We have had a 2007 Ford Focus hatchback for quite a while now and every winter we would notice that the HVAC control knobs got harder and harder to turn. Eventually, we ended up turning it too hard one day and it didn’t adjust the airflow anymore.
We took it to a mechanic and to the local Ford dealership. They told us it would cost $1000 to tear apart the whole dash and fix the problem. I recently discovered that the knob mechanism was entirely accessible with only a bit of tear down.
There are cables that attach the knob down, under the steering wheel, to the shutter doors that open and change the airflow. Since the knob could move freely, I figured that the knob or cables were broken. After plenty of YouTube research and playing around, I discovered that not only had the cables slipped out of their pulling locations due to stretching, but the knob was also slipping on the gear. After lots of gluing and tinkering, I finally got the whole thing working. That is the only problem for some people, but I had further problems with the shutter doors sticking. I fixed the symptoms, but the initial problem still needed fixing. I’ll cover that in the next post.