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Taurus/Sable Heating / Cooling Problems

doozer22doozer22 Posts: 1
I've been searching / surfing for the heater dash vent that is between the steering column and the glove compartment. It is broken on my 1995 Merc Sable. NO LUCK !!!!!!! Any suggestions. I've tried the local junk yards and the dealer isn't interested (I guess they cant make lots of cash)


  • i have a 1996 taurus 3 litre 24 valve v6
    my problem is that the air vents are working on defrost and floor(default-mode).and not working on face mode.does any one know how to pop the panel up on the dash-board on the front windscreen or if its the right approach..or does a fuse cause this problem..i dont wanna go messing too much with it just yet incase i activate the airbag
  • wolfe2wolfe2 Posts: 2
    replaced heatercore and thermostat still only get heat when running between 2500 3000 rpm.
  • We have a 2000 Ford Taurus SE that I have a hard time figuring this thing out. The temperature gauge shows good, right where it's supposed to be but the heater puts out less than luke warm air. I have changed the thermostat. Could this be caused by a clogged heater core? Can I backflush it? If I have to replace it, how do I do that? Fluid levels are good.
  • reenzereenze Posts: 1
    I have not tried this yet, but will on Sunday. I have the same problem with my 99. It seems to be very common. A thread I read said to remove the heater hose from the pump pour in liquid plumber. Pinch off the by pass on the fire wall. Remove the return (out) from the heater coil at the return by the thermostate. Then flush the coil with water from a garden hose. Many people said that solved the problem.

    1. pinch off the by pass hose ( you will see this run above the heater coil in/out lets on the fire wall.
    2. Remove hose at the water pump going to the fire wall.
    3. Remove the return hose from the coil to the block
    4. Pour liquid draino into the hose going from the pump to the coil
    5. After 10 min, flush with high pressure water.
    you can also back flush because you have both hoses off.

    good luck
  • shasta67shasta67 Posts: 109
    Could this be caused by a clogged heater core? Can I backflush it? If I have to replace it, how do I do that? Fluid levels are good.

    It is very common on the taurus to have a clogged heater core. You can check this by removing the lines coming in and out of the heater core. Remember to block the bypass line around the heater core so you can push all the water threw the heater core. You can then put a garden hose on the heater core and see how much flow you can get threw it. Don't add too much pressure of you may damage the heater core and cause a leak. If you are getting good flow it is not the heater core. If it is totally plugged then the draino trick will not work either. (Be very careful if you do choose to go the draino route) As for having to replace the heater core, it is a real pain in the you know what. Unless you are good with wrenches and have a high tolerance for frustration it is a job best left to the professionals.

    Now if you have good flow threw your heater core then it is probably a blend door actuator. The blend door actuator controls the amount of heat that you get with your heater. On the taurus it tends to fail quite a lot. The little plastic gears go bad and the heater will not work as if fails in the cold position. I think they are around $70 at ford and fairly easy to replace yourself. It is located under the center consul. You can test to see if it is working by turning the fan on high and turning the hot-cold switch. You should be able to hear a different noise as the air flow changes. You should also be able to hear the blend door come open and closed.

    Good luck.
  • ciminocimino Posts: 2
    I need help! I have a 97 taurus wagon with a 3.0 l engine. The temperature gauge reads normal but when I make sharp turns the gaugs goes to cold. This also happens at highway speeds. When the gauge goes to cold there is no heat in the car. The heater core has been flushed, the thermostat has been changed. 13 months ago I had the head gaskets replaced. There is also coolant leaking from the radiator cap, sometimes. I replaced the cap. I am concern that there is pressure building up.
  • shasta67shasta67 Posts: 109
    Not really sure what the problem is, but are you sure it is leaking out the cap? The coolant tank on the 97 Taurus is notorious for getting a crack in it and when the pressure builds up it will leak. It can be very hard to find because it often will not leak until there is pressure in the system. I have a 97 Taurus that I use for a work car and I thought I had a head gasket problem too but I found a crack in the coolant tank. I found my leak on the bottom of the coolant tank but it did appear sometimes it was coming out of the top. It would leak the most when I would turn the car off after driving it hard.

