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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 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 at 19:41
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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, and pulls on a 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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