Why Is My Dashboard Air Vents Not Working?

Imagine cruising downtown on a hot and sunny afternoon or driving on a snowy day, then suddenly your dashboard air vents are not working. Take it from a guy that has been on both sides. It is very frustrating or worse. During winter, the vehicle’s heater is needed to function optimally due to the very cold environment as opposed to summer.

But several factors like a faulty fuse, insufficient refrigerant, clogged air intake, resistor malfunction, torn hoses, and failed condenser may prevent your dashboard air vents not working.

A functioning ventilation system is integral to most modern vehicles for comfort while driving. The air vent is a part of the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system of your vehicle that allows the free flow of air in and out of your vehicle. Hot or Cool air is blown into your vehicle through the air vents controlled by your HVAC system. So, you must ensure they are working. But how?

This article has briefed on the said factors that can cause your vehicle’s air vents to stop functioning and how to fix these problems with a few easy steps. You will also develop authority knowledge on how the ventilation system of your vehicle operates.

What causes dashboard air vents not to work?

To successfully detect the cause of a faulty air ventilation system, you need to check the various components of your vehicle’s ventilation system, which can be technical. So, you should be attentive to these probable causes listed below:

weak air flow from vents in car

A faulty fuse or relay

This is one area to check that might be responsible for your dashboard air vents not working. If there is a bad ventilation fuse in your vehicle, the blower motor will not be able to carry out its function by blowing air through the vents. This problem can also occur if your vehicle has a faulty relay; the relay helps to provide the current needed for the blower motor to operate. If there is no current to stir up the blowing motor, there will be no ventilation.

Low level of refrigerant

This is a common cause of the air conditioner in your vehicle to stop working. When the refrigerant level in your vehicle is low, you will need to notice a significant reduction in the cooling effect of the air blown into the vehicle. This might lead to a point where the air conditioner starts blowing hot air. If there is no refrigerant in your vehicle’s cooling system, your conditioner cannot blow cool air.

Jammed air intake

Two areas allow the flow of air into your vehicle. The first area is the vents by the lower half of the windshield, and the second area is the air that is circulated again within the cabin of your vehicle. These two areas are very necessary for your vehicle’s ventilation system to properly function. If any of these two areas is blocked by debris or any other substance, the ventilation system of the car will not be able to blow air inside your vehicle.

Faulty blower motor or resistor

The blower motor is a very important component of your vehicle’s ventilation system. This motor is a fan located behind the dashboard responsible for blowing the air through the vents. A few factors can affect the functionality of the blower motor like electrical problems, aging, etc. However, if the blower motor cannot function, then no cool or hot air will be blown inside your vehicle when you turn on the air vents.

The blow motor functions with the aid of the blower resistor. The blower resistor helps regulate the flow of air that is blown into your vehicle as instructed by you through the air vent controls. So, if the blower resistor in your vehicle’s ventilation system is bad, it can be why the car heater is not blowing air and affects the flow of cool air inside your vehicle.

Torn hoses or belts

The ventilation system of your vehicle is connected with various hoses that transport fluid; if there is any damage to these hoses, the ventilation system will not be able to function properly. A torn hose can even lead to refrigerant leakage, which will reduce the effectiveness of your vehicle’s air conditioner. A damaged belt can also lead to this issue.

Failed condenser or compressor

A failed condenser can prevent cool air from flowing through your vents. The condenser takes the heat of the refrigerant by changing it from its gaseous state to a liquid state. If the condenser is damaged or blocked, it can cause your car to overheat while the AC is on due to inadequate air flowing to the air conditioner.

How do you fix an air vent in a car?

Continue reading this article to know of a proper guide that will help you successfully fix that air ventilation problem of yours. This guide will solve any ventilation problems in minutes, whether the air only blows through the front seat or other similar issues. And Yes, this can be used for most vehicles:

Note that you have to be very careful in doing this; if this is not done properly, you might risk incurring more damages.

#The air conditioning system consists of air control vents with a control door inside your vehicle on the dashboard. This door can be used to block or allow the flow of air inside your vehicle. Most vehicle control doors have control to prevent you from damaging the door; this control is called a thumbwheel. Use the thumbwheel to start and stop the airflow.

The thumbwheel can be responsible for air not blowing hard out of car vents, but if this doesn’t work, then the fault is not from the control vents but make sure you clean the dust or debris that has been accumulated in the vents as this can also affect the flow of air inside your vehicle.

#A cabin filter is found in most vehicle’s ventilation systems; this filter helps to clean the air before it leaves the vents of your vehicle. If this filter becomes blocked or clogged as a result of irregular vehicle maintenance, it will slow down or might stop the flow of air coming out from the vents. To clean the cabin filter, you find your vehicle’s cabin filter under the passenger’s seat or under the bonnet, depending on your vehicle’s design.

weak air flow from vents in car

The first step to remove the cabin filter is to locate where it is installed on your vehicle. Some filters are found under the bonnet of some vehicles, while some are located under the vehicle’s passenger seat. Once you have been able to locate the filter, gently remove the mounting screws that hold it, you can do this with the aid of a screwdriver. Then remove the filter from its housing.

