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Place a pan under the van and disconnect the heater intake and outlet hoses. Quickly remove and plug the hoses and support them in an upright position. Drain the coolant from the heater core into the pan.
When draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old.
Remove the heater distributor duct-to-case attaching screws and the duct-to-engine cover screw. Remove the duct.
Remove the engine cover.
Remove all the instrument panel attaching screws.
Carefully lower the steering column. Raise and support the right side of the instrument panel. Refer to for further details.
Remove the defroster duct-to-case attaching screws and the two screws attaching the distributor to the heater case.
Disconnect the temperature door cable. Carefully fold the cable back and out of the way.
Remove the three nuts from the engine compartment side of the distributor case and the screw from the passenger compartment side.
Remove the heater case and core assembly.
Remove the core retaining straps and remove the core.
Remove the steering column-to-instrument panel bolts. Lower the column carefully.
Remove the upper and lower instrument panel attaching screws. Remove the radio support bracket screw.
Raise and support the right side of the instrument panel.
Remove the lower right instrument panel bracket.
Remove the vacuum actuator from the kick panel.
Disconnect the temperature cable and vacuum hoses at the case. Remove the heater distributor duct from over the engine hump.
Remove the two defroster duct-to-firewall attaching screws below the windshield.
Under the hood, disconnect and plug the heater hoses at the firewall.
Remove the three nuts and one screw (inside) holding the heater case to the firewall.
Remove the case from the van. Remove the gasket for access to the screws holding the case together. Remove the temperature cable support bracket. Remove the screws and separate the case. Remove the heater core.
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that could mean that your water pump impeller is broken. when you press the gas the remaining piece of the impeller is pushing the water and it actually makes it to the heater core. at idle it isn't spinning fast enough. ask a local autoparts store if the impeller is made of plastic.
assuming that your heater was in use, it could very well be the beginningstages of your heater core going bad. There are products you can purchase to add to the radiator to prolong the life of the heater core but it has been my experience that while they do work, they are only a short term solution. Try this soon as the core finally rusts completey through you will be dealing with all the engine coolant all over the floor board
Yes u have a leaking heater core, below fin d the instructions to replace it. 1997-2000 Ford Windstar 3.8 Heater Core Inspect ' Replace Drain the cooling system
The heater housing is usually under the dash and must be removed to gain access to the heater core. Procedures for replacing the heater core vary with the year, make, and model of car. It is therefore necessary to consult the manufacturer's repair manuals for the proper procedure for replacement. The heater housing is disassembled to get to the heater core. Heater Core Remove the access panels(s) or the split heater/air conditioning case to gain access to the heater core. Remove the heater coolant hoses. Remove the cable and/or vacuum control lines (if equipped). Remove the heater core securing brackets and/or clamps. Lift the core from the case. Do not use force. Take care not to damage the fins of the heater core when removing. To reinstall the heater core, reverse the removal steps. When the heater core leaks and must be repaired or replaced, it is a very difficult and time-consuming job primarily because of the core's location deep within the firewall of the car. For this reason always leak test a replacement heater core before installation.
Check the coolant level. If it's low, what you describe will happen. There is not sufficient coolant to flow through the heater core at idle. At 60mph the water pump is spinning quickly, managing to get some coolant through the heater core, so you get heat until the rpm's drop at idle. If it is due to low level, keep an eye on it to see if it drops again, as you may have a leak.
If you have front and rear heat then, yes there are two heater cores. If not, then there is just the one, behind the dashboard. Have you checked the coolant level? If it's not full, top it off and retest it. Is the engine actually getting up to operating temperature? Feel the coolant lines that go into the heater core, is one hot and the other cool? If so, the heater core is likely clogged. Remove the lines and blast some water from a garden hose through it to clear any debris that might be clogging it.
Replacing a heater core is usually a big job that requires removing the entire instrument panel. If it's not leaking coolant onto the floorboard it probably is ok and doesn't need to be replaced.
You may have air trapped in the system or rust plugging up the rear heater core. core, if it is just an air problem do this: Fill the radiator and the coolant recovery tank as full as possible, then raise the front of van as high as you can with a floor jack, run the engine until it is at normal operating temperature, let it cool down, running water over the radiator speeds this up, this should purge the air out of te system and cure your issue with the rear heater. Make sure you have a good radiator cap if it is the original one replace it. If the system still has no flow to the rear pull out the rear heater core and flush it out or replace it.