1998 Ford Taurus Blend Door Problem

1998 Ford Taurus Blend Door Problem

Posted in the Ford Taurus Forum

Jeff

Columbus, OH

#1 Oct 29, 2008
I have a 1998 Ford Taurus SE heater problem. The engine warms up and runs just fine but I have no heat out of the climate control. If I adjust the temperature control outside of a narrow range, I can hear the blend door opening and closing rapidly, over and over. Looking at my Hayes manual, I think that I may have a bad blend door actuator. Is there anyway (like a diagnostic code read) to verify that this is the culprit? Do I have to go to a junkyard to get this old part or where? Do I have to tear apart the dash to get at it or can I get to it thru the center radio console, glovebox or under the dash?
Thanks.
EdH

United States

#2 Jan 10, 2009
Okay - I figured out something most of these posters may have missed.
Like many of you, I had no meaningful heat in a 1999 Ford Taurus with 90Kmi; V6 3.0 Vulcan engine.
1) After 20 minutes of idle, with the heater set to max-on, one hose to the heater core (on the engine side of the fire wall) would be wicked hot -- i.e. you could grab it for about 2 seconds max.
2) The down side hose had a fairly hot hose -- i.e. you could hold it for about 5 seconds max. So I thought that the air blowing thru the heater core was cooling it off -- naturally the down side hose should be cooler, yet no hot air was coming out (yes blowers ran full speed -- but the air was always coming out cold!{Foot note, like some of prior posters, if you turn the blower off for 2-3 minutes and then turn the blower back on, you will get a burst of nice hot air for about 5 seconds, and then it goes cold!}
3) I flushed the coolant in the engine.
4) I flushed the coolant from the heater core -- both directions, with hot tap water / garden hose, until it would run nice and clear out the other side.
5) I clamped shut that (stoooopid) heater core bypass hose.
6) I changed out the water pump even though the blades on the pump looked just like the newly rebuilt blades.
7) I verified that my heater damper door was not broken (ala www.heatertreater.com ) I verified the door opened and closed easily, and made a nice thump going into each position. 8) I let the engine run with the coolant expansion cap off for 10+ minutes to flush air bubbles out after all reassembly.
9) I topped the coolant off to the "right" level -- for both hot and cold engines.
10) I used those ball float tools to ensure I had the right mix of coolant to water in the system.
11) I let the engine run for an hour, sit overnight in 20 degree F cold and confirmed there were no leaks for sure.
12) I confirmed there was no blockage in the hoses to / from the heater core,
or in the tees where the hoses fork to either the heater core or the bypass hose.
I was beginning to think both the original and the replacement water pumps were the wrong ones -- perhaps too small of a blade/impeller? I was going crazy.
11) So I thought perhaps I should change out the heater core, even though the garden hose water ran through it fine. They cost $55 at Autozone; worth a try. So I ripped out my heater core (see footnote below}. On the outside, it looked like new. Yet despite all the flushing with hot water (for 10-15 minutes!) per step #4 above, I noticed some rusty chunks/flakes poured out after I got it all the way out. So I added more water to this completely removed heater core and vigorously shook the unit and then poured the water out -- LOTS of rust/flakes came out with the water! There was no exterior sign of defect or leaking, but everytime I filled up the heater core with hot water, shook it hard for 10 seconds, and poured the water out, more rust silt would spill out with the water. APPARENTLY FLUSHING WITH THE HEATER CORE IN THE ENGINE IS MARGINAL AT BEST...unless perhaps you have a high=pressure water source...
After installing the new heater core, it all works GREAT -- almost but not quite like new.
I conclude that RUST SCALE on the inner surface of all the heater core tubes was acting like a thermal "insulator".
It did not constrict the flow of water through the core, but it was apparently constricting the flow of temperature from the hot coolant to the metal heater core to the air blowing through it!
EdH

United States

#3 Jan 10, 2009
FOOTNOTE: TO remove the heater core on this vehicle, most everybody says to pull the entire dash out -- even the steering wheel. I saw a couple posters say to remove the glove box and radio, and radio bracket and ashtray, and then just cut the brace under the glovebox (saber saw with metal blade). Then I made a cut in this triagular brace that allowed me to bend/fold the brace away from the heater core exit path. Finally, with most of the middle screws removed, the plastic dash could be pulled/pryed towards the backseat about 3 inches, which was enough to swap out the core. You do have to remove lots of plastic screws that attach the dash to the metal braces (the screws often point towards the rear of the car.) After the new heater core was in place and working great, I "repaired" the saw -cut brace via a 3" piece of steel, about 1/2" wide and 1/4" thick. I drilled 0.25" clearance holes on each side of where the cut was, and matching tapped 1/4-20 holes in the metal brace. A little bit of countersinking and then flathead screws made the brace under the glovebox almost like new.
EdH

United States

#4 Jan 10, 2009
Okay - I figured out something most of these posters may have missed.

