The clicking noise is the door blend actuator. It is located in the dash panel behind the radio. It is about the size of a pack of cigarettes.
I priced this job at a dealer and it came in for around $300!
This is a really simple repair, a great choice for the do-it-yourselfer.
Here are the steps/procedures for doing this repair yourself in about 30 minutes:
- Tools to do the job:
- Ford radio removal tools
- 5/16 nut-driver
- Small hands or band-aids
- Remove the radio -
- Insert the U-shaped 'handles' into the vertical pair of holes on each side of the front of the radio until you feel it hit an indent / click .
- With both tools inserted, push outward on the top of the tools while pulling the radio out & away from the dash.
- Disconnect the 2 wire harness connectors & the antenna.
- (Optional) Remove A/C & Radio control dash panel
- Removing the A/C & Radio control dash panel gives you additional access to the actuator to help with removal and installation. This is not a difficult option.
- Loosen and remove two screws revealed just above radio when radio was removed.
- Loosen and remove two screws inside (one on each side) the drink holder & ash tray drawer.
- Gently pull the loosened section of the dash panel forward.
- Do not remove connectors for A/C control panel. You'll need the A/C control panel active to align the driver post of the actuator with the blend door drive hole.
- You might want a helper to hold the panel off to the right while you work.
- Reassembly is exactly reverse.
- Remove / replace the blend door actuator -
- Looking in through the radio opening, locate the actuator module - a white plastic unit about the size of a pack of cigarettes.
- Use the nut-driver to remove the three 5/16ths mounting screws.
- Disconnect the wiring harness located on the side
- Reverse steps to re-install
- In order to line up the shaft I had to crank the car and move the temp selector. Note: You do not have to turn on the A/C system for the temp selector to control the actuator, but you must have the actuator control cable re-connected.
- Reassemble the dash panel.
- Reinstall the radio (watch that no cables bind during the reinstallation.
- What the actuator is / does:
- Inside this unit is a circuit board, motor and small plastic round gears. The gears then rotate the actuator, which in turn opens and closes the damper allowing the air to pass through the heater core.
- What happens is some of the little teeth break off creating a gap on the gear wheel. This gap prevents the gears from driving the actuator shaft.
- The unit may be known as a heater damper module by the dealer. Should cost around $60-$75. (One reader acquired the actuator for $34 from O'Reilly.)
- This unit was purchased from Advanced Auto for $ 45 and the flat rate is .4 hours. I did mine in around thirty minutes with the hardest part being getting the radio out ( it seemed stuck ).