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Old 03-27-2006, 02:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have 2 separate issues with my 97 Taurus GL. Please don't beat me up, because I know one of the answers has to be on this site somewhere, but the search feature keeps giving me errors.

1. How do you run the codes? I'm used to working on my Z's with OBD. The dealer told me there's no way I can check them myself on the Bull. Is this true? My Check Engine Light came on about 4 mos. ago, and I want to find out what code(s) its shooting.

2. Yesterday, a noise developed in the center of my dash ... a clicking noise. In my Z's, it's in the area of the air control box. I'm wondering if the Taurus has a similar set-up, or whether the clicking could be a stuck ventilator. It's a constant, continuous click, even when the A/C unit is shut off. Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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For the first inquiry, they do sell code readers.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Autozone, and other chain auto parts stores, will read you codes for free. A decent code reader from one of these stores costs about $100, and is a great tool to have. If you're looking for a less expensive one, www.harborfreighttools.com has one for about $50. Not sure if that's the correct URL, you may want to Google "harbor freight tools".

The $100 one will give you the code and description, the $50 one will give you the code only. Either way, it's good to have a copy of the service CD, so you can diagnose the codes you get. In this forum, there's a sticky thread about downloading service CD's, very worth checking out!


The Taurus does have climate control (heater, AC stuff) behind the dash. I've never had experience, or heard of a clicking problem, but I'm guessing there's an actuator back there that's causing your problems. The 97 is a little easier to get to than the previous models. You should be able to snake your hand up behind there and feel around to find out where the issue is coming from. Even if you had to remove the dash to repair it, it only takes about four hours to get it out, as compared to almost 7 hours for the previous gens.

Good luck, and let us know how you make out with your problems!
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks, guys! I'll go to AutoZone and ask if they can help me. I would buy a reader, but am not sure how much longer I'm going to keep my Taurus. It's an awesome car, with low mileage (still has the original brake pads, and they're still good), but the car is just too big for me (difficulty with blind spots and maneuverability), compared to my other cars (2-seater Z's), so I'm planning to sell it as soon as I find a suitable smaller "4-door family car".

I did figure out the clicking noise in the dash - it was a stuck ventilator. I switched the A/C several times from low to high, very quickly, and it unstuck itself, so no more clicking - Yea!

The Service Engine light is probably on because of the O2 sensor. I noticed in other threads that there's 2 of them on the SHO models. Does my 97 GL have 1 or 2 sensors?
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Z Car Barbie@Apr 4 2006, 10:10 PM
Thanks, guys! I'll go to AutoZone and ask if they can help me. I would buy a reader, but am not sure how much longer I'm going to keep my Taurus. It's an awesome car, with low mileage (still has the original brake pads, and they're still good), but the car is just too big for me (difficulty with blind spots and maneuverability), compared to my other cars (2-seater Z's), so I'm planning to sell it as soon as I find a suitable smaller "4-door family car".

I did figure out the clicking noise in the dash - it was a stuck ventilator. I switched the A/C several times from low to high, very quickly, and it unstuck itself, so no more clicking - Yea!

The Service Engine light is probably on because of the O2 sensor. I noticed in other threads that there's 2 of them on the SHO models. Does my 97 GL have 1 or 2 sensors?
You probably need a new blend door actuator for the clicking. The gears inside it are plastic, and sometimes a tooth, or several teeth, will break off. Even when the climate control is turned off, the blend door actuator will try to move the door to whatever position you have it set to. You likely managed to get it to move thru the damaged area on the gears, but the noise likely come back when it hits that spot again. The actuator is not to hard to change on our cars, as you can remove the radio and access it thru the opening. It's a small rectangular white plastic box mounted to the side of the plenum with one electrical connector on it.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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TY, Nidan! I'll check that out when I install my stock CD player ... ummm, if I can ever find one.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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99 % chance its a blend door actuator with a bad gear. This happened to me (97 GL) last fall and I had no idea what it was untill I looked under the dash and saw the thing twitching. I removed the 'blend door actuator' immediately to stop the clicking and ordered a replacement part from a Ford Dealer (around $40 IIRC). I still havent put the new piece back in yet, because its summer now and it blows cold air anyway .

