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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...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...MIybzd-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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Since it hasn't been done and the instructions I have found from AllData were rather lack-luster, I made a guide for anyone who will need to replace their mode door actuator in a 2010+ Terrain/Equinox.

The symptoms were buzzing, clicking and lack of ability to change modes for the HVAC. Eventually, we were stuck with defrost 24/7. The replacement was easy as far as what needs done, but difficult because of the confined space and the positions you have to put your body in. I'm sore from head to foot with bruises everywhere trying to figure out how to get this thing out. You will benefit from my pain! It wasn't too bad considering the dash didn't have to come out, but it was still no fun!

From start to finish, it took about 3 hours. If I did it again, i could do it in about half that time.

Tools needed:
1/4" Ratchet with 7mm and 10mm sockets and approx 8" extension
3/8" Ratchet with extension and 10mm deep socket. (depending on your sockets)
Stubby flat head screwdriver
Phillips screwdriver
Needle nose pliers
Small flashlight
A heck of a lot of patience and maybe a spare skinny teenager if your favorite topic is dessert! ;D


Using 7mm socket, remove two screws on either side of the drivers side knee panel. One near the OBDII port and the other on opposite side. When the screws are out, pull out horizontally (towards drivers seat) on all four corners and it will come loose. I left the hood release attached and set it aside hanging out of the door.




To remove the next panel holding the foot lamp, remove the screw in the middle using 7mm socket. In the picture, I already removed it. Once that screw is removed, squeeze the clips on either side of the panel and the front will come down.






Disconnect the light bulb connector.


Using a 10mm deep well socket, ratchet and extension (1/4" or 3/8" -- whichever works best for you), there is a nut all the way in the back against the firewall. Remove that nut.


On the right hand side of the panel will be one of GM's worst inventions. The plastic retainer! Maybe a GM rep will take my vin# and "make a note" that these pins are terrible ideas. Grab your flat head screwdriver and pry out the middle pin half way. There is usually a small slot that your screwdriver will fit in. Use needle nose pliers to remove the rest of the pin.



Gently bend that panel back and you'll find yet another, more challenging retainer pin! Curse the General Motors namesake and it's designers. Then remove the second retainer pin.


The panel should now be completely free. Gently remove it and place it somewhere where your dog doesn't run off with it and pee on it. It does have a bending point in it for what I assume is easier removal around the e-brake.

Remove 4 bolts holding the metal knee bolster on. Also place in secure location from urinating dogs/children.


Now... here is where we start the fun part! If needed, this is a good time to stretch, practice yoga, or release your flexible teenager from the dungeon. If you don't have access to said resources, take a deep breath while trying not to inhale a year worth of McDonald's French Fries, goldfish and 5lbs of road salt. For me, it worked best if I had the driver's seat as flat as it could go and laid on it backwards. Head resting against brake pedal and feet resting on the headrest (BAHAHA! get it? Headrest? Feet?....)

Using 10mm socket, remove two bolts holding the communications module in place.


If you can, GENTLY disconnect the two square, blue wiring connectors. If they don't budge easily, leave them alone. This is your NAV, bluetooth, radio, on star, etc. Once the two bolts are removed, the module will be able to slide down. It will not come all the way out because there are more wire harnesses at the top side. Just slide it out 4-5 inches and let it chill.

Here is where your yoga skills come into play. There are three screws holding the actuator into place. Two of them are somewhat easily accessible. The third one... will cause suicidal thoughts, sprained wrists, etc. Maybe there is an easier way, but I couldn't make it any easier. I don't have a picture of it, but the small 3" panel that the blue connectors are on has a small hole behind it. If you remove the upper bolt (the one you can't see in the previous picture), you can slide this panel enough to get a screwdriver through the hole for Screw #2. Screw number three (not visible in pictures) requires a lot of touch-n-go, bending and a 7mm socket or right-angle screw driver. May the force be with you.



The large white box with white sticker is the communications module BEFORE it was lowered.

GENTLY!!!! unplug and remove the actuator. Replace it with a new one. Mine was not properly aligned, so I stuck the actuator in the shaft and gently twisted it until the screw holes were lined up.

If you're smart, you'll plug everything electronic back in and test it. BUT FIRST! You must recalibrate the actuator. On the passenger side, remove BOTH fuses for HVAC (I think it was #12 and #21?). Insert ignition key and turn ignition on (don't start the car) and let it sit for 1 minute. Shut it off and replace the fuses. Start the car (if your battery is still alive) and test the modes. If it doesn't work... my condolences. If it works, hooray! Reverse the process and put it all back together.

Ice your bruises, shame the dog, return the teenager back to it's dungeon, and partake of the bountiful sandwich your thankful wife prepared for you after saving yourself a trip to the dealer.

I bid thee adieu.
 

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I have done everything, except be able to remove the communication module..some say, pull down with umpf...others, ive seen that you pull it towards the seat. i have done both, and it will not budge.
I have a 2013 chevy equinox...the passenger side was done with ease....even though it may have not needed it...but if i can get this side done, i will have two new actuators...with one spare, for future, if needed....
Any suggestions???? thank you.
 

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Just wanted to say thank you for the instructions guys. Sorted mine on my 2015 Terrain, definitely add a 1/4" short socket or wrench to that list for the three screws holding the actuator in place, was only able to get a stubby screw driver to one of them.

As far as the navcom box goes, the foam will eventually break free if you wiggle a bit, and definitely pull the two white connectors so you can set it back beside the brake pedal and out of the way.

I've pulled engines and transmissions that were less of a headache. Limber up, follow the write up above and in op, and have a couple cold ones with ibuprofen afters.
 
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