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2001 Ford Taurus heat problem

The blower in the car works, but I’m getting no heat. The water pump was recently replaced and my mechanic says the coolant system is working fine, properly pressurized etc. He says I need to take it to the dealer because it might be a problem with the heating core, and it’s not the kind work he does. Is this a particularly difficult thing to do for an experienced mechanic? I’d rather not go to the dealer because I’m sure it’s going to cost an arm and a leg. Can your average mechanic check and/or replace a heating core?

There is usually a valve that controls the hot coolant flow through the heater core. Check that out first. Also, the air door that switches from hot (heater) to cold (A/C) and mixes incoming air may be stuck in one position. The heater core would need to be completely plugged to supply “no heat”, not a common occurrence.

I would check the coolant and airflow first; then if it turns out to be the heater core be prepared for some expenses.

In all cases, go to a good independent shop; the dealer will easily charge you $500 for labor alone to replace the heater core, should that be necessary.

I’d say it’s unlikely that your heater core is plugged up. You can check it yourself, locate the heater hoses going through the firewall. One is the inlet, one the outlet. They should both be hot if the engine is warmed up. This car doesn’t use a conventional heater control valve to regulate coolant flow through the core, but it does use a “blend door” to regulate the heat in the car. Since these are readily available as an aftermarket replacement, they must be failure-prone. Maybe that’s the problem…many possibilities.
If the system has air in it, you might not be getting flow through the core. Did your mechanic bleed the system? Some cars are really hard to get all the air out of…

How did your heater work before the water pump replacement?

If it worked fine before pump replacement then I go for a cooling system bleed.

Odd that your mechanic would turn down this work, espically since the answer could be related to the work he did, heater cores are not fun to do but I am not convinced that your lack of heat is caused by a plugged heater core, as you mentioned using the Dealer for this will be expensive, it is a job that a independant will do.

Heat had stopped working before the water pump replacement. That was the original reason we had taken the car in. Thanks for the advice. I was also quite surprised my mechanic wouldn’t take it on.

Checked the air door, it seems to be working okay. Thanks for the advice. It seems others agree with you that it’s not likely a plugged core.

Thanks for the ideas. I’m encouraged that all the responses so far don’t think it’s a plugged core. Is it possible that it’s a thermostat problem?