Question about 2004 Saturn ION

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2003 Saturn Ion Air Selector Knob broken

I got in my 2003 Saturn Ion this morning an attempted to move the air selector knob from the upper vents to the floor/defrost setting. But when I moved the knob it felt like something disconnected. Now it is stuck on the upper vent mode no matter if I turn the knob or not. Also the knob will only turn about 1/4 turn. Is there a way to take the knob off? Do I need to buy a new one? Can I fix this myself or do I need to take it to the Saturn Dealership? Thanks if you can help!

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  • unfound Apr 20, 2009

    this keeps happening about once every 3 months for me. the above solution will fix it but it most likely will reoccur. good luck

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Its a real easy one to fix i had the same problem you just need to take your radio out and then look down on the PLASTIC parts just need to put it back on track
good luck

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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Air Flow Control
Air flow control is accomplished in the following manner:
  • Primary control is through the function selector knob , mounted on the heater function selector switch, which is part of the heater control .
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  • Each position of the function selector knob is detented for positive engagement.
  • You probably have a vacuum leak , Pull heater control panel an check for vacuum . A broke vacuum hose or The vacuum selector valve is bad ! Or check for a vacuum hose in the engine compartment being off somewhere !

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------------------------------------------------
Air Flow Control
Air flow control is accomplished in the following manner:
  • Primary control is through the function selector knob , mounted on the heater function selector switch, which is part of the heater control .
  • The function selector knob has the following positions: OFF, PANEL, PANEL/FLOOR, FLOOR, FLOOR/DEFROST and DEFROST.
  • The heater function selector switch combines a vacuum selector valve with an internal electrical switch.
  • The vacuum selector valve directs source vacuum to various vacuum control motors (18A318) . Refer to the System Airflow Schematic and Vacuum Control Charts.
  • An internal single-pole electrical switch is also controlled by the selector. The switch controls the electrical supply to the heater blower motor switch (18578) .
  • The position of the function selector knob determines the manner in which the system will operate.
  • Each position of the function selector knob is detented for positive engagement.
Temperature Control
The temperature control operates in the following manner:
  • Temperature control of the heater system is determined by the position of the temperature control knob (between COOL-BLUE and WARM-RED) of the heater control .
  • This control knob is connected to a potentiometer mounted in the heater control . This potentiometer is electrically connected to the electric blend door actuator that operates the A/C air temperature control door.


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  • Movement of the control knob from COOL (Blue) to WARM (Red) causes a corresponding movement on the air temperature control door and determines the temperature that the system will maintain.
System uses a reheat method to provide conditioned air to the passenger compartment.
  • All airflow from the blower motor (18527) passes through the A/C evaporator housing .
  • Temperature is then regulated by reheating a portion of the air and blending it with the remaining cool air to the desired temperature.
  • Temperature blending is varied by the air temperature control door, which regulates the amount of air that flows through and/or around the heater core (18476) , where it is then mixed and distributed.
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inside you plenum box:

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