4runner clicking or ticking noise from center front vents.
I have had this weird issue for a while with a ticking sound that would come and go in my 97 4runner. The sound was coming from my front center vents and did not increase with the engine RPM’s. I would hear it randomly at low and medium fan speeds. It was not super loud, but would still bug me when it would happen. It sounded like I had a leaf or something stuck in the vent. I would adjust the fan play with the vent and push around on the dash to no avail. If I adjusted the speed of the fan it might clear up for a bit, but would always come back. Turns out it was being caused by the heater blower motor. It was a really easy fix (If you don’t mind spending money on a new blower motor). You may be able to take the bad one apart and figure out the cause, but for the price (~45 dollars) it was just worth it for me to swap it out.
Here is a link to the part I used, my 4runner is a 97′:
TYC 700061 Toyota 4 Runner Replacement Front Blower Assembly
I am not a professional mechanic. This is not advice for what to do in your situation. This is just explaining how I fixed the issue on my 4runner. I will not be held responsible for any issues that may arise if you decide to replace yours yourself.
I found the swap super easy to do. The fan assembly is under the passenger side of the dash. I just removed the passenger side kick panel. Then it was just 3 bolts on the motor and a power connector to remove. It drops right out and you swap it with the new one. Before buying a new one you may want to inspect it for debris and see if you can fix the issue first. It took an 8mm socket for the 3 bolts but as you can see in the picture you could also use a torx screwdriver. Here is a pic of the new one in place. I wish I would have swapped this a while ago as I cant believe how long I listened to that little clicking noise.
Hope someone finds this helpful.