Clicking Noise Behind Right Side Dashboard - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-12-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Question Clicking Noise Behind Right Side Dashboard

For about a month there's been an obvious noise coming from behind the dashboard / glove-box.

It's an irregular clicking or buzzing, with short periodic pauses, that never stops.

I hear it whenever the engine is running, as well as when the ignition is on but the engine hasn't been started.

The clicking is loud enough that even the passengers can hear it when the car is moving at a slow rate.

( any faster, and road and/or engine noise drowns it out )

With the ignition on, and the hood up, can't hear it at all on that side of the engine compartment.

What the heck could it be?

If it requires dashboard removal to diagnose or fix I might just let it go since the expense would be absurd.

Thanks for your time and attention.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-12-2019, 07:30 PM
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Are there any changes when you fiddle with climate settings? Clicking behind the dash always has my mind go to climate door actuators first.

Maybe something hitting the blower fan, like a leaf or paper, if it's making the noise only with the blower fan on.

2006 Highlander Hybrid Limited - Nissan Technician - ASE Master Tech
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-12-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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I tried manipulating the climate controls.

There was no effect no matter the direction of the airflow ... face, floor, mid ... .

The noise happens despite the blower ... even when it's totally off, and the A/C is off.

When the ignition is on, so is the noise.

The volume of the buzzing never changes ... and the speed of the clicking is still irregular.

Don't know how paper or a leaf could get behind the dash ... it sounds mechanical, or electro-mechanical.

Back to square one ... .
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-12-2019, 09:53 PM
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Sometimes debris like leaves or papers get to the blower motor when a cabin air filter is changed. I've seen it a bunch of times. But it would only be an issue if the fa was running.

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post #5 of 8 Old 07-13-2019, 12:09 AM
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On my 2001 base it is the blend door in the center right of the console next to the glove compartment because of a bad connection in the temperature control knob rheostat, a common problem in the early years with manual AC. It can be a DYI job if you are good with a soldering iron. There are YouTube videos, sellers on Ebay, and a repair kit made by Dorman. You said you checked the mode switch. Did you try moving the temperature knob all the way counterclockwise and clockwise? Or a leaf could get to the fan easily if you have no cabin air filter.
What year and trim?
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-14-2019, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try rotating the temp knob in both direction several times.

Didn't think that a leaf could get in there, though there's no cabin filter.

The vehicle is a 2001 "Limited" model, which didn't come with a cabin filter.

As a result, a few years ago, we had to have the entire dash taken apart while on vacation.

We were traveling South, and when we got to Alabama, the A/C wouldn't work worth a diddle.

Luckily, there was a Toyota dealer on our route ... and we had to spend a night in a motel while it was diagnosed.

At first, when the tech inserted a fiber-optic probe, they thought it was an animal nest ( evidently, common in the area ).

However, it turned out that the problem had developed at home, entirely because of the lack of a cabin air filter.

We had a neighbor with a huge Cottonwood tree in their back yard.

Over the years, enough of the "cotton" had been sucked inside that the evaporator was clogged with the stuff.

It cost a bundle to get it removed, blown out, and reinstalled.

Thanks for the tips.

We'll see whether there's any change when we manipulate the temperature control.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-15-2019, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Amazing!

All I had to do was rotate the temperature control several times in each direction.

Just like magic, the noise disappeared!


That knob almost never gets used since I always have the temperature set on the minimum ( 65 ) during the Summer.


Thanks so much for the information!

You guys saved me a lot more headache, and possibly another bill from the dealer.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-16-2019, 12:21 PM
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Just be aware it is not fixed. It will return. If you don’t want to put the money and energy into a fix, and since you rarely use the temperature knob, you can set it where you like it and then unplug the blend door motor. I did that for a few months before I fixed it.
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