    I don't know why you are getting a cold temperature but the coolant tank has two chambers. It will actually work will very little coolant in the system. If the coolant gets too low the gauge will bounce around quite a lot.

    Good luck. The good thing is if it is a coolant tank then it is a very easy fix. I think the tank is about $50 from ford and much less from Auto Zone.
  • ciminocimino Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info! I forgot to list this the first time. When I make a hard right or left turn the temperature guage moves from normal to cold and results in a lost of heat. Also driving on a highway, the temp. gauge will go to cold with not heat and then for no reason the temp gauge goes back to normal and the heat is also back. Any ideas?
  • shasta67shasta67 Posts: 109
    Yes I have been thinking of what would cause it to go cold and I don't really have any good ideas. If it were just the heater I might say it was a plugged heater core but if the whole car is going cold it could not be that.

    First off is your coolant tank full? The Taurus tank has two sections. It is possible that a sharp turn causes one to splash over if it is very low. I guess it cold have something to do with water pump too but usually they just go out. One last thing I would check again is your thermostat. If you are in a very cold place it may be letting very cold water from your radiator in. Really these are all just guesses. I am fairly good at turning wrenches but am far from a professional.

    If you still have water getting pushed out of your radiator, after you check for leaks in your coolant tank, I would guess your head gasket (s) are bad again. The Taurus is known for that but more often on the 24 valve than the 12 valve.

    I bought a 1997 GL from my friend for a work car two years ago. It has been a good car so far but I have had to replace the coolant tank, the blend door actuator and the camshaft position sensor. All were pretty easy fixes.

    Good luck and hope it is not the head gasket again. They are a pain.
  • th23th23 Posts: 1
    you may want to look at the water pump.sometimes the impeller may rust off and the coolant doesn't circulate properly.
  • I ahve a 1995 Taurus that I am attempting to replace the air blend door actuator. My question where and how do I access this actuator so I can replace it.I have disassembled much of my dash and still cannot even locate it! Please tell me exactly what I need to do in order to replace this item,Thanx,Jim
  • shasta67shasta67 Posts: 109
    Well I am not sure if it is the same as the 1997 but on the 97 it is in the middle just about behind the ashtray. I did not have to take anything off of the dash either. Just put the front seats back and lie down on the passenger side floor and look up behind the dash. It is a little tricky to get to but there are only four screws, a wire plug and another arm that you have to take off the actuator. The arm goes to another door that is like the blend door but is not. (I know that is confusing) I am trying to remember just how it went but if you find it you will see how it works. It is easy to replace but hard the get all four screws back in to hold it.

    Good luck. You can go to auto zone online for most things and they will give you detailed instructions how to do it. I am not sure about the blend door though.
  • I have a 03 Taurus which leaked water onto the passenger floor board also causing my AC Blower motor to short out. I could not get Ford to act even though a related recall existed under 03V087000.

    I have found many others with this problem. Together we can force Ford to recall/fix the problem. If enough people with the same problem file the complaint, NHTSA will force Ford to comply with their own existing recall or actually extend an EXISTING recall under 03V087000.

    Here is what you need to do:
    1. Call NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 or go to
    2. File your complaint, have your VIN ready and dates of problems (if possible)
    3. While filing your complaint reference recall number 03V087000 AND my complaint 10184014. This will show a continuing trend.
    4. If your water leak problem also resulted in a shorted out AC blower motor, make sure you mention this as well.
    5. Once you have filed, please e-mail me at and give me your complaint number. I intend to compile all complaints which will prove the problem is widespread.

    Do it and together this will get fixed!
  • syner137syner137 Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 Merc Sable station wagon (3.0) V-6.

    When it's really cold, the blower is inoperative.

    Heat still comes a bit, while driving, but the fan is stone dead.

    3rd time now. Fuses are fine...when it gets a bit warmer, it works fine. Never seern anything like it.
    My 1st Ford.....making me a little suspicious.....

