2001 Windstar Heater Not Working :(


JFManiac101
11-14-2004, 01:18 AM
Hey all,

man am I ever happy to have found this site :)

now to my ISSUE... for about a week now, my heater won't work... when I turn it to HOT it doesn't do anything, just blows the same temp air in as when on cold... just outside air really...

what are the main things to look for here?? Fuses? where and which ones?

Just somewhat frustrating, it has 36K miles on it, it shouldn't have problems already should it?

Hope someone here can shed some light on my problem

thanks a million

JF

12Ounce
11-14-2004, 04:52 AM
You will find many postings here on heaters and ac's.

But if you are getting NO heat:

1. Check right away to make sure you have coolant in the engine.... many folks are surprised to find their coolant actually low.
2. Is coolant getting hot? After a drive, you should find the radiator hoses very warm. If not, you may have a thermostat or water pump issue.
3. Is the heater coil getting hot? The heater coil is piped up to the engine without any valving...as long as your water pump works and there is no blockage of some sort, the heater coil should warm up right along with the engine coolant. You can feel under the control panel, just in front of the radio, to feel the area of the heater coil. The plastic cover and distribution ducts should feel warm to the touch.

If all the above checks out, then you can start checking things like controls, blend doors, etc.

flanman55
11-14-2004, 07:19 PM
I too Am having the same problem.
I changed the thermostat last week
Waterpump in April.

But if i rev it up the van pumps heat and if it idles the guage goes up, and heat quits coming

neutron_spin
11-14-2004, 08:19 PM
More than likely, you may have a bad Blend Door actuator. It is a little module about the size of a pack of cigarettes mounted on the heater supply duct, usually behind the radio. It contols the position of the blend door allowing more or less air to blend with the heater core output, thus controlling the temperature out of the duct. The cheap plastic gears inside the unit have a history of failure. The radio must come out and then you have access to the actuator held in by a few screws. You can sometimes hear or feel the motor on the unit when changing temperature. This can tell you if it is working OK. Put your hand on the duct near the heater core, if it is hot then the heater core is working.

JFManiac101
11-14-2004, 10:11 PM
You will find many postings here on heaters and ac's.

But if you are getting NO heat:

1. Check right away to make sure you have coolant in the engine.... many folks are surprised to find their coolant actually low.
2. Is coolant getting hot? After a drive, you should find the radiator hoses very warm. If not, you may have a thermostat or water pump issue.
3. Is the heater coil getting hot? The heater coil is piped up to the engine without any valving...as long as your water pump works and there is no blockage of some sort, the heater coil should warm up right along with the engine coolant. You can feel under the control panel, just in front of the radio, to feel the area of the heater coil. The plastic cover and distribution ducts should feel warm to the touch.

If all the above checks out, then you can start checking things like controls, blend doors, etc.

ok let's see, first of all, thanks for these points :)
1) Coolant is good
2) radiator hoses are nice and warm/hot hehe
3) I was feeling in the compartment underneath the radio/cupholder tray, nothing there AT ALL got slightly warm...

what would I look for in the engine room to see if a (Hose/pipe) came loose? or could this not be an issue... so I was reading the other replies I got, the "Mixer" behind the radio, wouldn't be the same as the one when you change the air from feet to center to window would it? cuz I can hear that one moving fine...

But I think I'll try taking the radio out tomorrow morning, I thing I have the brackets around to get them out :)

thanks for all the help/suggestions.

JF

Dngrsone
11-15-2004, 01:00 AM
If there were a loose hose, the you would have a serious problem with cooling. However, there is a remote possibility that a) someone disconnected a hose or two and bypassed your heater-- a possibility only if this condition has been aropund a while or occurred as a result of some maintenance action.

b) There is a blockage in your heating lines preventing flow of engine coolant.

More likely your blend door is not working correctly, either the controls aren't doing what they are supposed to, the motor is inoperative, or the door is stuck.

JFManiac101
11-15-2004, 01:32 AM
If there were a loose hose, the you would have a serious problem with cooling. However, there is a remote possibility that a) someone disconnected a hose or two and bypassed your heater-- a possibility only if this condition has been aropund a while or occurred as a result of some maintenance action.

b) There is a blockage in your heating lines preventing flow of engine coolant.

