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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Kinda surprised this has not been addressed yet here. If it has, I cannot find a thread through the search button. Too bad that the 3rd/4th gen camry section is not further divided into categories. For example, all the different systems of the car similar to the shop manual.

OK, here is my new problem. Our 2001 camry HVAC system (should be the same 97-01) blows nicely through all the vents except for the center vents. When turning the fan above 2, the center vents sound like a nose whistle. Very little air coming through makes me think there is some kind of restriction to flow. I casually mentioned this to my A/C guy, he quickly said that happens over time with the ductwork. The felt that is used for the joints and seams in the ductwork becomes weathered over time and will loose it's adhesiveness. The ducts will either come apart or collapse. He said the whole dash needs to come out to repair it.

So I looked into the center ducts with a bright flashlight. I wasn't able to view any duct joints or felt. But I did notice a mesh screen door with some lint (felt?) build up. I checked the function of the actuated dampers and noticed this screen makes a slight movement but does not fully open or close when changing the control from face to foot.

I also viewed the air outlet servomotor function. It appeared to move along smoothly to each control point without getting hung up. It's in a real pain of a location to pull out to test. Air is coming out of every vent strongly per the control settings except for the center vents. I'm at wits end trying to figure this out. I'm surprised no one else has run into this here.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Problem solved. Equally strong air blowing now from all vents again like new. After much thought and a little work, this became a 5 minute fix.

I want to give a big shout out to the one person who was most helpful in resolving this issue...ME!!!

As usual, I learn the most when I figure things out for myself.
 

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How did you do it? I have a 99 camry and its doing the samething, it kind of sucks since I live in Florida, and its in the high 90's and going higher next week
 

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How did you do it? I have a 99 camry and its doing the samething, it kind of sucks since I live in Florida, and its in the high 90's and going higher next week
I performed this last week. I didnt pull out the dash. My troubleshooting showed me that air was passing through center vents but was severly blocked. I popped off the swivel vents and with a long screwdriver i pushed through the silver grate at the back of the vent channel. I then used needle-nose pliers to pull off chunks of the grate until the passageway was clear. I get tons of air passing through now.

Looking that the grating that I pulled out it was completely clogged/blocked with lint.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Directions for Gen4 Camry's with little or no air flow from center vents with the air doors seem to be switching OK. The problem may be blocked screens behind the center vents. Look into the vents with a bright flashlight about 10" straight ahead to see the silver screens.
On my 2001, they were plugged up on the back side. Simply but carefully
pry out the vents near the round pin on the right side (Pin allows vent to tilt up and down). Push top of screens in with a long screwdriver to get a free edge then rip them out with long needle nose pliers.
The screens are there to catch condensate droplets but get plugged up. Later models (2002+ ?) have cabin air filters that may prevent this problem.
 

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Thanks so much. Your system worked exactly as you had described - no more whistles from the middle registers and lots more air.
 

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1999 Camry LE
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I tried popping my vent out on the center drivers side and I cracked it and stopped. Is there a trick to popping these out and not breaking the vent?
 

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This is why I love this site. I was hearing a whistling and reduced airflow from the center vents. This was the fix.

I tore mine out as well. Curious as to what the potential negative impact of doing this is, but on a 19 year old car I figured its not a huge deal.
 

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I might try some shots of compressed air before ripping it out.
I thought about that too. But I figured all that junk will end up being blown back to the screen anyway. I noticed some debris coming out of the vent when I put it on high the first time, but since then its been ok.


I
 

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Just tore out my screen and it blows like a hurricane in there now. Thanks for this solution. Not worth putting money into a car with 291k miles.
 

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Tried and gave up this attempt. It is not easy to take that swivel door off the dash. I spent 20 minutes on it. Finally I decided that it is a worse consequence if I broke it than having less air. So I gave it up.
 

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^ sure, better safe than sorry.

However, try using two small (1/8" blade) slotted screwdrivers to evenly pry on the pivot points on both sides.
 

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1999 Camry LE 4-cyl. Thank you! This post is still helping folks 6 years later.

Removing the screen inside the middle vents worked for me!
The screen is more accessible from the right-middle vent. To get the middle vents out, I turned them sideways and pryed it out on the right side with a small flat ('minus' as they say in Canada) screwdriver, right next to the peg it swivels on. My thought was to use more surface area of the vent when prying to keep it from cracking. The left side of the vent has a flat square fitting that fits into a square notch - it's not as deep as the peg on the right, so it might be easier to dislodge the vent from left side, but I didn't try that. When replacing the vent, I put it in the same way, turned 'sideways' (facing up/down), and lining up the square fitting with it's slot. It clicked right it, and the right side was easier to get in than out.
The screen is one piece, and the right side came out easily, but it ripped in half when pulling it out. I'm thinking that if I would have pulled 'right' on it after dislodging it on the right side, instead of pulling it straight toward me, it wouldn't have ripped. Needle nose pliers kept ripping of small chunks of the remaining screen, so after several tries, I managed to grab enough of what was left and pull it out by hand, dislodging it by pulling it 'to the right' first.
Now the air is blowing like it was when it was brand new, and just in time for summer here in Arizona in the valley! Which reminds me, when I bought this car in '99, I test drove the Honda Accord and the Camry in the middle of the summer here, and picked the Camry because the A/C was better.
 
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