Recirculation Button Problem

Envoy09

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
57
Hi guys,
I am having trouble with my recirculation button since the past 10 days or so. Even though the light goes on & off when pressed, it doesn't actually open....means recirculation stays as "on" regardless of the light being on or off. Initially, I could switch the AC on & off and then it would work fine. Any idea what could be the problem? I'm not a DIY person & repairs are usually done at the dealer. Is this something expensive?

P.S. In case it matters, I'm at 87000km (around 54000 miles).
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
The recirculation actuator is the absolute WORST one of the five to get at to change. Dealers charge over $1000 for the labor to remove the entire dashboard assembly to get at it. If you're lucky, the reset procedure may work. As posted by member AbsoluteZero:

•Place the ignition switch to the OFF position.
•Remove the HVAC B fuse (rear fuse box) for a minimum of 10 seconds.
•Install the HVAC B fuse.
•Start the vehicle.
•Wait 90 seconds for the HVAC control module to self-calibrate. DON'T TURN OFF OR CHANGE ANY HVAC CONTROLS DURING THIS PERIOD!
 

Envoy09

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
57
Thanks Roadie, will try the reset. In case it doesn't work out, will it be ok to live with this problem....I mean, will it further lead to any other component damage? I just don't feel like going in for expensive repairs, that's why I am asking.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Recirculation won't hurt anything. Upside - faster cool-off in the hot season and less dust getting in. Downside - more need for the AC compressor being on for dehumidification in the cool season if there's any humidity and airborne "odors" don't dissipate as quickly unless you open a window and fan it out.

View attachment 24136
 

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Cable810

Member
Dec 5, 2011
690
Sounds like I have the same issue. Will try what Roadie mentioned!
 

Envoy09

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
57
the roadie said:
Recirculation won't hurt anything. Upside - faster cool-off in the hot season and less dust getting in. Downside - more need for the AC compressor being on for dehumidification in the cool season if there's any humidity and airborne "odors" don't dissipate as quickly unless you open a window and fan it out.

View attachment 10824

Well, I guess I can't live with this problem since at times it is stuck on recirculation "off". With the weather dusty most of the time here, it is not practical to live with this problem.

Roadie, just a quick question regarding the reset procedure. You mentioned "DON'T TURN OFF OR CHANGE ANY HVAC CONTROLS DURING THIS PERIOD!" You mean the AC or blower needs to be "ON"? Or is there any default setting for the HVAC I should keep before I remove the fuse? Sorry if I sound dumb here :smile:
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
If you have a lot of dust, add the cabin air filter. Search for the thread.

The HVAC can be in any state, on or off, when you do the reset. If it's off, you may be able to hear the actuators going through their paces before the blower runs. You can just turn the ignition to run to do the reset - no need to actually start the engine.
 

Ghost

Member
Jun 1, 2012
932
Not meaning to hijack the Ops thread but with that same button when i turn mine on the cold air gets ice cold like ac and it blows more also of heat is on it blows cold air im confused is it broke ?
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
My recirculate actuator is dead, dead. And it's been like that for about 3 years.

I did read on some other Tahoe forum that a Tech2 can try to recalibrate the actuator. There is a common problem with some year Tahoe's/Yukon's where the door gets stuck. The tech2 can also see if there are any B codes that it actually failed.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Ghost said:
Not meaning to hijack the Ops thread but with that same button when i turn mine on the cold air gets ice cold like ac and it blows more also of heat is on it blows cold air im confused is it broke ?
Selecting the recirculate mode WILL turn on the AC compressor if it isn't already on. For dehumidification. This behavior can't be changed. Are you saying it gets so cold you can't get it to heat up by changing the temperature controls? If that's true, you have temp actuator problems.

PS: If you really didn't want to hijack, starting a new thread would have been cool. We don't charge extra. :wink:
 

Envoy09

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
57
Tried the reset procedure y'day afternoon, but that didn't help. Y'day (after the reset) it was stuck at recirculation "ON", today morning it is stuck at recirculation "OFF". Guess I'm in for some expensive repairs!
 

Envoy09

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
57
the roadie said:
I thought everything was cheaper over there? Is doing it yourself out of the question? Even to save $900?!?

I'm quite sure that labour will be much cheaper than in the US, parts may be slightly more expensive. DIY is out of the question...mainly due to lack of expertise, the practicality (we live in apartments, dismantling a car in the common open air parking area wouldn't be fun), etc.

