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Pontiac Vibe

What is a flap motor and what is it used for 2004 Pontiac vibe clicking in dashboard behind glove compartment and is it a serious problem?


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July 27, 2009 6:35PM

I have that similar problem and found out that flap will close when you turn on the recirculation on, this mean that air is not entering from the outside. The gear that drive that flap is broken (may be one or more tooth of that gear is broke), so the best thing is to change the motor assemble. I found that part is called Air Inlet Valve (actuator), AC Delco part number 15-72794 or 88970277. The cheapest place that I found so far is $33 from Not sure how to change it yet, you can see it if you take the globe box out. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Activating recirculate eliminates the clicking. However recirc prevents fresh air from entering the ventilation system. Here is a cheap and easy way to address the problem:

In lieu of replacing the flap motor (a $250 + job at a shop), you can simply unplug the electrical connector to the motor. I found that that leaves the flap in the open position for fresh air, which can still be air conditioned or heated (but not as efficiently as in a recirc mode). If you go this route, the recirc light will go on when the button is pushed but the flap will not close the system off to fresh air because the motor that operates the flap is disconnected. I you really must have both fresh air and recirculate you can install an on-off switch in one of the power lines to the motor. Off for fresh air, on for recirculate. I haven't done this but it should work.

The electrical connector for the flap motor can be reached by removing the glove compartment door. The owner's manual shows how to do this - see the instruction for replacing the passenger compartment air filter. For those who don't have the manual, open the glove box, disconnect the brace on the right side (philip screw), and pull the glove box up, off of its bottom snap-on hinges.

The flap motor is mounted on the upper left side of the ventilation box.

Here is a better, PERMANENT fix I posted that a while back when I had the same problem.