2002 Windstar Heater Problem


ilsp43
09-10-2006, 12:00 PM
No Heat! Fan works fine... AC works fine. OK...when you advance the heat lever you start to hear a "clicking" sound. It sounds like something is trying to engage and it is just not doing it. I took the bottom panel off the dash (under the stereo and heater panels) and could get a faint glimpse of what looks like a rod coming from the control panel area going into what looks like the heater plenum.

ok....after some research on the net it looks like i am into a blend door actuator/motor problem. i am asking if that sounds like a fair guess of the problem and how the heck you get at the parts/motor/actuator etc. i've seen articles where they tell you to cut a hole in the plenum....nah! then i've seen articles that make it sound like this is a chip shot to fix.

i'm pretty handy with cars and the like so repairs do not scare me but if the dash has to be removed that would be a first for me and kinda intimidating.

Any advice would be appreciated.

KimMG
09-10-2006, 02:27 PM
Get a repair manual and read over the procedure. Removing or loosening the dash can be tedious. If you don't wish to purchase a repair manual, try your local library or go to the dealer parts counter when they are not too busy and buy an oil filter or something and ask the parts person if they will copy the appropriate pages from the factory service manual. You will need to find out why the actuator is not working, bad vacuum connection, or is it just sticking. Set the heater to hot and try working the door by hand if you can reach it to see if you can unstick the actuator.

rodeo02
09-10-2006, 02:41 PM
Yep, it definately sounds like the electric actuator that works the hot/cold blend door could be the issue. The actuators are maybe the size of a deck of cards and will be plugged in with an electrical connector. I'd get under the dash & work the heater control so you can locate it by the sound. The actuators themselves are usually easy to r/r.

Joel

Tomb stone
09-11-2006, 02:28 PM
Hopefully, it’s just broken gears in the blend door actuator, which is fairly easy to replace. Worst-case scenario would be a broken blend door. If that’s the case, you’re going to have a nightmare getting it replaced. The blend door is in the plenum and is not sold separately. The dash will have to be completely removed to get the plenum out (that doesn’t look fun). Instead of replacing them, some people have repaired their broken doors by drilling holes in the plenum and screwing it back together (this is the repair you found during your research). You will probably be able to tell if your door is broke by removing the actuator motor and looking at the “D” shaped key-way the motor shaft engages into. Hopefully it’s just the actuator gears. I tool mine apart and half the teeth were broken off.
The reason they break is because the motor travels too far and applies way too much pressure on the door when it is fully closed. I noticed this when I was replacing mine. I had to forcibly twist the actuator (applying closing pressure on the “already closed” door) to get the new actuator mount holes to line up.
To prevent any future breakage (after you get it fixed), never slide the temperature control (on the dash) to its maximum stops. Leave it about ¼ inch from the end. Trust me, you wont feel any difference in the temp– and the motor wont be pressing down on the door.

I cant remember how much the actuator is, but its around $40-$60 at the dealer.
Here’s a pic of my broken one
TOM
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i230/tomb_stone/158_5895.jpg

caepperson3
11-05-2006, 10:59 PM
hi im newto this forum and i just purchased a 2003 windstar with the exact problem have you fixed yours yet and what was the cure and price

FordBoss88
11-09-2006, 03:14 PM
Same Thing happened to me. This is a five minute repair (if it is the actautor). Remove the radio (using removal tool), disconnect antenna lead and power lattice. Remove the lower shroud below the ash tray. You do not need to remove it as in disconnecting the extra power supply plug, but rather remove the for plastic screws and friction holders. Pull the shroud forward and to the left. Using an 8MM 1/4 drive socket, remove the top left screw and right side screw from the radio access hole. Pull out the ash tray and you can easily remove the bottom screw. Once the three screws are out, pull the actuator forward, but keep it plugged in and set to the side. Start the vehicle and set the climate control to Vent. Attach a 1/4 2" extension to the 1/4 drive and place into the D shaped opening of the Blend Door. Roll the
D-Shaped slot to the left for heat. If you are now blasted with heat, you have a faulty actuator. Once the climate control is set to "Off" the blend door will return to the cool position without the actuator. Now if you ar waiting for Pay Day (like Me), you can choose the position of the blend door while it is still plugged into its power source. If you want heat, roll over the the actuator arm to heat and then disconnect the power supply. The motor will stay locked in that position. Re-install (without power to the actuator), because you will need the actuator to hold the blend door open for heat. Replace the actuator on Pay Day. Very easy project! :grinyes:

