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Hi guys - would really appreciate your advice. My air vent control refuses to point to the direction of the windscreen option. When I try to turn it it has resistance and will only turn to the floor setting or the (face) vents setting. It's like and elastic band that you pull and it just flicks back to one of those two settings. My mechanic said that he'd have to pull apart the entire dash to look at it and that it would cost me hundreds of dollars before they could even look at the cable. Just wondering if anyone knows a fix or a shortcut to fix this problem? It's winter here and I can't drive my Z# as the front window keeps steaming up!

Thanks,

Craig
 

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Hi guys - would really appreciate your advice. My air vent control refuses to point to the direction of the windscreen option. When I try to turn it it has resistance and will only turn to the floor setting or the (face) vents setting. It's like and elastic band that you pull and it just flicks back to one of those two settings. My mechanic said that he'd have to pull apart the entire dash to look at it and that it would cost me hundreds of dollars before they could even look at the cable. Just wondering if anyone knows a fix or a shortcut to fix this problem? It's winter here and I can't drive my Z# as the front window keeps steaming up!

Thanks,

Craig
Hi! I'm having the exact same problem with my 1996 Z3. I know your post has been for a long time. I'm just wondering, have you fixed your problem yet? What did you do? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
 

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Vent controls

You shouldn't need to pull the entire dash to get an idea of what is wrong. Just pull the radio, and the vent control can be accessed through that opening. This gets you at least into the right area.

Hope this helps.
 

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If I remember correctly, the cable is what binds up internally. Sometimes just lubricating it works rather than replacement.

Fred
 

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Mike Swing
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I know this is an old subject but mine is doing the same exact thing. Any ideas for a quick fix? Or what is the part even called? Thanks in advance.
 

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I had this problem and as a result decided to open up the center console. Here's what I found. To operate the controls, there are three cables which connect to a toggle. One is green, one red, and one black. The problem is that the cables are held stationary by a plastic tabs. Think of these as bicycle cables, when you turn the temp or direction dial, the cables pull and release tension which allows the opening and closing of vents that direct air or temperature. Now the bad part, because the tabs are plastic, they have gone brittle with time. As a result, if one is cracked, there is nothing to hold the cable stationary. Without it, there is no tension.

What's the fix? I thought I could order the part, but when it arrived it didn't fit, nor was it one that would work. Solution, put the plastic tab through and holdi the cable secure with tab, duck tape the tab securely, and reinstall. I did this a couple of weeks ago, and everything is working fine.

The problem is that you can't fix this by just reaching in through the radio slot. So when you do this, purchase some light bulbs and replace them while you're at it. Sorry I didn't take pics while I was working on it.
 

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Mike Swing
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Thanks DreamnZ! I think understand what you're saying but I'll have to take it apart to give it a shot at fixing this. I might wait until the fall. Too hot in Texas to mess with it right now. If I took it to the dealer, I wonder how they would try to repair it.
 

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Taking the center console isn't that hard. You do have to take off the screws which secure it to the rear console. In my 96 z I just pulled up the coin holster to the rear to access it. Take off the boot for the shifter too. There are screws on the back right and left side and at the front. It's actually not that hard, but it is time consuming. Don't get intimidated, to not rocket science. Just look at the pieces logically and don't force tabs off forcefully. Especially for the switches. While doing this, I actually thought about replacing my center console with the M replacement I have, but since I couldn't figure out how to connect the dials, I didn't do it. If the z isn't your daily driver, then you can do it in stages. Good luck to those who brave this endeavor.
 
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