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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2004 Touring MDX.

This fall as I upped the temperature to get some heat, I noticed all the air blows through the upper vents, none at the feet. Same result when I use "Mode" to select feet, feet and face or face - there is no difference - all air blows out the upper vents.

Same problem when I select defrost, no air is redirected to the windshield.

The fan is working fine, lots of air.

And I already tested the "air mix motor/control" it is working too.

What else controls how the air is directed? If there is a previous post, I apologize for this duplicate. I may have missed it because I don't know the correct terms.
 

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Found solution to air control problem

It took a couple of hours of searching, but I discovered my problem and for me an easy solution.

When first searching for "air controls" I found post that had to do with "air temperature" and good instructions dealing with troubleshooting the "air mix controller." I read enough to test the Air Mix Controller and determine it was working fine, but I still only had air flow to the top middle and side vents.

It was later I discovered a few posts about the "Mode Control," which was just what I needed. It is the Mode Controller that routes air to different outlets (defrost, middle/side, lower (feet)). Most of the posts indicated the control arms and tracks might be stiff or dirty. I found the Mode Controller and, with the MDX running and AC on, gently rocked the rods and arms around and began changing the modes using the mode button (left most under the console screen). Between my tapping and rocking and cycling through the modes, the Controller began to move on its own. If the Mode Controller never moves, then it is a deeper problem - beyond this post.

Even after reading about the Mode Controller, I wasn't sure exactly where it was or what it looked like. I wanted you to know what I learned.

The Mode Controller is on the left side of the AC mechanism which is in the center of the dash (behind the console). You will work from the driver's foot well.

  1. First, remove the bottom console panel (it is carpeted). It is held in place by a series of tabs and clips. I started up by the gas pedal and pulled away from the console. Once a couple of clips pop loose you can work your way toward the seat tugging until the clips pop loose. There are clips at the top and bottom of the panel, and bottoms ones tend to pop loose as you work through the ones on the top. Most difficult is the last clip which is tight as the drivers seat barely allows enough room for the clip to come free. And there is a tab at the very front of the panel. It goes into a slot sort of behind the gas pedal. I gently bent the panel until I could pull the tab out of the slot and pull the rear of the panel out from between the console and seat. Set the console panel aside.
  2. You need to remove a plastic panel that from the bottom of the driver side dash. There is a twisting lock in the front center, twist the handle until the panel drops a little. There is also a clip on the front left which pops loose. Then you can slide the panel forward (easy because there are some wires still in place) out of a plastic slot (on the left) and a hole on the firewall (on the right) by the console. The back of the panel fits in the slot and there is a post that matches the hole. There are two wire sockets to unplug (for interior lighting.) Unplug the wires and set the top panel aside.
  3. Now you will be able to look up in the console and see the Mode Controller. See photo. It is a black box held in place by bronze screws. My fix didn't require me to remove the screws or disconnect any of the rods. To help you get oriented in my photo, the green plug in the rectangle is at the bottom of the controller. The main white control arm is circled. You will see metal rods going up and toward the console to damper controls (also white). I tapped and wiggled the arms and control rods where the arrows are. Don't force anything too much because you can break things.
The photo is taken with camera under the steering column looking toward the console.

There are many other problems which might cause the Mode Controller not to work, but maybe you will be fortunate, like me, to be able to coax it back into service.

I wanted to post this in order to identify what my problem was, the "Mode Control system," and provide a photo so you will know what you are looking for.
 

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The "Coaxing" method worked perfectly for me! Thank you very much for your time on this write-up! Must have been a dead spot on the motor. Once I helped it gently, it works every time now! About a 20 minute fix that saved me $200!
 
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