JhanJo
04-06-2007, 09:37 PM
Thanks FordBoss88, your post was a big help when I was troublshooting and then replacing the blend door actuator. The problem was exactly what others described, a clicking noise when you turned the temperature control to heat and it would only blow cold air.

You were a big help today, thanks!

happymike
06-11-2007, 05:44 PM
actuator was my problem to, i just changed it,few teeth were broken off of the small plastic wheel inside unit, i was hearing a clicking noise,new unit cost full price tax included at dealership $98 dollars ,if this part was steel it still be working.

PLEASE IF ANYONE KNOWS I NOW HAVE A PROBLEM I CHANGED THIS UNIT ACTUATOR AND NOW MY HAND HELP TRANSMITTER DONT WORK AT ALL ,ALSO RADIO DONT WORK AT ALL, ANY IDEAS WHAT I NEED TO DO THANKYOU !

happymike
06-11-2007, 05:48 PM
Hi My Van Is A 2003 Windstar Sport, And Since I Changed The Actuator ,i Now Have A New Problem ,it Is My Hand Held Transmitter Dont Work At All,also My Radio Dont Work At All !
Please Any Ideas I Sure Can Use Now Thankyou !

happymike
06-14-2007, 11:45 PM
please help now!
what is radio code for 2003 windstar sport thankyou !

sandonf
11-19-2007, 09:02 AM
this string of chats was very helpful. I just changed mine and it fixed the problem. Only thing I did different was I DID NOT PULL THE RADIO. I see this has been causing radio problems. Just take the bottom skirt off like stated above, PULL out the ash tray, not remove, and you should be able to reach all screws. it is a little tight but worth not having to remove anything.

boricua_daddy
12-12-2007, 02:46 PM
have same problem but found a vaccuum line loose cant find where it goes its in the engine compartment any one knows any diagrams for my 2000 winstar

garync1
12-12-2007, 05:46 PM
have same problem but found a vaccuum line loose cant find where it goes its in the engine compartment any one knows any diagrams for my 2000 winstar
There are 2 small hoses that run into the back passenger of the upper intake. Very hard to see unless you have a flash light and look under the back passenger side corner of the intake plenum. It tucked right under the lower part 2 small lines.. I guess thats what you mean. For unhooked vac line..

wiswind
12-13-2007, 07:53 PM
The HEAT, as in HOT or Cold air is driven by a electrical motor....driving a "blend" door.
The part in the picture is for this.

Where the air GOES is driven by vaccum from the motor.
With no vaccum, all the air will go to the defrost.....to the windshield.
But, the air will still get HOT when you set the temperature control to HOT.
Most common problem here is a vaccum leak....disconnected line or broken/pinched line.

boricua_daddy
12-13-2007, 11:09 PM
i see the hose from the intake it goes from there 2 a tee & from the firewall 2 a fitting

wiswind
12-14-2007, 10:10 PM
If you can disconnect it at the junction, easily and without breaking it (they can get stuck and brittle over time), I would disconnect it there and see if you get vaccum from the line that goes to the motor.
If so, then work outward from there.

tonyDIY
12-17-2007, 12:45 AM
I had a similar problem. Whenver van was running, there was a constant faint clicking sound coming from behind the radio. Based on researching this forum and other sites, determined it was the accutuator. I went to my local pick and pull, selection was quite limited...but they did have a 95 windstar on the lot (I'm in a 99). Cost me $2 to get in $8 and change for the used acctuator. Came back to the house and installed the used acctuator...Problem solved.

