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2013 Terrain SLT-1 (6 cyl / FWD)

I also have this problem with my Terrain.

I'm about to wade into it in the next few days.

No matter what buttons I press, I can't seem to get any air out of the dash/defroster vents.

The front defroster button illuminates when I press it, and goes dark when I press it again. If I cycle through the air direction "modes," the central display cycles through the proper flow indicators.

But the flow does not change.

The temperature IS controllable--so I know it's not the temperature actuator (I assume it moves some sort of door, too)


(I saw the instructions on how to do this on Page 1--THANK YOU! Is it me, or is Photo-Bucket intentionally blurring their images??)


If nothing else, I want to hear that dreaded click to confirm the gear internal to the actuator is shot. AND (from what I can tell), I have to determine--before I go and buy the replacement--if it has 5 pins or 6 to it.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/gmc,2013,terrain,3.6l+v6,2002854,heat+&+air+conditioning,heater+blend+door+actuator,10721

There's a "1st design" and "2nd design"--for the same year car? What the heck?!?


From this video, it looks like I can easily pop out the glove box and check the pin-count on the sister actuator on the RHS, which looks to be FAR more accessible!

 

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And can anyone tell me how that little red piece on the electrical is supposed to go back in? I had to take it off the RHS connector to remove the connector and check the pin count (pin count = 6), and I can't figure out how to get it back on! But the connector clicked in place, and the temperature control continues to work just fine, so I *think* I'm OK.
 

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And can anyone tell me how that little red piece on the electrical is supposed to go back in? I had to take it off the RHS connector to remove the connector and check the pin count (pin count = 6), and I can't figure out how to get it back on! But the connector clicked in place, and the temperature control continues to work just fine, so I *think* I'm OK.
The little red plastic piece is a lock to keep the two halves of the connector together.
It's not supposed to come off.
This happened to me a couple of times, I just put a thin zip tie on when you get both pieces together.

It happened to me on my 2014 Nox, on the MAF connector.
I wanted to fix it right so I got a replacement connector, took it apart, pulled the wires out of the old connector and slid them in the new connector.
Turned out perfect.

See link below, replacement connectors are available.
Yes all the way from China.
https://www.ebay.com/i/142643927202?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=142643927202&targetid=800915165977&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9030231&poi=&campaignid=8081083123&mkgroupid=84292526300&rlsatarget=pla-800915165977&abcId=1139466&merchantid=138379516&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIybzd-PSy5gIVsR-tBh27LQBHEAQYAyABEgJhJPD_BwE
 

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Thanks! It looks like a safety-clip (redundant lock) for the connector.

Hopefully, I can fix it (and not screw up the other one) when I get the replacement actuator next week.
 

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I fixed the door mode actuator on 12/31/2019. Success! And thanks for the directions and pictures.

It only took me 3-1/2 hours. In the cold. Half in the dark. With it starting to drizzle. Upside down in the driver's seat (as warned).

Notes and pics to follow.

And, yes, I got that red clip back in place and learned how to pop it out a fraction of an inch--like you're supposed to--without disassembling the whole connector!
 

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And, yes, I got that red clip back in place and learned how to pop it out a fraction of an inch--like you're supposed to--without disassembling the whole connector!
:thumb:
 
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Just getting the fasteners removed to remove the original Mode Door Actuator is enough to loose some skin on my hands and arm.

I tried using some thinner work gloves and not keen on them when doing that kind of work. I usually end up dropping and fumbling/breaking something due to lack of feel. lol
 

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Notes from my successful repair:

To your list of tools, add a 1/4" 12-point socket. This is for the screws holding the actuator to the car.

You probably do not need a 3/8" drive ratchet.

I did this repair WITHOUT disconnecting the battery or any fuses. It all worked out fine.

When removing the panels--not all cars have the footwell light (mine did not).

Sorry that I didn't take a picture, but it is FAR EASIER to remove the hood release lever assembly from the central kick panel (rather than let it stay assembled, and in your way). Two minutes staring at it should be sufficient to force it to reveal its secrets.

Don't forget that nut holding the second plastic panel to the inside of the firewall! Also--when you put this nut back, do NOT tighten it all the way. You'll probably have to leave it a little loose so that the plastic latches orient properly to the metal dash components and clip in place (similarly for those dreaded retainer clips/pins). Think of it more like an "adjuster nut."

I unplugged the connector from the brake switch, to get it out of the way. Loops of coax and wires are not your friends.

