Testing Recirculation Door Control (2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD)

ID Status Date Year Make Model Transmission Type A/C Controls Public/Private
#16435 Closed 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Crew Cab 4x4 public

First, thank you for the post/article (https://sparkys-answers.com/2013/08/2003-chevrolet-silverado-hvac-actuator.html), it was extremely helpful and I was able to test and replace my passenger side blend door actuator.

Since I had the dashboard apart I figured I should check the recirculation door as well. This door is not opening when pushing the recirculation button (no noise either). I figured the next logical step would be to use the same fused jumper wire technique to test the recirculation door. I want to confirm the correct pins to use for testing. Looking at the information provided in https://sparkys-answers.com/2013/08/2003-chevrolet-silverado-hvac-actuator.html I think the pins in question would be C8 connector, pin F and C4 connector, pin J. Would you be able to confirm if these are the correct pins to test with?

Thank you,
Scott Alvis


The wiring circuits for the recirculation door actuator are different for auto and manual control systems. Could you tell me which type of controls your truck has? Also which engine is in your truck? Thanks, Sparky

I have the manual temp controls (i.e. the 2 up/down levers) and 6.0L Gas engine.


Sorry to be so long getting back with you. Yes, the control wire for the recirculation actuator would be at connector C8 terminal F and the 5 volt reference wire would be at connector C4 terminal J. You can pick up a ground at connector C4 terminal M or you can just use chassis ground.

Hi Sparky,
With the fused jumper wire do I need to pick up a ground? If so, how would I go about doing that with the fused jumper wire?
Additionally, I ran into another issue with my instrument cluster. Would you prefer I open a new question for that?
Thank you for all your help!


Okay, the way the process goes is that you connect one end of the fused jumper wire to the actuator control circuit and the other end to either the five volt reference circuit or ground(low reference) depending on the direction of travel needed to unstick the actuator.

I would prefer that you start a new question for your instrument cluster issue and thanks for the donation. 

Thanks for all your help!

Unfortunately, the jumper write trick did not move the actuator at all. I think the actuator is totally dead. Getting to the back screw seem darn near impossible unless you remove the entire dashboard or cut the duck work out 🙁


I would have to admit that it is not the easiest thing but in the end it is not too bad. Did you see the following article?

Changing The Recirculation / Fresh Air Door Actuator Part 2


Thanks again Sparky! I’ll take a look at that article and let you know how it goes, much appreciated.

Hi Sparky,
Looks like I’m going to need a little more help/advise. Starting with the good news, I was able to get the recirculation actuator removed. Removing the screw holding the duct work to the center section of instrument panel framework really helped. Additionally, I pulled the 2 10mm nuts from the door jam area which really let me move the duct work around.

Now for the bad news. After pull the actuator I tested it with a 9 volt battery and a couple of lead wires. The actuator did work but not very well. It was extremely slow and appeared to be struggling to move. I went a head and hooked up a new actuator. I did not attach it to the recirculation vent but figured this would not be an issue since this actuator does not utilize any positioning sensor readings, the connector doesn’t even have wires for the positions sensor pins. When I turned the vehicle on the actuator went to the fully closed (fresh air) position. When I hit the recirculation button nothing happened, the actuator doesn’t move. I had a second actuator and I hooked that one up and the same thing happened again, it goes to fully closed and then the recirculation button has not effect. I even followed the HVAC Recalibration article, pulled the fuse for a minute, started the vehicle (ran it for 1-2 minutes), shut off the vehicle for more than 10 seconds but not longer than 30. This recalibration also had not effect on the recalculation button.

Any advise on next steps?

Thank you,


The actuators can still jam even with only having three wires. The first thing you should do is use the same fused jumper wire procedure to unjam and re center the actuator shafts. After the actuator shaft is re centered, you can mount the actuator and hold it in place while testing the system. You can use your hand or a long screwdriver instead of bolting it down.

If the actuator still gets stuck once it is mounted you may have a known overtravel condition that is caused by worn/compressed foam on the recirculation door flap. There is a software update to correct this condition. You can either take it to a capable shop to have it reprogrammed or install a new control panel that should have the latest software installed. I say should because I don’t know if that is true with all aftermarket control panels or not. I also don’t think the part is available from GM or ACDelco anymore.

If the outside temperature is below about 55F the systems generally will not allow the door to move to the recirculation position. I know this is true for auto systems but not sure about the manual systems. It is a safety concern. Warm, stale air makes for sleepy drivers. The yellow led on the recirculation button flashes to indicate this condition.


Hi Sparky,
Thank you for the information. I was able to re-center the actuator and re-install it. This time the actuator went to fully open and now is stuck in that position. Looks like I will need to have the module flashed with the software update.

Thanks again for all your help. I’ve attached a picture of the tool setup I used to get to the back screw on the recirculation actuator, it worked pretty well. It’s a 105 degree drill adapter with a 1 inch hex to 1/4 drive adapter and a low profile 8mm socket. Instead of attaching a drill I just attached a screw driver that accepts different hex bits.

Thank you,
Scott Alvis

One more thing, it looks like the jumper wire trick isn’t working with the specified terminals above. Not sure if it’s some how still locked out by the control module or if we just have the wrong terminals.

Finally figure out the issue with my recirculation door actuator not working after installing a new one. After testing all the electrically wiring, continuity, voltage, etc. but before replacing/reprogramming the HVAC control module I order a new ACDelco actuator (15-73599). I replaced the after market actuator that I had previously installed with the ACDelco part and low and behold everything works fine now.

For your readers: If you have a 2003 Silverado do not use ‎AA Ignition (5242588) to replace the recirculation door actuator. The manufacturer claims their actuator can replace all three actuators: driver, passenger, and recirculation door. Their actuator did not working on my vehicle. While the actuator did move the door after the initial install it would not respond when pressing the recirculation button on the HVAC control module.

Thank Sparky for all your help!

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