Active grille shutters stuck to open position. Reasons and fixes

There are a variety of reasons why an active grille shutter might be stuck open. However, the most common causes are listed below:

  • Cold weather and the build of ice on the controller and the shutters
  • Grille Shutter Malfunctions
  • Front bumper collision

Each of these problems can prevent the active grille shutter from shutting, especially when they are stuck in an open position.

Therefore, before any repairs can be performed, the car owner or mechanic will need to know the exact cause before determining the fix.

Cold weather and the buildup of ice on the controller and the shutters

Whenever the weather changes, the active grille shutters may sustain a certain amount of damage. For instance, snow and ice build up on the controllers and the shutter may cause these components to be inoperable.

Specifically, when they are stuck in an open position.

Grille Shutters Malfunctions

Another problem that many car owners may deal with is active grille shutter malfunctions. In fact, in some cars, the driver will get a code on the dashboard that signifies something is wrong.

These malfunctions may be due to a blocked grille shutter, a faulty sensor, or electronic damage in the actuator.

Front Bumper Collision

In some cases, the active grille shutters may be stuck in an open position due to an accident that has occurred. One of the most common is often related to a front bumper collision.

For instance, even minor cosmetic damage to the shutters can become a huge mechanical problem that keeps them from functioning properly. The shutters may remain stuck in an open position if the blades a bent or broken.

How much does it cost to fix stuck active grill shutters?

The cost to fix a stuck active grill shutter will depend on the type of problems identified. Therefore, the car owner may need to request a complete inspection from a professional auto repair shop.

Also, once the problem has been identified, the auto repair shop technician can assess the damages and a quote for the work that needs to be performed.

For instance, if the active grill shutters have been damaged because of a car accident, the total cost of the repairs may include:

  • Cost of new parts
  • The labor cost of re-installation services
  • Price for cosmetic damages

According to information published on, the average price for the parts can range between $100 to $400 and is dependent on both the design and the kit inclusions.

And, the Labor costs may depend on the car’s owner’s location. So, the total cost of parts and labor can differ greatly based on some different factors, including the following:

  • make, model, and year of the car
  • type of malfunction involved
  • damages caused due to an accident

How do you test active grille shutters?

Once the repairs have been completed, the car should not be put back on the road again for operation until the active grille shutters have been tested.

For example, to test the active grille shutter for both functionality and safety, the mechanic will need to perform a calibration. This calibration is designed to command the shutter system to fully open and fully close with the use of CONSULT.

  • Step 1: Start the engine.
  • Step 2: Using CONSULT, in the engine mode, choose “ACTIVE GRILLE SHUTTER” in the “ACTIVE TEST” mode
  • Step 3: Touch “CALIBRTN.”
  • Step 4: When the calibration process is complete, check the active grille shutters for both open and closing functions.

Special Note: If the calibration process completes, the shutter is OK.


Why are the active grille shutters stuck to the open position? As mentioned above, the cause of these problems may be due to a variety of common issues including the buildup of ice on the controller and the shutters, malfunctions, and front bumper accidents.

Whatever the cause, the active shutters may need to be replaced and re-installed properly. Also, after the shutters have been tested properly, the car can be placed back on the road safely.

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