Blend Door Actuator Question | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Blend Door Actuator Question


New Member
January 9, 2014
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer XLT
Hi everyone, this is my first post on the forums so please excuse me for any problems.

My 2003 Explorer XLT recently experienced the dreaded clicking noise when attempting to get heat from the HVAC system. Luckily, the shop was able to push back the blend door lever (passenger side in glove box) towards the seats for me so I have heat for the winter. They did this for free and I was surprised at that. However, this doesn't solve the grand problem. They told me I need to replace the blend door actuator ($400). I got cold air before they manually switched it, and I am now getting very hot heat on full blast. This leads me to agree with them that the motor actuator is stripped and not opening and closing the door as it's supposed to.

My question is: I am installing a new blend door actuator on my own, saving myself over $300. Can I install this motor and have everything working with that lever in the closed position for heat? Will it automatically switch back and forth then, and if so should I have the temp controls (dials) set to max heat since the lever is in the heat position?

If I need to "open" this lever, so I get cold air again, is that possible? I am assuming this is connected to the shaft on the actuator so it seems pretty solid, I found it in the glove box but was hesitant on pulling too hard on it in fear of snapping it off. I did heavy research on how to replace the actuator and feel more than comfortable doing it. What are the signs of a broken blend door itself? Thanks!


Well-Known Member
January 4, 2013
Reaction score
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Explorer XLT
I had this happen to my 2003 also but was able to line things up and get a small screw and nut in there to hold the pieces together. It's been working fine ever since.

It is a tight area to work and expect to slice up your fingers and throw a few expletives around. It can be done, though, just take your time.