Why Is My Air Recirculation Button Blinking? Find out Here!

Last week I had a question from my friend, “Why is my air recirculation button blinking?” It has kept my friend in question about what went wrong. So, I have thought and decided to write about this matter. Imagine you hop into your car, ready to hit the road. And suddenly, that little button starts blinking like it’s trying to send you some secret code. What does it mean?

Usually, the button may blink when you switch the vehicle’s mode to defrost or defog. Here’s why: during these modes, the purpose is to clear the fog on your window. And to do that effectively, the system needs air with a lower humidity level (typically comes from the outside). When the recirculation is turned off, it will cause the light to blink as an indication.

However, I must say occasional blinking is normal. But if your air recirculation button keeps blinking even when not in defrost or defog mode, it may hint at a problem with your HVAC system. Hence, the reasons for this problem can be a malfunctioning dashboard button, a power supply surge, or trouble with the control module. I request you to continue reading to learn more about the blinking issue in the rest of the article.

Air Recirculation System: What You Must Know Before Knowing the Reasons of Blinking

Alright, readers! Let me break down the topic: the air recirculation system in your vehicle. It is like a boss-level ventilation game-changer. Again, it’s a part of any car’s HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. The main gig of this system is to control the air that enters your ride.

So, here’s the deal: When you hit that recirculation button, your car’s system goes into ninja mode. Then, it captures the air inside your vehicle and recycles it like a pro. Instead of sucking in the outside air, it recycles the air you already got inside. It’s like partying with the same crew instead of inviting randoms to the party.

But hold up! There’s a time and place for everything, right? The recirculation mode is perfect for situations like dealing with bad smells, smoggy skies, or dusty roads. It literally keeps those funky odors and pollutants outside where they belong, giving you a breath of fresh air!

Now, you may wonder why you need to recirculate the air. Well, I have the answers too! When you turn on the air recirculation mode, it offers maximized cooling and heating efficiency. So, the HVAC system doesn’t need to work too much to reach your desired temperature.

Another reason for using the recirculation feature is to reduce the outside odors that linger in traffic or while driving by a landfill. The external odor cannot enter the car, and you feel fresh. Through this, you can stay protected from the smog-filled fumes outside.

Why Is My Air Recirculation Button Blinking?

Now, it’s time to investigate the causes of that pesky blinking air recirculation button. Here are some potential causes:

Fan Turned OffThe button starts blinking if the fan is turned off while using recirculation mode.
Faulty Sensors or SwitchesFaulty sensors may send inaccurate signals that may cause the light to blink.
Blown FuseIf the fuse for the HVAC system is blown, the air recirculation button may blink.
Electrical Issues or Wiring ProblemsLoose connection, damaged wiring, or an electrical issue in the air recirc unit may also cause a button blinking issue.
Faulty or Dirty Cabin Air FilterA dirty or faulty cabin air filter can cause the HVAC system to malfunction and lead to a blinking air recirculation button.
Low Refrigerant LevelIf the refrigerant level is low, the HVAC system may malfunction, resulting in a blinking air recirculation button.
Software GlitchOccasionally, a software glitch in the car’s computer can cause the air recirculation button to blink.
Calibration ErrorsThe sync between the HVAC and air recirculation system may require recalibration that causes the button to blink.

So, that was the glimpse of the causes why your air recirc button blinks. In the latter part, you will learn about them in detail.

Fan Turned Off

I was looking for the reasons over the web. I found someone talking about this problem there: “When I press the Recirculation button, it blinks a few times and goes dark again. (solsticeforum)” There I have also found the answer.

You need to have the fan turned on for recirc to stay on.”

You’ve pressed A/C or recirc without the fan on.”

So, these replies held the fan turned off while recirculation mode was on because of the button blinking.

Faulty Sensors or Switches

A cranky sensor or switch can be the suspect of the air recirc button blinking. Their primary task is to detect and signal the status of the system. But when they don’t do their job properly, they may send erroneous signals. As a result, you will get to see blinks from the button like a light show.

In a forum thread, I found someone talking about this. Then, there was a reply: “Had the same issue in 2017. Turned out to be a bad cabin humidity sensor.”

Blown Fuse

You are getting flashes from the air recirculation button. Likewise, it may happen when the fuse for the HVAC system is blown. Check out the HVAC system if it is the main reason.

Electrical Issues or Wiring Problems

Another reason for air recirculation button is not working and blinking can be faulty wiring or a loose connection. It happens due to wires and connections’ normal wear and tear over time.

To deal with this, check the wiring and connection to the air recirc button. Any damage or signs of wear on wiring may warn through the blinking signals to replace the wiring.

Faulty or Dirty Cabin Air Filter

Oh, those air filters! They start acting up like divas in a drama series when they get clogged with dirt and dust. It can lead to the blinking button situation that is not fun. However, people talked about cleaning the filters soon when you get the air recirculation button flashing.

For instance, “I have read about clearing cabin filter, which I did, and it helped for a couple of weeks. (Suzuki-forums)” In another forum, I found, “filter may need to be cleaned. (nasioc)”

Low Refrigerant Level

Refrigerant travels through the system to different AC parts. It changes from low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid. This process absorbs heat and brings cool air to the car interior (Boxt.co.uk). So, refrigerant is vital for the HVAC system. But when its level is low, the system may not function properly. Then, you will get a blinking air recirculation button.

Software Glitch

A malfunction in the HVAC system (or you can call a software glitch) can be the root cause of the blinking air recirc button. Typically, the HVAC control module controls your car’s temperature and air quality.

If you suspect any problem with the HVAC software or control module, I suggest you contact a mechanic. The rest of the job will be handed to them.

Calibration Errors

You may know that sometimes the HVAC system and the air recirculation button need to get on the same wavelength. If they’re out of sync or the system requires recalibration, it might cause the button to behave erratically. Then, it will blink at you like it’s trying to speak in Morse code.

Other Causes of Air Recirculation Button Blinking

In a thread, I have found the reasons in these ways:

“It doesn’t work if you are directing air to the floor or if the defroster is on.”

“It seems to do this on mine in auto mode when it has picked the defroster or other mode.”

The above replies from different users refer to when the air recirculation mode is running beside the defroster mode on; the button may blink. So, you need to turn off the auto mode to use the recirc feature.

Recirc is denied in defrost and defog…” another car owner from a different forum explains that the blinking means recirculation is not happening.


I hope you have the answer now, “Why is my air recirculation button blinking?” In short, it may happen if you use this feature beside defrost or auto mode. Other reasons include a fan turned off, faulty sensors, a blown fuse, and a dirty air filter.

Above in this article, I have explained why you get flashing and how to troubleshoot them. I hope I have made things easy to understand. Now, inspect and discover why you are getting the issue in your car.

If you still have questions, ask me, or contact the mechanic. And thanks for reading this discussion.

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