Did you know that in many automobiles, with the oncoming of winter, many auto owners go to turn on their defrosters for the first time and guess what? No heat! It just continues to blow cold. What causes this problem? Well that is what we are here to explore and find out and even offer some possible solutions.
First of all which kind of cars is this problem prone to? Well it runs pretty extensively in the Ford line, ig: Ford Rangers, Expeditions, F150,s F250,s Taurus, Windstar, and Explorers. Also in your Jeeps you have the Cherokee, the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler. Your Dodge Ram is also prone to this problem. Your Mazda pickups and Navajo,s are too. Lincoln Navigators, Mercury Sables and Mountaineers also have this heater problem at times.
So what causes it? Well some of the most common problems and the ones we are going to address here are the breakage of the heater a/c blend doors and the malfunctioning of the actuator motors that move these doors. Often it is a combination of the two that will cause a heater to not blow hot, or an a/c to not blow cold.
The proper routing of the heated or cooled air is critical to insure you get the desired air you are seeking. It is like opening a door to let the warm air in which in turn shuts the cold air out. What happens often in failure of this critical system is the blend door will break, usually at the pivot area. Some times in the manufacturing process when they install the under dash components, some other wires or parts will impinge on the opening and closing of the blend doors causing extra stress on the actuator motor and the blend door.
When the actuator motor or blend door is improperly stressed over time it weakens both. In the actuator, it eventually causes some of the plastic gears to shear a tooth, rendering the motor helpless. This is usually noticed by a clicking or thumping noise coming beneath your dash board. Also found is the absence of heat or cold blowing, or the all exclusivity of heat or cold blowing no matter what mode you put your heater a/c control in.
Another problem with the blend door that causes frequent breakage that they are made of plastic and when exposed to the constant high heat that the heater puts out in the winter, and then the cold of the a/c in the summer, it makes the plastic brittle. This eventually will cause the plastic to shatter at a stress point, usually the pivot joint of the blend door.
So what do you do if you turn on your heat and you do not have heat, and there is a clicking or thumping sound coming from under the dash board? Well in my case ( yes it happened to me) on my 2000 Ford Windstar, I went to researching online via the search engines. I found many forums where people with the same problem were relaying their stories. Some were still seeking answers while others had found answers.
What some auto owners relayed is that if you consult a dealer, you are going to be quoted an astronomical figure to repair, upwards of a thousand dollars or more. This repair will include taking your entire dashboard a part, evacuating your a/c system and generally a big deal all around. Some of these same owners in absolute revulsion at that solution tore into their dash boards their selves. They found that the actuator motor itself was fairly easy to get to, and by replacing that, gave a fix to the problem. It was determined that this could be a do it your self repair if you are handy with minor repairs. It could also be a repair done by your favorite mechanic who gives you better rates and more satisfaction possibly than your local dealers high cost mechanic.
But is that really a permanent fix? Lets explore a little further. A lot of other owners found that their blend doors were broken and just laying there and not able to function. Some times the air just made the door flop up and down. Some times it was a combination of the two components, the actuator motor and the blend door itself that was broke.
In exploring the replacement motors that can be purchased at some auto shops, it was discovered that they run slower and at a higher torque. Now what does this mean in relation to the total system? Well if there is any impingement of the blend door presently, say a loom of wires the the door is scraping on as it opens and closes, with the higher torque motor, an impending blend door breakage is probably in its future. This possible breakage made even more possible with further exposure to the heat and cold of the heater and a/c systems.
So it has been determined by this author through research and due diligence that a more effective repair, a bullet proof permanent repair so to speak would have to include the replacing of the actuator motor and the blend door whether presently broken or not. One can change out the actuator motor only, but if one wants to have to tear back into their dash later, then leave the blend door a lone.
However putting a new plastic blend door into your vehicle is not really a permanent solution as I found. Luckily upon research I found that some much higher quality all metal base blend doors are available for most of the models mentioned in this article. So if you have a heater problem and you think this applys to your problem do your research and try to make your repair permanent.