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No air out of the defrosters

2002 Dodge Dakota 3.9 with 307,000 miles.

My defrosters blow very little air, but if I make any other selection (floor, dash) the air blows strong.

I presume a door actuator is is shot, but I have no idea where that door and actuator are.

Can anyone point me in the right direction, before I tear the dash out and find that it was something that could have been done a lot easier.


Are you kidding?

You’re able to come up with an answer for just about every question someone posts on this board?

And you can’t figure this one out?

That’s a riot!


Before I would put a lot of time and money into a 16 year old truck with over 300,000 miles, I would buy one or two twelve volt fans at an auto supply store or even in the automotive section at Walmart and mount the fans on the dashboard. You can even plug the fans into the cigarette lighter socket. Years ago, a defroster fan was common. I rigged up two fans for the rear window of my 1978 Olds and wired them through a switch mounted on the dashboard. This arrangement did the job. I had a 1961 Corvair and I had a fan that attached to the steering column that did a much better job than the air that came through the defroster slots.

On the drivers side of the HVAC box near the gas pedal there is a slotted wheel driven by an actuator motor. The levers that connect to the mode doors have pins that ride in slots in the actuator wheel. Check to see if one of the pins has come out of place on the wheel.

Well Mr @Tester

I didn’t realize that only those who know every part of the car were allowed to help others with their problems.

You have corrected me a few times and I always accept the input with grace, because I admit that I don’t know everything. Yes I could go to the local library and try to find the info. I also googled my problem, but only asked here to be sure I had the correct info…from those more knowledgeable…like yourself.

I always looked at you, as one of the people I’d hope would help me someday when I had a question, because I could see in your posts that you were very knowledgeable. I respected you greatly.

Hopefully all the people that come to this site will read this;
I, Yosemite hereby admit to all that I know little about Climate control, Body work, AC, Transmissions, and a few other things.
So beware that my answers about your Ball joints, Wheel bearings, Drive line, Suspension, Brakes could be wrong.

I admit that I have little experience under the dash working with the climate controls, and I was hoping that I didn’t have to pull the entire dash out. I already had to do that about 5 years ago, and it was a chore.

I find it a RIOT, That it’s too bad that your head is too big to actually help.

Had you actually ended your post with;

But the blend door and actuator are straight up from the gas pedal.

Criticism but no help I guess, is all that you can give.


It’s not called a blend door.

It’s called a MODE door.


Thanks @Nevada_545, that’s what I found when googling it, but wanted to be sure that this was the correct actuator. The one that they were working on was of another year.

Thank you, and I will let you know is this was my problem.


Something you may find useful-

Thanks @TwinTurbo that link was exactly what I needed to do the job, and explains in more detail than the others that I watched.

I was hoping that I didn’t need to remove the dash, so I guess that I’ll hold off on the job until I have more free time away from the house.
Been forced to stay around the house many days as the wife recuperates from surgery. It gives me more time for baking cookies and breads. You know…that kneading dough really gets out that hard to get to grime under the finger nails!!!



I read the whole discussion and I agree the problem lies either in the mode door, the linkages and gears, or the mode door actuator

By the way, that link the guy posted in that Dodge dakota website probably won’t be much help . . . the link to the 2005 dakota service manual. The 2005 is a completely different generation

At work, we have some Fords that constantly have mode door operation problems, so that it doesn’t have full range of motion. But this is because guys keep dropping stuff into the plenum . . . ball point pens, paper clips, and so forth. In these cases, the motor and gears are fine, but the motor wasn’t designed to be strong enough to move the door against all that debris

I just mentioned that last part, because sometimes the actual case is somewhat unusual