1996 Ford Explorer- Air Conditioning Issue

The air conditioner continues to blow hot air when turned on as opposed to cool air. We went to an auto parts store and bought some freon, but the gauge registered on red already, meaning that there was a blockage somewhere as no freon was able to be added. What could be the cause of this blockage? How can it be fixed? How expensive would such a fix be? Thanks in advance!

Might be the infamous Ford broken blend door. If it is theres a fairly simple DIY repair. See this link:


Automatic-electronic control or knobs?

Does the A/C compressor engage and stay engaged when you turn on the A/C??

Either way (manual or automatic), it still uses and electric motor controlled blend air door.

You have provided no info at all that could lead to even a halfway-educated guess about the problem and don’t assume there’s a blockage.

This sounds like a job that needs to be turned over to someone who knows a bit about A/C work.

In the interim, about all I can suggest is that you turn the A/C on MAX, allow it to run for about 5 minutes, and then examine the accumulator. It should be cold to the touch and depending on the enviro conditions may be sweating.
(The accumulator is the large canister on the passenger side firewall.)

If it’s cold and sweating then it’s likely a blend door problem. If not, a proper diagnosis with a full gauge set should be done.

The most common cause of loss of AC/heat is the blend door. On this model the plastic connector tends to break, losing control over the door. This door diverts air through the heater core and when it breaks, you have no control over the air flow going through the core and killing AC efficiency. The door is on a vertical axis, like your front door, and when it breaks, it can swing to any position or wedge into one position. It’s hard to diagnose, but if you go in through the glove box opening and find the actuator motor on top of the box, you can remove the motor and examine the blend door axle for failure. The problem is a design flaw from Ford and they all break over time.

There is a video posted on YouTube that will show you how to access and diagnose the problem, and an innovative repair for the problem. You can find a lot of suggestions on how to fix the problem, but the best is to just replace the blend door with a metal replacement and be done with it. Note that this is an expensive fix from the dealer because it involve 8-10hrs labor to remove the dash and plenum box to access the door. The diy fix can be done in an hour or so and is a better repair once you completed the work since the door won’t break again.