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Old 11-02-2008, 06:30 AM
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Heater switch issue..?

Hey all, I have an issue that is stumping me. The heater on my wife's Ford Windstar decided to quit recently, and I am at a loss as to where to start.

I posted this up in the electrical board because I don't think it's a heater core issue. I am lead to believe it's a switch issue. If it is, where the heck is the heater switch? I know with my F150, it sits right on the intake, just below the throttle body. But with this Windstar having a plastic intake, I can't see it. Maybe I am over-evaluating it.

The van is a 2000 Ford Windstar LX with the 3.8. It also has the auxiliary heater in the back.

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Old 11-02-2008, 09:08 AM
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Do you mean that you don't get enough heat? Does the temp gauge indicate normal engine temp?

Most of the newer vehicles continuously circulate water through the heater, and never turn off the flow. There is usually no heater switch on the manifold or in the heater lines. The blend door in the heater plenum adjusts heat by regulating how much air is routed through the core and how much is routed around it.

Follow the heater hoses in the engine compartment that run to the core and see if they get hot. They should be too hot to hold in your bare hand if the water is hot and circulating. If they aren't hot, you probably have a flow problem with the core.

If the core is hot, then you probably have a blend door (vacuum operated) or air flow (blower) problem.

Bruce
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:05 PM
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Yeah I'm hoping it's not a core issue. A buddy of mine who just did a Taurus told me the horrors of replacing the heater core. I checked the fuses for the blend door (according to the manual, it's electric, and supposedly has a solenoid), and they were in good order. I'll check the hoses tomorrow morning and see if they are both hot.

Oddly enough, my F150 has the same problem. But that has a burned out heater switch, and isn't allowing coolant to pass from the core to the intake. I just figured that the Windstar would be set up in the same idea.

Thanks for the lead though. It's definately helping me see this problem as not as complex.

Oh yeah, I forgot; yes. The engine temp is normal. Just no heat from the front vents or the rear. For a while, the front went out, but the rear worked just fine. Now both are blowing, uh, warm?
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:13 PM
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The joke about heater cores in today's cars is that they take a heater core, and then build the car around it. Most of them have the A/C evaporator in the way, and several require removal of the dash.

If your blend door is electric, then you might be headed in the right direction in your troubleshooting. If the heater hoses are hot, then you are getting water to the core. Now you need to make sure the air is going through it.

Bruce
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