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Discussion Starter #1
I dropped my car off at the garage to have the heater switch checked as it would not switch from defrost to any other setting. They informed me that they have a new cable but don't want to install it as the heater box is seized and will take about 12 hours labor to replace. Can someone give me some info on whether the box can be freed up or do it require replacement, also how much work is involved if replacement is needed? A cost for new replacement would also be good. Any info appreciated
thanks,
Greg
 

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"Heater box seized"? I have no clue as to what this means. The heater "box" basically houses the heater core, the AC evaporator, and air diverter doors, one of which is the control door involved here. It's a simple plastic housing for pete's sake. I can maybe see a door jamming, I suppose, but what kind of mechs are you dealing with? I would get another opinion.
 

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I can only assume that the problem is with the air diverter door as you referred. Is this what controls the air flow from defrost to vent or floor? Is there some way to possibly spray this with a penetrating oil to free it up?
I will be picking up the car this afternoon and asked that they not fully reassemble so they can show me exactly what they are referring too, hopefully I will have more info later.
 

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Yes, I think that this is one of those jobs that you should try to "self help" yourself first. If something is somehow definitely fubared and the assembly has to be replaced then I know that it could well be an expensive PITA if the heater core and/or evaporator have to be removed. Hope it's something obvious and simple. Just have a really good look.
 

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Agreed!

A "home fix" - even if you have to pay a friend that's good at "McGyvering" things is a LOT better than the "official" fix of just replacing anything that's not working right...

ESPECIALLY when they stand to make a LOT of money doing it....

NOT that it might not be the "proper" fix, just that you need a CHEAP fix that'll work well enough....

Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Guys I just went to the local garage (not Ford) and had them show me what was supposed to be seized. The lever on the side of the box that moves the flap inside to divert the air was stuck. When the mechanic got out of the way I reached up and gave it a bit of force with my hand and it came free. I got some penetrating spray on it and moved it back and forth a few times and it is O.K. now. It must have been tight to begin with because the cable from the turn knob on the dash to the lever was broke.
At least I know what the issue is for future.
thanks for everyones input.
 

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Probably a "book" number for completely replacing the HVAC unit....

Funny how a little "tweak" can save you a grand.....

Cheers!
 

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Probably a "book" number for completely replacing the HVAC unit....

Funny how a little "tweak" can save you a grand.....

Cheers!
 

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Focus Vent control.

Had a 2007 Focus Sedan I ordered in 06. A few months go, the vent control froze up. Didn't worry about it, as it was spring and no heat was needed. Got into an accident and totaled it. Bought another 07 and within 1 week, control froze up. Went to the Ford dealer My brother in law is GM at and they told me it's a bad motor under the dash. Involves completely taking dash apart to remove/replace motor. $900. I just took the controls out and have traced the cable to the area above and right of the gas pedal. Something there is bound up but I can't move cable and look at the same time. Will try to fix tomorrow when wife can move knob while I maneuver under dash. Will post results. Seems ALL FOCUSES have this problem.
 

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Hi - I am having the same issue did you end up fixing urself? A "jimmy rig" will work for me at this point as I live in New England and I need my defrost!
Thanks!
 

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Focus vent control

Yes, I took the controls off the unit next to the gas pedal. Then I tried to manually move the valve to a different setting. Nothing. It is tight as can be. I am going to take it to a local mechanic and find out if they can fix it cheaper than $900. Seems like a lot of Focus owners have this problem.
 

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Focus heater controls

Oh s**t $900! yikes- yeah that isn't gonna work I am praying my husband can fix. If we figure out I will let u know. Thank u for the info though we weren't sure where to start from other than to pop off the dash and start looking there to see I may just start hounding the dealership since they said they would fix it as it broke 3 days after I bought and have blown me off since
 

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Got it working. Here's what I did.Take the cover off the dash that has the hood release on it. The one below the steering column held on by 4 screws. Then you can see the controls for the heater on the right. Right above the floor hump. Try the control and you will see it wiggle and take notice which way it needs to go to open. It should be clockwise.This should be evident by the black peg in the lower right side. Take out the 4 screws that hold the control and just pull the control straight out and let it just hang there. Then, you should be able to see the round black valve(?) with the little black peg (see above for reference to watch) that is attached to the actuator(?). Leave this on. Do not take it of. It will have a hole in the center that you can fit a 1/4" drive extension into perfectly. Attach a ratchet to the extension and give it a little pressure clockwise until it frees itself. Once it frees itself, spray a little WD40 or other lubricant on all the moving parts. I turned on the key to make sure everything was moving to all the different air outlets. Once I oiled it, I moved it back and forth several times to get oil on everything and made sure that it did move fairly free. Then I made sure it was back in the position I started from, put the controls on and held them on by hand, tried the knob to make sure it worked, then reassembled everything. Once it was done, I did notice just a slight catch from Defrost to floor/defrost. I figure I save myself $900 and if it starts to stick again, I can repeat as often as needed till I see someone come up with a different solution. I live in the mid west and we are also seeing cooler temps in the morning and time was of the essence. It will be nice to have that floor heat back in the morning. Hope this helps you. If you need it, I can go out and redo it and take pics to show you. I think you should be able to do it without them though. Let me know how it works for you.
 

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Got it working. Here's what I did.Take the cover off the dash that has the hood release on it. The one below the steering column held on by 4 screws. Then you can see the controls for the heater on the right. Right above the floor hump. Try the control and you will see it wiggle and take notice which way it needs to go to open. It should be clockwise.This should be evident by the black peg in the lower right side. Take out the 4 screws that hold the control and just pull the control straight out and let it just hang there. Then, you should be able to see the round black valve(?) with the little black peg (see above for reference to watch) that is attached to the actuator(?). Leave this on. Do not take it of. It will have a hole in the center that you can fit a 1/4" drive extension into perfectly. Attach a ratchet to the extension and give it a little pressure clockwise until it frees itself. Once it frees itself, spray a little WD40 or other lubricant on all the moving parts. I turned on the key to make sure everything was moving to all the different air outlets. Once I oiled it, I moved it back and forth several times to get oil on everything and made sure that it did move fairly free. Then I made sure it was back in the position I started from, put the controls on and held them on by hand, tried the knob to make sure it worked, then reassembled everything. Once it was done, I did notice just a slight catch from Defrost to floor/defrost. I figure I save myself $900 and if it starts to stick again, I can repeat as often as needed till I see someone come up with a different solution. I live in the mid west and we are also seeing cooler temps in the morning and time was of the essence. It will be nice to have that floor heat back in the morning. Hope this helps you. If you need it, I can go out and redo it and take pics to show you. I think you should be able to do it without them though. Let me know how it works for you.
Pics say a 1000 words
 

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This happens less often if you occasionally work the cable even during times of year when it's not used. I work mine every couple months after running into the problem once, it has ceased to be a problem now.
 
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