Question about 1996 Chevrolet Corvette

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Cold Air Not Blowing Through Vents

I have a 1996 Corvette. When I turn the Air Conditioner on the cold air does not blow from the vents. The cold air will blow at my feet and at the defrost vent but it is like all the vents are blocked or are not opening.

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  • Anonymous Aug 18, 2009

    I'll try it. Thank you.

  • Anonymous Aug 18, 2009

    Can you tell me where the vacuum resevoir is located. My Chilton manual does not show anything.

  • Anonymous Aug 18, 2009

    I found a cylinder about 4" in diameter attached to the front of the air conditioner. It had about a 3/4" hose coming out of it. The hose was disconnected to a fitting on the wall that would be right behind the dashboard. I attached it and the problem was not solved.

    I also saw a 1/4" hose going under where my washer fluid is but I could not get my hand to where it is connected. This hose comes up from that position to a small T joint that is on the wall right behind the dash on the passenger side. Then there is another hose that is the same size connected to this T joint. That hose goes completely across the same wall and connects to a fitting that is on the wall behind the dash on the drivers side.

  • Anonymous Aug 19, 2009

    Yes, those hoses are the washers.

    I removed one of the covers on the intake manifold.

    As you face the engine from the front of the car it is the cover on the left side. Of course, I can see the spark plugs and lines.

    There is one canister toward the front that is about 2" in diameter. It has a 1/2" hose that goes down under the engine. It has a 1/4" hose that comes out at a 90 degree angle and it is not attached to anything but it does not look like it has been cut or torn. It looks like it was meant to be this way.

    Toward the back there is another canister that is about 1" in diameter and has two 1/4" hoses that come off of it. One hose comes straight off and the other comes off at a 90 degree angle. Both hose go toward the dash. The canister is about 1 and 1/2" long and is coneshaped at the bottom. The bottom of the cone is attached to the engine. I saw a crack where the cone is attached and when I touched it, it broke off and I did not do anything heavy handed. Just touching it broke it off.

    Could this be the vacuum resevoir?

  • Anonymous Aug 19, 2009

    That's the problem. Cleaned a piece of plastic out of the hose that goes to the engine. Attached it to the engine and held the canister to the hose. My wife sat in the car and the A/C blew like crazy through the vents.

    God bless you for halping a Baptist pastor with his problem. No doubt you are one great mechanic. Be great if you lived in Baton Rouge, LA

  • Anonymous Aug 19, 2009

    Well, I was born and raised in Philadelphia as was my bride of 37 years. Came south during Vietnam. I was an Air Traffic Controller in the USAF for 8 years. The school was in Mississippi so I went as an instructor. But I really did enjoy working the aircraft.

    Always loved driving through WV. It is a very beautiful State.

    I'm a DIY also. I hate to sub-contract anything but I try to remember my limitations.

    Your help was wonderful. Now here's one for you. The part cost $4.29 so I got a couple. GM probably would have charged $200.00. Maybe more.

    Anyway, thanks again and if I can ever help you just let me know.

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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 5,569 Answers

Your last guess is probably the right one. The deflectors/directors are vacuum controlled and you may have vacuum line either broken or disconnected; these aren't fun to find. I would start under the hood and make sure the vacuum reservoir is intact (have seen them cracked) and then start tracing hoses from there.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009

Testimonial: "ellent advice and responed very quickly. Thank you."

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  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Aug 18, 2009

    Not familiar with the location in your car but look for a round or other shape (most often black) plastic canister.
    This will have one or more small diameter hoses attached to rather flimsy push-on spigots that have a tendency to break off while other maintenance is performed.
    Even saw this broken in a GM rental car with only 3K miles on it.


    Its purpose is to 'store' vacuum when the engine is pulling hard and should prevent vacuum operated items from going back to their inactive (engine-off) positions.

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Aug 19, 2009

    > I found a cylinder about 4" in diameter attached to the front of the air conditioner. It had about a 3/4" hose coming out of it.


    That hose dimension is large for a vacuum hose; I don't think this is it. If it is a push-on hose, it also isn't the dryer that removes any moisture that occurs in the refrigerant lines.

    > I also saw a 1/4" hose going under where my washer fluid is but I could not get my hand to where it is connected. This hose comes up from that position to a small T joint that is on the wall right behind the dash on the passenger side. Then there is another hose that is the same size connected to this T joint.


    These are most likely the windshield washer lines but the hose size is about right for that function.
    You could verify their purpose by pulling a hose off of the 'T' and operating the windshield washer to see if it squirts fluid.


    Nothing you describe yet sounds like the vacuum reservoir.


    If you recognize (I don't know how savvy you are :-( ) the intake manifold, there will be several low pressure 1/4" - 1/2" hoses connected and one of these will lead to the reservoir which, I have to warn you, may not even be the problem, which could be under the dashboard or due to a failed selector assembly.
    The latter seems to happen often in Chrysler vehicles.


    BTW, although Chilton now owns Haynes, the latter is still my first choice for aftermarket manuals.
    They have always seemed better detailed.
    You can order them on line:


    Haynes Corvette manual


    or often find them on eBay.


    You might check any chain auto parts stores to see what their price is while they are often a few bucks cheaper than list and may have them on hand.

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Aug 19, 2009

    Glad 'we' managed to plod our way through to the problem ;-)


    I'm not a pro mechanic, spent a lifetime chasing electrons but after being burned a couple of times by 'pros,' I bought my first service manual and have only had to stop DIY work after many cars I took care of because that nasty impediment - age.


    Baptist, huh?
    Seems like we got a few of those around here in central WV too

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