HVAC Air Flow Switching to Defrost When Accelerating on Jeep Grand Cherokee

The AC/heater (HVAC) system may unexpectedly switch to the defrost mode when accelerating. This system is operated by engine vacuum and should be inspected for any vacuum leaks if this problem develops.  There is also a revised vacuum check valve available to address this concern.

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Average mileage: 156,638 (57,000–283,000)
11 model years affected: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, more1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
54 people reported this problem
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Viewing 1 - 20 of 24 problem details
Under acceleration when the engine pulls vacuum, the small check valve on the manifold vacuum line does not hold allowing the AC/heater directional system to default to the defrost system (no vacuum position). Check valves are netorious for failing or leaking. I was able to "stall" the problem by "cleaning" the check valce with wd40 but it is only a short term fix and will only work if the check valve is dirty and not broken. A check valve this size should cost less than $10.00 but buyer beware... it is probably a "special" component and may cost more???
2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee 127,000 mi,
AC switches to Defrost when accelerating, especially if climbing a hill. This doesn't happen with every acceleration, but when it does happen if I ease up on the gas, it switches back.
2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee 89,000 mi,
AC only on Defrost doesn't come out of the vents,I checked for vacuum leak but found nothing.
1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee 171,000 mi,
accelerate goes to defrost let off throttle goes to vent
My a/c system blows from defrost only, I don't need to accelerate, it happens every time I turn it on.
First the AC would stop blowing out the dash vents when I accelerated redirecting the air to the defrost or floor vents. Dealership told me it was a redirection of power when I accelerated. Didn't sound right but I went with it. A few years later cruise control doesn't work, heater and AC both do not blow out the dash vents only defrost and sometimes floor vents. From my online investigation I know there is a vacuum leak. I had one fixed under the hood which helped a little but I am afraid the other might be in the dash. On top of that if the blower runs too long I start to smell a burning electrical smell. So I think the connector/resistor gets too hot and starts melting.
1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee 238,000 mi,
Loss of vacuum causing AC to switch from top vents to defrost on heavy acceleration or medium RPM at highway speeds
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 166,000 mi,
HVAC Air Flow Switching to Defrost When Accelerating, now air only out on defrost vent, also water on floor passenger side.
1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee 145,400 mi,
whenever the engine is under extra load such as uphill on the freeway or passing, the air stop coming from the console and switches to defrost. Dealership changed a vacuum motor (no help).
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 146,000 mi,
Switched to defrost mode and stopped blowing from dash vents
During Acceleration the Vacuum lowers and the air vents shut to the main cabin area
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee 200,000 mi,
Same not fixed yet. wonder if the loss of enough vacuum pressure is caused by insufficient vacuum due to a leak elsewhere? I know my brake booster needs replaced due to a leak. this has been a problem since i purchased the jeep and I don't know if with a system that has no vacuum leak if this happens. kinda hard to imagine it does that would be pretty crappy engineering. I assume i fix the brake booster or vacuum leak, i fix the problem.
1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee 112,000 mi,
was doing this when accelerating now stuck on defrost
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 121,000 mi,
A/C switches between the selected vent setting and defrost. Noticed it switching back and forth when driving through the mountains.
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 57,000 mi,
When climbing a hill or under heavy acceleration wile AC is blowing it will switch to the defrost.
1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee 283,000 mi,
Under load ac slows down and blows out defrost
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 169,600 mi,
AC switches to Defrost when accelerating, especially if climbing a hill. This doesn't happen with every acceleration, but when it does happen if I ease up on the gas, it switches back
Vacuum hoses are terrible in this car. Remove passenger side headlight and replace the ones you can reach back behind it. Almost certainly the problem is one of them.
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 152,000 mi,
Same issue as everyone else. Vacuum and pcm modules should be checked.
When accelerating the AC will blow out through the defrost.