Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Air conditioner putting out hot air in Pontiac

Hottest day ever on Planet Earth and my air conditioner in my Pontiac decides to throw hot air in my face! Luckily, for my female companion, she gets ice cold air. This 2002 Grand Prix 40th Anniversary edition has 236,000 miles, I never once had a problem with the air conditioner in the past (have thought about contacting GM asking what they did right in this car)
This model has dual climate control. I noticed that in turning the selector knob on the dash climate control panel, there is hot air in the vent, bi-level, heater and defrost, but cold air comes out on the passenger side. The interior temperature functions are all similar on the '97 through '03 models of Grand Prix, just wondered if this is something I can fix, or do I need to visit a Pontiac dealer to have it diagnosed (and spend a lot of money)

It really depends on how handy you are whether you can fix it or not. It sounds like one of the doors in the AC duct system is broken. It could be the head unit itself, too, but one actuator IS working so I think its OK.

First you have to find it by pulling off the hush panels under the dash and locating the blend door actuators. Check with the dealer or an auto parts place to find out how many of these little actuators you have. RockAuto shows 4 part numbers, 3 electric and one vacuum actuator. The expensive one ($40) is for dual-zone. Exercise the AC controls while touching the actuators to find out which one is not moving. Remove and replace. If its the vacuum actuator, check for vacuum supply as it could be a damaged hose. Sounds easy? Do you like standing on your head? Search YouTube for “blend door actuator” to get some idea of the job at hand.

Who doesn’t?


I think if the problem is the driver’s side not working, that’s easier to fix than the passenger side. And for some reason it is usually the driver’s side that fails.