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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Nice place you guys got here.

I have an 07 Limited v6 154k with the dual automatic climate control and the HVAC will not direct the air to the defrost/windshield position. All the other HVAC controls seem to be working but the defrost mode. When I press the defrost button the air is directed to the front vents, primarily the vests furthest to the sides (round ones, not the small window vents on top).

I looked through here and found some handy repair manual pdf pages that took me to the HVAC check mode procedure. I ran the indicator, actuator, and sensor checks and got nothing back for codes. During the actuator check there was no air blowing out of the defrost vent during any of the 8ish positions it runs through.The was one noticeable click sound at the end of the actuator check cycle (when it returns to position 1) but no repetitive clicking and the sound didn't seem out of the ordinary to me.

I'm not sure where to go next. I guess I could try to pull out the actuators and inspect them but I'm not sure which one to start with and if I can even get to them.

Thanks in advance for you help.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Got any kids? I've heard of Lego blocks, pens, even action figures being dropped down the vents. It doesn't take much to keep a vent door from actuating.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Got any kids? I've heard of Lego blocks, pens, even action figures being dropped down the vents. It doesn't take much to keep a vent door from actuating.
No kids and get's kept pretty clean. If there was something down in there would it set off a code on the actuator check? How would I go about getting to the vent door to clear it? is the actuator in question located on the driver or passenger side?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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No kids and get's kept pretty clean. If there was something down in there would it set off a code on the actuator check? How would I go about getting to the vent door to clear it? is the actuator in question located on the driver or passenger side?
Yeah, if a blend door or damper door is jammed, that should set a code. All I know is the automatic system uses servo motors to move those doors. I love the auto climate control, but I also know it's quite complex. Which is one reason I bought the extended warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
So, here is the update.
1) I took out the glove box and peeked inside the cabin air filter and didn't see anything of note.
2) I have observed both accessible actuator motors (Temperature control and Vent control) and both seem to be moving predictably and smoothly. I did not remove them at this time as I'm not sure how or if this would be of any help.

That leaves me with the guess that one of the baffles/louvers/dampers has broken off the little plastic cam that controls it. This would leave the motors to spin their merry hearts out without setting off a code. but yet the symptom persists.

I am now faced with a repair that will involve the dash coming off.

I am also considering buying an inspection camera to get a better look at the problem but I still do not have a good enough understanding of how the internals of the beast operate to give me a clear answer as to what I'm looking at.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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So, here is the update.
1) I took out the glove box and peeked inside the cabin air filter and didn't see anything of note.
2) I have observed both accessible actuator motors (Temperature control and Vent control) and both seem to be moving predictably and smoothly. I did not remove them at this time as I'm not sure how or if this would be of any help.

That leaves me with the guess that one of the baffles/louvers/dampers has broken off the little plastic cam that controls it. This would leave the motors to spin their merry hearts out without setting off a code. but yet the symptom persists.

I am now faced with a repair that will involve the dash coming off.

I am also considering buying an inspection camera to get a better look at the problem but I still do not have a good enough understanding of how the internals of the beast operate to give me a clear answer as to what I'm looking at.
There are actually 4 servomotors: Driver's air mix, passenger air mix, air inlet, and air vent (mode).

This PDF file may give you some insight as to how the system works:

AC Description
 

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Discussion Starter #8
On BE-24 of that pdf you linked, do you know if the same servo motor controls the FGH and IJK dampers? The IJK seems to be working but the FGH damper seems to be stuck blocking the defrost vent.
 

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On BE-24 of that pdf you linked, do you know if the same servo motor controls the FGH and IJK dampers? The IJK seems to be working but the FGH damper seems to be stuck blocking the defrost vent.
Can't answer your specific question but is it possible to disconnect the linkage to see if the damper is stuck or the servo isn't working?
Also I don't implicitly trust electronic monitors to generate codes for every possible defect.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It is the automatic servo control, it does not have linkage as far as I know of.

