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Old 12-02-2002, 08:30 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Sticky Center Vent Control

The center vent control in the dash is stuck open. Don't want to force it for fear of busting something. What will happen if I force it closed? How does this thing get stuck? How do I fix 'er?

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Old 12-06-2002, 04:58 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 280
Angry jammed centre vent control

Yup! Another sufferer here! Shop said it would cost me heaps to take the whole dash off to get at the mechanism and replace it since its gone and broken somewhere. The part is also expensive. Labour charges will also be high as it takes a lot of time. Do you believe them? I for one don't. Its likely that they will "find" some other parts which will need replacement co-incidentally. I guess thats business. Live with it being open for the rest of your time with the car---- i.e. forget about it!
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:09 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Good advice! I rarely want that vent closed anyway. I just want to keep everything functioning properly on the car. These little things add up to an unsatisfying automotive experience. I guess that is life.
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:27 AM
captaincrunch's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Jonesboro, GA
Posts: 52
I've gone into the dash of my old 86 300SD many times. I replaced several of the vacuum diaphrams. That's what it soulds like to me. It was about a Sat day job to do. I don't know about your body style, but I would think that it wouldn't be too hard. I found that taking apart the 300SD was easy, just tedious. And I've got more time than money right now.
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Old 12-06-2002, 10:01 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
I ventured in to replace a burnt-out bulb on the center vent dial on my W124 and wound up sitting in the kitchen staring at a completely disassembled vent housing.

It took an hour or so to get it put back together, and even with that being a learning experience, I doubt that the process is complicated. I got the dial sync'ed up with the mechanism in the dash, but checked the operation of the dash linkage before reinserting the vent housing.

I would think your unit is binding somehow, but not missing parts. Furthermore, I think the job is far less expensive than you've been led to believe, but then again, my dealer wanted $125 to replace that bulb!
2009 ML350 (84K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (71K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (124K) - My daily driver
2012 Mustang V6 (60K) - Daughter's car
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Old 12-07-2002, 07:06 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 280
Unhappy stuck centre vent

Unfortunately I am not mechanically minded and for one cannot do anything better than a complete dismantling of my r/c plane's 2 stroke engine and reassembling it in a few minutes. The only other thing I had to dismantle was a M16 in field training. So I am at the mercy of the techies who charge up too many hours when you leave your car there for a few days. At one shop, I was prevented from watching the work done due to "workshop insurance cover regulations", LOL. They even charged me time for their 30 to 45minute teabreak, their lunch time and the time it took them to walk back and forth from the service area to the parts dept., waiting time to be attended and as it was a Saturday there wasn't any other idiot stupid enough to send their car there on a Saturday. My Benz's stuck centre vent is being fixed this moment by a trustworthy techie far away, but if he says it needs replacement, it needs replacement.
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