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Weak air flow from floor vents


May 15, 2012
Reaction score
City, State
Central NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer XLT 4WD
I have a 2002 Explorer w/ manual climate controls. I get plenty of air flow from the panel vents and the defroster vents, but the air flow from the floor vents is very weak. The only way I can keep my feet warm is with the vents on floor only and the fan on high. Any other combos calling for air at the floor produces very little flow from the floor vents. The air distribution works properly otherwise.

I've checked the door actuators and both (panel vent and floor vent) doors are opening and closing as expected. I thought maybe the door wasn't fully closing but I can't really push it closed any further so I think the actuator is closing it all the way.

The recirc door is in place, so it's not blocking air flow from the blower. However, it doesn't move. I think it's stuck in the recirculate position, maybe someone can verify from this picture? If that's the case the flow would be even worse if blowing fresh air.

Does anyone have other ideas?

Your recirc door is in the "Max A/C" position. If everything is working properly it should close in all functions except "Max A/C " a previous owner may have pearmatly put it in this position. It will not be the cause of poor air flow to the floor vents.

I would try closing the rear vents on the back of the center console to see if this gains you any more air flow to the floor vents. if still no joy, then pull the top of the console out and see if the duct work going to the floor vents are seald properly.

I have a 4.6L and it is a PITA to get warmed up to temp, ( takes 20 min of driving at 20 deg F ) I believe it is because of everything being aluminum.

Mine takes forever to warm up too (4.0) which is also annoying. I'm glad I didn't pay for this thing because I'm about ready to build a bonfire inside it as-is. Between busted 4x4, dying fuel pump, cold feet, dying trans and NJ trying to tax me on this thing I'm ready to buy anything new that isnt a ford. Anyway, back on topic.... It was handed down from family but the only person who would know about a repair to the recirc door is no longer with us. I'll try out the center consol and see what that does, thanks. I didn't even know you could turn off those vents.