Dug further into it today but didnt really find anything. Headed to the dealer thursday for a diagnosis. I dared to ask how much the new assembly would be if there was a broken damper part... $2100. Its all one part, housing, servos, heater core, and evap core. I only pray that it is the $350 ecu or ac amp. Please anything besides a mechanical problem.
 

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If I was in your boots, next step work out how much time you have to work on this it maybe an easy fix maybe not then see what options you have for either a reconditioned unit or maybe one from a wrecker.
 

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I imagine that I'm a sort of Luddite but with that sort of problem I'm pleased that I have the manual climate control system! JuneBug's suggestion for buying an extended service plan by owners with the automatic system certainly is convincing!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I drive 70k a year in for work in this beast. I have taken it up and down mountain trails that scare equipped off-road jeeps. I have a dented oil pan, completely ripped off plastic splashguard, banged the trailer hitch on things soo many times, I have abused the ever loving hell out of this car/truck thing. NOTHING has failed me until this defroster. Not. One. Damn. Part.

I will pull apart the dash myself and get you pictures of the guts if need be. This rig has taken me literally to the top of mountains (I work on cell tower equipment). I have gotten it stuck and unstuck, stuck again, unstuck, then pulled out the buddy's 1 ton from the mud. Nobody disrespects the power of this little monster on my work sites.

Be proud of your car/truck/rocket. They are a formidable beast.

... but dammit, why did the defroster have to go out the week before the first snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Internal part broken in the air box. Dealer part. $2100+1600 labor. They took the box out and I requested that they leave it out. Hopefully I can get a good look at it and fix it at home.
 

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I don't have any nice words to share with you, at the moment, looks like I have the same problem with our '07 Limited. Please update this post when you fix it or whatever, thanks and good luck. :serious
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't have any nice words to share with you, at the moment, looks like I have the same problem with our '07 Limited. Please update this post when you fix it or whatever, thanks and good luck. :serious
I wish I had better news for you...
There is one motor up at the top of the passenger side air box. It controls all of the vent positions by actuating 2 internal baffles that are connected to the main gear by peg slots and 2 actuating 1/6th gears. In my case something had fallen down the defrost vent, jammed the upper baffle (controls front and defrost vents), and the servo motor snapped the cam of the upper baffle clean off.

No, the cam is not fixable, and no, you probably shouldn't attempt to.

Here is what I did.
1) Remove the upper dashboard. It's not fun but it is completely do-able by someone with minor mechanical skills and patience. EVERYTHING comes off easily, if it seems stuck YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.
2) Detach the blower assembly. 6 fasteners and a cable connector up top on the air recirculate actuator.
3) Observe your air vent position motor/gears. There should be two small white 1/6 gears behind the primary gear, the upper one is your broken friend.
4) you can now look down into the airbox and see the baffle.
5) FIND THE ******* BANANA PLUG THAT THE PREVIOUS OWNER DROPPED DOWN THE DEFROSTER, GOT SHAKEN LOOSE, AND JAMMED/BROKE THE CAM TO THE BAFFLE.
6) REMOVE THE OBSTRUCTING OBJECT.

Here is my solution, it's not pretty.

7) drill holes in the front of the baffle and feed wire up through the defrost vent, attach to the baffle allowing you to pull the wire to activate the front vents. Repeat with a wire guided to the front of the dash into the storage box in front of stick shift, this wire will be pulled to activate the defrost.

8) reassemble.

I wish I had better news. you will not be able to fully replace the box yourself and the quoted price from the dealership is $3700 (P+L).

Feel free to ask if you have more questions or need help with the dash.
 

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Wow thanks for the outstanding reply!, I'm not exactly sure what we plan on doing at this point, my short term solution is remote start, and preheat the car before driving in winter, not the end of the world for summer. I suppose we drive our Excursion more.

Original owners nothing that I know of fell down there, it is however the wife's car.
 

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I can't quite pictures this yet, I think I understand it, did you remove the broken part did you take pictures? Did you consider 3 printing the broken part?
 
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