You will notice specks of dust and debris on its surface if you have not cleaned the filter in a long while. Then carefully clean or replace the filter into its housing.

#A blower motor is regulated by a switch inside the vehicle or, most times, by a computer. If this motor fails, there will be no flow of air through the vents of your vehicle. To know if your vehicle’s motor is faulty, you need to connect an amp meter to the blower motor’s power wire. Set the amp motor to run at full speed, and when you do this, the amp meter is supposed to read between 8 to 15amps.

If the reading is lower than 8amps, it means that your vehicle’s blower motor is faulty and should be replaced. You should take your vehicle to the mechanic’s shop for this replacement because doing this can be very technical. Resolving this issue can fix the problem of the car heater and ac not working in your vehicle.

#The ventilation system of your vehicle has two air intakes. One intake is for fresh air from outside your vehicle, while the other is for re-circulated air. If these intakes become blocked or clouded by debris or other substances, it will stop the flow of air through your vents. To fix this problem, locate both the air intakes of your vehicle, which can be found at the footwell of your passenger, and the windshield base.

Then carefully remove the debris or substance blocking these intakes. Immediately you are done with this; you will notice a better performance of your vehicle’s ventilation system.

Car Ac Not Blowing Enough Air Thru Vents

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why is there no air coming from the vents in my car?

This problem can either be caused by a damaged blower motor or resistor, blocked air intake, damaged fuse, or a torn hose. You can use these common factors to properly investigate the actual cause of your vehicle’s vent problems.

Though you will not damage your vehicle if you decide to drive with a bad ventilation system, however, you need to be aware of the probable factors that could have caused this problem, so you know if your car just needs a quick fix or not instead of unnecessarily inconveniencing yourself and also your passengers.

Q: What controls the vents in a car?

The vents for modern vehicles are controlled by three or four electrical actuator motors, which can be adjusted by the climate control module; this electronically regulates and control the air ventilation system in your vehicle. While on older vehicles with a manual control system, the air vents in these vehicles are controlled by vacuum servos. The vacuum is created by the engine while driving.

Q: How do I know If my blower motor relay is bad?

The blower motor relay is an electrical component that supplies current to the blower motor of your car. If your blower motor is bad, it is one of the signs to notice is your vehicle’s blower motor relay is not functioning, and you might find out that the blower motor fuse is also blown.

Q: How do you open car vents?

The ventilation system of most vehicles can be opened by a manual device known as the ‘Thumbwheel.’ The thumbwheel is used to open or close vents in your vehicle to either stop or allow the flow of air inside the vehicle. If the thumbwheel is wheeled to the right, it will make the vents fully open the vents while the opposite direction closes the vent of your vehicle.

Q: How do you clean car AC vents?

It is not easy to clean through the narrow spaces of your vehicle’s air vents thoroughly. However, using cheap or homemade cleaning tools can make the job easy. You can try cleaning the vents with a set of foam paintbrushes, this can penetrate through your vents’ narrow spaces and help remove dust or debris. You can also try preparing a cleaning solution at home by mixing water and vinegar to aid you with this cleaning process.

You can also use dry brushes for this purpose but remember; you have to do this gently. You can also periodically put on the fan in your vents without the AC on to completely dry your ventilation system and prevent the accumulation of debris.

Q: Why is air only coming out of some vents?

The only reason air is coming out of some vents or from one particular vent is that there is a blockage in the air ducts or vents that are not flowing out air. However, if the air is only coming from the front vents but not coming from the rear vents or vice versa, it could mean the vents controlling that area is closed.

Q: How do you reset air vents?

The process of resetting air vents is quite simple. To do the reset, follow these procedures;

  • Insert the car key and turn on the ignition
  • Switch off all the climate control knobs
  • Press and hold the window heater and recirculating button together. Hold it for 5 seconds
  • The lights on the two buttons will start flashing
  • All the vent flaps will open and close and run through a circle. That circle will run for about 30 seconds.

That’s all you need to reset the air vents. However, if the circle is terminated before the 30 seconds elapse, the air vents are okay. But if it continues running until you turn off the ignition, you have a problem that needs to be fixed.

Final Words

The gist is you have to know why your dashboard air vents are not responding, how to unclog air vents in your car and fix other air vent issues. Here we have singled out the recurring causes, suggested expert ways to fix them, and complemented with other crucial factors. So, with some DIY auto-repair skills, you can now repair your dashboard air vents not working now.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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