I am having the exact same problem. After turning the ignition to off and restarting the vehicle, the A/C works properly again...for a little while. Is it really the actuator or something in the control system.
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There is blend door in vent channels under the dash of the vehicle. It blends warm and cool air in the vents depending on the temperature setting. The Blend Door is controlled by a motor called an actuator that gets its signals from the setting on the dash. When the actuator fails the blend door can't move. If it stops on hot you always get hot air.
1. Blend Door stuck.
2. Temperature control not sending signal to actuator.
3. Actuator motor gone bad.
Of the 3 possibilities the actuator motor is the most common and the easiest to fix. The part is $40-90. I don't know exactly where actuator is on the Pilot. My GMC you remove the plastic trim below the dash and its just to the left of the glove box near the 'hump'. Perhaps the part store can tell you or someone else will offer the exact location.
Once you remove the actuator you can plug it back in to the wire clip and move the temperature knob and see if it moves. When you get the new one plug it in and make sure it turns before bolting it in.
To clarify a bit. The heater is never technically turned off. The blend door determines how much it goes thru the vents.
I had this exact problem in a 2000 and it ended up being the air filter (engine compartment, pasenger side cowl)-all I did was replace it and both sides worked properly-you could try removing it and see if that solves it, if not I would think either the climate controller has a problem (vacuum line?) or maybe the blend door itself needs to be adjusted-hope this helps
To the Chevy Trailblazer....The HVAC system on your vehicle has small blend doors (About 4 by 3 in.) in size ...these doors will sometimes stick or the plastic rod hinge that it rotates on will break and it will not redirect the air flow..You could double check connection at the switch and for spot wear...sometimes it
also be the ( BLEND DOOR MOTOR/ACTUATOR ) This is what opens and closes the doors..It is very important to know the exact problem...To save money BEST thing to do is take to a dealer and tell them to scan your HVAC system and describe what I have stated...The dealer TECH 2 scanner will tell you exactly where the problem is...I worked for GM 2 yrs. I have changed blend doors before, sometimes you have to remove dash and that would cost very much so it is best to know exactly where problem lies....It could be the motor or switch which would be a little cheaper.....I hope this helps .Metalpoet
this is a classic sign of a blend door motor or the blend door itself having a problem. the changing of the amount of heat or cold air you get out of your vents use to be obtained by turning the knob on the dash which in turn moved the heat door via a cable now all these cars and trucks have gone to using a electric motor which moves the heat door(the blend door due to the fact it blends hot and cold air to obtain the temperature requested by the driver) when these go bad its often caused by the door itself (being its made out of a plastic ) getting deformed and then binding up inside the heater box(this is the housing in which the heater core and the blend door is housed) when it binds up the blend door motor which is a very small motor with plastic gears ,cannot get the door to the position requested by the driver and continues to try and starts skipping the gears in the motor causing the ticking noise your hearing. the parts are not as expensive as the labor ,to repair requires complete removal of the dash on most vehicles to access the blend door.to test you can usually turn the temp knob back to a point were the motor is not binding and most often the noise will stop until you again attempt to move the knob to get more heat or cool air which again it cannot move the door to the place requested so the ticking noise re occurs
You may have a bad temperature door actuator motor on the drivers side. The actuator is what moves the temperature blend door and when it fails it usually moves the door all the way to the "hot" position. Sometimes if you shut the vehicle off for a bit then restart it the system will work fine for a while then the actuator will again swing the door all the way open or shut. I've replaced several of these actuators [both drivers side and passenger side] for similar problems.
If your vehicle has dual climate control settings then you may have a failing temperature blend door actuator motor on the drivers side. These actuators move the temperature door to match the settings selected at the controls on the dash but sometimes don't feed back the proper information to the controler and the result is that the door will move too far one way or the other giving you too much hot or cold air. When you shut off the vehicle for a few moments and restart it the system cycles the doors and figures out where everything is and it will work for a while until the feedback signal is lost again.
The problem is in the heater box. To be more specific, the blend door. Check blend door operation and blend door motor. Located right side under dash. Remove blend door motor, with vehicle running, move switch from panel to defog and see if blend door motor moves.
I would look at the air blend doors first, it sound like they are not working or your control in the dash is not working send a signal to them. they work by changing the air from hot to cold or in between.