Can I Drive With A Grille Shutter Malfunction? 

Someone asked me: Can I drive with a grille shutter malfunction? 

It’s critical to be aware of the symptoms of active grille shutter malfunction if you own an automobile. Many motorists may not even realize that their vehicle has this capability, and they may not know what to do if it begins to malfunction.

What exactly is a car’s active grille shutter, and what malfunctions it? Airflow into the engine compartment is regulated by this mechanism. The grille vent is opened or closed based on signals from sensors.

Ice blocks can jam the shutters and damage the temperature sensor, causing grille shutter malfunction, which can happen when driving on icy roads. Another potential reason is an actuator that is malfunctioning and consists of a motor, relay, and controller.

The primary signs of active grille shutter system issues will be covered in this article. We’ll also discuss some of the main reasons for these issues and how to resolve them.

What Is A Grille Shutter?

An engine is an incredibly strong device that propels our cars. Our cars won’t be able to move without an engine. We wouldn’t even be able to utilize the battery to run the cabin lights or the radio. An engine heats up quickly because of its immense power.

The engine could soon overheat if there are no cooling mechanisms within to remove heat. Every engine has a liquid-cooled cooling system. However, liquid cooling is insufficient.

Because of this, every car also has a grille shutter. Air can flow to the radiator when the grille shutter opens. Air enters the engine to force hot air out, which also helps to cool the engine.

Sensors in the engine operate and deactivate the grille shutter. If the engine is not hot enough, the grille shutters will close. When the engine is really hot, the grille shutters will open.

The ability to decrease wind drag and improve fuel efficiency is a key component of an active grille shutter. The grille shutters’ front portion is still closed. This enables air to enter the car at the front and exit through the sides.

Common Grill Shutter Malfunctions

Grill shutters are a relatively new invention, but like with any new invention, there will inevitably be issues as it gains popularity. The following are some of the most often reported active grill shutter issues:

Grille Shutters Won’t Open or Close

Probably the most frequent issue with active grill shutters is this one. The issue, which is typically brought on by ice accumulation on the shutter or controller, seems to be most common during cold weather.

Your active grill shutters could jam for a number of additional reasons. One option is that the shutter motor has to be replaced since it has failed.

Another possibility is that the shutter and motor’s connection has gotten broken or damaged, making it difficult for the shutter to open or close properly.

It’s possible that the issue in some instances is as straightforward as a buildup of dirt and debris on the shutter blades or in the tracks, which can make them difficult to move smoothly.

Faulty Shutter Alignment

On many contemporary automobiles and trucks, active grille shutters are a familiar sight. However, if these shutters are not properly positioned, they can lead to a number of issues, such as worsened engine noise and reduced fuel efficiency.

Active grille shutter alignment issues are frequently caused by improperly installed or broken shutters.

The shutter may occasionally be out of alignment as a result of a manufacturing flaw. Misaligned shutters can drastically affect engine noise and fuel efficiency, regardless of the source.

It is crucial to have your active grille shutters professionally adjusted for maximum performance. Most auto repair shops can perform this, and it will guarantee that your shutters are positioned correctly to offer the optimum aerodynamic benefits.

Unreliable Sensors

Sensors are used by active grille shutters to control when they open and close. The amount and direction of airflow surrounding the car are measured by these sensors, which are found in the front of the car.

These sensors may not be able to monitor the quantity of airflow accurately if they get filthy or damaged. Due to this, the active grille shutter system may open or close at an inconvenient time, decreasing fuel efficiency.

If the sensors get too dirty or damaged, it can be required to replace them in specific circumstances. The majority of the time, though, the issue may be resolved by cleaning or calibrating the sensors.

Burst Fuse

The active grille shutter system is powered by an electric motor, which is under the control of a fuse. The system will not operate properly if the fuse blows.

Most car parts stores offer this very simple process of replacing the fuse. If the fuse keeps blowing, though, it can be a sign of a more serious issue with the AGS system.

No Connection to PCM

The Active Grille Shutters system in your automobile is one of many engine functions that the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) controls electronically.

Based on a number of variables, including the speed of the car, the temperature of the engine coolant, and the surrounding environment, the PCM regulates the shutters’ opening and closing.

The check engine light will turn on if the PCM determines that the shutters are not operating properly and sets a diagnostic trouble code (DTC).

A damaged link between the shutter and actuator, a malfunctioning shutter motor, or an issue with the shutter itself are typical causes for the PCM to notice a problem with the shutters.

Can I Drive With A Grille Shutter Malfunction?

Yes, but it also relies on your specific circumstances. Recalling what this system does can help you determine whether it is safe to use your vehicle when it is reporting Grille Shutter Malfunction. 

It opens to let cooling air flow through the engine compartment and radiator. The engine can overheat if the shutter malfunctions while it is closed, thus you should never drive your car with the warning light on. Additionally, the AC system won’t operate as it should.

You can still drive the car safely if it’s stuck open, but you won’t ever gain the advantages of an active shutter system that’s in working order. Because of increased aerodynamic drag and warm-up time, fuel economy will be decreased.

How Can I Fix Grill Shutters Malfunction?

Active grill shutters are a fantastic method to keep your engine cool, but if they get stuck, they may be a hassle to deal with. Your engine may overheat if your active grill shutters are stuck open. Here are some solutions to the problem:

Using WD-40

The shutter must first be cleaned with a rag and some soapy water after the screws holding it in place are removed. Applying WD-40 or another equivalent lubricant to the shutter at the same time. The shutter should then be reattached and screwed into position. Finally, start your engine and let it idle for a few minutes to test the shutter.

Using A Hair Dryer

The item that is present in every home is the hairdryer. Therefore, applying it to repair your grille shutter issue is extremely simple. First, let’s take out the screws holding the shutter in place. 

Then, use a rag and some soapy water to clean the shutter before aiming the hairdryer at it and turning the heat to high. Once the ice starts to melt, continue to run the hairdryer over the shutter for a few minutes. Lastly, screw the shutter back into place after reattaching it.

Position The Shutters

If your shutters are aligned, they can be fixed. Let’s pull the hood and park your automobile in a well-lit spot. On either side of the radiator, find the active grill shutters. Next, check the shutters’ alignment. 

They ought to be parallel to the ground and level with one another. If the shutters are not properly aligned, the screws holding them in place should be loosened using a Phillips head screwdriver. 

The shutters should be moved about until they are appropriately aligned. To hold the shutters in place, tighten the screws. Close the hood after testing the functioning of the active grill shutters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the Active Grill Shutter important?

Although the active grille shutters’ main purpose is to lessen the car’s aerodynamic drag, they also have some ancillary advantages, like quicker engine warm-up times and the ability to maintain engine heat when the car is parked.

Q: How much does it cost to fix active grill shutters?

For only the parts, active grille shutters can go from $100 to $400. The cost of this element can vary depending on the design and kit contents. Asking your neighborhood repair business for a quote could be ideal because labor prices could vary depending on where you live.

Q: How does the active grille shutter close to enhance aerodynamic efficiency?

By automatically closing the frontal hole when cooling air is not needed, active shutters increase fuel efficiency. When closed, the shutter system improves aero performance by diverting wind away from the less aerodynamic engine compartment and around the front of the car and down the sides.

Final Thoughts

Can I drive with a grille shutter malfunction? – Yes, but it depends on your case. Remember that you have to be careful  when driving an automobile; the risk may occur. If you have any queries, please leave them in the box below. We will respond as quickly as possible. I hope you found this essay informative!

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