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Air Blower Vents in 2010 Lancer Don't Open or Change


I have a 2010 Lancer (standard) and the air vents don’t open or turn depending on the position of the air controller dial. I have to turn the air to defrost, back to front, back to defrost…several times for the air to come out. I can hear what sounds like a motor turning what I presume are air deflectors of some sort, but the air doesn’t come out. Any thoughts?

I don’t have any experience with your make/model, but some of those air vent controls in newer cars are controlled by vacuum motors. If so, either the vacuum motor has stuck or failed, or it isn’t getting the correct vacuum like it should. Ask your mechanic to look under the hood to see if there are any vacuum hoses – especially one that goes through the firewall – that have become disconnected, broken, etc. He might be able to test the vacuum motor too by attempting to pull a vacuum on the hose that goes to it. Could tell if it is leaking or not. Is the car idling ok? If it has started to idle rough, that could be a symptom of a vacuum leak in the vacuum motor.

The other idea to consider is that a stick or leave has become stuck somewhere in there. Ask your mechanic, maybe there is a way to blow air through those vents using an air hose to free it up.

It’s a good idea as part of preventative maineanance to keep the airflow inlet screens (usually just under the windshield) clean of debris, especially if you park under trees regularly. A shop vac takes care of this in a jiffy. Best of luck.

Let me ask a few questions.
I assume you’ve got no air coming out of the panel registers (the ones that blow air in your face)
Do the other dial settings work?
Does air hit the windshield in defrost mode?
Does air go to the footwell in floor mode?

If you “hear a motor turning” I believe your airfow is controlled by electrical actuator motors. That would be typical for a newer vehicle. If the airflow is correct for the other modes, it’s possible that an actuator motor and/or the linkage has broken. It’s also possible that one of the doors is broken.

Thanks, guys.

GeorgeSanJose - I’ll take a peek to make sure there is no debris stuck under the hood.


  1. Correct, kinda. If I turn the air flow dial from one position to the other, the air eventually comes out, but seems a little tame.
  2. They do, but only after I go bonkers with the dial! :slight_smile:
  3. Yes, but only after I’ve gone bonkers with the dial!
    4, See numbers two and three above.

The air does eventually work, but only after I’ve rotated the dial. Seems to me like the deflectors (can’t think of a better name for them) only rotate halfway and get stuck between open and closed until they are forced to fully engage by me rotating the air flow dial.

I’m going to take the car to the dealership tomorrow - hopefully this is still under warranty.

In the mean, you might try turning the fan to the lowest speed setting when changing the airflow selection.

pleasedodgevan2 - yeah, I’ve tried it at a whisper and at gale force. :slight_smile:

And, of course, the problem wouldn’t replicate at the dealership.