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2012 Buick Enclave CLS FWD Pearl White
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Well, this story begins when my 2010 Enclave began blowing ONLY very hot air on the passenger side of the dual climate. Before I could even get to the dealer, the driver side also started blowing ONLY very hot air. Took it to them and they recalibrated the temperature actuators and told me that more than likely once they start acting up, they will have to be replaced. We got the A/C back for about 2 days, then back to the hot air. Quote from the dealer for the 2 actuators and labor was around $600. I decided to do some forum surfing and see other's experiences. I was able to find the actuators online for ~$45 per actuator, and spent a few hours to get the HVAC working normal again. I was able to troubleshoot which actuators were causing the problem by changing the various HVAC controls and seeing which actuators moved in response. I discovered both my Passenger and Driver side Temperature actuators were not moving to a colder temperature demand. Once removed, I took the actuators apart and found that the motors would only travel one direction (in my case full hot). Below is an explanation of how to change out actuators for the Enclave HVAC. Tools I used included needle-nose pliers, T20 Torx Bit for the mounting screws of the actuators, flashlights, and various screwdriver extensions/accessories.

To access the Passenger side Temperature actuator, the glovebox has to be pulled out. This is done by unlocking 2 tabs, pulling out the linkage for lowering, and pulling the glovebox up off the hinges.



The cover must be removed from the blower underneath the glovebox. 2 simple push-tab fasteners and the panel is free to be pulled out. I also removed the passenger side panel of the center console for a little extra room.



The Enclave has 4 actuators, 3 accessed from the passenger side and 1 accessed from the driver side. The Mode actuator (defrost, vent, mix, etc.), Recirc actuator (inside or outside air), and Passenger Temperature actuator (passenger air temp) are found on the passenger side.



Unfortunately for me, the Passenger Temperature actuator was the hardest to access. Small hands are a definite advantage that I did not have. I was able to get to one screw pretty easily, and a second screw with a little bit of angle (be careful not to strip out the screw head). The 3rd screw was on the side of the center console, with framework and plastic pieces in the way. I had to hold a T20 Torx bit in the screw with my thumb and back the screw all the way out using needle-nose pliers about 1/8 of a turn at a time. Once the screws are removed, simply unplug the wire connector from the removed actuator, plug in the new actuator, and line up the HVAC damper door with whatever position the new actuator is in. Since the actuator won't have power, you will have to position the damper door to line up with tabs on the actuator for proper installation. (do not energize the actuator prior to installation or it may go beyond its travel limit)



After looking at it for a while and dreading having to put the hard-to-reach 3rd screw back in, I came up with a simple solution. I drilled a 1/2" hole in the panel to the left of the glovebox that allowed a screwdriver the perfect alignment to tighten the 3rd screw. This hole will be hidden once the glovebox is installed again. I would highly recommend drilling this hole for removal of the 3rd screw. It would have saved me at least 30 minutes of fighting to remove a single screw.



The Driver Temperature actuator is the only one accessed from the driver's side. The lower panel was removed by removing the 3 push-tab fasteners.



The driver side seemed like a walk in the park compared to the passenger side. There was LOTS more room to access the mounting screws. This side took about 5 minutes.


Once the actuators were installed, I was able to get cool air again. However, the temperature seemed to be cycling from hot to cool every so often. Upon further online research, I found a possible solution. It was recommended to 1) remove the HVAC fuse for minimum 10 seconds 2) install fuse 3) start vehicle and wait 40 seconds for control module to self-calibrate. This fuse is found in the instrument panel fuse block, which is located under the instrument panel on the passenger side of the vehicle (below/behind the glovebox). This would be ideal to access and reset prior to re-installing all the panels and glovebox. This reset procedure ultimately got rid of the temperature swings. According to the Enclave Service Manual I was able to find on this forum, once the new actuators are installed, they are supposed to be recalibrated. Didn't find any further details on what exactly it takes to recalibrate, but I was getting my desired air temperature control after pulling the HVAC fuse and re-installing. I hope this post is a help to those having any control issues with the front HVAC system. The procedure would be identical, just a different actuator, if your HVAC won't change from defrost to vent to floor OR from recirc inside air to outside normal air. Hopefully this will give somebody the courage to attempt this repair for themselves, and spend maybe $100 instead the $600 the dealer was projecting. Happy Repairing!
Great information, sir. I appreciate the time you took to publish this post. Thank you very much. 😊
 

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Yup, done my 08 drivers side twice and passenger side once. Once you do it, the easier it becomes. You can find these actuators on Amazon for 20 bucks.
 

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Exactly the information I was looking for to replace the driver's side blend door actuator. AC working great in all areas again. Thanks for this post. 👍💪
 

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Thanks for the detailed information. I just finished changing the mode actuator following this instruction. Man, this is not an easy job. It is so hard to remove those three screws. I can't find the right tool to do the job, end with some broken skin in my right hand. The mode actuator was working fine until I have the dealer to fix the broken pipe connected air-condition compressor. Before went to dealer place, I can switch the air mode with no issue, the only issue I have is no cold air. After the dealer replaced the air condition pipes the air mode was broken. And they asked for another 460 to fix the actuator. I do not trust them anymore and decide I will change it myself. I opened the broken actuator and found one resister was burned. I suspect that they broke the actuator during the repair, they forgot to calibrate the actuator after they reconnect all the pipe and power which caused the actuator over-stressed.
I still have the passenger side temperature actuator need to replace. I need to give my right hand some rest before I break some skin again...
Anyone recommend a good tool to remove those screwers? I tired the DEWALT Right Angle Attachment, Flex Shaft, 12-Inch tool someone recommends, not working well, and end up using tool bought from harbor freight similar to this Mini Ratcheting Offset Screwdriver.
 

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For anyone doing this job; I strongly advise against the cheap off-brand actuators. I'm on blend door actuator #3, going to AC Delco from now on.
 
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