How To Check Active Air Flap System – Detailed Guide

The car’s engine always emits a huge amount of heat and can affect the whole car’s operation without the cooling system’s help.

That means it will be a big problem if this part suddenly crashes. So how to check active air flap system and fix it? 

Scroll down and check it out.

What Is The Active Air Flap System?

check active air flap system

As we all know, the radiator grille is a detail on a car with openings mounted on the car’s body to create gaps to allow air to enter and exit.

This part plays an important role in helping to cool and protect the engine.

Most of them are located at the front of the car as a screen to help protect the radiator and engine from high temperatures and dust.

At the same time, it is also a design that helps to increase the aesthetics of the hood.

However, during operation, the grille needs one more assistant to ensure the vehicle’s performance – the active air flap (AAF) system.

The AAF is usually located inside the grille and works in tandem with each other. It uses an electronically controlled cap to help regulate the cooling of the grille.

Specifically, the closed flap helps prevent unnecessary air flow, which helps increase aerodynamic performance and helps fuel economy for the vehicle.

The top will automatically reopen to allow air to enter the cooling system when the engine needs to cool.

An active air flap is a great design to improve engine cooling performance.

How To Check The Active Air Flap System? 

The active air flap is one of the critical systems to ensure your vehicle can operate safely and save fuel.

Some automakers even equip these spoilers on both the left and right sides of the car to increase stability when cornering.

But like other components, it will encounter malfunctions that disrupt its operation from time to time.

On newer models, you will see the indicator light “Check Active Air Flap System” on the dashboard. That means there’s something wrong with it, and fix it.

When you see a warning message on the screen, quickly find a safe place and stop your vehicle. Then go to the front of the AAF and check the status of the flaps.

Pay attention to see if they are opening/closing normally and if any foreign objects or foreign substances are stuck, dusty, etc.

After removing the obstruction and cleaning the dirt, let it rest for 10 minutes and start the car again.

If nothing changes and the screen still shows the warning, the best way is to take the vehicle to a repair center for a technician to check.

What Are Common Issues When AAF Is Faulty?

kia check active air flap system

When working in the ideal state, the active flap automatically closes and opens as needed to control airflow into the engine’s radiator.

But once something goes wrong, they can no longer function properly.

In addition to receiving a warning message about checking the air flap system of KIA, P1235 Hyundai, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and other automakers, the owners will notice other unusual signs such as jammed flaps’ inability to open/close automatically.

Symptoms can also be encoded as trouble codes, which you can check with an OBD II scanner.

Most car owners often encounter principles in this situation, which are P1235 (AAF system error), U1008 (Lost connection to radiator shutters), P059F, P05B2, etc.

Another sign you can easily spot is the car becoming too hot or increased fuel bills.

How To Fix The Active Air Flap System? 

There are many methods to fix AAF issues. To find the best remedy for the situation you are experiencing, you must know where the cause lies.

They can be ECU faults, dirt, foreign objects, connection wires, etc.

Here are a few suggestions for you:

Actual Inspection And Hygiene AAF

As mentioned above, you can solve this common issue easily. First, check the physical condition of the system and clean the layer of dirt that is interrupting its operation.

You can use the cleaner carefully.

Also, try to observe any object obstructing the flaps’ opening and closing and quickly remove it.

Cracks on the surface can also be the culprit, so don’t forget to look at the overall look to avoid any unusual signs.

For very severe noticeable damages, the best way to fix it is to install a new one.

Check Wire And Connection

Wire or connection problems may be the cause of this system failure.

Burned wires or loose plugs will disrupt or disconnect the AAF and the ECU connection issue, so inspect these components carefully.

You can use the multimeter to measure voltage.

Update ECU And Check The Battery

Outdated ECU and poor battery voltage are also causes of air flap system malfunction. Don’t forget to charge the battery and use the appropriate voltage fully.

Connect the USB cable between the VCI, the GDs, and the DLC to the VCI under the driver console.

When doing this, ensure you have disabled all vehicle lights and appliances, as they can affect the battery’s voltage.

Too low voltage or sudden drops can also affect the update process, so do not disconnect, turn off or start the motor during this time. Update via GDS with the ignition key.

This method is quite complicated, especially for those with no experience in this field, so you can ask for the help of technicians.

Clear DTC

DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) are codes generated and stored by the car’s self-diagnostic system. It notifies you when a part or part is having problems.

It identifies the AAF issue in a specific location.

Clear DTC is the last step after doing all the above methods and ensuring nothing more harm is left. Use the scan tool to clear all fault codes present in the ECU.

This will reset the notification, and you will no longer receive the error message.


how to fix active air flap system

This is all information on how to check the active air flap system as well as repair instructions.

Early detection and proper remedial action are key to minimizing possible risks, so be very careful when you notice your vehicle heating up abnormally.

Hope the above sharing will help owners in the process of using it.

2 thoughts on “How To Check Active Air Flap System – Detailed Guide”

  1. Hi Brian,
    2023 Niro EV premium+ Canadian model
    The active air dam closes as the charge starts and opens when charging is done. Is this normal or is it confused. I thought the air dam was to aide aerodynamics as you drive and cool the charging system.

    • Hi Dan.

      It is abnormal. Your system might get some hidden issues. Best things I can recommend here is taking it to near by garage for checking. I guess that the software need to be updated the new version or something like that.


Leave a Comment