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Ford snr master
Ford snr master, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1809
Experience:  14 years at same Ford dealer,senior master and ASE master certified,hybrid certified,SYNC certified,10 year master's tenure
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My heater in my 2004 Ford Explorer does not work. When you

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My heater in my 2004 Ford Explorer does not work. When you turn the knob for heat, it just clicks. I pulled some of the plastic covering up and a black piece fell out on the passenger side. It looks like it fits into something to make it switch back and I guess that's why it doesn't go into heater mode.

Anyway, when looking at the passenger side (after taking out the glove compartment) I noticed another piece that looked exactly the same as the one that had fallen onto the floor. It was in its place and I was able to move it back and forth and it seemed to open and close something.

So...I assume this goes somewhere and is the piece that opens and closes the heater section. Any suggestions on where it goes and how I might be able to find it!
good morning and thank you for choosing JustAnswer, could you please describe the black piece you had found, also,...does the clicking noise come from the center of the dash towards the driver's side?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, the clicking noise does come from the drivers side. The piece is black, has an obvious piece that goes into a hole...and is sort of shaped like a bow...I'm horrible at discribing things!~ anyway, I took the piece to a ford dealer and they said it opened and closed the heater you can tell, I know nothing about cars and they want 700 bucks to figure this out for me.
The clicking noise and no heat concern is due to a bad temperature blend door actuator, which is located on the side of the heatercase in the center of the dash, just to the right of the gas pedal. The removal of the dash will be required and thus the reason why the dealer would charge so much. As for the broken piece, could you please upload an image to better identify the comonent?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

that piece in the image goes into a hole in the heatercase where a control door is located. Since that piece came out on the passenger side you will need to use a flashlight and inspect the heatercase for a circular shaft that is flush with the heatercase and has a slot in it that that piece from the image needs to snap into. As for the noise concern that is the temperature blend door actuator

below is the image of the driver's side temperature blend door actuator. unfortunately i wasn't able to locate an exploded view of the heatercase to point out the location of the loose pin you had found ,so the best thing i can advise you on that would be to inspect the heatercase in the vicinity that you found the pin ,for the hole that it slides into.


ItemPart NumberDescription
1W701696-SLH floor duct screw (2 req'd)
218C433LH floor duct
3W701696-SLH temperature blend door actuator screw (3 req'd)
414401LH temperature blend door actuator electrical connector
519E616LH temperature blend door actuator

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So are you saying that I need to rplace the temperature blend door actuator?

As far as the piece that fell out, I did check that area and found another piece just like it that was working fine. There didn't seem to be any other places where this extra piece could fit in to.
Since the clicking noise is coming from the left side of the heatercase this indicated the temperature blend door motor went bad, this is extremely common on these model explorers and cause that type of clicking noise when attempting to change the heat setting. As for the pin that came out, it could be by some small chance(as i have never seen that pin come loose) that that pin holds the door in the case on the oposite end of the actuator and possibly the door is binding causing this concern and in that case the actuator might be good. I mentioned might since these actuators are so common to fail, as well since the door is binding it could have caused the actuator to strip its gears internally. I will check the lot here to see if there is a '04 model explorer that i can inspect and take a picture of for the location of that pin ,that might help you to reinstall it. I will check right now and get back with you in a few minutes
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks! I'll be waiting.

I guess to get to acuator, I will have to pull the whole dash apart?! I noticed when I started taking the driver side of stuff off, there seems to be a metal bar that is in the way to get to stuff...

on this model explorer you might be able to remove the driver's side inner forward flap of the floor console, remove the dash brace that bolts to the floor on one side and the dash on the top, you might need to remove the vent duct behind the brace, and with a 1/4'' micro ratchet with a shallow 8mm socket and with a 8mm gearwrench you might be able to get in there with small enough hands to replve the actuator without having to pull the dash.

I have just checked another '04 explorer and unfortunately for the loose pin you have, the dash might need to be removed to access the slot, at the very least the floor console will need to come out. I have located a vacuum actuator mounted to the side of the heatercase on the passenger side, just behind the climate control head , that actuates a lever like you had found. Viewed from laying underneath the passenger side dash and looking up towards the rear of the vehicle inside the dash, on the side of the heatercase, the vacuum actuators rod goes to the clip you are referring to, i am willing to bet that this is where the pin came from. My apolagies for the lack of detail in the pictures as there was not much room in the dash to get the camera angled right. I have circled the location where the pin would be(it would sit about behind the sideflap of where the dash wraps around in front and meets the floor console





Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks. I don't quite get it from the pictures...but, should there be 2 of those pieces on the passenger side? I found one that is in and working...but this one just fell out and I'm wondering if it was just an extra part that someone left in there when they made the car...and it fell out when I loosened the plastic covering.
you never know buying a used vehicle what kind of repairs have been done and thus what extra components could be lurking around. Though just based on the description of the clicking noise i can almost asure you that the blend door actuator likely failed. The images i took were from laying on the floor on the passenger side and looking up towards the back of the radio ( in a way of speech lol) the actuator that i took the images of is located near where the dash and the floor console meet on the passenegr side. The end of the vacuum actuator's shaft clips onto that black piece, that in turn controls a mode door, most likely the floor duct for under the passeneger seat or the duct for the rear vents on the floor console
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you again! I'll do my best and if I screw it up I'll find someone to fix it!

I appreciated your quickness and detail to this matter. Happy Thanksgiving.
you are very welcome and a happy holiday to you as well

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