Why does the car dashboard have clicking noise?

You start your vehicle and are ready to begin your journey, and you start hearing some knocking or clicking noise in the car dashboard. You might get worried about the strange sound, and it is pretty normal as the rattles and squeaks in a car can drive you crazy.

Generally, we should always investigate any peculiar sound from our vehicles. So, what is the cause of such clicking or knocking sound from your dashboard? The article will take you through the causes of clicking noise from a dashboard and the possible solutions in each. 

Why does the car dashboard have clicking noise?

Squeaks and rattles from a car dashboard indicate that the car has some issues that need to be fixed. The major causes of the clicking noise in a car dashboard include a faulty door stepper motor, relay issues, and heater control losing calibration. Moreover, faulty air condition systems can also lead to the clicking sound from the car dashboard. 

1. Heater motor calibration 

A car’s heater or the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning system is a helpful piece of equipment. This system employs blend doors, motors, and blend doors to control airflow and cooling/heating. Tracking all temperatures, fan speed, dual-zone requests, and all motor position is a task that only computers can deal with. 

Dashboard clicking

The Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning system control module regulates it all, but it must receive valid blend door posture readings to do the task well. However, in some cases, the degrees can be miscalculated hence leading to an erratic motor activation. If you find that this causes your car dashboard’s noise, you need to recalibrate to fix the problem. In addition, the mobile control tracks the blend door positions; it uses the information to direct air according to requests made by its operators. So, if the blend door positions are lost, then the controller will malfunction. 

What are the common reasons for a lost blend door locales

  • Disconnected battery
  • Flatcar battery
  • Faulty stepper motor
  • Removed or disturbed stepper motor without recalibrating

How to calibrate the heaters 

While it is not difficult to calibrate the heater, it needs several susceptible steps to do it. And every manufacturer has its progression of steps. Therefore, cars will need bidirectional scan equipment to calibrate the HVAC structure. 

The recalibration or relearn procedure for some GM automobiles 

  • Step one: Turn on the ignition
  • Step two: turn on the auto button 
  • Step three: Turn off the ignition
  • Step four: remove the fuse from the system for a minute
  • Step five: Turn on the ignition; the HVAC system is now on recalibration mode
  • Step seven: turn the ignition on again for fifteen minutes
  • Step eight: start the engine, and now the stem is calibrated

However, if the issue persists, try checking if the stepper motor has problems. 

2. Faulty relay 

Every vehicle comes with a piece of electric equipment and requires several circuits, relays, and control modules. Current cars have much electronic equipment, and your vehicle may have more than three different fuse boxes, all housing relays, and fuses.

So what is a relay? A relay is an electrical-mechanical tool that is used to control a loaded circuit. It is used in many circuits, horns, lights, power seats, wipers, and starter motors. To diagnose a faulty relay, you need to use your ears, put your hand in it and feel it click. If you shake a defective relay, it will often produce a rattling sound. 

How to fix a faulty relay?

A faulty relay only needs to be replaced and to replace it is just easy. Pull out the old relay and remove it. Ensure you align the pins correctly before you push home the new relay. Make sure you have a workshop manual for your vehicle; though it will cost some bucks, it is worth it.

A good manual covers wiring diagrams, repair diagrams, fastener torque specs, troubleshooting sections, and sequences. 

3. Faulty Stepper Motor

Before we dive into how a faulty stepper motor causes your car’s dashboard to click, let’s know what it is and its function.

What is a stepper motor?

Have you heard of a stepper motor? In simple terms, a stepper motor is an electric motor designed and featured to move in an incremental movement. In other words, it is intended for the conversion of digital pulses and turning them into mechanical shaft motion.

This device is meant to create discrete angular rotation where uniform magnitude is needed during the supply of DC sequentially switching. The recognized feature of the stepper motor is that it can work efficiently without brushes.

In most automotive systems, several stepper motors are incorporated to perform several duties, for example, around the heater systems. Unfortunately, these stepper motors connected to the heater system may fail to blend car doors and lead to dashboard alarming.

If a car stepper mother is having faulty, it may lead to clicking noise on your dashboard. But it can be a challenge to know whether it is a stepper motor resulting in dashboard clicking noise. So, what can you do to realize it is your stepper motor with issues?

Ways of diagnosing a faulty stepper motor

First of all, you have to know your car’s heater operates under a computer control module that gives it the mandate to function. Here, you have to start diagnosing by starting with a scan. When scanning, there might be a fault code that will appear if the stepper motor has issues. As well, the scanner will identify and locate the fault.

How to solve for the faulty stepper motor

The best way you can handle a faulty stepper motor is by replacing it, especially where you realize it can’t work anymore with the help of hands to open the blend door.


Whenever you hear a faulty sound or noise in your car’s dashboard, it may not mean your vehicle is damaged. The most important thing is that you have to understand that such sounds or noises can be signs of future faults. Your car’s dashboard may be signaling you to think of more inspection as there might be problems such as fault stepper motor, relay issues, and heater control module losing calibration. To avoid all such issues, it is good to do your regular inspection for the health of your car.


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