Broken Vent Control


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
59,165 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. expert mechanic fix only. do not attempt by yourself (1 reports)
  3. replace broken plastic part (1 reports)
2003 Pontiac Sunfire AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2003 Pontiac Sunfire Owner Comments

problem #5

Sep 022011

Sunfire SE 2.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 89,900 miles


Well, not much to say... I bought the car September 2nd and since then, the air has only flowed through the top vents. No defrost, air doesn't come out through bottom vents for heat. I'm guessing from what I have read on here it would be the Vent Control Valve. This is really annoying ....

Update from Nov 29, 2012: Had to take to the dealer for diagnostics. Said it needed a new control cable, unit cluster for the heat and air, and motor (inside the dash) for the relentless clicking noise my car would make when the control knob was switched from recirculated. All together with labor, I paid $718. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me, but everything was located deeply inside the dash unit. Would have been way too complicated and risky to have replaced on my own. I only recommend having an expert look at and fix when it comes to a serious issue like this.

- , Harrison, TN, USA

problem #4

Oct 062009

Sunfire XL 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,923 miles

Pontiac Sunfire 2003. The vent control directs AC flow to windshield, front, feet, etc. Broke many times and each time paid betw $100 - $300 to fix it.

The 1st time they wanted to replace the whole unit , $1000, but replaced the cable only

The 2nd time replaced the cable again

The 3rd time they were good and knew that a plastic part on the inside breaks and this is the ongoing reason for the problem. They fixed it, and for 1 year now it has been fine.

- , London, Ontario, Canada

problem #3

Nov 152008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I moved from up north to down south. When the weather gets cold here (and it does!) I can't defrost my windows. I've tried to go under the dash to move that little wire that's attached to the dial with no luck. It won't move. Seems like it is jammed or something.

- , Bonaire, GA, US

problem #2

Aug 042007

Sunfire 2.2L Ecotec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

At first I thought it was simply that the knob had been worn out, since it's cheap plastic. I went online and ordered a replacement and simply re-glued the new one. That worked for a while, but finally that got stuck really bad. That's when I gave in to the idea that it wasn't the knob but rather the A/C vent. Something must be either stuck in there or the vent just sucks and needs to be replaced. This is so strange because the EXACT thing happened to my good friend driving the same type car, even the same color. He had his replaced and cost him a lot of money. I'm going to get him to file a complaint on here so he can tell his story. I haven't fixed this issue yet, but I don't want to spend a lot of money, I'm going to try to investigate it myself.

- , Everett, WA, USA

problem #1

Aug 012008

Sunfire Standard

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I got the car for Christmas a few years ago and never had any problems until this one. The knob will still turn and everything, however my the air is stuck on the vent, it will not change to defrost, floor, mix, or anything else even when the knob is pointing to it. This makes it extremely difficult to drive in the morning or in bad weather because I can't defrost my windows!!! The only thing that I can do is make the car unbearably hot for it to work. Then I just found out that my sister-in-law who has the exact same car, year and everything, just in a different color had the same thing happen!!! Now what are the odds of that??? They really need to look into this because it is getting ridiculous!

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

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