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Discussion Starter #1
My Pilot won't "flip/flop" the air flow between the upper vents and lower vents. There are 2 motors on the passenger side. The lower motor is somewhat easy to remove. The upper motor has failed because when pressing the "Mode" button, I can't re-direct the air flow to the lower floor vents. I've gotten 2 of the screws removed for the upper motor, but the third one is semi-blocked by a pipe. I can't get a screwdriver or 7MM socket onto it to remove. There must be some trick to removing the upper left screw on this motor.

Anybody have an insight or videos to help me? The only thing I can think of is to remove the passenger side dashboard so I can use a long Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw.

Anybody got an info, diagrams or video to help?
 

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I couldn't find any videos. But here is another thread where folks have described the work. https://www.piloteers.org/threads/vent-air-mode-issues-mix-motor.91178/

I bought a mini head 1/4 ratchet that is low profile and that was able to fit with the 7mm socket on the top screw. I was able to turn the ratchet from above by slipping it behind the plastic on the side of the tray. Others have gotten to it from below apparently.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the URL. I just ordered a flexible 1/4 extension from Amazon. I'm also going to Lowe's tomorrow to get a long Phillips screwdriver as there seems to be an access hole that a long screwdriver can pass through to get access to the screw. Looks like people are actually fixing the motor instead of replacing it. The motor at a dealer is $134+tax. I was fooled by the lower motor and didn't see the upper motor which I believe is the real problem.
 

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Well if the mode isn't changing when you press the button, then your issue is with the upper motor as the lower motor does the heat mix and is unrelated to direction of air flow. While my mode motor wasn't working we were in cooling season (most of the year in FL anyway), so I just unplugged the mode motor when airflow was positioned to come out the front vents. That bought me some time after it started acting up. When it acted up, it would not complete the move to each position and sometimes air flow would be partially blocked by the baffles.

With the panel above the glove box removed, I sat in the passenger seat and observed the upper motor while pressing the mode and mine didn't actuate the baffle arms at all when plugged in. It is supposed to move through 5 different positions as you cycle through the possible modes (including defrost). I removed the motor, opened it up in an attempt to clean it and redistribute the grease. After that it worked fine for a while, maybe 6 months to a year. Eventually it started acting up again so I had it replaced while getting the front txv replaced. Had the mechanic do it since they agreed to just charge for the part as the they already had access to that area while changing the TXV.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, it turns out it was NOT a motor problem at all!!! I decided to disassemble the passenger side dashboard because I could not get to the third screw of the upper motors. Turns out that once I got a clear view of the motor, it was working but and the motor arm has slipped off the redirect cam. So, I got a piece of 14 gauge wire and put a loop on the end. I then fed it up and hooked it onto the motor arm. I then took a long screwdriver to push the air duct cam up to the motor arm pin, pulled the motor arm back with the wire, lined up the motor arm pin with the opening in the air duct cam and then released the motor arm which seated the pin in the air duct cam. I then pushed the mode button and watched the motor air move the air duct cam with no problem!

I'll be posting a series of pictures of the disassembly process and pictures of the methodology I used to fix the problem.

Took me hours and hours to figure this out, but if it happens again, it should be about a 1.5 hour disassembly/reassembly effort.
 

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Strange that it became detached before the screws were removed. But glad it is working for you anyway. Hopefully your fix will hold up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I agree. Personally, even with disassembling the whole passenger side dashboard and getting a clear view of the top left screw, it would still be a tough job getting it out if I actually had to replace the motor. My hands are just a big too big to get in there and remove it. They put either a cooling or heating pipe right over it which restricts access. Hopefully, I'll never actually have to replace this motor.
 

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This poor design is common in many cars these days. The motor has plastic gears and will fail at some point. Yet, it is 10+ hours of labor quoted to replace. My son has a F150 and it had a blend motor fail. Dealer quoted him 12 hours labor because the entire dash had to be removed. We did it in 6 without having to remove the dash but it was a lot of effort for a $25 motor.

Glad the OP got the issue without going insane.
 
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