @ 7:57 pm

    I swapped out right side actuator (outside/recirc). Very tight fit as the big wiring harness had no give in it at all and couldn’t be moved out of the way. Reconnected the wire to the motor, and the new actuator doesn’t seem to be doing anything at all. Switching from outside to recirculate and the blend door isn’t moving. I don’t even feel the actuator humming, or clicking. grrr

  248. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 16, 2015 @ 7:20 am

    Dan, from what you’re describing, maybe the wires were pulled on excessively. I’d check the terminals in the plug connector to make sure they didn’t get pulled. Checking with a meter may also be helpful. Good Luck.

  249. Lee :

    Date: October 5, 2015 @ 7:58 pm


    I have been having the clicking noise on my 2009 impala. The air/heat stopped working today and the gauges on the dash board stopped working as well so I can’t see how fast I’m going or how much gas I have. which actuator do you think this might be? The noise is coming from the driver’s side and has affected me opening the doors. I purchased the blend actuator but I’m not sure if I purchased the correct one.
    Please help!

  250. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 6, 2015 @ 8:41 am

    Lee, nothing in the article should lead you to think that “ALL” of the problems you’ve mentioned are related to an HVAC door motor that has stripped plastic gears. You have other problems that are clearly unrelated. I’d start with checking the battery and alternator and go from there. Good Luck.

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