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Temperature Blend Door Actuator Replacement

Hi, I’ve had some bad experiences with a couple mobile mechanics who have left my dash (and steering column) apart and on the front seats. The task was to replace my temperature blend door actuator on my 1995 Ford Taurus SHO (3.2L). The first guy kept telling me I needed to buy other parts, so I cut him and found a referral from work. This guy claims that the previous mechanic broke the actuator when he plugged it in without installing it to test it. Does that sounds right? Will that break the part?


I’m not sure about the 1995 Taurus, but my 2000 Ford Explorer with has a similar actuator. Plugging it in to test it is part of the repair, according to an Explorer forum I used to replace mine. However, the Explorer is know to have blend doors that break right at the actuator. Is it possible the blend door, and not the actuator itself, is broken? Could this be the ‘extra parts’ he was talking about?

I found a handy step-by-step guide to replacing the BDA, complete with pictures in a PDF file, ready to save and print. What a pain of a job. Yes, the entire dash needs to be removed to get to it. And, yes, these actuators are becoming rare to find, and thus more expensive, according to another SHO forum site.

Inside the actuator, you have a motor, plastic gears, and a potentiometer sensor (wiper arm on a resistor film) on the final drive gear to tell the control unit the position of the actuator. I find it hard to see how it could have been broken by testing it before installing it. But, the site above does warn that it can be broken as you install it, along with the blend door socket. And offers a solution to the broken blend door socket.