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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon all,

My wife has a 2011 Kia Optima, and while I was driving it earlier, I noticed the air flow coming out of the vents was extremely low. I could change the fan speed and hear it ramping up and down, but the flow from the vents didn't change much at all. After driving around for a bit I did notice my feet were getting pretty cold, so it seems like the lower vents are working.

I switched through the different modes (face, face+feet, feet, etc) but the vent flow never got any stronger. after looking around a bit, I believe I may have a bad ac/heat mode/blender actuator. Now, after searching around a good bit, my question comes down to which actuator do I need to replace, and how can I tell?

After looking at this diagram, [diagram] it appears there is the main mode actuator that changes the modes when the buttons are pressed (#20) and then there are actuators on the left and right side (#21) that I assume open and close the floor vents on driver and passenger side. Since I am unable to get the top vents to open fully, I am going to assume it is the mode control actuator that seems to have died, or malfunctions with just the mode set to floor. I have found a cheap OEM part on ebay (~$40) that I think I will replace and see how it goes from there.

Well, while writing this post it appears to be a classic case of rubber ducky debugging, and I think I know what I need to do. I am posting this anyway incase anyone else has been through this and has any insight, or just in case anyone else gets into this situation, and will report back with how it goes.
 

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2013 Ebony SXL 2nd engine @ 121k
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Just checking but the filter was changed recently, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just checking but the filter was changed recently, right?
Yeah, that was the first thing I changed and saw no improvement after putting the new one in. It definitely needed changed so I'm glad I did lol, but was not the source of the problem.
 

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I had a similar problem on my 2012 where the airflow wouldn’t ever go to the defroster no matter where I tried to send the air. I ended up removing the mode actuator and disassembled it and found a broken tooth on one of the plastic gears inside casing the problem.

Getting to the mode actuator sucks. Removing the screws for the body control module is tough, make sure you got an 1/4” ratchet on hand, it helps but access is tough in there. Also when you are putting the actuator back in, make sure it sets in place fully, that means all the pins are lined up in the big gear doodad in there. Good luck!
 
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