How to remove driverside/passanger side temp controll actuators in 04 Chevy Siverado

This instructable is how to remove both driverside and passenager side temp controll actuators in a 04 Chevy Siverado. If you have noticed that your temp controll units are on cold and it is blowing out hot air then there is a good chance that the actuators that controll what type of air (hot or cold, or both for dual climate zone units like this one) are going bad. a first simple fix for this is to set both temp controll dials to COLD, then disconnect your battery for 5 mins, reconnect and DO NOT TOUCH THE temo controll buttons, just turn on your fan to max and your AC button, DO NOT TOUCH THE TEMP CONTROLL BUTTONS FOR AT LEAST 5 MINS!! if it is blowing out cold air after that  CONGRATS!!! problem solved!!! IF you contiune to get hot air when it is set to cold then READ this insturactable and save a few gran from the dealer. (I really mean a few grand.... this takes ALOT OF TIME AND WORK SO BE WARNED)

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Step 1: What you will need

Metric and standard socket set
flathead/phillips screwdriver
volt test meter
magnet/ stick to attatch it to


Step 2: Dash Cover Removal

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This 2004 Chevrolet Silverado came in with multiple hvac actuator faults. After diagnosing a faulty passenger side blend air door actuator with a Tech 2 scan tool it was time to remove the dash cover. Not a big deal but there are a lot of steps.

Step 3:

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Lift the lower edge of the dash end caps and remove the covers.

Step 4:

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There are two phillips headed screws. A short screw driver is needed to do this. Remember to do this on both sides of the dash.

Step 5:

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Using a small screw driver or other similar device, gently pry the passenger side vents from the dash.

Step 6:

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Work the vent out evenly. If it is cocked to one side or the other it will tend to jamb. you can two or even four screwdrivers to do this quicker if you want.

Step 7:

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There is a phillips headed screw under each vent on the passenger side.

Step 8:

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Repeat the process on the other vent.

Step 9:

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Now, look up into the upper edge of both vent holes. You will see a white push button. Depress the buttons.

Step 10:

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Pull the passenger handle from the dash. You can alternate from side to side until it is fully removed or you can have someone assist you.

Step 11:

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Grasp the upper edge of the trim panel and pull out. Once the upper edge is released, work the panel up until it releases from the dash panel.

Step 12:

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Rotate the panel over to expose the tweeter wiring, if present. Depress the locking tab and pull the connectors apart.

Step 13:

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Grasp the upper edge of the dash face panel and pull it loose from the dash.

Step 14:

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Work around the dash face until all of the clips are free. Tilt the steering wheel fully down. Turn the ignition on and drop the shifter handle all of the way down. Roll the upper edge of the dash face out towards you. The panel will have to be flexed above the center of the instrument cluster to release the face panel fully.

Step 15:

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A better view of releasing the "A" pillar trim panel.

Step 16:

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Remove the 7 mm headed screws around the edge of the dash cover panel.

Step 17:

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Once all screws are removed, the dash cover will pull off of the dash carrier. It has to be pulled away from the windshield to release the forward clips. Then lifted slightly to clear the leading edge of the dash carrier.

Step 18:

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Most trucks will have the ambient light sensor and possibly a sun load sensor mounted to the underside of the dash.

Step 19:

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The ambient light sensor twists out like a light bulb. Be gentle with this part as it is fragile. If it has the second sensor, it has to be unplugged.

Step 20:

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Support the dash cover evenly as you pull it from the vehicle.

Step 21:

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Now , remove the two 7 mm screws that hold the right driver's side vent register in place. Remove the vent register.

Step 22:

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Remove the panel holding the passenger side airbag switch. The panel may be blank in some years. It pulls out and uses spring clips to hold it in place.

Step 23:

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Now, if you look under the vent duct you will see the wiring for the passenger side blend air door actuator.  Look closely and you should see the actuator itself.

Step 24:

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Now that the dash cover is off and you can see the actuator, but you still cannot get to it. More things need to come apart.

Step 25:

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Remove the wiring hold down clips from the metal brackets as shown below.

Step 26:

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Remove the wiring hold down clips from the metal brackets as shown below.

Step 27:

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Remove the 7 mm headed screws from the brackets on the passenger side.

Step 28:

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Using a ratchet remove the two 10 mm headed screws from the front edges of the bracket on the passenger side.

Step 29:

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Remove the 7mm  screw from the driver's side of the cross over bracket.  Remove  the bracket.

Step 30:

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Now the "U" shaped bracket on the passenger side can be removed.

Step 31:

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Remove the 7 mm screws on the driver's side bracket. I also remove the two 10 mm bolts on the driver's side bracket to make sure the dash will move around freely.

Step 32:

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Disable the air bag or SRS system according to the manufacturers directions. Then remove the two upper 10 mm bolts from the air bag as shown in the next two pictures.

Step 33:

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Then remove the two lower air bag screws.

Step 34:

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Note that the air bag screws are shorter than the bracket screws. Do Not put the long bolts back in the airbag when reassembling.

