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It's a somewhat decent car, and just my winter beater/back-up car. The other 2 cars I have I don't drive in the winter time. I've wanted them to diagnose the lack of heat, and they suggested a new thermostat (despite the fact that I already had it replaced 3 years ago from another dealer/my previous employer). I'm pretty much at my wits-end about why I can't get fully hot heat. I've seen the 2 YouTube videos above, and unfortunately I'm not too much of a mechanic myself. I've changed the regular air filter but I was completely unaware my 2002 Sable GS would be equipped with a cabin air filter.

My next service appointment with my mechanic is this coming Thursday 1/30. I will have him investigate the blend door, cabin air filter, and coolant/water ratio. Anything else I can ask him to investigate?
It's not the cabin air filter. It's not going to be the coolant / water ratio.

The diagnosis is quite simple. If you're really incapable of doing it, then you need to find a mechanic who can, because obviously your current one is more interested in ripping you off.

1) Your incoming heater hose should be too hot to touch when the car is fully warmed up. If it isn't, then it would likely be the thermostat that is faulty. Of course it shouldn't be since it's been changed twice, but who knows what the quality of work or parts has been with the people you've been using.

2) The return heater hose should also be too hot to touch. If it isn't (while the incoming is too hot to touch), then that means your coolant is restricted when flowing through the heater core. So either it was never changed or it has gotten plugged up again due to poor work by the people you've been using.

3) If both heater hoses are too hot to touch, then it's your blend door.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
It's not the cabin air filter. It's not going to be the coolant / water ratio.

The diagnosis is quite simple. If you're really incapable of doing it, then you need to find a mechanic who can, because obviously your current one is more interested in ripping you off.

1) Your incoming heater hose should be too hot to touch when the car is fully warmed up. If it isn't, then it would likely be the thermostat that is faulty. Of course it shouldn't be since it's been changed twice, but who knows what the quality of work or parts has been with the people you've been using.

2) The return heater hose should also be too hot to touch. If it isn't (while the incoming is too hot to touch), then that means your coolant is restricted when flowing through the heater core. So either it was never changed or it has gotten plugged up again due to poor work by the people you've been using.

3) If both heater hoses are too hot to touch, then it's your blend door.
Mechanic looked at it again today, Thursday 1/30 and heater is finally NORMAL now! Both hoses were very hot when I touched them. Blowing hot and toasty. As for my intermittent stalling/sputtering, he determined it's a cracked coil pack and needs to be replaced. I should replace the cabin air filter too while I'm at it since I've owned the car almost 5 years and didn't know it was apparently equipped with one.
 

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Mechanic looked at it again today, Thursday 1/30 and heater is finally NORMAL now! Both hoses were very hot when I touched them. Blowing hot and toasty. As for my intermittent stalling/sputtering, he determined it's a cracked coil pack and needs to be replaced. I should replace the cabin air filter too while I'm at it since I've owned the car almost 5 years and didn't know it was apparently equipped with one.
Good to hear!

What did the mechanic do to get it working?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Good to hear!

What did the mechanic do to get it working?
I had him investigate the blend door, that turned out OK. It was the coolant mixture that was more water than coolant, so now it's as close to 50/50 as possible. Unfortunately I still forgot to ask when he flushed it a while ago, what method he used. But given that outside temps up here in southeast Minnesota are currently in the 20 - 30s Fahrenheit (-7 - -1 Celcius) I won't complain any further. I'll post again on this thread or another one if I continue having issues. I plan on replacing the coil pack with a Ford Motorcraft one to resolve my intermittent sputtering/stalling in the near future. Thank you everyone for your assistance.
 

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I had him investigate the blend door, that turned out OK. It was the coolant mixture that was more water than coolant, so now it's as close to 50/50 as possible. Unfortunately I still forgot to ask when he flushed it a while ago, what method he used. But given that outside temps up here in southeast Minnesota are currently in the 20 - 30s Fahrenheit (-7 - -1 Celcius) I won't complain any further. I'll post again on this thread or another one if I continue having issues. I plan on replacing the coil pack with a Ford Motorcraft one to resolve my intermittent sputtering/stalling in the near future. Thank you everyone for your assistance.
Little bit odd that he said it was too much water in the mix since water has a higher heat carrying capacity than coolant.

But if you're happy with the result, that's all that matters.

Let's hope he's right about the coil pack.
 

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Borg-Warner (BWD) would also be a suitable coil pack probably a 'lil cheaper. Used to be available at Advance Auto and/or O'reilly Auto Parts?
 

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As rjacket else noted earlier, water to coolant ratio should have virtually nothing to do with heat output.

Sounds like the "mechanic", and I use that term loosely, is trying to cover up something he botched up.
 

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Little bit odd that he said it was too much water in the mix since water has a higher heat carrying capacity than coolant.

But if you're happy with the result, that's all that matters.

Let's hope he's right about the coil pack.
^ Too much water ratio was NOT the problem! If problem reoccurs, it's likely secondary blend door is warped and hanging up.
 
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