My daughter took her 2001 Taurus to a Firestone shop when her A/C failed. They diagnosed a failed blend door motor and made the repair. They have now replaced the motor twice and made two other repairs to the blend door system. It has now failed again. Although I suggest taking it to Ford, my daughter wants Firestone to fix it right. She paid only for the first repair. The car does have auto climate control, but she has always used it in manual mode. We had the same problem on our 2000 Sable. Ford fixed that under warranty in 2001 and it has been fine. Any suggestions on what the Firestone mechanics might be missing? Any TSBs anyone know about? I have seen enough on the Internet to know Ford has blend door problems on some models. Is this just a recurring problem on the Taurus? If I’m not asking the right questions, please tell me what questions I should be asking. Thanks.
The Taurus/Sable has multiple problems with the HVAC system. 1)The OEM antifreeze will deteriorate and clog the system over time. A radiator flush/antifreeze is highly recommended for this model. 2)The actuator motor can strip a gear and fail to move the door correctly. 3)The plastic blend door tends to break over time and has to be replaced.
There is a video posted on YouTube that goes through the diagnosis and repair for Taurus failures with an innovative repair process. “Taurus heater” will get to the video.
That youtube search also gets you to a video of a shortcut to replace the heater core. I’ve never had to replace one, but it looks like a fine way to do it when the time comes. I’ve always had good luck with flushing a plugged core with a 50-50 solution of CLR. I don’t know what your daughter’s issue is, but the blend door actuator is only one small part of the system. On those I’ve had that broke, they could be heard clicking and clicking and clicking behind the dash. Follow the video for blend door replacement and quit at the actuator stage if you need one, but first check the fuse that runs the actuator.
Thanks to both MG McAnicj and cgallen for answers. The problem has resovled itself, at least for now, but a quirk. My daughter finally took the car back to Firestone to address the blend door issue a couple of days before Christmas. Since the car is 9 years old, because NJ is supposed to have a cold winter, and because the car still had its original battery, I told her to have Firestone install a new battery. They did, but they installed it before looking at the blend door issue. Removing the old battery erased the error code history on the computer, so they could not read the error code when they installed the new battery. But, for reasons unknown, the whole HVAC system worked perfectly after that. The shop manager did some internet research and found something that indicated it may be nothing more than a faulty error code. He also found that if you push the automatic HVAC control buttons in a certain sequence, it will override the error code. That hasn’t been tested yet since the system worked by disconnecting the old battery. If the blend door fails again, my daughter will try the button sequence and see if it erases the code. This car also has an erratic and faulty coolant system light (we have the coolant system flushed and changed at least once a year just to ensure there is not a problem). And, my 2000 Sable has an erratic and faulty brake warning light. There is no problem with the brake system, but the light never goes off. I’m beginning to think these cars produce false positive readings on various systems.