Question about 2003 Pontiac Sunfire

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2003 Pontiac Sunfire - loud ticking noise when cold. Not affected by whether fan is on or not. Stops when car warms up. Actuator or blower motor?

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  • dyetlady Jan 04, 2011

    Thank you. Did the abbreviated version as I was having trouble navigating the site. To clarify, loud ticking noise in AM when car cold. Air flow dial would be frozen and not be movable into another position. When car warmed up and I could turn dial to extreme left position, noise would stop. Also would stop when car warm. Plenty of heat and the fan worked perfectly on every setting - noise continued when fan shut off.

    Took to dealer - dealer said actuator and inlet door. Wants $900. to fix. Cant afford.

    Took to independent garage - said blower motor - $250.



    Who is right? Thanks.

  • dyetlady Jan 04, 2011

    Noise is coming from under dashboard and is connected to air flow control.

  • dyetlady Jan 05, 2011

    It sounds like it is coming from the area of the glove box or firewall of the vehicle.

  • dyetlady Jan 05, 2011

    Good answer and I appreciate the flat rate time given.

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You most likely have a bad actuator or it could also be a broken mode door.

Posted on Jan 04, 2011

  • dttech
    dttech Jan 05, 2011

    If the noise continues with the fan off, there is no way that the noise is caused by the blower motor. (blower motors do not make noise when they are not running.) broken mode doors are common. It is usually caused by a defective actuator that is not shutting off when it is supposed to. It keeps running although the door is at its full travel and it breaks the plastic mode door. They can continue to run any time the key is in the "On" position, depending on where the temperature or mode selector swithches are positioned. The entire heater/A/C housing must be removed from the car to fix a broken door. This also means that the dash panel has to come out of the car. The standard labor time (Flat Rate) to accomplish this task is 6.5 hours. Depending on your dealer's labor rate, I would say that the $900 is about a fair price for the job by the time you add for parts, antifreeze, and A/C refrigerant, which will all be required to complete the job.

  • stimphy Sep 16, 2011

    How do I disconnect it or break the **** thing so it stops ticking?

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Is the ticking noise coming from inside of the car? Or is it coming from the engine compartment?

Posted on Jan 04, 2011

  • Rodney Clark
    Rodney Clark Jan 05, 2011

    If the noise continues when the fan is off, then that illuminates the fan I would think. So without looking at the car, I would be more inclined to think that the actuator is causing the ticking noise. I have seen them make a ticking noise because they lose their position and the shut off switch does not make. And it cycles over and over causing the ticking noise. But the thing I don't understand is why it quits when the car warms up. Maybe the cold is causing the actuator to not move free enough and cycling. The cold can cause the grease to get gummy and that may be what the problem is. If that is the case, then you can more than likely find the actuator by listening when it is ticking and spray a little WD-40 on it. And that should loosen it up. It may not be a permanent fix but you can just spray it once every couple of months in the cold and save $900.

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Probably a lifter sticking / try a oil treatment like " sea foam"

Posted on Jan 04, 2011

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The only ticking noise you would get in cold would be from engine. an thats from not using the right oil. thats why the noise goes away after warmed up. try use a better qualty oil not cheap stuff. use 5w-30 an try high mileage oil or a snythetic oil

Posted on Jan 04, 2011

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