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Ford Explorer Air Conditioner and Heater Problems



  • hwy1southhwy1south Posts: 4
    My 99 Limited climate control, when set on automatic, has started blowing only out of the floor, top side vents, and rear unit behind the console. The dash vents are not working, although they are open. For a while, it would work corectly & then stop. Sometimes pushing the stop button & then back to automatic would correct it, but next time it might not. The dash vents would also open & close on their own. Now they will not open at all. Any suggestions will be sincerely appreciated.
  • reddog11reddog11 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Explorer and the same thing just happened to me. The symptoms the same however the cure was different. My problem ended up being a broken peg that attaches to the vacuum solenoid for the flapper in the front vent thing. I followed the red vacuume line to the solenoid which is easy to do if you pull the glove compartment and found that the solenoid was working but nothing was attached to it. I found that the peg that attaches it to the solenoid was missing (later I found it on the floor). I drilled a new hole through the plastic lever and re attached the solenoid with a screw and nut. I used lock tight to keep the nut in place. So far all is working well.
  • hwy1southhwy1south Posts: 4
    I took the glove box out & checked the door. Nothing appears to be broken or missing, but the solenoid is not working regardless of which button is engaged on the controls. When on automatic, it's still blowing cold air from the defrost, side top vents (toward the side windows), floor, and rear air. I'm thinking the problem may be a bad switch, because it would be working OK & then airflow from the dash vents would stop, or sometimes turning off the automatic switch & then turning it back on would start it. Wonder what it would cost if the switch is the problem? Would they have to replace the whole unit?
  • hwy1southhwy1south Posts: 4
    The problem turned out to be the vacuum line resting against the left side exaust manifold. The heat had sealed the line at the coupling to the extent that it broke when I tried to pull it up to see better. I removed the half of the coupling that the line broke in, pushed the line into the other half, taped them up, & the air once again comes out of the dash vents. I will get another coupling to correctly comlete the repair. The vacuum line is very small, not more than 3/16" outside diameter.
  • hwy1southhwy1south Posts: 4
    Regarding previous 7/19 message: Should have said "line resting against RIGHT side exaust manifold".
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    For future reference, after posting, you may edit your post for 30 minutes.
  • I have an 03 Explorer XLT. My wife complained about a knocking sound that only happens when she uses the rear air controls. I removed the blower motor and it was clean. I also noticed that the knocking sound is coming from the duct ing. Any suggestions?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Pretty common problem. It's the blend door that moves the air from the floor to the roof. It's stuck and the motor is snapping. Unfortunately, Ford has no easy fix for this, and most of us just avoid using the rear air controls, since that is univerally the trigger for this problem.
  • nabrilnabril Posts: 1
    2004 Explorer that has A/c issue. The dash vents blow very little air regardless of the fan speed selected. We have to set it on 3 or 4 in order to feel the equivalent of a 1 or 2 in other cars.

    When the a/c is set on normal vent, the defrost vents blow a little bit of air out. I have read the posts in the Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair post, but I am not sure if I can decipher the wording. Sorry, not very car hood literate.
    Any thoughts/suggestions?

