In my 2010 Mazda 3, the switch that adjusts the flow control works generally, but when I adjust it to blow only through the dash vents, it still blows primarily at the feet (the adjacent setting) and a little through the dash.

Is this a switch or actuator problem? Where should I look?

  • Have you changed the position of that switch often? I cycle through those positions to make sure they don't get stuck about every two weeks - my car is 5 years older than yours.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 25, 2020 at 11:14
  • Yeah, we adjust it all the time. I noticed the problem when it gone warm this spring and I suddenly had freezing cold air blowing mostly on my feet.
    – Tahlor
    Jul 1, 2020 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


There's a metal cable that connects the climate control unit to whatever it is that directs the air flow. The cable could be seen underneath the dash directly (on the driver's side, near the center vents), and pulls on an air redirection mechanism (blend door? or something like it) in the same way a brake cable does on a bike. For whatever reason, the mechanism didn't have its entire range of motion, so when the setting was on "blow through dash", it still blew through the floor vents. I could physically move the mechanism though to obtain the "blow through dash" setting.

I added a small kink in the cable to help the mechanism go all the way to the "blow through dash" setting. This probably means when I turn the dial all the way the other way, it will still be blowing on the floor a bit while also blowing at the windshield, but it seemed like a good trade.

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