Clicking Noise In Dashboard When Car is Off? Simple Solutions!

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As a car owner, paying attention to strange noises coming from your car is paramount to avoid costly, catastrophic damage.

Should anyone be concerned about the clicking noise in the dashboard when the car is off?

Clicking Noise In Dashboard When Car is Off

YES, The annoying noise can be caused by various reasons, from bad stepper motors to uncalibrated HVAC systems. Getting to the root of the problem and fixing it as soon as possible can save you a lot of headaches and stress.

Luckily, this post is the only guide you’ll ever need to fully understand the underlying cause, possible solution, and when to seek professional help.

Mysterious Clicking Noise in Your dashboard? Here’s WHY!

Mysterious Clicking Noise in Your dashboard

Several factors can be responsible for the bizarre knocking noise from your car’s dashboard, even after turning the engine off. Getting to the crux of this problem is a challenging process, and it might be best to call for a mechanic. But it’s helpful to have a good understanding of the problem. So, here are the likely reasons:

Faulty blend door actuators

Blend door actuators are found in the HVAC unit. These small electrical components are in charge of delivering hot or cold air to the car’s cabin. These tiny motors are activated immediately when you turn the heating knob.

So, when these electrical motors fail, they produce an unusual knocking sound. This is the most common cause of the dashboard-clicking problem.

Locate the source of the knocking noise and check if the blend door actuator is working. Typically, one is on the passenger side, and one is on the driver’s side.

AC unit leakage

The air conditioning system keeps the car’s cabin cool during hot summer and provides warmth during harsh winter for an all-year comfortable driving experience.

Thanks to technological advancement, this important system is designed to be quieter and more efficient. However, older cars are more prone to this problem because of their outdated HVAC compressor.

Nonetheless, the air-conditioning unit makes that knocking noise in the dash when it’s overworked. This often occurs during winter because we tend to ramp up the AC unit for more warmth.

If the condensate drain pipes are clogged, or the refrigerant level is low, the AC unit struggles to function as it should, causing annoying clicking noises.

Malfunctioning heater motor or fan

Another crucial interior part is the heater fan and motor charge with circulating air for proper ventilation. These parts work in tandem with the blend door actuators and AC units.

The heater operates using a brushless DC motor with lots of moving parts. So, once the bearings are worn out, they tend to create extremely loud knocking noises.

Also, the loosely hanging, damaged, or broken fan can cause the heater to make an annoying noise. However, it’s easy to diagnose this problem. Check for any clicking noise as you adjust the fan settings.

Damage battery

In some cases, the battery is the underlying culprit for the knocking noise from the dash.
The clicking noise results from the starter mechanism not receiving adequate electricity to get your car engine running. In this case, the clicks are shorter and heard whenever you attempt to start your car.

Also, you might notice a warning light flickering on your dashboard at every attempt to ignite your car’s combustion process. These signals are a good indication that your car battery is bad.

Simple Solutions to Eliminate Annoying Clicking Noise from Your Car Dashboard


With a deep understanding of the likely causes of the loud knocking noise from your dash, here is a quick solution to solve this embarrassing problem:

  • For faulty blend door actuators, it’s important to figure out which components are faulty – the driver’s side or the passenger’s. After the diagnosis, remove the defective component and carefully open the blend door actuator. Replacing the gears should immediately solve your noise problem if the gears are worn out.
  • Even better, consider replacing, instead of fixing, the blend door actuators. New ones are affordable and guarantee a whisper-quiet performance for a longer period.
  • But if the noise is related to the car’s AC system, fixing this problem requires technical expertise. So, call your mechanic to fix the air conditioning system or visit the closet repair shop.
  • In addition, you should examine the air filter and be certain it’s not the underlying cause of the mysterious noise. If it’s dirty or clogged, then it’s the source of the problem. Cleaning it thoroughly should fix your issue.
  • However, if you notice the clicking noise coming from your dashboard immediately after you adjust your fan controls, then it’s the heat motor or fan malfunctioning. Also, fixing this issue requires the technical expertise you might be lacking. Accessing and removing defective components need special tools not commonly found in an average toolbox.
  • Fixing a noise problem related to the battery is easy. Open your car’s bonnet and inspect the battery terminals for signs of corrosion. If you notice some white stuff, zinc sulfate, around one of the terminals, this indicates a drained or low-charged battery.
  • Also, you can check if the battery is in good condition by measuring its voltage with a multimeter tool. A healthy battery will read at least 12.6V. Anything lower than that threshold means the battery is worn out or drained.
Can I drive my car despite the clicking noise from the dash?

The knocking noise can indicate a wide range of problems with different severity. However, you can keep driving your car if the clicking noise does not affect your car performance or driving experience. But it’s important to visit the nearest repair shop to avoid costly repairs.

Is there any way to tell if the annoying knocking noise is serious?

One simple way to determine the severity of the problem is by paying close attention to the accompanied symptoms. If it becomes difficult to steer or the engine performance is no longer up to par, it might be time to call your mechanic.


Clicking noise in the dashboard even after turning the engine off can be a frustrating or embarrassing experience. In this post, I’ve explained the common cause of this issue and a simple solution to eliminate the noise.

However, some problems require professional assistance. Feel free to call or visit a repair shop to avoid further damage or over-the-budget repairs.

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David Briley

David Briley

My name is David Briley, a soundproofing expert with a burning passion for curating and creating audio since adolescence. The need for a quiescent working and living environment cannot be overemphasized.

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