Like many of you, I had no meaningful heat in a 1999 Ford Taurus with 90Kmi; V6 3.0 Vulcan engine.

1) After 20 minutes of idle, with the heater set to max-on, one hose to the heater core (on the engine side of the fire wall) would be wicked hot -- i.e. you could grab it for about 2 seconds max.
2) The down side hose had a fairly hot hose -- i.e. you could hold it for about 5 seconds max. So I thought that the air blowing thru the heater core was cooling it off -- naturally the down side hose should be cooler, yet no hot air was coming out (yes blowers ran full speed -- but the air was always coming out cold!{Foot note, like some of prior posters, if you turn the blower off for 2-3 minutes and then turn the blower back on, you will get a burst of nice hot air for about 5 seconds, and then it goes cold!}
3) I flushed the coolant in the engine.
4) I flushed the coolant from the heater core -- both directions, with hot tap water / garden hose, until it would run nice and clear out the other side.
5) I clamped shut that (stoooopid) heater core bypass hose.
6) I changed out the water pump even though the blades on the pump looked just like the newly rebuilt blades.
7) I verified that my heater damper door was not broken (ala www.heatertreater.com ) I verified the door opened and closed easily, and made a nice thump going into each position. 8) I let the engine run with the coolant expansion cap off for 10+ minutes to flush air bubbles out after all reassembly.
9) I topped the coolant off to the "right" level -- for both hot and cold engines.
10) I used those ball float tools to ensure I had the right mix of coolant to water in the system.
11) I let the engine run for an hour, sit overnight in 20 degree F cold and confirmed there were no leaks for sure.
12) I confirmed there was no blockage in the hoses to / from the heater core,
or in the tees where the hoses fork to either the heater core or the bypass hose.

I was beginning to think both the original and the replacement water pumps were the wrong ones -- perhaps too small of a blade/impeller? I was going crazy.

11) So I thought perhaps I should change out the heater core, even though the garden hose water ran through it fine. They cost $55 at Autozone; worth a try. So I ripped out my heater core (see footnote below}. On the outside, it looked like new. Yet despite all the flushing with hot water (for 10-15 minutes!) per step #4 above, I noticed some rusty chunks/flakes poured out after I got it all the way out. So I added more water to this completely removed heater core and vigorously shook the unit and then poured the water out -- LOTS of rust/flakes came out with the water! There was no exterior sign of defect or leaking, but everytime I filled up the heater core with hot water, shook it hard for 10 seconds, and poured the water out, more rust silt would spill out with the water. APPARENTLY FLUSHING WITH THE HEATER CORE IN THE ENGINE IS MARGINAL AT BEST...unless perhaps you have a high=pressure water source...

After installing the new heater core, it all works GREAT -- almost but not quite like new.

I conclude that RUST SCALE on the inner surface of all the heater core tubes was acting like a thermal "insulator".
It did not constrict the flow of water through the core, but it was apparently constricting the flow of temperature from the hot coolant to the metal heater core to the air blowing through it!
Paul

United States

#6 Mar 13, 2010
Yes you can get access thru the glove box, radio console removal. My problem turned out to be a bad actuator motor. Parts stores have them for about 50 dollars. I got mine with my mechanics discount at a ford distributorship for 38 dollars. If you know anybody who needs the blend door replacement kit, I have one to sell at a big discount. [email protected]
halfrican

United States

#7 Apr 2, 2011
I have a 98 and it makes a thumping/clicking noise its actually the blend door actuator which can be seen by lookin up into the dash from the passenger side while the heat is on you can see and feel it thumping its 50$ from parts store I would suggest junk yard first to see if it fixes the problem
rbradley

Cincinnati, OH

#8 Oct 5, 2011
I have a 98 sho with same heating issue. Is there a fuse for the door actuator and if so where is it located.
tuckguy88

San Antonio, TX

#9 Nov 8, 2011
I have also had problems with heat in my 99 Taurus. After unsuccessfully troubleshooting the issue thinking it was a problem with the heater core, I came across so info online about broken blend doors, and that they are very common problems in a number of Ford vehicles. I found a DIY kit called the heatertreater and replaced the old broken plastic blend door with a new metal one by removing the glovebox and making a small incision in the plenum box to access the door. I now have fully functional heat and AC, and am very thankful to have found the fix as opposed to shelling out 1500 clams to my mechanic (maybe I am getting screwed there as well). Just wanted to pass the info along to anyone who is having trouble diagnosing a heat/cooling problem. A lot of work can be avoided if you check out the blend door first.
dustin

Westernville, NY

#10 Nov 23, 2011
i have recently got a 99 taurus had no heat soaked heater core in clr found at wall mart (did not take dash out to get the core out) the heat is better blend door is ok but do not know how the actuater is, it turns in both directions. im still not satisfied with my heat what do i do.
May Help You

Birmingham, AL

#11 Nov 26, 2011
FYI, here is some information that I've gleaned from various sources over the years of Taurus ownership.