Was a little worried about the older part giving me the same problem...we'll see how long this fix lasts.

Goodluck

12Ounce
12-17-2007, 08:11 AM
Tony, you can get more life out of your actuator if you never put the temp controller in the full "hot" or full "cold" positions. (The root problem is a warped blend door ... and the actuator is really stessed internally when the controller is in either position.)

A daub of black RTV at each end of the controller slide-way will help you remember by restricting controller lever travel.

daveck2
12-18-2007, 10:28 PM
The main culprit, at least in my situation, is the actuator moving the blend door when the vehicle has no vacuum. In my case, the hose was not reinstalled after a coolant transfer pipe was replaced underneath the intake manifold. the Blend door is powered by the actuator with a vacuum assist, Without vacuum, the actuator motor does all the work and the plastic gear strips out. My poor actuator lasted about a week before she gave out. Also, if you move the heater controls when the vehicle is not running, the same problem occurs.
As far as I know, the actuator cuts out after a short period of no movement, preventing damage to the actuator after the blend door reaches full extent.
D-

DavidChen
12-14-2008, 09:04 AM
First, I would like to thank everyone posted very useful information.
Second, Same Thing happened to me. I switched to Hot heard several "clicking" sounds then continued "cool" air no heater. Based on this discussion trend, I assume the proble was actuator.
Third, summary the Steps to fix the problem :
a. Buy a new actuator - Instead of go to dealer which cost $79 plus tax, I purchased a brand actuator through ebay which cost me $40 ($32 + $8 S&H). Search key word - 2002 2003 Ford Windstar Air Door Actuator. It should be several sellers. The seller I chose - fortworthautoaccessaries
b. Buy a radio removal toll from Auto Parts store ($6-$8). Insert the tool into 4 holes in radio panel. Tips - almost all the way in until you remove the radio.
c. Disconnect antenna lead and power lattice. Remove the lower shroud below the ash tray. You do not need to remove it as in disconnecting the extra power supply plug, but rather remove the for plastic screws and friction holders. Pull the shroud forward and to the left. Using an 8MM 1/4 drive socket, remove the top left screw and right side screw from the radio access hole. Pull out the ash tray and you can easily remove the bottom screw. Once the three screws are out, pull the actuator forward but keep it plugged in and set to the side.
Start the vehicle and set the climate control to Vent. Attach a 1/4 2" extension to the 1/4 drive and place into the D shaped opening of the Blend Door. Roll the
D-Shaped slot to the left for heat. If you are now blasted with heat, you have a faulty actuator. Once the climate control is set to "Off" the blend door will return to the cool position without the actuator.
d. You can choose the position of the blend door while it is still plugged into its power source. If you want heat, roll over the actuator arm to heat and then disconnect the power supply. The motor will stay locked in that position. Re-install (without power to the actuator), because you will need the actuator to hold the blend door open for heat.

Overall, to replace actuator is not a difficult job. It took my wife and I around 2-hour to replace. I mistake burned the radio fuse which is not too difficult to replace. Total, we spent less $50.

Once again, thank you all provide the useful instructions.

David

droach125
04-09-2011, 03:40 PM
Add my 2001 Windstar to this problem. I could not get the radio out so I came up from the bottem, removing the shroud and ashtray. Entire operation took about an hour. I would rate my auto repair skill level at a 5 out of 10. I found the actuator at Advance Auto for $34 plus tax. I was able to repair this problem for less then $40. I took the old actuator a part and found that a small veritcal gear had stripped out. The rest of the unit was fine.

stevo1957
10-25-2011, 03:00 PM
I have dual controls...front of van and rear.
I get no heat in front and heat in rear

