Ford taurus heater problems

This is about a 2001 ford taurus ses with 90,000 miles. I bought it used at 69,000 miles and has never had good heat. Heat came out only at the lowest blower setting and never through the floor vents. It was adequate to get me thru 2 winters - I live in Massachusetts. At about 85,000 miles in January I had the thermostat, the heater control and the heater valve replaced. Heat was a little better after that but now it is cold weather again and it has about quit. It blows cold air unless I fiddle with the temperature control dial and then get heat for about 1 minute and it dies. Again, only at the lowest blower setting. I’m saving for repair but wondering whether the heater core needs to be replaced, which I’ve read is a real pain and expensive to do. Otherwise it is a good car.

With the engine at operating temperature, hand check the two heater hoses. If both are hot, you may have a plugged heater core or a bad switch.

Thank you! Sorry to be so late in responding. In the engine compartment where do I find the two heater hoses?

It kind of sounds like a problem with the electric blend-air temperature door to me.

This looks interesting. Some pretty clearly marked photos on the Ford Forum from a guy who seems to know what he’s talking about. Apparently there is some way to flush the heater core. Might be your & my problem since it was intermittent then steadily worse.

I’ll find out in a few days after I figure out how to do this on mine.

I have used the CLR method on several Tauri and Sables with no ill effects. It works as advertised. I do thin the CLR 1:1 with water.

You talk about low blower speeds. Do you mean the higher speeds do not work at all, or that they blow air but not at the desired temperature?

I am beginning to think you are not getting enough coolant flow or the thermostat is now in default mode, full open and keeping the coolant from getting warm enough. That will also reduce your mileage summer and winter.

Try flushing out the heater core.

Properly drain coolant in a environmentaly correct way.

Disconnect the heater hoses at both the thermastat housing and the water pump.

Hook a guarden hose to on end of the heater hose and flush out, and at the same time flatten the rubber bypass line with a pair of pliers to direct
the water through the heater core while flushing.