  • if you have rear a/c then you are looking at ethier a/c dye from a leak on one of your rear a/c componants,or anti freeze from your rear heating in your rear a/c heating unit.if it feels like oil,then its refridgerant dye,if it feels like water,its antifreeze..
  • Hi everyone. My 95 Explorer Ltd. has developed a glitch where it sends heat constantly. If you adjust the temp setting downward to Max a/c or just above it will turn on the a/c and cool down the hot air, but when it wants to switch off the a/c, the vent is blowing hot, heated air. If I leave it on automatic it will continue to heat the vent air. The only way to stop it from heating the car is to shut it off, or turn on Max a/c. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  • My heater is blowing cold air when turned on. I have no clue what it could be. Checked antifreeze levels and seem to be okay and the thermostat was replaced about a year ago. Much appreciated if anybody had any ideas.
  • My problem started about 2 days ago, & haven't been able to give it a look due to much overtime. My issue is my heater/a/c has gone out & I don't know if it's minor or major. About 78,000 miles on it. When I turn on the heater & try to turn the output from 3 - 4 it gives me a "CLICKING" noise under my glove compartment. The "CLICKING" also occurs near my fuse box on the left hand side drivers door when I turn on the Defrost. The heater turns on occasionally but only after about 40 mins in vehicle. Could it be a heating element? Wiring? Fuse?Hope someone can post this back w/ possible answers in case my troubleshooting does not solve it. Thanks for any insight.
  • I have a 2004 Explorer. A week or so ago the air flow selection switch will not change to the various functions, defrost, heat to floor etc. Any idea what the problem may be and what cost estimate.
  • I have the same problem. I just got the car, so I don't know.
    In other cars I had, it's been a loose vacum hose. I don't know if it's the same for an explorer.
  • I have the exact same problem. Have just started to trouble shoot. Were you able
    to resolve this issue? If so, help! Thanks for insight.
  • My dealer said it was a broken plastic control rod that moves the vents. It's a take off the dash to fix type repair.
  • If the clicking is above the driver side back tire i know what it is and how to fix it. Don't know about the front clicking.
    I have a new problem, the direction controller will only blow out on your face. I took out the glove box and can see the problem. The silver arm the goes in and out of the (pressure box?) looks to be disconnected from the black plastic arm that moves to control the vents. Has anyone had this problem?
  • carlgcarlg Posts: 1
    my 02 explorer heat-defrost-air would work sometimes, but not always what I wanted. I opened the glove compartment door pulled in on side catchs untill it came open farther.the black plastic arm that went into heater controll box was not in all the way, so I pushed in on it while changing heater from dash vents to defrost, and it slid back in. it lasted for awhile then came back off. so I put it on afew more times, then made a bracket to hold it in. it has worked for about a year so far ! ford wanted over a thousand dollars to fix it
  • cold air coming from glove box when blower is set to 1 or 2, very little at 3 and gone at 4. Heat is still coming from vents, but doesnt blow as strong as it should. Is this a broke blend door?? Is this something that can be fixed at home without taking to shop?? During the summer months I noticed that the vehicle didnt cool as much but didnt think much. Ther rear heater is working fine.
  • Did you get any advise?
    Mine started doing the same thing today.
  • Daren,I have seen a few times that the nipple that sticks out of the heater plenum will break or crack and the blend door motor will change but the door in th plenum will not move,need to pull the blend door motor off and check the blend door
    PS-this operation falls under:pain in the ---
    Good luck
  • My 97 Explorer started doing something similar a few weeks ago. The problem is the vacuum being delivered to a valve that shuts off the flow of radiator fluid to the heater core. This is supposed to be controlled by the heat/cool dial. My valve is only getting vacuum when the climate control is off or in Max A/C mode. Otherwise it is at full open (no vacuum), even when the A/C is on or the vent is on and set to cool. I haven't figured out yet why the vacuum is not working, but I've just started looking on-line for answers.

    I hope this helps.
  • Update:

    I may have posted too soon. There is a very common problem regarding the heater blend door. One very detailed possible fix is at I guess this means that the valve in the line to the heater core is supposed to be full open except when the climate system is off, or when it is in Max A/C mode.

    Unfortunately, if the easy fix doesn't work, the other fixes are expensive, or are very involved.

  • hamphamp Posts: 1
    I am having the same heater problem with my 02 Explorer where the thumping/clicking sound is coming from above the rear drivers side tire. I read one solution which is to not use the rear heater and AC controls, but I would like to fix it if possible. Tannet - or anyone else - I would be very interested in what it is and how to fix it! thanks!
  • Same issue in my 03 Explorer. Clicking and thunping above the driver's side tire. Were you able to find a fix? The clicking is gone in my Explorer now and it just blows cold air regardless of what setting you put it on. This is only an issue with the aux. a/c and heat. The front works fine.
  • We have been able to fix it but not permanently. So, you either will have hot air all the time or cold air. If you want hot, put the temperature guage on heat and do NOT touch it again until you want air conditioning. Then, my husband takes the glove box out completely (open and push in both sides and it will pop out). Then he looks for a specific lever door to the left of the box and pushes the door closed. This can be found by "touch" mostly, looking for a tab to push forward.
    Then put the glove box back and REMEMBER not to touch the middle temperature guarge until you want cool air. If anyone moves the middle dial, it will start knocking again. HOPE THIS HELPS!
  • We have recently bought a 2000 explorer that has a problem with it climate control. It seems that the air con doesnt work ( cuts out and goes extremely hot) when you travel up hills and long distances, usually through the country side.It has been back to the dealer in the city.The dealer said he rang ford australia and they have no idea. So back to square one. If anyone has any idea on this. Any Tips will be appreciated
  • FWIW, I remember when I worked on cars in the '60's and '70's they had a VCO (vacuum cut out switch) that would release the electric clutch on the A/C drive pulley during low vacuum operation (which occurs when you are going up hills or riding the the gas pedal hard or towing). Releasing the clutch would allow the engine to provide full power when needed most instead of having to run the A/C too. When the vacuum returned to normal (driving on a flat road at the speed limit) the clutch would be allowed to re-energize and the A/C would come back on.

    If the VCO switch failed or the vacuum line cracked the same thing would happen as you describe. A lot has changed since then and I don't think they use VCO's anymore but your problem sounds familiar.

    John C in PA
  • FOR ALL WITH THE PROBLEM WITH THE CLICKING UNDER THEIR GLOVE COMPARTMENT. I own a 96 explorer and had the same problem about 2 months ago. it turned out to be a broken blend door. I dont remember where i bought mine but im sure you can just google it. Its an easy 15-30 minute do it your self job.

    Now about the neon green fluid...just today this has happened to me and i dont know what it is. I think it may be antifreeze. If it is antifreeze what do i do about it?
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