Question about 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

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NO HEAT AT ALL FROM THE VEHICLE ONLY COLD AIR

I HAVE A '97 EXPLORER WHICH MY HEATER STOP WORKING. THE ONLY THING COMING FROM THE VENTS IS COLD AIR I REPLACED MY THERMOSTAT THINKING IT WAS THE PROBLEM BUT DID NOT DO ANYTHING THE HEATER CORE IS WORKING SO IS THE BLOWER MOTOR WHAT CAN I TRY TO FIX THIS PROBLEM

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  • Anonymous Feb 22, 2009

    WHERE CAN I GET A VACUUM DIAGRAM FOR MY '97 EXPLORER LOOKS LIKE THIS WILL BE MY NEXT STEP TO TRY FOR NO HEAT PROBLEM

  • David Shaub May 11, 2010

    If the heater core and the fan are both working, the flap that diverts the air through the heater core isn't operating. It could be cable or vacuum operated.

  • Brian Anderson May 11, 2010

    Did you make sure the antifreeze was full after changing the thermostat? When you are driving the car, does the temp guage show you are in normal operating range? 185-200 degrees.

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  • Ford Master
  • 4,369 Answers

If the heater hoses going in and out of the heater core are hot, then your temp blend door is not moving to allow heat from the heater core into the car. either the temp knob or blend door motor is bad. some are vacuum, some are electric.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009

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97 Dakota 3.9 Vents let hot air into the cab like the heat is on even when the heat is set to off and the temps turned to cool.


There are flaps called blend doors, they can be ether electronic or manual ( cable operated) and sometimes vacuum, they are the ones responsible for making the HV/AC blow cold or hot air. Just go under dash and adjust the temperature cold/hot and listen carefully for the blend door to move and or an actuator to close or open.. Best thing is just to take out actuator and adjust it manually...
And you probably have a bad thermostat thats why the truck wont reach operating temperature. Previous owner may have taken it out to try to hide and overheating problem. Good luck ??

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Heater temp on high only bows luke warm air after driving. A/C works just fine.Plenty of cold air from it


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97 Mercury Mystique V 62.5 overheating. able to run 45 minutes before it does. only cold air coming out of vents coolant temperature gauge maxed out even when cold. suspect engine stat. does anybody...


If there is cold air coming out the vents than its not a thermostat. The thermostat gullets the temperature of the engine not the temp of the heater which bypasses the thermostat. If there is never any heat out the vents than there are two possibilities. The coolant level is to low. The first thing you will notice if the coolant level gets to low is the lack of heat out t

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Rear vents blow out hot air when a/c is on


Keep this principle in mind: Heat, flows INTO cold... When you hold an ice cube in your hand, your hand gets cold because the heat from your hand is flowing INTO the clod ice cube, NOT because the cold is flowing into your hand.

On this particular vehicle (like many modern vehicles), hot water from the engine flows through the heater core at all times, even when you have the A/C on or when you have nothing (A/C, heat or vent) on. The system uses a door that closes down over the air opening to the heater core to keep you from feeling warm/hot air when it is not desired. The reason(s) you feel that the vent air is warm even when the outside temperature is somewhat cool is/could be caused by the following:

First, although as mentioned above, the heater core is restricted from receiving air when you are not commanding heat by the control panel, the heater core ultimately ends up as warm as the engine temperature. This is generally somewhere around 200 degrees F. Because all the air coming out of your vent(s) must pass over the door that restricts air over the heater core, and because the heater core gets so hot, some of that heat is picked up by air passing over the hot door even though it is closed.

Second, the door that restricts airflow from passing over the heater core has a seal around it. After a period of time this rubber (or usually felt) seal deteriorates, allowing some air to actually pass over the heater core. Since the core is hot all the time, some of the air gets heat loaded, producing warmed air.

Third, the door is operated by (in the case of your vehicle) an electric motor which responds gradually/proportionately to the setting you select on the temperature dial. If the motor gets out of calibration (can happen from time to time), if the control head has a 'glitch' and sends an incorrect signal (chronically, usually), or if the electric motor (called an actuator and contains its own little electronic 'brain') becomes faulty, the door may not be closing completely. This symptom can also be caused by a problem with the door itself, where the door gets stuck due to warping of the plastic case, a foreign object preventing it from closing (usually a pen or toy dropped into a vent or defrost opening), or a broken or cracked door hinge.

Last, the vent intake opening, where the 'fresh' air comes into the car on the 'vent' setting, is located just below the windshield on the passenger side. This opening receives its air directly off of the sun-baked, engine-heated hood and because of this the air is never as cool as outside air even on a cooler night.

I hope this answers your question. Many domestic vehicle manufacturers have begun installing heater control valves on their vehicles once again as they nearly all used to have. Note that the fix for most everything I have mentioned here requires removal of the dash of the vehicle or replacement of the control head and therefore is in many cases not worth the investment if it is not an extreme problem (for example, unless the system is stuck on full heat in the middle of summer. Additionally, remember that, if you so desire, manual shutoff valves can be placed in the heater hose lines (please consult a qualified mechanic as water from a vehicle can and will scald and burn you!), allowing you to manually shut off the flow of water into the heater core, thus reducing some of the heat (Readers note that certain foreign vehicles REQUIRE water flow through the heater core at all times for engine cooling and are not candidates for this procedure!).


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I am having/had the same problem. My rear heater has not worked the last 2 winters, still trying to figure that one out. But I think I solved the front heat problem myself. The heater was blowing cold air while idling and hot air when the car was moving.

I jacked up the front of the vehicle, took the cap off of the reserve tank for the radiator, turned the car on and ran the heat (AC off) for 15 minutes. This is supposed to release any air bubbles in the coolant system and I did see air bubbles emerge as I was watching (this might be normal occurance, I'm far from a mechanical expert). Anyway, this did not immediately solve the problem, still blowing cold air as it sat there idling after 15 minutes. Dejected, I put the cap back on, lowered the vehicle and resigned myself to taking it to a dealer.

But a funny thing happened the next day, the coolant level was a lower (no leaks on the floor) so I filled up, and sure enough, when I started the car and let it warm up a little, hot air started coming out of the heater!!!

As far as my wife knows, I fixed the problem for the price of a bottle of coolant, so I am a hero...but at first I thought it didn't work. Here we are a month later and still blowing warm air and haven't had to replace any more coolant...the internet is a wonderful thing!

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