Dodge Ram Low Air Flow from AC Vents


©  Summary: This article is about Dodge Ram pick up trucks that have a common air-flow problem with the HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) system. The problem causes little heat (or AC depending the time of the year) to flow through the vents. The blower fan can typically be heard with no abnormal sounds, although no air seems to be making it out of  the vents. We go over parts that need to be removed to gain access to replace a common failed component.

A common problem for the Dodge Ram pick up truck is to have low airflow even though the blower fan can be heard loud and strong. Usually the problem is because of a broken fresh air door - AKA recirculate door. The fresh air door is located behind the glove box area. What can happen is the door can break and fall down covering the blower fan, essentially sealing off  all air-flow. That's why the blower can sound normal on all speeds, but little air can be felt from the vents. The broken door below shows the point at which the break is common.

8/17/2012 Update *Important - since this article was first written we have discovered and started selling a kit that allows the repair to be done right in the vehicle. Click on the image to the left for more information on the replacement door kit. The replacement door has steel construction instead of the weak composite material used from the factory. So it's built to last. The kit works on 2002-08 Dodge Ram pick up trucks. Installation is done after removing the glove box - the dash does NOT have to be removed. 

In the image below, the x's mark most of the trim pieces that need to be removed to gain access to bolts which hold the dash. One that is not marked is on the top of the dash, it's the large trim panel which is not visible in the picture. This can be an easy job to do at home since the air conditioning system does not have to be discharged. In fact nothing on the firewall side has to be disturbed.

Note that the steering coloumn is unbolted and allowed to drop down and is not unbolted at the steering coupler. Undo the stop light switch to prevent stress on the wiring when the dash is swung.

Once the trim panels are out of the way, it's fairly easy to find the bolts that need to be removed to pull the dash. The fresh air door or recirculate door assembly located directly behind the glove box can now be accessed. There's only two Phillips screws securing it to the case. After removing those, unplug the actuator and give the door assembly a slight tug. Be sure to remove any debris from the blower fan cage before installing the replacement door assembly. The picture below shows how far the dash has to be pulled back to remove the door assembly - notice it is actually removed.
Below the new door assembly can be seen back in position and the dash can now be re-installed.
Reverse the removal process of the securing bolts and trim panels and the job is done. Of course if you purchase the updated door design, the dash doesn't have come out!

The tips in this article are very basic and NOT intended to be a complete guide for servicing your AC system. Please refer to a repair manual for further instructions.

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