Clicking Noise In Dashboard When Car Is Off: Top 4 Reasons

You get a “clicking sound” behind your dashboard after your car has been powered off. This noise can make your ride uncomfortable and annoying for both you and the passengers. Does this sound make you worry? Ignore it or go on with your journey? We can say that clicking noise could be worrisome that requires professional attention.

Our article will give you extensive insights into this problem. Buckle your seatbelt to find the reasons behind the clicking noise in dashboard when car is off and learn about the solution.

Why Do You Hear The Click Noise In Dashboard When Car Is Off?

There’re various factors that can be the reason for knocking noise coming from dashboard when your engine is off and some causes will need a professional mechanic. Finding the root cause of the problem is not an easy step, you can let the mechanic diagnose the exact cause.  Let’s dive into these reasons:

why is my dashboard making a clicking noise
Why is my dashboard making a clicking noise? (Photo:

A bad actuator of the blend door

Blend door actuator: what is it? The vehicle must have a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning HVAC system with manual controls. A typical blender or actuator moves one way for defrosting and another for cooling. You can understand the simple way that a blend door actuator is a small electric motor with the main function of controlling the climate control system in your car.

Clicking noise in the car dashboard can be the consequence of the bad blend actuator even when your car has been turned off. This sound can be loud or low with repetition frequency. Clicking noise always comes from the area with the HVAC controls on your dashboard. And it can be louder when you change the temperature or turn on the AC in your car. 

The door can’t turn automatically when your actuator is going bad. At that time you will hear the sound of clicking or knocking from the dashboard. The internal structure of the transmission is plastic gears. As a result, you hear the plastic gears click each other until the cycle finally is complete.

The HVAC controller lost its settings

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is a system that controls the temperature, humidity, and air quality in your vehicle space. The function of the HVAC system is to provide a standard level of air quality and temperature in the vehicle. Strange noise or clunking from your dashboard is attributed to the uncalibrated HVAC system. The cause can come from a loose or damaged mechanical part leading to loud noises coming from the dashboard and reducing the functionality of the HVAC system.

An HVAC system is a complicated system. The support of actuators, sensors, and motors will help HVAC control the air moving in the exact direction. This system can’t give the right action if the sensors give false data. When the position of the hot engine is miscalculated, it can cause a rattling noise on the instrument panel while the vehicle is running.

clicking noise under drivers side dash
Strange noise or clunking from your dashboard is attributed to the uncalibrated HVAC system. (Photo:

Faulty relay

A lot of vehicles are different, but most of the time you will find that the relays are located in the fuse box under the hood. It’s very necessary to know what these relays do in your car. The main task of the relay switches helps to control the current in the circuit. If there is no relay, switches will easily damage and burn. When the relay works, the electrical components on your car will work normally such as the air conditioner, headlights, taillights…

The power supply magnet will transfer from the mains to the motor forcing the instrument panel to make noise. In addition, dirt on the junctions can cause the dashboard to make clicking noises, especially if it is constantly connecting and disconnecting at high speed when connecting to the mains multiple times.

Troubleshooting stepper motor

A faulty stepper motor is a common problem that happens in modern cars. The responsibility of this part is to control the idle speed. A stepper motor will regulate the air to your car engine based on the updated parameter constantly. It can be damaged, resulting in loud noises in the control panel. Many stepper motors are the main cause of your cars continuing to make noise when they fail. Once you encounter such a situation, repairing the engine immediately is vital thing. 

>> Related post: The Causes of Car WON’T Start Clicking Noise

How To Fix The Clicking Noise In Dashboard When Car Is Off?

After finding out what causes constantly the clicking noise in car dashboard. Move on to the next step to solve the problem.

Test/replace a blend door actuator.

If you detect any symptoms like a clicking noise under the driver’s side dash or a knocking sound from the dashboard, you need to visit the repair center to reset the blend actuator. If you have a background in mechanical, you can check this part by yourself. First, you need to disconnect the negative terminal of your car. If a radio code is available in your car, make sure you write it down on paper or better still be able to do the calibration. Take your vehicle to a mechanic if you don’t have a calibrator.

Steps to replace a blend door actuator:

bad door actuator
You can visit the repair center to reset the blend actuator (Photo:

Step 1: Disconnect the negative battery cable from your car

Step 2: Remove the glove box and then we will pull it out from its retaining knobs. After that remove all the contents from inside of the glove box and set them aside.

Step 3: Unplug the wiring harness. Locate the position of the heater core behind where the glove box used to be. 

Step 4: Pull out the two retaining screws to remove the air filter assembly.

Step 5: Use a small screwdriver to remove the door actuator and actuator.

Step 6: Before installing a new one, it is recommended that you rotate the blend door in both directions manually to make sure it does not jam leading to damage to the new actuator.

Step 7: Install the new blend door actuator.

Change bad relays

Bad relays are considered the reason your car makes clicking noise when off. Replacing with a new one is the only method you can apply in this situation. You need to use the multimeter to check the car relays whether it’s in a good condition or not. When the relay is removed from the fuse box, the multimeter to measure the DC voltage and the switch in the cabin is activated, first, check that there are 12 volts in 85 positions in the fuse box where the relay is plugged or not. If not, check that the appropriate fuse is blown. If the fuse is intact, make sure the switch allows current to flow to the relay.

Step 1: Locate the position of the relays in your car. They could be under the car hood or the dash depending on your car model and what relays are controlling. Check the manual if you don’t know its exact position.

Step 2: Pull the old relay out and you might be able to do it with your hand or use the basic tools.

Step 3: Replacing with a new one. In this step, you need to make sure that the new relay is identical to the old one that serves the same purpose and you must verify this with the car dealership. After that, all you have to do is to put it down into place so line it up and use your finger to push it into place. 

>> Read more: Heated, Cooled, and Ventilated Seats: Are They Worth It?

Calibrating the heater motor

To get rid of the clicking sound from your dashboard, you need to recalibrate the AC controller or HVAC system. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Hit the auto button

Step 2: Turn off your car when it says Auto right there 

Step 3: We’re gonna go to the fuse box and remove the fuse for the AC controller system for 1 or 2 minutes to get everything to reset. 

We shared with you 3 common solutions you can use if you notice the knocking or clicking sound under your dashboard when your engine is off. However, in some cases, you don’t have much experience in repair. You should take your car to a trusted mechanic to handle this problem.