You will want to put in the effort to remove those three COAX connections attached to that small chrome-plated "splitter." Press the latch levers (right at the arrow point in my picture; arrows A, B, and C) one at a time, and pull them along the axis of the coax line. They are color-coded by the connectors for easy reinstallation. Note that the size and shape of the connectors in my 2013 are different from those in CRYSALIS' pictures. The center COAX line wraps around under the mounting plate and reconnects to the NAVCOM box, with a 90° swivel connector. I was NOT able to remove this 90° assembly...and that's OK. I even tried when the NAVCOM box was fully removed. But you want to remove the central coax line from the splitter, or it will be in serious danger of snagging.

The NAVCOM module is held in place, as mentioned, by those two bolts and the fastener clips. The fastener clips want to fall to the floor when you remove the bolts. There are other bolts (see the blue rectangle marked "D" on my new picture)--leave those in place. That little chrome box stays put; it is NOT a part of the NAV/COM module. There is a piece of black silicon foam on the left-hand side of the NAVCOM box that makes it VERY snug, and a little worrisome to pull out. But that's all it is--friction. Pull the NAVCOM box out in the direction of the red arrow.

My car had two plain-white connectors plugged into the box. No extra red plastic bails on these connectors. I poked in the latch lever on the connector with my Leatherman pliers and then used the pliers to easily pry them out of the jacks in the NAVCOM box. I strongly recommend doing this--it allows you to put the box aside where dogs and children can't pee on it.

Now you have to remove the three screws holding the actuator in place. As CRYSALIS said--this is the part you will quickly learn to regret.

IMPORTANT NOTE--there is an IDENTICAL screw to the three on the actuator, just forward of the forward-most screw on the actuator. This fourth screw holds the larger HVAC box together. DO NOT LOOSEN OR REMOVE THIS SCREW. It added 30 minutes, round trip, to my effort--first to remove it, then to immediately put it back. There is zero benefit to removing this screw.

The screws are a combination Philips Head and 1/4" hex. I cannot for the life of me imagine how one could ever use a screwdriver in those cramped quarters. I went out and bought a thumbwheel attachment for my sockets, should I ever find myself in a similar situation. I actually recommend you do that BEFORE you attempt this repair.

The lesson you'll learn by lifting up--ever so slightly, and in the direction of extraction--that red bail on the visible and accessible brake switch connector will help you get the feel for doing the same thing on the smaller, inaccessible, semi-hidden actuator connector. Pay attention! Remove the connector before undoing those three screws.

If you drop something behind the long plastic kick-panel on the RHS of the driver's footwell, don't worry--just pull it out perpendicular to its face. The engagement pins are mostly along the top edge. I did not attempt to completely remove it--just the first foot or so, to get at that forward area. You'll immediately get the feel for it.

Remember that you may have to use the OLD actuator (once unbolted) to twist the receiver socket for the mode vane into the right orientation to match the new actuator's "star" pattern on its output shaft.

Reassembly is a LOT easier--but don't forget what I told you about that adjustment nut. Fiddling with that will add a minute or two.

But before you fully reassemble--CALIBRATE and TEST! The fuses that I needed to remove (the trapezoidal fuse panel to the right of the central console--on the left wall of the passenger's footwell) were #12 HVAC BATT and #14 HVAC IGN. As mentioned: start with the car off, remove the two fuses, turn it to the ON (not START) position, wait a minute, turn the car off, reinsert the fuses (they are different ampapacities), and start her up, then TEST.

I disassembled the old actuator and put 12VDC to it, just to test it. It ran in both directions, depending on the polarity I put to it. And the gear teeth all appeared to be in fine shape. But--it definitely wasn't working when it was in the car! Even when I did the RECALIBRATE on it (before doing any other repair work), it STILL did not work. I'm not about to try and put it back in.

Best of luck. And may God have mercy on your soul. And knuckles.
 

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oh my god....I'd rather have a crown put in for a tooth than to do that again....but I did it.

my 2013 was a little different but essentially the same - I only had one of those plastic push-in connectors to undo - and I've heard of people taking the entire Onstar/Communcations Module out but no chance for that - the 3rd bolt was way up where I couldn't get it

I was able to slide the module the whole way and disconnect two cables while the 3rd (some sort of antenna I think) just stayed in

Naturally, the best part was the 3 screws to the Actuator behind the Comm Module Plate - I got one more or less direct, one more or less thru a hole in the nav plate, and the 3rd I struggled mightly but eventually got with a 1/4" small ratchet - (I found myself working by feel most of the time not by sight)

managed to get the actuator part in and turned it where the screws aligned - no Auto button on mine so I started and we were good to go.

Lord I hope I never have to do that again - if you work in an auto shop, and you get that job all the time, you should quit

RB
 

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Lord I hope I never have to do that again - if you work in an auto shop, and you get that job all the time, you should quit

RB

Well . . . you got through it. Good Job!
Any skinned knuckles ? Some have removed the radio and found it at least gave a little more visibility.
 
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