Step 35:

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Pull the orange "positive assurance clip" from the yellow connector. Disconnect the connector and remove the airbag. Use the manufacturers recommendations for handling and storing the airbag.

Step 36:

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Getting close but more still has to come out. The silver box shown below is the vehicle communication interface module. It may not be present on all vehicles as it is related to the Onstar System.

Step 37:

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There are three 10 mm nuts that hold the module to the brackets. They are locking nuts so they have to be wrenched all of the way off.

Step 38:

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Remove the two 10 mm nuts at the passenger end of the dash carrier. Do Not mix these nuts up with the ones removed from the VCIM brackets.

Step 39:

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Now remove the 7 mm screw from the backside of the right passenger vent.

Step 40:

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Remove the 7 mm screw from the position shown below.

Step 41:

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Wiggle the corner of the dash out as shown below.

Step 42:

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I used a screwdriver handle to keep the duct work lifted.

Step 43:

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I also used a pry bar to lift the duct work slightly to give myself more room. The weight of the pry bar is enough to keep the duct work up but you may want someone to hold it for you. If someone hold it for you be sure they do not use the area in the center of the opening for a fulcrum. It will break the mounting panel where the nut is for the phillips headed screw that was removed much earlier.

Step 44:

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The VCIM can now be wiggled up and the wires disconnected.

Step 45:

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Remove the wiring harness retaining clip from the bracket as shown below.

Step 46:

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Remove the wiring harness clip from the cross bar as shown in the two pictures below. Lift the harness slightly to gain more room to work.

Step 47:

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Using a short 5.5 mm socket and ratchet, remove the two mounting screws. Disconnect the wiring from the actuator before removing the screws. makes it a little easier.

Step 48:

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You will actually need to work through two openings and use both hands to make it easier.

Step 49:

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A magnet on a stick works real well fro retrieving dropped screws and  sockets.

Step 50:

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You can finally remove the actuator from the dash.

Step 51:

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Free at last.

Step 52:

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The new and old actuators. The numbers match 52402588.
If you need to buy one of these actuators please click here.

Step 53:

budderamos1 month ago

I just sent something to your FB book page but now I'm registered here. So I've got a 2005 Suburban with the Dual Climate (looks exactly like your front dash)
What is the total number of actuators in this system? I've removed the bottom two: One under the glove box for passenger vent blending and the one above the gas pedal for Defrost, Front, Floor vent control. In the process of playing with these, I think I may have jacked up the HOT/COLD blender (which is what I think you replaced) Now, only hot air comes from the front during AC operation. The rear passengers still get their AC which gives the vehicle some cooler while I figure out my screwup. May have been cause by my multiple attempts to reset the system (with the numerous methods I've read out there) Yours is different. Have not tried that one. Will attempt when I get home. If no joy, I may be facing the reality that the actuator you replaced will have to be taken out of mine (assuming I have the exact same setup as you)
Question: You replaced one actuator deep in to the dash. Is there only one? Being that this is a dual climate control sys?

mfrontuto (author)  budderamos29 days ago

Budd, there are two, one for the driver side and one for the passenger side

budderamos1 month ago

Oh also I echo sentiments made by other members. Great instructable!

budderamos1 month ago
J_ninja872 months ago
Same part number works for both driver and passenger upper door actuator right?
Therefore I have to purchase 2 of them for the upper actuators, one for driver side and one for the passenger side, is that correct?
After replacing the passenger lower blend door actuator, passenger side blows hot air at all times but I shall replace both uppers to avoid future issues. Thanks in advanced.
DennisN32 months ago

I just replaced my actuator, and it all seemed to work fine until I put everything back in place and went down the road. It's blowing hot air out of the passenger side vents again. Do you have any suggestions ?

Thanks for all the pictures, this was the most helpful anything I've ever found on the internet has been.

Best regards,

Dennis Neal

Brookhaven, ms

mfrontuto (author)  DennisN32 months ago

you can try to disconnect the battery for a min to reset the system, pull the fuse and then put it back in.... but if none of that works it might be your climate controll gauge/cluster that has gone bad

DennisN32 months ago
wilgubeast2 years ago
Wow. Great photos and just great detail throughout.
mfrontuto (author)  wilgubeast6 months ago

thanks, I now have to figure out how to do this with a chevy Tahoe

bdrewett1 year ago
so my truck was doing that but now it dont blow at all.... any advice?
mfrontuto (author)  bdrewett1 year ago

there is a lot of things to check, start with the fuses, if you have a powerprobe, see if the actuators and the blower are working, make sure that all of the harnesses are plugged in tightly and that there is no corrosion on them, hit them with some spray contact cleaner to make sure, also check anything else electrical that you had to disconnect to make sure that it is plugged in. there was also a recall on a particular harness that plugged in on the passenger side of the truck beneath the glove box that dealt with this, you might want to check that as well with a tester. there is a lot of things to check on this particular issue.