Th 3.0L vulcan engiine is an inherently durable engine (one of Ford's better ideas), however it was not built without some flaws. There were quite a number of them that didn't get properly cleaned out after the blocks were cast. This left casting media (silica, basically sand), in the water passages. This ends up turning into a sort of brown, abrasive "soup" that circulates through your cooling system (not one of Ford's better ideas!). Often it takes a couple of flushings to remove all of the grit from the system.

This "soup" will cause premature failure of the water pump impeller (basically your sand blasting the vanes everytime you run your engine).

The sediment in the cooling system also tends to accumulate in the heater core, plugging it, and eventually rendering it useless, or worse, causing it to leak.

Once plugged, the coolant follows the path of least resistance (the heater core bypass), and you get no heat.

My advice: Isolate and flush the heater core, then run some type of radiator flushing aid (there are several out there), for about a week. Now flush the entire system one more time. With 90,000 + miles on the car, if you haven't replaced the water pump yet, this would be a good time to do it. If you have recently, you should be all set. Either way, the total cost of the above steps should not be too prohibitive. It amounts to cheap insurance. I lost a 2000 Taurus because I was not educated to the cooling system issues. A leaky heater core, combined with lack of comunication (my daughter failed to inform me that the car was hissing when she parked it at school), roasted the engine at 96K.

BTW, I'm relatively new to the forum, but I've owned a '98, a '99, an '00 and an '02 Taurus. I'm pretty familiar with their trouble spots.

p.s. I haven't even touch on the blender door issue, but that doesn't sound like your problem.
mike c

Tallahassee, FL

#12 Dec 22, 2012
I do not see an answer for jeff's problem(Oct. 29 2008). My door keeps opening and closing when on heat. Is it the blend door actuator?
Gio

Las Vegas, NV

#13 Jan 12, 2013
i have a 98 ford taurus se 3.0 efi dohc.......i was hearing a clikcking sound when i changed the temperture from 60 to 90.....so i was told it was probably the blend door actuator so i got a new one......i took out the old one and left it plugged in and turned the key and it did nothing so i figured that was the problem but when i plugged the new one in it also did nothing so i returned it and got another one....nothing...please help!!

Since: Apr 13

Portland, OR

#14 Apr 27, 2013
Check out http://www.hiperformer.com/automotive/ to get some auto parts you need here with better performance parts for your automobile. I am completely assured that you will find any of car model auto parts available here with better pricing.
mattdeployed

Barcelona, Spain

#15 Aug 4, 2013
Gio wrote:
i have a 98 ford taurus se 3.0 efi dohc.......i was hearing a clikcking sound when i changed the temperture from 60 to 90.....so i was told it was probably the blend door actuator so i got a new one......i took out the old one and left it plugged in and turned the key and it did nothing so i figured that was the problem but when i plugged the new one in it also did nothing so i returned it and got another one....nothing...please help!!
I was wondering if anyone had answered this post? I am in spain and have a friend here with the same problem. I did not know if there was a fuse for the circuit, or heater control malfunction. I am interested to hear or read if anyone else has experienced this and their solution.
D19er

Brick, NJ

#16 Oct 11, 2013
What was the problum with your ford. I have the same problum
Gio wrote:
i have a 98 ford taurus se 3.0 efi dohc.......i was hearing a clikcking sound when i changed the temperture from 60 to 90.....so i was told it was probably the blend door actuator so i got a new one......i took out the old one and left it plugged in and turned the key and it did nothing so i figured that was the problem but when i plugged the new one in it also did nothing so i returned it and got another one....nothing...please help!!
makuloco2000

Morris, IL

#17 Dec 19, 2013
Check out my NO HEAT video series and fix it yourself. Hope this helps



https://www.youtube.com/watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch...
Sheila1979

United States

#18 Jan 3, 2014
I have a 99 ford taurus sho, I am getting lukewarm air on high heat and my temp gage stays on cool. I switched it to max ac, thinking maybe the shutter door was stuck, in doing so max ac gave me heat warmer than heater. Read so much about issues unsure where to begin. Help!
king

Avon, CT

#19 May 5, 2014
Just goes by the old saying - FORD Fix Or Repair Daily! Piece of shit!

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Ford Taurus Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
99 Ford Taurus Stalling Out While Driving (Jun '08) Sat joe p 67
Unexplained electrical problem with son's 1999 ... (Sep '06) Mar 10 Harry78910 284
'03 Taurus Shuts off and Starts Itself while dr... (Dec '07) Mar 9 Beautifuleyes91 19
2002 Taurus springs (Mar '06) Mar 9 Sherry in Carleton 152
2000 taurus transmission (Apr '06) Mar 3 Josiah Lockett 197
Automatic transmission (Apr '06) Feb '17 Devin 32
Remote entry for Ford Taurus 2004 Feb '17 Vicky 1
More from around the web