Radiatorkid
10-28-2011, 08:46 PM
I need to change the actuator in my 2000 Windstar also. Not hard to do. My question is this. Is it safe to assume that there is a actuator in the rear for the rear heat/cool? If so, is it the same as the one in the front? I can't seem to find any parts store listing anything for the rear. The local savage yard has a 2000 sitting there, And I was thinking about checking it out. Thanks

12Ounce
10-28-2011, 09:40 PM
There are actually two actuators in the rear unit ... for a total of three. I think they are all different.

jeepheaterfix
11-08-2011, 02:31 PM
Hopefully, it’s just broken gears in the blend door actuator, which is fairly easy to replace. Worst-case scenario would be a broken blend door. If that’s the case, you’re going to have a nightmare getting it replaced. The blend door is in the plenum and is not sold separately. The dash will have to be completely removed to get the plenum out (that doesn’t look fun). Instead of replacing them, some people have repaired their broken doors by drilling holes in the plenum and screwing it back together (this is the repair you found during your research). You will probably be able to tell if your door is broke by removing the actuator motor and looking at the “D” shaped key-way the motor shaft engages into. Hopefully it’s just the actuator gears. I tool mine apart and half the teeth were broken off.
The reason they break is because the motor travels too far and applies way too much pressure on the door when it is fully closed. I noticed this when I was replacing mine. I had to forcibly twist the actuator (applying closing pressure on the “already closed” door) to get the new actuator mount holes to line up.
To prevent any future breakage (after you get it fixed), never slide the temperature control (on the dash) to its maximum stops. Leave it about ¼ inch from the end. Trust me, you wont feel any difference in the temp– and the motor wont be pressing down on the door.

I cant remember how much the actuator is, but its around $40-$60 at the dealer.
Here’s a pic of my broken one
TOM
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i230/tomb_stone/158_5895.jpg

I had to deal with the nightmare of the broken blend door. After a lot of research, I found a a company called heatertreater. They provide instructions along with a DIY style kit that allows you to access and replace the blend door by removing the glove box and making a small incision in the plenum box, rather than removing the entire dash and replacing the full plenum assembly. It saved me a huge headache and a lot of money as well. Just wanted to give anyone struggling with this problem a tip that helped me a lot. I have posted this in a few places, mods feel free to edit or move posts. This is not meant to be a product plug, I just got a lot of help from these guys and wanted to pass on the info to anyone else who is hating their windstar right about now because it's cold and they have no heat. Thing is, I also had the problem in my f150! Thanks a lot Ford, get your engineering figured out:screwy:

LiQuiD117
11-14-2011, 11:58 AM
ok guys, VERY useful information here thank you.
i just want to check before i start ripping out half my dash and buy an actuator i may not need, i have a feeling i may have the same problem in my 2000 SEL.
but i dont hear any clicking, and i have no heat front OR rear.
ac works great in both zones but no heat in either. also anyone know where the rear actuators are located? i cant find a manual for mine in stock anywhere and living in New England i need to get my heater fixed in a hurry before snow. any help you guys have would be hugely appreciated!!

Radiatorkid
11-14-2011, 07:31 PM
The rear actuator(s) are located above the drivers rear wheel with the rest of the rear heat/air conponents. You'll need to remove the rear seat, pull up some carpeting, and remove the interior panel above the left rear tire. For me it was a real PITA!. I believe the front is easier to get to and change than the rear is!!.Has anyone ever had a rear one go bad?? It hasn't been discussed much at all on here>

vwfye
11-16-2011, 11:57 AM
I just went through this issue as well. $45 bucks and about 1.5 hours to swap. My issue was getting the motor oriented correctly to insert the motor. Once that happened, it was quick and easy.

