The Air recirculation flap is used to basically choose the source of air for the cabin...either outside or inside. The flap is located under the dash in the passenger footwell area and consists of a simple flap that opens or closes via .....yes...... vacuum operation and directs the source of incoming air. The flap in my car was "frozen" shut. The foam seal around the edge of the flap was fused to the plastic grate and didnt allow the flap to move. The vacuum actuator also had a leak.When I forced it open there were leaves twigs other dirt and debris in there. I dont know how long the flap was INOP but it isnt any more.!!
This shows the blower assembly that sits under the plastic tray under the hood. I removed the blower when I repaired the flap and cleaned it out as well. The vanes on the fan were caked up and the motor needed a cleaning. I cleaned the motor with electrical contact cleaner and it seemed to made noticeable difference in its speed! While I had the motor out i checked the general conditon of it , cleaned the connections and appeared like it had plenty of life left.
Heres a good shot of the blower after it was removed. This photo shows the clips that hold the blower assembley together, Once you "pop" these off you have easy access to the motor itself. While its out...you might as well clean it and all the wiring and contacts.
You are looking down from hood area into the pax footwell where the recirculation flap sits inside the grate assembly...under the blower. The fuse panel was lowered to get easier access to the bolts holding the grate in place. (DISCONNECT THE BATTERY!!) You will find that the grate is also sealed with a sticky compound to help make a seal. With a little pressure the sealant does give way.
While I had the blower out this area was exposed. This is where all the air eventually passes before it enters the cabin. The fins on the evaporator ( I believe thats the term) were "caked up" with a thick layer of lint, very similar to what you would find in your dryer at home except a bit oilier. I used a toothbrush and gently cleaned the fins with an up and down motion as to not damage them. They are very delicate and are the same in appearance as the ones on the front of the radiator. Once the lint was brushed off I used the shop vac to suck it all out. It looks new now. I cant wait to feel the difference in flow!!!
This is the the resistor pack that many people talk about. This part is usually responsible for "the magic blower syndrome" and is located in the area you see above, way back in there. To help you locate it, you will find a 7 pin connector on the outide of the blower tunnel that is anchored by 2 screws. This is the part.
There is a small, normally open contact on the part that is atached to a strip made of two different metals. As the air over the pack gets too hot the metal strips bend and cause the contact to close and the blower to come on for no apparent reason.....BLOWING HOT AIR!!. The quick fix was, for me atleast, was to increase the space between the contact by a few MM. So far so good. It will also be a good time to clean all the post and contacts on the part. As you can see mine are all shiny again!!
This is a view from the passenger footwell at the area where the grate and flap are located. The fuse panel has been lowered and the grate drops down from this area.
This is the grate that sits in the area above...all clean !! The flap sits inside here.
This shows where the actuator is attached to the grate. The arm from the actuator connects to the flap inside and moves it back and forth.
This shows the flap itself. In operation the flap is either OPEN or CLOSED. I postioned this so you can see the 2 intake options for the air.
The removal of all this stuff and the repair is very easy. When all this is being done you will find areas of the car that have accumulated alot of "crud" ....now is a good time to clean it out.