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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nissan 2006 Xterra S 4x4 with 110k miles.

Best vehicle I've ever owned. Hardly any services issues at all.

It sat for almost a year waiting for my kid to hit 16. When we fired her up, no problems, but we noticed that when we turn the air on (either A/C or no A/C) that we can hear the air blowing but very little comes out of the vent. If I switch to a different vent position like Defrost or Floor, same things, very little comes out. If I change fan speed, I can hear more air flow.

Now to complicate matters even more, some days it appears to work fine. I'm thinking that on warmer days it works fine but cold days it doesn't work so good.

Is it possible that the mechanism that switches between vent positions is gummed up somehow and when it gets warm it's more pliable so it moves easier?

I don't even know where that mechanism is. Any help would be awesome! Thanks in advance.
 

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Second guess would be someone worked on it and a vent hose is loose or if there are actuators, one of them isn't working right.

Try turning the key "on" but don't start the motor, then turn on the fan ( No AC) . See if you can hear where the air is coming from. You will hear the fan, but you should hear where the air is going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No I'm not sure of anything at this point. What I did notice, is that yesterday, it was a very warm day and things seemed to work, but this morning when it was cold, they aren't working again. So I'm guessing that something is 'gummed' up and the warmth loosens it so that the mechanism works. What I need to figure out is what mechanism and where is it located.
 

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If that is the case (cold), then it's probably the actuators. They move the vent doors, to direct the flow of air to floor, defogger, and cabin.

Look at the cabin vent where you expect the air to come out. Do you see a "wheel" where you can open and close the air flow? try that first before you start looking for the actuators.

What surprises me is that even if the actuator that controls the vent door was in the wrong place (stuck), air should be coming out somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good point, it should always be 'somewhere'. There isn't a situation where all the doors are closed is there? It is strange that it works sometimes and not others. I can only correlate to the heat right now because over the winter my son was driving it (new driver) and he just had the heat on and wouldn't know enough to complain anyways. :)

I'll check this out tonight. Thanks for the advise so far!
 

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I could not find anything on Youtube about Xterra blend doors, but when you turn on the fan, can you hear the actuators clicking or buzzing? You should hear the doors opening or closing when you change the setting from heat to defog or vent. You might even hear a thump. But it should only last no more than 5 seconds when you change the setting.

See video below to get an idea (this is a 2006 Titan but it is the same concept).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsIIEWPUmkY
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So here is what I've found out so far. It works fine now that it's much warmer outside. So this only happens in cold weather and for the next 6 months, the cold weather is gone. This indicates to me that something is 'gummed' up, but I'm not sure what is 'gummed' up or where to look. Any thoughts?
 

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My thoughts are that it's the actuators or the vent "doors". There should be at least 3 actuators. These are little motors that move the doors in the vents. One for hot/cold, 2nd for floor/ vent, and 3rd is for defogger. Possible 4th for recirculate.

Most likely the problem is with the hot/cold or the floor vent ( since these move more often and wear out). What surprises me more than anything is that you say when it does not work, there is no air. There is no way for a door to be in the wrong place and air does not come out somewhere. Even with all the doors "closed", air will come out through one of the openings - Defog, Vent, or Floor.

If this happens again, try getting to the fan and checking that the blades are actually turning. Maybe the motor is turning, but the fan blade is slipping (this is a long shot, but easy to check). There might be 1 or 2 actuators in that area.
 
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