    Any ideas? Steve in Canada. :-)
  • What does the 03V087000 recall cover? Is the recall fixing the water leak but not the blower motor failure caused by the leak? I am looking at 2003 Sable and I want to make sure this problem can be fixed before I buy. Also, If it's been fixed already how can I be sure it's been fixed right? Thanks
  • waldswalds Posts: 1
    Guys, maybe I am missing something... the recall quoted here covers windshield defects. Could somone clarify please? I am actually the next victim of the blower motor being blown... no A/C, no heating, the blower never turns on... is this the common symptom?

  • john4433john4433 Posts: 1
    Just bought a 2002 Sable that came with the standard manual climate controls. Pulled the dash unit to service the stereo and saw that the climate section is all-electric (no mechanical connections). This got me thinking/hoping...

    Can I upgrade to full automatic climate controls by buying the dash control unit from a junkyard/ebay/etc., and swapping?
  • cmhjdcmhjd Posts: 1
    I had this problem with my /02 Taurus about 18 months ago. It's due to a cowel leak and it is a design defect. I called Ford customer service and they agreed to pay 80% of the repair. My dealer's service invoice incorrectly figured this percentage the first time, so check the math.
  • ggalloggallo Posts: 1
    Same problem with my 2002. Filed Complaint No. 10189897 using your reference number. I turn on my heater and smell antifreeze in the passenger compartment. Unless I turn the A/C to "MAX" the system leaks water onto the passenger floor.
  • insectsinsects Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my Sable 2002. This problem was listed as TSB 04-15-3. I called my local Ford dealer but they will charge me about $200 to get it fixed. Damned!
  • cmsgt1997cmsgt1997 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Sable LS with electronic climate control. It just stopped blowing air out of the dash vents. Air comes out of defrost and floor just fine. Has anyone had this problem or no what is wrong?
  • amytateamytate Posts: 2
    How did you get them to fold so easily? I am looking to get a reimbursement on this very same problem and they wont budget!
  • amytateamytate Posts: 2
    complaint number: 10195320
  • I have a problem with my 2001 Mercury Sable LS. The Low Coolant light comes on and I can't figure out why? My coolant levels appear to be right where they should be and my temperature gauge doesn't read hot at all...square in the middle actually. Im concerned that something else is causing the problem and that not getting the problem resolved will lead to other more costly issues. Any suggestions anyone? Need help cause I use this car in my daily commute of 45 miles each day.
  • I have a 2003 Taurus, Ford paid 80% of my leak too. If its a factory defect, Ford should have paid 100% in opinion. My extended warranty wouldn't even touch it because of the water defect & damage.
  • zeuswonzeuswon Posts: 10
    We also have water in the floor board of passenger side. I replaced 1 blower before I saw this blog, it worked for 15 minutes before it blew also. Just took our 03 Sable to Ford today. The service guy wants $99.95 to look at it? He also looked up the vin number and quickly said that the leak is not on his recall list. I told him that we had contacted the 800 number and they said he needed to look at it first. So we will see, I'll keep y'all posted!
  • That don't surprise me. Call Ford Motor Company. Try this number,
    800-232-5952 (TDD for the Hearing Impaired)
    They paid 80% without any haggle, they know it's a factory defect. Let me know how it comes out.
    BTW...the Sables have this SAME problem.
  • zeuswonzeuswon Posts: 10
    Ok, after a long conversation with Ford service we were told they would offer to pay 10% of a $416 repair bill. I am not accepting that and now have to pay $99.95 diagnostic charge to get our vehicle back for a known defect that we diagnosed for them.


    Unhappy Campers
  • zeuswonzeuswon Posts: 10
    Oh, by the way they said since we noticed the leak in 2005 (but reported it in 2007) and didn't take it in for service then we missed the warranty period. And that if we would have purchased the 100,000 mile extended warranty we would be covered. So the best they could do was 10%.
  • zeuswonzeuswon Posts: 10
    Why is it we can't get the "ford zone office" service telephone number from anyone or anywhere?
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