Thank you for the description... very, very helpful!

selorous
12-30-2011, 05:16 PM
Seems to be a commone problem. I just change the actuator and solved the problem. Now have heat again. I alos pulled the radio because the kids put about three dollars worth of change in the CD player. All works good now. Thanks for the great info.

sitiakab
01-01-2012, 10:18 AM
Ford – no front heat – 2000 – Windstar – actuator

My Dad’s 2000 Ford Windstar van stopped putting out heat to any front vents. I was able to hear a rhythmic thumping sound when the heat control slider was placed in the hot position. I looked for info on line, and found many posts that said the actuator was probably the issue. I also went back and asked my Dad if before the thumping sound he had heard anything else, and he confirmed he had heard some gear grinding noises, which others have reported as the actuator is starting to grind and slip its internal gears. If the actuator is not working correctly, it won’t hold the heater duct door in the open position, which means you can’t get any hot air.

On this site I found a very helpful post from FordBoss88 which gave me the info needed to do this repair. I thought I would expand a little on his instructions, and give some additional insight.

I purchased the actuator in advance (assuming that was the problem) for about $40 from O-Reillys, and I also purchased the special Ford Radio removal clips for about $7. Total cost with tax about $50. Although some have said you can bend coat hangers to use instead of the special clip removal tool, others have said the clips work much better and faster.

This repair took me about 2 hours to complete as this was my first time with this specific job. If I had to do it again, I think it would only take me about ½ hour.

I think one of the key tools for this job is a very long ¼” ratchet extension of at least 12” in length. You might be able to do this without a long extension, but it would be difficult to get to the 3 mounting screws as they are in the back section and clearances are tight. You might also be able to use 3/8 ratchet and extensions, but the small diameter ¼ size is better for these tight places. I also used a wobble extension, as I found I could not get the extension into a straight on position, and the wobble extension helped to keep the socket firmly on the mounting screws.

+ Disconnect the battery – this prevents any accidental issues with air bag issues, and any issues with accidentally pulling wires lose and shorting out an electrical connection.

+ Remove the plastic shroud from the very bottom area. This will be removed with the hinged storage bin intact. Mine had four small screws with plastic plugs, with stripped threads, so I just pried the screws and plugs out together with a small screwdriver. Mine had a small auxiliary electrical outlet which was easily unplugged. Set the shroud outside out of the way.

+ Remove the radio using a pair of the special clip hooks. As others have said, sometimes after inserting the clips the radio may not instantly unhook. I had to do some wiggling up and down and side to side until it finally popped free. My radio then slid about 90% of the way out easily, but felt hung up and would not come out the final 10%. I was hesitant to put a lot of pulling force on it, but I had to do that. I wiggled the right side out completely first, and disconnected the antenna wire. I was then able to see that one of the two multi-wire harnesses did not have much slack, and that made getting to the connector a bit difficult. But by stretching the wire, and pulling, I was able to get to the connector and push the tab underneath to disconnect it. Do the same with both multi wire connectors. Set the radio unit aside.

+ To remove the front panel, with the heat control sliders intact, some call this the front bezel; you will need to remove 4 screws. Previous posts mentioned three 8mm screws, but mine was held in place with four 7mm screws. The top two are not clearly visible unless your crouch down and look up and into the front edge of the bezel, but you will see them mounted a downward angle. Use a 7mm socket to unscrew both top screws, and then pull out the ashtray beverage unit to get to the bottom two screws. After removing the two top and two bottom screws, the front plastic bezel will pull away from the dash. I did not remove any wires, but just shoved the front bezel with wires attached to the side out of the way.

+ If you use a flashlight and look into the now open cavity, you will see the actuator unit mounted at the far rear back of the opening. The factory OEM unit was cream colored; the replacement unit from O-Reilly’s is black. You will have to push and work around a bunch of different wires in this process, but I did not have to unplug any of them.

+ The actuator unit has four screw mounting tabs, but mine was secure with only three screws. By pushing the wires around you will see a screw at the upper top left. I also had a screw at the bottom right, and one more on the right side about ½ ways up. Remove all 3 screws using an 8mm socket on a long extension. Pull the actuator straight out, making sure the male shaft clears the female opening in the duct work before you try and remove it completely. It will be attached with a single wire harness – just unplug it. I was expecting that my unit might have a freely rotating shaft due to stripped out internal gears, but my shaft actually felt tight on the old unit. When I took it apart I did confirm that on the very small plastic gear, some of the points were stripped off.

