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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we've officially owned our 04 Pilot for about 50k now. From ~135k - 185k. It has made this sound the entire time we've owned it, but it's my wifes car...

It's hard to describe the sound so I took a video. It's pretty consistent, it doesn't get better or worse as the fan is increased.

 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Sounds like gurgling.

Stick a pen or a barbecue skewer up your A/C dangling hose drain near the front passenger tire,




...and do the same to or at least squeeze your center nipple A/C drain under your front console.








This video should help you visually locate them as well.

 

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Blend door motor. You can find an aftermarket brand on Amazon for like $30. Do a search on youtube for "Honda blend door motor noise" and you'll see some great examples of what it sounds like plus where to find it. It's directly above where a front passenger's left foot is. It makes noise anytime the AC system is on, even if the key is just in the ACC position because the motor is twitching back and forth and ends up making a gurgling sound, but it's actually just the motor spazzing out.

To do a quick test, you can disconnect the cable going to the motor to see if the noise stops. If everything is quiet when the cable is unplugged, then that's the source of the noise. Mine sounded exactly like water gurgling and I'm glad I didn't go chasing air bubbles in the coolant system when it was actually a bad motor.
 

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After checking your drain hoses first because that's the easiest, quickest and most inexpensive thing to try, the blend door motor actually makes the most sense as to what the problem is.
 

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I am thinking it sounds like the blend door actuator. Mine sounded similar. You can disconnect it or just reach up and touch it and feel the vibration.
You get to it from the passengers side footwell. It is towards the middle of the car.

This thread discusses a way to repair it if you want to try that first before buying one.
Noise under passenger side dash
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome, thanks for the help! If it is this blend door actuator, is it easier to just replace it?
Huntertn, the link you posted is a detailed writeup for a fix of the stock actuator it seems. But they also say the part costs a few hundred dollars. If it is in fact around $30 now, I'd probably just replace it instead of going through all of the trouble to fix it.
 

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The Honda OEM motor is ridiculously expensive, but this is a generic motor that's used in lots of brands of cars and the $30 one I bought has been working fine for the past year. I'm an engineer and attempted to repair the bad original one, but there was too much damage done to the conductive traces on the board to make it worth repairing, plus during disassembly I accidentally broke one of the plastic tabs that holds the bracket for the metal arm (the plastic is pretty brittle due to age), so it was not worth my time to repair the old one when a replacement was so cheap. Here's the one I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0824VHHSM
 

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It's not too bad to get to on my '04. Lay in the passenger's floor board and it is easy to reach.

Here is a video to help you see where it is. It was the first one that come up on the Google.
I just watched it briefly so I am not saying this is the way to do it. But he does have some pretty good shots of the actuator. You don't need to do any disassembly other than taking the actuator off and unhooking the wire.

I just took mine apart and cleaned/lubed it. But, I would be tempted to just buy the one for $30 if I had to do it again.
 

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While some brave souls (and you've got to hand it to them) have taken them apart to try to clean them...






they're often too far gone...




One valiant member tried to fabricate that disc with new contacts and offer them for sale here for a reasonable price, but the part didn't work and he abandoned the project.



Nowadays, for 30 bucks, just buy one. It can be a little tricky to uninstall and reinstall, though, since that little metal rod needs to be in the correct position, so I've attached a few helpful pages from the service manual.



Noise from interior temperature control


A few more helpful posts to read before you start on the issue...

DING! DING! DING!
WE HAVE A WINNER!!

I finally managed to get my rather portly self down on the pass floorboard to see what was going on.
When I pulled the actuator down, I realized that I had not properly aligned the pin into the slot on the blend door--DUH!!

Thanks for the help guys!
As an update, the reason why the temperature was off was because (on the blend actuator) I didn’t line the white arm post up on the top of the actuator with the white slotted piece under the dash correctly. This has to be aligned before the 3 bolts are put in and then the metal arm can be attached. Once I took it off and reattached it, the front and rear temperatures match.
This is exactly the problem I had. The solution cost exactly $0, but quite a bit of work.

The problem was the dirty contacts exactly as you described.You only need to clean the contacts and replace the Air Mix motor. The cost of a new one is well over $100.

To help others solve this problem you must remove the glove box and the horizontal metal bar supporting the glove box. This is the same thing necessary to replace the cabin air filter.

The Air Mix Motor, as it is called, is in a very awkward location on the bottom of the lower left side of the cabin filter housing. The green connector plug is the clue. Remove the green plug from the Air Mix Motor box. Then remove the three screws holding it in place. Access to removing the three screws is really awkward. I had to lie on my back on the passenger side floor with my feet sticking out of the car and resting on the door frame. Use a 7 mm socket to remove the self tapping screws. Then you need to remove the wire arm from the control linkage. It is held in place by a clip which takes a fair amount force with your fingers to remove. Once it is free of the clip the rod easily is removed from the hole. Then the Air Mix Motor is completely free. Take a good look at where the wire arm was located before you removed it. You will need to find that when you reinstall the wire control arm.

Pry off the white plastic control arm from the top of the box. There is a tiny clip holding it in place. Use a screw driver to push the clip open. Before you remove the plastic arm note the position of it relative to the box. When you reinstall the box the white control arm needs to be pointing approximately correctly so the post on the white control arm can be inserted into the thing that allows the Air Mix door to open and close. As long as the position is close to correct when everything is reinstalled the motor will instantly find its correct position once the AC is turned on.

Open the box carefully by prying the plastic clips on the four sides of the Air Mix Motor box. The clips are very easy to break, so be very gentle. Clean the "tines" to remove the black junk, which is the problem. After cleaning I used a tiny amount of light bulb grease, which is non-conducting grease, to lubricate the surface the tines touch. Then put it back together.

If you removed the actual motor replace it so the model number markings are on top. Otherwise it runs backwards. Also note that with the motor removed the gears move very easily. And, the motor will move very easily. But, when everything is in place the system gears will not move. That is important because you want the post where the white control arm is attached to pointed in the right direction when you install the Air Mix motor back into the car. Make sure the post is oriented in the same direction as when you removed the whole Air Mix box, as I mentioned above. You will not be able to rotate the white control arm into place when the box is closed up.

From there you will reinstall the box by connecting the control wire by sliding it into the hole and rotating the clip to hold it into place. This will be obvious since you just removed the wire control arm from the same spot. Then you need to put the metal post on the white control arm back into its slot on the air mix door. From there you rotate the air mix box so it lines up with the screw holes and install the screws. Plug in the green electrical connector and turn on the car and then the AC.

I did not have the white plastic arm rotated to the correct location on my first attempt. I had to reopen the box and rotate as mentioned above and then reinstall. When I first turned on the AC I heard a slight pop or noise that lasted a fraction of a second. I believe that was the air mix motor aligning itself to its correct position. After that there was no noise.

Now for the first time in a year my heating and cooling system works correctly and there is no noise.
 

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