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My vent selector and temperature selector are really stiff in the summer time. It's been like this for a few years. Works fine in the winter.

Well this morning it was stuck on defrost and I tried to switch it to face. It wouldn't move. I guess I forced it too hard and I think it broke. The dial moves but it doesn't do anything.

How do I fix this? What causes it?
 

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My vent selector and temperature selector are really stiff in the summer time. It's been like this for a few years. Works fine in the winter.

Well this morning it was stuck on defrost and I tried to switch it to face. It wouldn't move. I guess I forced it too hard and I think it broke. The dial moves but it doesn't do anything.

How do I fix this? What causes it?
The foam on the blend door deteriorates and sticks the door closed. There are several fix threads. Best advice is after you fix it leave the selector in between positions to keep.the door propped open when you shut the car off.
 

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From the driverside, look down on the lower center panel after you remove it & you'll see the cables that connect the dials to the blend doors....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. Looks like I'll need a new air flow controller with the cables.

Then I'll have to fix the sticking blend doors.

How does the temperature control work? I think that sticks sometimes too.
 

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I picked up a selector cable at the wreckers yesterday. I also got a second one for a spare. $2.50 each, lol. Almost every focus at the wrecker that cable was already gone or broken. I managed to find 2.

I changed it out in about 1 minute. Easiest part I've ever changed on this car.

I know now that the root of the problem is the sticking flaps inside the heater box. For now I'll avoid the far right and left positions. I'll keep the adjuster in the middle when the car is parked. I also figured out that if it is stuck I can reach under neath the dash and turn the big black cam by hand.
 

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I picked up a selector cable at the wreckers yesterday. I also got a second one for a spare. $2.50 each, lol. Almost every focus at the wrecker that cable was already gone or broken. I managed to find 2.

I changed it out in about 1 minute. Easiest part I've ever changed on this car.

I know now that the root of the problem is the sticking flaps inside the heater box. For now I'll avoid the far right and left positions. I'll keep the adjuster in the middle when the car is parked. I also figured out that if it is stuck I can reach under neath the dash and turn the big black cam by hand.
Great. When i.said keep.the adjuster in the middle I meant in the middle of any 2 positions, so not on the detent of any 4 positions.
 

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So what if you cannot turn the black star rod that controls the temperature (all by itself and not the one on the cam that opens the different doors for various air flow outputs). Is there anyway to open that so that I can get some heat without taking the whole dash off for the other fixes? Oddly enough the knob for the temperature control fits exactly on this as if they made it that way for a manual override or something. However it will not budge either direction and I don't want to break it more. Thanks
 

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So what if you cannot turn the black star rod that controls the temperature (all by itself and not the one on the cam that opens the different doors for various air flow outputs). Is there anyway to open that so that I can get some heat without taking the whole dash off for the other fixes? Oddly enough the knob for the temperature control fits exactly on this as if they made it that way for a manual override or something. However it will not budge either direction and I don't want to break it more. Thanks
I am also having this same problem. I just want to know how to manually change my car to heat 06’ ZX3. I don’t care to pay someone to fix it if I don’t have to. I just want full blast heat in the winter and full blast cool in the summer. If anyone knows how to switch from heat to cool manually any info would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Looks like I’m going to drill some exploratory holes and see if I can unstick that door. Cars been a POS since I got it and just need heat at this point without removing entire dashboard. If anyone else has done this and know where to drill to get to that door please advise. Thanks
 

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I am also having this same problem. I just want to know how to manually change my car to heat 06’ ZX3. I don’t care to pay someone to fix it if I don’t have to. I just want full blast heat in the winter and full blast cool in the summer. If anyone knows how to switch from heat to cool manually any info would be greatly appreciated.
probably just gonna try this, although that may be the wrong door he's showing
So between that and this I should be able to get to it
 

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Try disconnecting the temperature selector cable on the driver side under the dash and see if the selector knob can turn that end on the driver side. If the cable is broken or binding you can replace it. If the cable is good you might as well try to force it open to get you through the winter with heat. If the cable breaks, you can always replace it with a new or used cable. Since you are thinking about getting down there anyway to cut a hole to the blend door, breaking the cable will only set you back about $35 or $4 for a new or used cable, respectively.

I have had luck by turning the selector knob to the sticking point with pressure and waiting several seconds and then trying to turn it again. The stickiness seems to relax a bit so I can get it to turn the second or third time. I have replaced broken cables a few times and although it did not address the root cause, I have learned to deal with it. I also have a little stash of new and used cables for both temperature and vent selector knobs.
 

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Try disconnecting the temperature selector cable on the driver side under the dash and see if the selector knob can turn that end on the driver side. If the cable is broken or binding you can replace it. If the cable is good you might as well try to force it open to get you through the winter with heat. If the cable breaks, you can always replace it with a new or used cable. Since you are thinking about getting down there anyway to cut a hole to the blend door, breaking the cable will only set you back about $35 or $4 for a new or used cable, respectively.

I have had luck by turning the selector knob to the sticking point with pressure and waiting several seconds and then trying to turn it again. The stickiness seems to relax a bit so I can get it to turn the second or third time. I have replaced broken cables a few times and although it did not address the root cause, I have learned to deal with it. I also have a little stash of new and used cables for both temperature and vent selector knobs.

Thanks. I have checked the cables and they are fine. I actually broke the stud by trying to force turning it. I then tried to put a T45 in the hole behind it to turn it but its not a true Torx hole and one side is flat but I still got it in there and cant get it. I will try what you said about holding it for a few seconds then releasing etc., if I can just get it to let heat come out I will be happy until summer. Thanks for the advice. Here is also an exploded view that Ford gave me for anyone else wondering whats inside. Red Arrow controls temp door flap.
304902
 

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I was able to turn the shaft for the temperature door even though it snapped in half. I placed the white cam Unit back on a jbwelded the temp portion back to the shaft. All good now as it was just the door was very stuck. I would suggest anyone else have temperature control knob issues to check the cables first by pulling it off the cam. If it turns well then pull the knob off and place it over the black shaft that protrudes from the cam. Then gently apply pressure (as whatalemon suggested) in small increments to see if door frees itself. Facing the cam clockwise is hot and counter clockwise is cold.
 

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Look at post #6 for a better pic.

It has been 100% fixed since then. The door comes very close but not close enough to touch, it therfore cannot stick.
 
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