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V71 Recirc Air Flow Flap Removal & Replacement

Discussion in 'Mk4 Ibiza Guides (6L) 2002-2008' started by mjstokes85, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. mjstokes85

    mjstokes85 Diesel Power

    Nov 14, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Air Flow Flap V71

    I’ll start off with the standard disclaimer that you do this at your own risk, I am not a mechanic, I am not an electrician, all work should be carried out by a professional, I am not responsible for you ruining your car or you injuring/killing yourself etc.

    After scanning my car the other day this fault threw up, V71 Air Flow Flap – Static No Define. After some internet research I discovered this is the flap that operates when you press the air recirculation button on your climate control or normal AC. Common symptoms that this flap has failed are:

    Constant steaming up of the car (if the flap is stuck in recirc mode).

    Not working when you put the car in reverse (you will know if it’s working, it sounds like a plane taking off).

    If you don’t have VCDS or a fault scanner then fear not. Hold the recirc button and econ button with the car OFF, then turn the IGNITION ON, your car will run a flap test and show any errors. This flap will be error 4FA. A full list of errors can be found searching on this forum.

    After carefully studying ETKA and watching around 25 videos online, mainly of VWs and Skodas and finding none for the 6L Ibiza, I stumbled across an amazing German video that details the whole procedure here:

    This video states this is V154, but this is V71, not sure why his error is different (possibly due to LHD?), but it’s the same flap.

    I went about looking how I could access this actuator as I was worried it was a dash out job, or at least, glovebox out job. Google searches for V71 reveal a whole myriad of horror stories, but it turns out on the 6L Ibiza you don’t have to remove either.

    First off, turn the passenger airbag off with your key, you will be working closely to it, and don’t want to make a tricky job even worse.

    Next, pop the side panel off, there is recess at the bottom for a screwdriver. Push the foam soundproofing out the way, it’s zip tied on so you can snip them off if you need to, I could work with it pushed out the way.

    Get yourself a good torch (or 640 lumen bike light in my case) and have a look around. At this point I run my climate control and used all the settings to see what actuators do what to confirm I was looking at the culprit.

    Next thing to do is remove the trim under the passenger glove box, 3 T25 screws hold this in, maybe 4, I think I might be missing one, pull it off.

    Now go face first in to the footwell, and spin your body around so your looking up at the gubbins. You will see a flap either stuck closed (like mine) or stuck open, probably stuck closed. You can try pushing it and switching the recirc on, but that didn’t work for me.

    Then (making sure the airbag is off), open your glove box and remove the 2 T25s at the back, and 2 T25s at the top, this drops the lid of the glovebox down to give you room to manoeuvre.

    The actuator is held in place by clips and 2 star screws (not sure on the technical term), I didn’t have a star screwdriver but a small flat head worked. The first screw is accessed through your now dropped down glovebox trim (you probably could access this from the side panel but it would require some impressive wrist torsion. The next screw is underneath, on your back looking up at it. Once these are off you can pull the actuator off (unless yours is zip tied to a cable like mine, in which case use cable cutters VERY carefully to snip it off without cutting the cables). Now your actuator is off you can unplug it, hang the wire so it is easily accessible for testing the motor after attempting to fix it.

    Now depending on your car you will either have gears (like in the YouTube video), or have an arm like mine (I think gears for standard AC and an arm for Climatronic). The actuator actually opens and closes 2 flaps at a time, one under the scuttle panel and the one in the footwell, if the footwell one is open I think the outside one is closed, which would be recirc mode, if the outside one is open then the inside one is closed and fresh air is coming in to the car. When I manually moved my flap after taking the motor off a tonne of leaves fell out, so outside air must have been coming in.

    Now the whole thing is out, the motor can be popped off the housing and opened up to be fixed, or a new motor can be purchased, just go by the part number on the motor, not the housing. I got a new motor from an Audi A1 that matched mine. If you are buying a used one, check the motor date and check you have the right sort of gear on it, there are a lot of different sorts of gears on these motors for different flaps as they generally use the same motor.

    I tried to fix mine with contact cleaner and some fresh grease but it was beyond repair. The internet tells me these are potentiometers which are prone to dying over time. The whole units new cost over £120 but just the motor cost me £15.

    Part numbers are (note these are for RHD UK cars):

    Climate control: 8Z2 819 453 B

    Normal AC: 6Q2 819 453 C

    Just the motor is: 30.93683.01

    This is a good time to swap the cabin filter.

    Refitting is a reversal of above, however you will need to make sure the motor is in the correct place for the setting that is currently selected, you can do this by closing the inside flap (the outside one will line up when you fit the motor). If your motor gear fits in this position then your motor is in the correct position, if it's in the recirc on position but your recirc isn’t on, then plug the motor only in not connected to the flaps, and activate it, then disconnect it, and turn off recirc, turn off your ignition, then turn it all back on and connect it up, now the motor is in recirc off mode with your recirc turned off.

    This is probably a fault pretty much every 6L Ibiza has at this point, it’s not critical, I just wanted to see if I could fix it. It’s not as scary as it seems, essentially you are undoing some screws and clips, you are just working in a very tight space. It’s fiddly and annoying but doable in about 3-4 hours.

    I will add some pics to this at a later date.

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