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Old 12-28-2013, 02:52 PM   #1
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Vent Control Not Working Properly

I have a 97, and the lever to control where the vent/heat is blowing doesn't work properly.

When the lever in in the floor position, it blows about 20% out the floor and 80% out the defrost. This is exactly the same as when it is is floor/defrost position.
The defrost position works as expected. The face position also works as expected.

Anyone have any ideas as to why the floor position isn't working properly?

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Old 12-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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Possible that the vacuum actuator for the floor is not getting vacuum, is bad or more likely the plastic arm that connects the actuator to the door is broken or has come out of the door. Here is a diagram from the FSM that will show which one to check. It is from a ’98 but is the same as ’97. Watch under there as you move the slider to the various positions to see what is or is not moving.

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:11 PM   #3
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Mine is doing the same except it does not work on the dash as well. It's a 01 TJ. How hard is it to get the actuator out? Do I have to pull the dash. I haven't been able to contort enough to see how to remove.
I have verified vacuum at the actuator. It will hold if I force the transition, but it will not change when selected on the dash.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:30 PM   #4
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So you are saying if you have vacuum to the actuator it won’t pull in but if you push it in, it will stay in? If so the actuator may be bad but make sure the door moves easily by disconnecting the actuator & working the plastic arm by hand. If it doesn’t move freely, there may be something inside the box interfering with the door movement. Use the link below to see how to remove the actuator. Since you have a 2001 you will have to use either the ’00 or ’02. The procedure is the same but the locations are different. Use the one that looks like what you have, probably the ’00. Go to the heating & A/C chapter (& controls section for ’02) & towards the end there will be what you need including a drawing of the actuator being removed.

See online read only FSMs here:
Jeep Knowledge Base
You may have to go to the bottom of the page & pick Jeep Resources & online manuals if it directs you to home page rather than the knowledge base.
Pick your model & year then on the drop down menu pick the chapter you need.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #5
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Thanks Rubi! That is what I need. Yes it moves freely and the arm is not broke. I will try and replace the actuator.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:03 PM   #6
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Anyone know how many check valves are between engine and HVAC unit on the vacuum line? I tried to get an actuator from dodge today and they said they don't go bad, almost ever. Spoke with a tech in parts department at same time. They said check valves and go to parts store as that would be where they get them. So how many are there and are they the same? If they are a couple bucks, I think I might just replace them all at same time.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:38 PM   #7
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Most, if not all, yrs use 2. I have 2 check valves, 1 near the intake manifold & 1 near the T above the battery. I agree that I haven’t seen many, if any, actuators go bad in all the control problems posted (& there are a lot) but that doesn’t mean it never happens. I don’t agree with them about bad check valves because if the other actuators are working, they get the same vacuum, so why only 1 would not work? The check valves are there so when the engine has low vacuum like accelerating or pulling up a long hill vacuum won’t drop & the actuators release, defaulting to defrost vents only. There is a reservoir under the battery (where the other line from that T goes to) that temporarily keeps everything positioned in theses low vacuum situations as well. If one of the other actuators is the same as the questionable one you could switch them & see if the problem moves with it or not. Or if the lines reach, swap them & see what happens.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:51 PM   #8
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Found my issue. The boot connecting the vacuum line to the box under battery had a small crack. It also fell off after playing with the hose so it was not all that tight. Missed the leak initially because of the check valves. That is why I thought I had good vacuum at actuator and actuator bad initially.
So I am good until next issue shows up. Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:04 PM   #9
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I'm having the problem as well, I'm blowing hot air out the defrost vents but have no control over where it goes. Does anyone have the knowledge and willingness to provide a step by step process for finding and fixing the problem?
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:36 PM   #10
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Also give this a look. There are a number of these connections that could be causing the issue. Fairly common are, where 4 connects to 8 (under battery inside fender) number 4 itself and where 2 and 5 connect. Hope this helps.
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