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Re: heating problem in a 1999 ford windstar
This noise is the blend door electric stepper motor, this motor controls the door inside the heating ducts that diverts air across the heater core to heat the van, either the bleen door is warped from heat and stuck, or the blend door motor is defective, in order to fix this the dash assembly must be pulled to gain access to the motor and the door.
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the thermostat is in the thermostat housing. that is the end part of the upper radiator hose, where it connects to the engine. assuming the car is otherwise running OK it is not your problem, replacing it is a waste of your time. most likely the heater core is shot, that is where you should be looking. it sits within the heater box which is most likely behind the dash under the glove box, over the passenger footwell.
Where is the clicking noise coming from, the engine compartment or the dash panel? Probably not the heat selector switch, so I'm willing to bet the thermostat is sticking and not opening, which is lesding to you not having heat and the clicking noise you are hearing. Replace the thermostat.
Check on the heater control valve. It is probably close to the firewall behind the engine. There will be coolant lines attached to it. This valve should have an arm on it that opens and closes a valve inside, either shutting off or allowing hot coolant to flow into the heater core. The arm should be attached to a cable coming from inside the car. See if the arm moves when you move the heat temperature level inside the car.
There is an actuator motor that controls the heater door, when these go bad they make a clicking noise. If the clicking stops or pauses when you change the heat from hot to cold the actuator needs to be replaced. There is no cable on the temp control it is electrical.
I had the same problem with my ford explorer. I can not recall the name of the part. However I think they call it a heater ductdoor. Check with any of your local parts store and I'm sure they can give you the proper name for the part.
If the clicking is only when you have moved the heater lever to the "hot" end and not when it is on the "cold" end, and it sounds like it is coming from under the middle of the dash, I would suggest that the problem is either the vent actuator or the vent connection to it. I hope for your sake the vent is not broken because that means not only does the central dash module have to come out to access the actuator, but you willl also have to remove the heater core to get to the vent section and replace it. I am in the process of doing that myself! If you tear it down to the actuator and remove it, get a flshlight and check the female end ( the vent ) and see if it has broken out on one or more sides. If it has you'll have to replace it because the actuator will just spin without moving the vent. Good luck!