+ Before installing the new actuator I wanted to make sure the actual duct door was working correctly. If it was not, that is a more time consuming and costly repair. To check the door I inserted the ¼ extension into the “D” shaped female opening, and turned the extension clockwise and counterclockwise, back and forth. The door moved freely, and I could hear and feel it opening and closing, with no strange noises. At this point I felt confident my problem was just the actuator, and not the door. When an actuator is not inserted into the female opening, the door should be in the closed position, I am assuming due to gravity or an internal return spring. When the door is closed (no heat) the round section of the “D” should be pointed to the lower left, about a 7:00 o’clock position. At least that is how mine looked.

+ You will need to make sure the male “D” shaft on the new actuator is in the correct position so it will slide into the “D” shaped female opening before you try to install it. Mine was not. In order to get the shaft into the proper position, I temporarily reconnected the battery and turned the ignition key to on (no need to start engine). I connected the new actuator to the wiring harness, and held the unit in my hand. When I slid the heat control slider back and forth between hot and cold, I was able to see the male shaft slowly rotate. I put the control slider into the cold position; made sure the shaft rotated and then stopped, and then turned the key off. If the male shaft is pointing towards you, the round part of the “D” will be in the lower right 4:00 o’clock position. But once you flip it around to mount it, the result the will be that the round section will be in the lower left 7:00 o’clock position.

+ Make sure the key is turned off, and then disconnect the battery again.

+ To mount the new actuator, make sure the D shaft slides correctly into the female opening. It should slide in easily. Make sure your 3 mounting holes look properly aligned with the mounting tabs, and if correctly positioned the screw holes should be up flush against the mounting tabs.

+ Secure the new actuator with the three 8mm screws. I got them started with my bare fingers, and then used the 8mm socket with long wobble extension. I tightened each one a few turns and then moved onto the next one, to avoid any issues with the plastic housing getting warped or cracked.

+ At this point I temporarily reconnected the battery, and turned on the ignition key again. I wanted to make sure the actuator was installed correctly and working properly before I put the other parts back together. I put the fan switch in low speed to reduce fan noise, and moved the slider back and forth from cold to hot. I could hear the actuator quietly humming as the door opened completely, then the motor would stop, and then sliding the switch to the other side the motor would hum again until the door moved completely into the opposite direction. I turned the key off, and disconnected the battery again.

+ I reinserted the radio by first connecting the antenna lead in wire, and then angling the radio unit so I could re-connect the two multi wire harnesses. I had to angle and force it back in, due to the short (no slack) wire harness. When pushed in, it snaps and locks into place.

+ Reinstall the front bezel piece with the four small 7mm screws.

+ Reinstall the bottom plastic shroud using the plastic screws and plugs – I just pushed mine back into place.

+ Reconnect battery, start and warm up engine. If all went well, your heater control slide should now work correctly and you should have heat once again.

jbtelfer
03-08-2012, 09:52 PM
Similar problem here with my 2002 windstar. The confusing part for me is that I get heat when vent only selected all other mode selections and the air gets pretty cool. If I turn the heat selector to cold it does get colder but not much. Just noticed it today and the outside air was about -10c. I haven't looked into whats going on yet but think I'll start with the blend door. Just not sure about why I still get heat in vent mode.

Of course I still have to get the rear axle and front sub frame recalls done...maybe they'll buy my windstar.

truckbro
07-12-2012, 05:15 PM
Guys! I found a kit that repairs the broken blend door problem with no dash removal and takes about an hour. The kit is called the HeaterTreater and they have installation videos on youtube. check it out: www.heatertreater.net

elpatso
10-18-2013, 03:13 PM
I just replaced my actuator in my 2002 windstar. Now I have heat but no cold. Any ideas? I'm guessing electrics?

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