I have a 1997 mercury sable. The heater blows only cold air.
I have the same problem. Ford repair shop replaced the heater core 2 years ago and it cost $900 to have done. The dashboard had to be removed in the process and we were told that this was not a do it yourself job. Could this be it again??? My car is a '99 model.
This happens ALL THE TIME!! Heater core is likely plugged with rust, yes. but a garden hose fix will NOT last. and the reserve probably IS cracked on bottom, as most are.They are relatively cheap from Ford, though. Have a REPUTABLE radiator shop do a Genuine Power Flush to the entire cooling system (not an automated fluid exchange many shops claim to be a "flush") and THEN have them unplug the heater in a similar fasion. Now is the time to replace the surge tank (old one is packed with rusty sediment that is usually partially plugging the cracks in it, and not very cost effective to clean anyway). On older, very rusty 2 valve 3.0 systems only other issues are the rear of timing cover gasket often leaks a little, and the water pump impellers can become eroded away (from rust) and water flow suffers. So... watch for residue or dripping from behind water pump. If minimal, a mild leak sealant added to a properly cleaned system with refill and tightening the bolts near leak will do the trick--otherwise timing cover gasket and pump replacement is needed.
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Could be a blender door issue. What a blender door does is mix the cold air from the AC with the hot air from the heater core. If you put the switch ALL THE WAY to hot, the blender door (usually an actuator) pushes the door up and allows only air passing thru the heater core to enter the cabin. If you push all the way to cold, it only allows air from the AC. If you put halfway, it mixes/blends the air...
The ford taurus and mercury sable are very well know to have coolant pressure, heat problems. I have worked on a minimum of 300 of these specific vehicles in my career, I can tell you the system is a headache,yet manageable. Are you getting cold air through the vents? is the blower motor working?
Is your antifreeze brown in color or goo like? (a tell tale sign of a broken water pump and 90% probability of a clogged heater core.
also other basics, have you flushed the system and checked to make sure the car is not air bound?
replacing the thermostat on an otherwise good running car is not going to fix a heater, now you know that. yes you are going to have to pull the dash, and it is a complex procedure, to swap the core. i would call a shop which does a lot of heater and A/C work as if you pull a lot of dashboards you get good and fast at it. stay away from a dealer
Hello. You are in luck. I just had this same issue in my shop this week. We changed the thermostat, and replaced the coolant. Fixed it right up. Since you did not mention a new thermostat, that would be my next move, if I were you.
your heater core may be getting blocked up, or the thermostat may be stuck open at times. you have a few options here, option 1 and 2 cost about the same, option 1: have the thermostat replaced just so you know its working properly, a 97 will most likely not have a telltale way of knowing if the thermostat is bad or going bad. option 2. have the cooling system flushed at a shop. this will try to clear out and debris in the cooling system that may be blocking passages or the heater core. option 3 is the most expensive. have the heater core replaced, the heater core is what provides heat to the hvac system in the dash. a few other things to check would be vacuum lines/actuator/temperature door on your hvac system.
the rust issue is related to the design of the cooling system, in a word ford screwed up, air gets trapped in the system and causes it to rust, the heater core is most likely plugged with rust, pull the hoses off at the firewall to the core and back flush the heater core, this should ge the rust out, then have the cooling system flushed with a power flusher, this will be a shop repair but there is no way around it, u may want to contact Ford/Mercury about a possible recall on the cooling system for this rust issue, as far as the A/C goes it is not related, does the compressor engage? let me know.