Dodge Truck A/C Switch Stuck On Defrost?

Mike Cross
Updated Jul 21, 2021
Dodge Truck air conditioning switch stuck on defrost

Trucks are important for so many reasons. You use them for work, you use them for hauling large loads, you use them for running everyday errands and you use them when road conditions are less than ideal. Truck owners depend on their trucks and count on their reliability.

Dodge trucks are known to be reliable and dependable. They enjoy a huge fan base. However, there is one problem in particular that the Dodge trucks seem prone to having. There are times when the A/C switch can get stuck in defrost mode. Why does this happen and what can you do about it? Oh by the way, for truckers this GPS is worth its weight in GOLD, so choose for you the best trucker gps to use

Dodge Truck air conditioning switch stuck on defrost
Dodge Truck air conditioning switch stuck on defrost

Can I repair this issue myself or do I need to take it to a shop?

If you are handy with shop tools and comfortable attempting the repair, you can do this by yourself. You will need some tools, some new parts and the time to do it, it is not a rich job.

If you are not sure about your abilities, or if you don’t have the necessary tools on hand, your local auto mechanic can do the job for you.

Why does the A/C switch get stuck in defrost mode?

There are 2 main reasons why your A/C switch might be getting stuck on defrost mode. You will need to check if you have a problem with the vacuum hoses and you will also need to check if the issue is with your blend door actuators.

Some trucks might use vacuum actuators and others the electric kind. You will need to find out which type your Dodge truck uses before you can check for the problem. There is also the possibility that the blend doors are broken or stuck and will need to be replaced.

Additionally, if you have repaired the HVAC in your truck by yourself, check that the blend doors are facing the right way.

Check vacuum hose
Check vacuum hose

What to do first?

The first step will be to remove the dashboard panel and possibly the knee panel as well. You need to be able to access the HVAC box in the front of your truck. This is the area you will find your problem.

There are 4 blend door actuators under the hood that are connected to your A/C and switches. The first one to check is the one over the gas pedal. Check this first since it is in a position that makes it easy to inadvertently kick it out of position. You need to remove the kneel panel, but you do not need to remove the HVAC housing.

Use a good light to check that all the connections are plugged in tightly and make sure the actuator door is not stuck or broken. You can do this by having an assistant move the switch that controls the A/C and vents in the truck.

Replacing this actuator is relatively easy. The caveat is that you need to be able to feel your way around up there since there isn’t a lot of room for maneuvering.

There is another actuator door located behind the glove compartment. Check this next. You do not need to remove the HVAC housing for this one. It’s not likely that this blend door is a problem, but it will help in the process of elimination.

What next?

If this is not the problem, then you need to dig further and will have to remove the HVAC housing. If you need to remove this housing, you will have to empty your refrigerant and then charge it back up when you are finished. Make sure you have the tools necessary to collect the coolant and the items needed to charge it back up.

How to check your truck’s HVAC and fix the stuck A/C switch.

1.Remove the dashboard panel and the knee panel as well

2.Remove the HVAC housing

3.Check the actuators to see if they are worn or have holes

4.Check that the blend doors are opening in the correct position

5.Check the hoses for wear and tear and replace as needed

6.Check that all connectors are tight

7.Replace the HVAC housing

8.Replace the dashboard panel

9.Replace the knee panel

10.Refill and recharge the A/C. Be careful not to overcharge your A/C

Points to Remember

When figuring out which actuator door or hose is causing the issue, it is better to go one at a time. Start with the one over the gas pedal. This connection is an easy one to come loose through every day driving.

If it is not that one, check the one behind the glove box.

If you do not see a problem behind the glove box, you will need to investigate further. But before proceeding you will need to discharge and collect the coolant in your A/C.

Then you will need to remove the HVAC housing. This will expose the other 2 actuator blend doors. You will need to check that they aren’t broken or facing the wrong way. You will also want to check all of the hoses. Now is the time to replace any that are worn or have holes. Make sure all connectors are tight.

Make sure you have someone to help you. You will need someone to move the A/C switch and work the vent controls so you can see which ones are working properly or not.

Once you have replaced broken parts and reconnected hoses and checked connectors, you can replace the HVAC housing. And make sure the dashboard panel and knee panel are securely fastened.

Last step will be to fill and charge your A/C with refrigerant.

You should be all set!


Dodge trucks can have a problem with the A/C switch getting stuck in defrost mode. You can certainly tackle this repair yourself with a few tools and some time. This is not a project that will be completed in 5 minutes. If you are not comfortable tackling this yourself, bring your truck into your local auto shop professional and they will be glad to have a look for you.

Mike Cross
Life is too short to drive with stock audio

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