What is a Vent in a Car?

Vents in cars are small openings that allow heated or cool air to flow into the car’s cabin. They keep air flowing through the car, and also keep the temperature in the car comfortable.
Vents are connected to your car‘s climate control system. If you increase the cabin temperature in your car, the vents will blow out hot air. If you switch on your car’s air conditioner, they will blow cold air.

Where would I find vents in my car?

Most cars have vents in the dashboard. They look like small slotted openings. If you turn up the climate control on your car and put your hand in front of the van, you should be able to feel air flowing through it. Most cars have several vents in the dashboard to direct air towards the passenger and driver.

Photo by Jordan Catto on Unsplash

Some cars, especially minivans or SUVs, also have vents in the backseat.  These may be located in the center console between the two front seats. They can also be located under the front seats, blowing air at foot level into the back of the car. Some cars have vents in the ceiling in the backseat as well. Often, these appear as circular, flat openings. Many cars also have foot-level vents under the driver and passengers’ feet.

In a minivan, there can even be vents in the third row. These are all often located just under the rear windows.

What is the vent right under my windshield?

If you look towards the very front of your dashboard, you may notice a large vent that extends all the way across the dashboard under the windshield. Most of the time, you won’t feel any air flowing through this vent. What is it for? 

In most vehicles, this is the vent for the windshield defrosting system. If your windshield frosts over in cold weather, or fogs up in humid conditions, you can engage the defrosting setting. This will blow heated and/or dehumidified air directly onto your windshield, which should help to remove fog from the inside, or ice from the outside.

How do I adjust the vents in my car?

Most vents in modern cars are adjusted manually. You’ll often find a small plastic lever or handle on the vent. Moving the side to side will direct the airflow. Moving it up and down a small amount will direct air up and down in the cabin.

Pushing the handle or lever all the way to one side often closes the vent, preventing air from flowing. If you feel like there’s too much air blowing on you while you’re driving, you can often adjust the vents to direct the air to a different part of the cabin.

Are In Car Vent Mounts Good?

If you need a place to mount your cell phone in your car, you might be wondering if an in car vent mount is good. This depends on several factors. If you don’t have a good chunk of dashboard space on which to mount your phone, a vent mount might be a good fit. Likewise, if your phone is not that heavy or large, you might be able to use a vent mount.

If your phone is especially large and heavy, or the vents in your car or not compatible with the vent mount, it’s probably best to choose a mount that connects your phone to the dashboard in another way. Many use strong adhesives to connect to the dash or even the bottom part of the windshield.

Another thing to consider is whether your car has circular vents. If it does, a vent mount for your phone probably won’t work.

How Much Does it Cost to Fix the AC Vent in a Car?

If you’ve broken one of the vents in your car, you’re probably wondering how much it costs to fix. In some cases, fixing a vent can cost between $200 to $250. Try not to break those vents!

You may be able to repair a broken vent at home. Numerous tutorials show how to do this.

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