Anyway, I've booked a service appointment at the dealer for saturday morning...will keep you guys posted on this.
 

Envoy09

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
57
Update:
Took the Envoy to the dealer. They quoted a total of approx. 350$ for replacing the actuator. Anyway, I decided not to do anything right now since it is stuck at recirculation "OFF" for the past few days, which I can live with.
 

Menthol

Member
Dec 8, 2011
177
No intent to hijack, I think if we keep the actuators qustion together should be agood thing. My battery drained after sitting couple of days in the cold. When I started this morning (just enough juice to start) the defrost actuator started clicking. If I change the mode from defrost it stops clicking. Am I correct in thinking it's only one fuse that controls ALL the actuators? and is this one easy to change?

Thanks.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Menthol said:
No intent to hijack, I think if we keep the actuators qustion together should be agood thing. My battery drained after sitting couple of days in the cold. When I started this morning (just enough juice to start) the defrost actuator started clicking. If I change the mode from defrost it stops clicking. Am I correct in thinking it's only one fuse that controls ALL the actuators? and is this one easy to change?
Your problem isn't a fuse. It's a broken or poorly-calibrated defrost actuator. The drained battery allowed the HVAC control module to lose its stored memory. When you started back up again, you might have not waited the required 60-90 seconds before touching any of the controls. And a broken or out of calilbration actuator will skip gear teeth and click as you heard.

Use the fuse-pull reset procedure I posted earlier. If it fails to work, then get ready to remove your dash and replace that actuator. There's no other alternatives. Some people (rare) have had success trying the reset procedure 3-4 times.
 

Menthol

Member
Dec 8, 2011
177
the roadie said:
Your problem isn't a fuse. It's a broken or poorly-calibrated defrost actuator. The drained battery allowed the HVAC control module to lose its stored memory. When you started back up again, you might have not waited the required 60-90 seconds before touching any of the controls. And a broken or out of calilbration actuator will skip gear teeth and click as you heard.

Use the fuse-pull reset procedure I posted earlier. If it fails to work, then get ready to remove your dash and replace that actuator. There's no other alternatives. Some people (rare) have had success trying the reset procedure 3-4 times.


When I tried the reset, it still clicks should I let it wait the 40 seconds or should I wait and try again tomorow, maybe the New Year will start on a bright side lol.

Thanks.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I meant to say 90 seconds in that post. Just fixed it. As long as you're careful to touch NONE of the controls for that 90 seconds, if it's unsuccessful fixing the problem, you can try again right away with another fuse pull. I suspect the actuator's dead, though.
 

Menthol

Member
Dec 8, 2011
177
Hi Roadie, I think i HAD ASSUMED it was the defrost actuator because it was clicking on any mode that chose defrost. Now that I tried the reset it (not sure which actuator) stopped clicking. Please help me in pinpointing the correct one
1. Face setting = Air at feet and small amount to defrost
2. Defrost/Feet setting = Air full at defrost and feet. This seem very good.
3. Feet setting = Air to feet and small amount to defrost
4. Feet and Face setting = Air to feet only.
After reading other post I'm starting to think it's another one. I don't want to confuse you by assuming again.
Automatic digital controls

Thanks.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Im really motivated to find alternative ways in which to fix the recirculate actuator. I plan on making a tutorial which describes the steps neccessary to fix it without tearing out most of the dash. Just stay tuned for updates!
 

Menthol

Member
Dec 8, 2011
177
Menthol said:
Hi Roadie, I think i HAD ASSUMED it was the defrost actuator because it was clicking on any mode that chose defrost. Now that I tried the reset it (not sure which actuator) stopped clicking. Please help me in pinpointing the correct one
1. Face setting = Air at feet and small amount to defrost
2. Defrost/Feet setting = Air full at defrost and feet. This seem very good.
3. Feet setting = Air to feet and small amount to defrost
4. Feet and Face setting = Air to feet only.
After reading other post I'm starting to think it's another one. I don't want to confuse you by assuming again.
Automatic digital controls
Thanks.

From the pic, I would think it's the Floor/Dash vent mode actuator. Part # 89018675. Which is the better brand Dorman (more by couple bucks) or AC Delco.
http://www.roadie.org/allactuators-orig.jpg
 

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