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Old 03-07-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
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Help with air recirculation door

Hello guys

I think im having issues with my air recirculation door. I have a 2015 Focus SE.

I always have the air recirculation mode ON but on the past week i started to notice that when driving, the car smells like if its getting too much air from the outside (smoke and other outer smells and now noticed). this is clearly new for me as im very used on how the car smells when driving.
but, one thing that i did notice is that when driving, having the fan off and the recirculation off, i feel no air coming out of the vents. this really got me confused

i have already checked for open windows and for DTC's.

is there a way i could diagnose if the recirculation door is actually actuating when i cycle the recirculation button? i dont hear anything at all.
does forscan let me see the recirculation door status?
Is there anything else i could check in order to locate the issue?

thanks so much!

andres


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Old 03-07-2019, 06:51 PM   #2
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The recirc door is the one that when turned on or off makes a whole lot louder or quieter blower noise. If there is no big noise change then it is not working.
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:12 AM   #3
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Adding to the previous post, if the recirculation is on, there shouldn't be much noise other than the engine where the hood meets the windshield, if it's off you should hear the air being sucked in
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:44 AM   #4
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Another way to check is heater output. With recirc on and open and working the heat should drop like a rock, recirc on short circuits the heater loop to leave most air unheated.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:06 AM   #5
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Thanks. I will check this today and report back

Is there any way I could leave the door closed forever without replacing its motor? I just don’t really use the recirculating mode off at all?
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:26 PM   #6
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Hi guys.
I’m still struggling with this. I removed the glovebox and got access to the recirculation door. the motor is dead as won’t move at all when pressing the recirculating button. I also noticed that the door itself is too hard to rotate but it does rotate

I can live with a dead motor as long as the car doesn’t take air from the outside as I drive in very contaminated/smelly areas. I already unplugged the motor, which by the way, seems very difficult to replace according to the service manual

I’m unsure on what position should I leave the door. I can manually move it with my fingers but I got the feeling that it’s letting outside air to come inside on both positions (I can tell by the smell)

Please see below the two possible positions where I can leave the door. Can anyone advise on which the car doesn’t take air from outside? Also, besides this door, is there any other component that needs to be adjusted in order to assure air recirculating?
I want to clarify,though, that I’m aware that the car is not 100% airtight.

On position A, air flow is significantly higher but I can definetly feel outer smells.
On position B, air flow is lower. I can also feel outside smells

Maybe the door isn’t positioned correctly?

I will appreciate your help!
Attached Thumbnails
Help with air recirculation door-ba70a991-4499-42eb-a56b-9c357c282069.jpg  

Help with air recirculation door-d570eda0-a56b-4b99-85cd-5ce5beee0995.jpg  

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Last edited by andresmorago; 03-20-2019 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:31 PM   #7
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hello guys

sorry to bump this but im getting frustrated with this issue. i feel the car no longer recirculates air at all.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:34 AM   #8
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you say it 'smells' on both positions, and it very well may, but humor me, have you checked/changed the cabin air filter? those things can make a funk
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:44 AM   #9
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Yes. cabin filter is about 2 months old
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:17 AM   #10
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some updates on my issue.
It turns out that the air recirculation system has, in fact, 2 doors: The one with the white seals allows air to be taken from the inside and The one with the black seals allows air to be taken from the outside. the gears mechanism makes them work at the same time but in the opposite directions: when white is opened, black is closed.
the gear mechanism was completely stuck and wouldt move either door. i was first able to force open the white door without noticing that the black door was still opened and stuck, letting exterior air to come inside the car.

the first option was to remote the air recirculation system but it turned out to be a major PITA. it has 3 screws and 2 of them are virtually impossible to remove, even with proper tools. also, BCM has to be removed. i gave up on this option.





as a plan B, i removed the cowl panel behind the motor and got access to the air intake. here, i was able to manually action the black door and to unstuck it (it took a little bit of careful strength so i didnt break anything) . the gear mechanism went back to its normal position and the motor was in good shape.

black door stuck on open position


black door after un-stuck. closed position


i tested the air recirculation door and it worked. view from the inside
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


after re-assembling everything, i ran a can of air conditioning cleaner and replaced the filter.

for the sake of cars future, i did 2 additional things:
*disconnected the electrical connector of this recirculation door, leaving it permanently recirculating (white door open / black door closed). on cars with Electronic Manual Temperature Control (EMTC), you wont get any DTC's as this module isnt connected to CAN networks
*permanently closed the air intake with duct tape



two final considerations:
*no matter if you have the recirculation mode ON and led ON, when shutting of the car, the recirculation door will go back to non recirculation mode (white door closed, black door opened)
*before this fix, i got a quote from my local dealer. labor and recirculation door replacement costs around 800usd
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Last edited by andresmorago; 04-03-2019 at 10:15 PM.
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