More likely your blend door is not working correctly, either the controls aren't doing what they are supposed to, the motor is inoperative, or the door is stuck.

Ok awesome, thanks Dngrsone, I will for sure check that out first... since that's an easy thing to check... I guess if it's right behind the radio..

Thanks a bunch,
JF

bobzinger
12-08-2004, 03:07 PM
Het Neutron:
My temp sontrol quit working and there's a noise up in the dash like the blend door is stuck/inop and a clutch or something is slipping. Could that be the blend door actuator. Do you have any info on replacing it or checking it.

Thanx
Bob

More than likely, you may have a bad Blend Door actuator. It is a little module about the size of a pack of cigarettes mounted on the heater supply duct, usually behind the radio. It contols the position of the blend door allowing more or less air to blend with the heater core output, thus controlling the temperature out of the duct. The cheap plastic gears inside the unit have a history of failure. The radio must come out and then you have access to the actuator held in by a few screws. You can sometimes hear or feel the motor on the unit when changing temperature. This can tell you if it is working OK. Put your hand on the duct near the heater core, if it is hot then the heater core is working.

bigbuzzard
01-03-2005, 10:57 AM
Alright, so I took my 99 Windstar to the dealership and they told me it would cost $1200 to fix my heater problems.

My symptoms were the same as many posts here. No heat coming from under dash and a clicking sound that differred based on where I set the thermostat controls on the dashboard. If I set it all the way to hot, the clicking would sound one way and if I set it all the way to cold, the clicking would sound a little different. If you get this, then the problem is most definitely the blend door.

Now, I am not mechanic so I wasnt about to try to replace the entire heating unit as my dealer suggested so I figured I would just look to see where the noise was coming from and see if I can just 'make it work'.

I took off the bottom panel off the dash console under where the ashtray is so I can get access to underneath the radio (where many posts have correctly stated the blend door actuator is). This is much easier to do for me than to try and figure out how to get the radio out. After sticking a flashlight up there I could see the white plastic blend door motor and after touching it, realized that that was where the click noise came from.

Here's what I did: I set the thermostat all the way to HOT (I am in Pittsburgh in December after all) and then put some vice grips onto the arm that sticks out of the blend door motor towards the heater controls and gave it a good tug in the counter clockwise direction. This will open the blend door up to give you heat. This immediately returned heat to my vehicle. If you turn to the right or clockwise, this will close the heat blend door and you will have no heat.

It is important to note that if you EVER touch the thermostat controls after this adjustment, you will again hear the clicking noise as the blend door is trying to adjust for just the right temperature.

This fix took all of 15 minutes. In the spring, I plan to get back under there and turn the door to the right. I aint paying $1200 for this!!

Good luck!

12Ounce
01-03-2005, 12:41 PM
Bigbuzzard
You are right on target with your fix. If you want to replace the actuator (obviously, you're capable) it's available at the dealer for about $50, I believe.

The next level of failure is when the blend door cracks. This can be avoided by never letting the sliding temperature selector switch go to either "full-travel" position. I squeezed a little black RTV in each end of the lever slot just to keep the lever from reaching the extreme end positions. About 1/4" on each slot-end should help keep your blend door from being twisted by the actuator when it goes full-travel.

MinivanDad
01-03-2005, 03:09 PM
After not having heat for over a year I finally fixed the problem myself. I was so very angry with Ford for their poor design of this part (and unwillingness to warrantee it) and with the dealers for not being honest with me and trying to rip me off that I refused to pay the exorbitant cost to get it fixed.

Two Ford dealers told me it would be $1,200 to fix my no heat problem (the internal actuator gears had stripped when the control was in the cold position).

Yesterday I was able to take the actuator off (3 screws) after removing the console panel and retracting the ash tray drawer. It was a very uncomfortable position, but a 5/16" socket took the part off pretty easily.

For a temporary fix I was able to take the actuator apart and shift the stripped gear up such that it was running on the 2 mm of remaining threads by putting 3 small washers under it on the shaft and cutting off a bit of the top with a knife. I'll buy a new one for $50+ as soon as I can.

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