With a very noticeable clicking noise coming from the rear driver's side area located near the rear hatch, as well as warm air only blowing from the rear of the vent system…we dive in for the cause and fix.
Most vehicles have so much that takes place that is completely out of sight and out of mind…until something stops working. (Especially cold air conditioning that is needed in the 115-degree temps of an Arizona summer…ouch.)
We quickly identified the clicking, popping noise coming from the Rear Mode Actuator. No fancy tools needed here. At best if you want to be special, pull out a mechanics stethoscope and listen in…otherwise, the writing is pretty much on the wall.
The Rear Mode Actuator is responsible for funneling the correct amount of hot, cold or blend of air depending on what you set the blend knob, switch or button to on the dash. Essentially the function is very similar to a door that you simply open and close.
We chose to go with Motorcraft. Here is the part :
MotorCraft Part # YH-1856-1L2Z-19E616-AA
Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B004A2D4NY/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687582&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B008B68LVK&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=M2G42VY9XVRP7G83V7ZG (NOT an Affiliate)
Here is a great diagram of the layout :
This particular repair is simple enough. Be particularly careful when removing the plastic components as they can easily break and cost beaucoup money to replace ( yes..looks like cheap plastic, however, they can fetch ridiculous money…take your time here.)
The panel removal tools can be found here:
For the most part people, …actuators of all types can click and pop. They are electrical mechanical components and specifically, as you can see in the video explanation, the shaft can come undone from a broken plastic seated gear and move when it should not, creating excessive play and that popping noise. If you happen to have an actuator in the front dash, that will be more challenging and in some occasions require removal of the complete dash assembly.
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