The main reasons behind hearing a clicking noise behind the glove box are a bad blend door actuator, faulty blower motor, and broken recirculation doors
Nine times out of ten, this issue will be caused by the blend door actuator and you can replace it to make the noise disappear. Keep reading this article to learn how you can figure out if it’s bad and how you can replace it.
We’ll also discuss how to know if the blower motor or blend doors are causing the issue and how you can fix them as well. Let’s dive in!
Why Clicking Noise Behind Glove Box [Reasons + Solutions]
We’ll discuss the most common reasons that cause the annoying clicking noise behind the glove box in this section.
Note: You can also read how to calibrate the blend door actuator.
1. Bad Blend Door Actuator
The blend door actuator is a small electrical component that regulates the airflow and temperature inside the main cabin of your car. It’s a small plastic box with several gears inside it and a part of the HVAC system. This actuator behind the glove box makes noises when it goes bad.
It goes bad in usually two ways the plastic gears inside it wear out or the electric motor inside it can be burned. Either way, you’ll end up with a bad noise when it goes bad. You can hear the clicking noise in the dashboard when starting the car or even when you turn on the AC.
If you have a bad blend door actuator, you need to replace it. A blend door actuator isn’t normally expensive as it’s only a miniature plastic box. But it can be difficult to locate it, access it, and replace it on your own.
You can hire a mechanic to do the job if you don’t feel comfortable taking on the job yourself. But there’s no need to spend the extra bucks as we’ll show you the steps to replace it right here:
- Remove the dashboard panel or the glove box by unscrewing the mounting boots that hold them in place.
- Grab the cover and pull it out.
- Locate the faulty blend door actuator once the heater box is exposed.
- Disconnect the safety clip that connects the harness to the actuator.
- Be gentle while unscrewing as these clips can easily break off.
- Pull the wiring connector and take the old blend door actuator out.
- Clean the connectors if you see any form of rust or corrosion in them.
- Unscrew the two or three mounting bolts that are connected to the actuator.
- You can completely pull out the actuator when you remove all the screws as it’ll become loose.
- Put the new actuator in place of the old one.
Now, doing the above steps in reverse will complete the replacement job. But before you put the new actuator in, turn the blend door both ways to make sure that it’s not stuck and the actuator will work properly.
If that’s all good, double-check that you’re changing the right actuator motor. After replacing it, start your engine and see if the clicking noise goes away. If a faulty blend door was causing the issue, then you shouldn’t hear the glove box clicking noise anymore.
2. Faulty Blower Motor
The blower motor is also an important component of your HVAC system that’s normally located behind the glove box. It pushes hot or cold air to the vents depending on the climate settings and the fan speed chosen by the driver.
When you adjust the fan speed, the ECU signals the fan to pace more or slow down via the blower motor resistor. When the fan doesn’t work, there will only be a small of air coming from the interior vents. Sometimes, the blower motor can be alright but the fuses you can go out.
But in your case, hearing a clicking or knocking noise behind the glove box usually occurs when something is stuck in it. Even if a piece of leaf stem gets into your blower motor, it’ll make that noise. The noise may get incrementally louder as you keep turning up the fan speed.
Another potential cause behind the blower motor making a loud clicking noise behind the glove box is a clogged cabin air filter. If it’s dirty, dirt may pass from it to the motor and cause this issue.
The common culprit behind the noise in most cases will be stuck leaves or dirt in the blower motor. Thankfully, it’s also an easy fix as you can just clean it and remove the debris from it to get rid of the clicking noise. You’ll have to take the blower motor out if you want to do that. Follow these steps to do it:
- Remove the glove box and you should be able to see the blower motor.
- Unbolt the three bolts that are connected to it.
- Pull the blower motor assembly now that it’s loose.
- Remove the main fan blower from the assembly by removing the screw at the top and disconnecting the wires.
- Keep shaking the blower and you’ll see the dirt coming out of it.
- You can apply detergent and rub it with a brush on the blower until you’re happy with the results.
- Put the blower assembly back together.
- Place it behind the glove box and tighten the screws.
The clicking sound behind the glove box should now go away if it was causing the issue. If you want to check whether your blower motor is functioning properly, you can do it using the connectors inside it. Get two jumper wires, put them on the battery, and connect the other end to the terminals on the fan.
You can connect them in any order as it’s a DC motor. If the fan spins, that means it’s good. Otherwise, it’s gone bad and you’ll have to replace it altogether.
You’ll hear the clicking sound if you have a faulty blower motor as the bearings will most likely be worse when you do this test. When you change the blower motor, it’s a good idea to replace the blower motor resistor too as they can easily get damaged as well.
Keep in mind that it’s important to inspect the cabin air filter even if the noise goes away. If it’s clogged, then the blower motor will be dirty again in a short period and make the annoying noise again. The cabin air filter also makes sure that the air you breathe in your car is clean.
It’s an incredibly easy job to replace it. The location and installation process of the cabin air filter can vary depending on the vehicle. You’ll have to remove the glove box to replace it in most cases.
3. Broken Recirculation Doors
The recirculation doors work to give you airflow as per the climate control settings in your car. It switches to different positions and opens the doors to different degrees to control the airflow. But they can also break and cause the clicking behind the glove box.
It’ll be easier to identify the faulty blend door by unplugging one door at a time and listening if the clicking noise occurs. When the noise stops, you can confirm that you have now located the bad one.
You can take the diagnosis further by trying to move the door fully in different directions. If there are obstructions or the presence of unwanted objects like toothpicks, pens, bubble gums, and so on, you won’t be able to move it and it’ll also cause a functioning actuator to fail.
You can first try cleaning the faulty blend door if you saw a build-up of dirt in it. If that gets rid of the noise, you’ve solved the problem. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace it.
Is it okay to drive a car with a clicking noise in the car glove box?
Normally, it’s safe to drive your car in this condition for a short while as it only impacts the HVAC system and not the critical components. But don’t do it for long as it can severely damage the HVAC system.
What are the common blend door actuator locations?
They’re located in different areas in your car. Sometimes, you can easily get access to them but otherwise, they’ll be in awkward places like the side of the HVAC plenum or the top of the heater box.
How much does it cost to replace a blend door actuator?
They come in a wide variety of prices depending on your vehicle and whether you’re using OEM parts or not. Blend door actuators can cost as little as $20- $40 and go as high as $300-$400.
Are blend door actuators and mode actuators the same?
Blend door actuators are also called HVAC actuators and they control the temperature and airflow inside the car by moving the door. The mode door, on the other hand, controls which vent the air will pass through.
It can be extremely frustrating to hear a clicking noise behind glove box and not know what to do about it. Hopefully, now you can easily diagnose what’s causing this problem and solve it after following this guide.
More often than not, you’ll have to replace the blend door actuators to remove the noise. Follow the steps shared in this guide to do the job correctly. Leave a comment below if you have any more questions about this clicking sound.