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Old 05-16-2012, 02:18 PM   1 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)
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Default 2004 air mix motor - cleaning

After reading this thread I decided to take my motor apart and clean it as a first try to fix my strange hvac noise.
Gurgling / Grinding from under dash near HVAC...RESOLVED!!

The list price for a new mix motor is $274 so, if I could put that purchase off for a few more years that would help.

(I set the hvac to full cold (low) before removal of the motor)
The motor is located under the dash on the passenger side:

There are 3 screws holding the motor in place. The metal arm (with a plastic lock on the end) as well as a white plastic stud are the business end of the 'mixer' that do the actual "dual adjustments".


Here is the motor opened up:

There are 5 plastic tabs that hold the motor together as shown above (along with the 3 screws). Those plastic tabs are fragile and will most likely break as you take the motor apart (use caution).


Flip the motor over and remove the plastic adjuster arm (push the lock tab over and slide the arm straight up):



Mark the position of the gear (I am not 100% sure if this is "needed"(*)) before removal and this is what you see once it is pulled out:

I assume that the 'issue' originates from the spots where there is contact between the copper tabs and the circular contact pattern on the large wheel. I just wiped all of the tabs off and smeared the grease (dielectric?) all around on the wheel. (There was some dark stuff on the rag that came off of the tabs.)

(*) I did not mark the position before pulling the gear off/out.
Before I put the motor back in the car (I guessed at the correct gear position), I plugged the motor back in and turned the key on. The motor turned the gear a little bit and the arm moved. I assume the mix motor was indexing itself to the correct location for a "low" hvac setting. I played with the temperature knob a little bit to see what happens (and at which temperature) when you make adjustments. After playing a little bit I set the knob back to full low and bolted things back up.

So far so good as the noise has not reappeared. :fingers crossed:
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I did the cleaning on job on mine and it only helped for a couple months before the chattering was back. On close inspection of the large gear with the resistive rings on it, one of the rings was worn pretty thin. I suspect it's because I leave the temp at 70-71 most of the time and the gear hovers around that same position nearly all the time which eventually wears through the layer of material on the gear. I eventually changed out the motor and things have been OK for about 7 months now.

I can't believe what Honda charges for the air mix motor. It basically looks like a plastic gearbox from a toy car.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can also try slightly squeezing the forks of individual fingers together, which forces them to follow a different (and unworn) path on the rotor carbon track. Occasionally, the carbon tracks on the rotor get burnished or contaminated and make poor contact, where a light rubbing with an eraser and alcohol wipe helps. The dialectic grease probably does no harm.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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After hearing the gurgling noise for several years, my wife's 2004 finally lost heat last week. Yesterday I removed the air mix control motor, cleaned, lubed with dielectric grease, & reinstalled. At $200+ for the part I figured it was worth trying.

After I finished cleaning it I reinstalled, but it didn't work. Hmm. Maybe the part's bad after all? With nothing to lose and following the troubleshooting instructions in the shop manual I took the motor out & applied 12V to terminals 1 & 2. The motor worked! Put it back in & it's been OK since. Maybe there was a capacitor or something in the step motor that needed a "bump" of some sort.

Anyway, the heat's back...and thanks to the OP for saving me some $$.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just wanted to post that this fix worked for me as well. Took out the old part, cleaned it and added some dielectric grease and put it all back together. Has been working fine for a week now with no annoying gurgling noise. Sure beats spending $200 on a new dealer part. Thank you for the valuable info and super easy fix.
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