Air Only From Defrost and Feet

I am about at whits end. My 2000 Nissan Altima is only blowing air from the defrost and feet. It will do both heat and A/C so I know it isn’t the blend door and it will also switch from straight Defrost to Defrost and Feet to straight Feet. I replaced the mode door actuator…the motor that moves it from one setting to the other and I assume it works since I can watch and feel it move. A mechanic my wife took it to when it first started to do it quoted a price just to start looking at it and I’m not comfortable paying since I would like to DIY it. Since then I have inherited the car but living in San Antonio, Texas the summer is approaching so I would like to figure out what I need to do to get the air out of the face vents. When blower blows its like there is a panel in front of it preventing it from happening. Any advice, pictures, links would be greatly appreciated!

Your vehicle is currently in the “default” mode for the heater/AC system. The blend doors are not working due to a lack of vacuum or electrical current. A good independent mechanic will get your system working in short order.

More than likely the plastic clip that secures the mode door cable has broken. So the cable can no longer position the mode door for the dash vents.

The ventilation control head in the dash needs to be removed in order to gain access to the broken clip.


A lot of cars have doors that shut off air flow to the panel vents. There is a wheel or lever at each of the vents to open and close these doors. There should be symbols at these wheels, an open square for open vent, and a filled square, or square with an X for closed vent. Are you sure they are all set to open? You can usually see these doors in action through the vent vanes.

And, no, I don’t think your not smart. Just that the most obvious solutions are sometimes overlooked.

Tester, how much of the dash do you think needs to be removed for me to access the ventilation control head? Busted…I get what you are saying…since this was my wife’s car and it happened under her watch…trust me I covered the bases! Now I’ve inherited it and the problems, but at the same time I get to use it to play around! Missileman…I was thinking it was possibly vacuum as well but apparently my A/C doesn’t run off of vacuum. Heat and A/C are fully functional except for the fact that some door is blocking the dash vents.