I was able to get the part out without removing the radio, just a plastic cosmetic panel on the underside of the glovebox.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My Blend-air actuator is clicking too. It's basically a motor-and-potentiometer that drives the blend door.

I pulled mine out, and sure enough: stripped:

[click on any image for larger]



For the search engine: part No. is F7DH-19E616-AA

It's relatively easy to remove on this rig. Take off the sound-deadening panel under the glovebox, deform sides of glovebox inward to release the stops, and swing the glovebox down (ie open it too far). Two screws to remove from inside the glovebox area, four from the driver's side, and it pulls right out.

It seems that this is a common-enough failure that Dorman makes a replacement, part No. 604-206, $30-40 depending on where you shop:

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Old 05-03-2010, 05:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[click on any image for larger]

The old blend-air actuator with the stripped gear:



The Dorman 604-206:



On this column-shift, no-console 1998 Sable, access to the blend-air actuator is fairly good. The actuator is located here, but all work is done from the left & right sides.




Here's line drawings of what you're facing up under there:




Working from the driver's side floor, three of the five 8mm-head screws can be removed. Two retain the steel shield and are easy, the other is up fairly high. I used a 1/4" drive ratchet, and a std. & deep socket.



Now work from the passenger side. Remove the sound-deadening panel below the glovebox. Although the diagram below indicates three retainers, mine had only two. They pry out. They're designed to be one-time-use-only, so plan ahead and pick up a couple of new replacements. 1/4" dia. seem to work OK.




With the sound panel out, access to the fourth 8mm-head screw is quite good:



To access the last/fifth screw, you'll need to empty the glovebox and swing it out of its cavity. Pull inward on both sides, to get the two stops inboard, then swing it out.



With the glovebox out of the way, get your flashlight up there, move the wire bundle aside, and the last screw becomes visible.



With all five screws removed, the actuator pulls out easily.




The actuator's shaft is asymmetric. I found that when installing, I had to move the blend door lever by hand against the spring a little, in order to align the shaft & socket.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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QUOTE (Nidan @ Apr 5 2006, 01:30 PM)
Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by Z Car Barbie@Apr 4 2006, 10:10 PM
Thanks, guys! I'll go to AutoZone and ask if they can help me. I would buy a reader, but am not sure how much longer I'm going to keep my Taurus. It's an awesome car, with low mileage (still has the original brake pads, and they're still good), but the car is just too big for me (difficulty with blind spots and maneuverability), compared to my other cars (2-seater Z's), so I'm planning to sell it as soon as I find a suitable smaller "4-door family car".

I did figure out the clicking noise in the dash - it was a stuck ventilator. I switched the A/C several times from low to high, very quickly, and it unstuck itself, so no more clicking - Yea!

The Service Engine light is probably on because of the O2 sensor. I noticed in other threads that there's 2 of them on the SHO models. Does my 97 GL have 1 or 2 sensors?
You probably need a new blend door actuator for the clicking. The gears inside it are plastic, and sometimes a tooth, or several teeth, will break off. Even when the climate control is turned off, the blend door actuator will try to move the door to whatever position you have it set to. You likely managed to get it to move thru the damaged area on the gears, but the noise likely come back when it hits that spot again. The actuator is not to hard to change on our cars, as you can remove the radio and access it thru the opening. It's a small rectangular white plastic box mounted to the side of the plenum with one electrical connector on it.[/b]

Thanks so much for this info. I have a 02 Sable. My a/c quit blowing cold air and made a clicking noise in the dash when i turned it on or off. A mechanic said it was the blend door and wanted to charge $600 for the repair. My boyfriend read this site and a few others and decided to try it himself even though he knew pretty much nothing about what he was getting into. After getting the actuator out, he could barely reach the blend door, but was able to reach it just enough to tell that the blend door was moving smoothly according to what we had read to look for. He then tested the actuator with a rigged 9 volt battery and found the actuator was jumping off gear and making a clicking noise even though the gears didn't appear to be stripped. We pulled an actuator off of a 99 taurus for $10 and everything is working great! He just had to pull the radio and center console and undo the glove box.
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