no heat, 2002 taurus


Asked by horatio Sep 23, 2007 at 09:30 AM about the 2002 Ford Taurus

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My Taurus 02 is blowing cold air. I flushed the engine, refill with antifreeze, but kept getting cold air. This started about a month ago. I was loosing antifreeze, then I discovered a small hole in one of the pipes against the firewall. I fixed that, but still has no heat.

20 Answers


There could be a bad heater control valve. Check

61 out of 61 people think this is helpful.

you might have a bad actuator in your HVAC system that is not switching over to heat. Does it have any other symptoms (random clicks behind the dash)?

29 out of 29 people think this is helpful.

My experience says the heater core is clogged. You may want to flush the core before you go ripping the dashboard apart. I just did this in my 2000 Taurus. Seems the heater core bypass pipe provides a path of lesser resistance for the anti-freeze. During the summer, while the heat is off, the scale and rust builds up and gradually blocks the coil. here's a link to the pictures I took while flushing my Taurus this weekend: The source of scale and rust may also be the gradual corrosion of the water pump impellar. Once you flush and reconnect the coil, I would do a complete cooling system flush. I now have heat like from the surface of the sun. Hope this helps. Good luck. Figure about 3 hours for the entire coil work.

127 out of 127 people think this is helpful.
Not Active

first try a new thermostat yours could be stuck open.

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

spock8113 - Just want to say thanks for the 17 photo instruction slide show you made, in your photobucket account. It is excellent and very helpful. I have the exact problem, with same vehicle, a 2000 Ford Taurus SE sedan. You've confirmed for me how I should do this - and that really helps. Gives me more confidence in how I can do this. A year ago, I installed an "EVERCO" heater control valve in the bypass line, controlled manually by a choke pull off cable from inside the cabin, by the driver. Not easy to install this, but I did er'. So I can shut off the bypass, or open it partially, or wide open. It's interesing how I did that - might be a good one to share - or share a couple pictures of that modification. If you wish, I can get a photo of this modification. A good place to add it might be along with your Taurus Flush album on you photobucket accout - for others to view. Or maybe I can add it here, to this Forum later. Will see. Working behind there is not easy - between engine and firewall. Configuration of the hoses and plumbing in there can be confusing. Your photos and explanation and diagrams help alot. Thank you. I am considering pouring in some cleaner, or some CLR, Calcium Lime Rust remover/dissolver product - half and half with warm water - let stand for a little while, then flush. Not sure if CLR is a good idea - but seems ok to me. Will investigate before doing that. Otherwise some standard flush cleaner product. I have read in other forums that the rust and the debris plugging the heater core also comes from the engine block / water passages as well. (Taurus 3.0 litre V6 vulcan engine has a cast iron block? Not sure. Think so.) Seems to be a common problem on the (2000 ?) Ford Taurus. Bigger problem in a cold climate, like here in CANADA - where in winter, heat is very important for defrosting / de-icing the car windsheilds - and for keeping you warm too - in minus 30 degrees celcius weather sometimes (!) All the best - thanks.

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.

Had similar problem with 2002 Sable where heat was only cool at best. Had core flushed and no change. Reached down by the fire wall and felt the in hose and out hose going to the heater core to determine if both were hot. They seemed to be, but what I found was a small leak in one of the heater hoses on the fire wall. This hose was actually a pipe and had begun to rust and bubble causing a hole. Had the fire wall hoses/harness changed and now the heat has returned (around $250). It is an easy check, by looking at the hoses on the fire wall once the care is warm.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Quick fix...we had the same problem and of course we checked the actuator, the thermostat, blend door, water pump and still no heat....hmmm...OK how did we fix it in 10 minutes. Pop the hood and located the lines to and from the engine block from the heater core. Disconnect both ends of the heater core under the hood from the engine block and then clamp the by pass line, BY PASS LINE MUST BE CLAMPED CLOSED, VISE GRIPS WILL DO... line leading to the heater core. now reverse flush the heater core with a garden hose'll be amazed at the rust you'll flush out, now try flushing the water in the direction the water normally flows through the heater core. Repeat this process until the water flows freely through the pipes / heater core....once satisfied reconnect and start er up....heat....for best results flush engine block and change antifreeze Good luck...

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Christian Rodgers

the heater core is likely plugged due to lack of maintenance.. i have worked in a ford dealership for 12 years and have replaced many heater cores due to lack of maintenance of the cooling system. the heater core on the taurus is at the lowest part of the cooling system in these cars and rust/debris always settles to the lowest part of the system.. you can try to remove the heater hoses and flush the core in both directions to try to get some of the debris out of there but i have had limited success with this.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

Can you guys give me an idea as to what it would cost to have an average shop replace the heater core on an 07 Tarus? I'm hearing 600ish. Sounds high and that was not even the dealership. Thanks much, Wayne

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.

i am having an heating issue with my 2002 taurus. replaced the heater hose assemble ( was leaking) had hot heat for a couple of hours, checked the blend door actuator working fine. pulled radio and inserted a screw driver into the openning where motor goes door moving freely bo binding, replaced the thermostat, flushed heater core no rusty water coming out, found that cabin air filter was plugged replaced and had heat while car up on ramps, while driving car normal would see temp gauge go cold to hot (normal temp) back to cold then to hot, i put a shop rag over the screen where the cabin air filter goes had some heat. now have no heat at all hose coming from water pump to heater hose assemble very hot (bypass) the hose going into heater core is luke warm and return is very hot not sure if heater core plugged again it seems like i getting flow, could the water pump not be circulating enough.. car has 140k miles. i am so frustrated as top what is causing this..... please help..

33 out of 33 people think this is helpful.

pb731 - Hard to say for sure, but based on what you have written, it seems to me that your heater core might still be plugged (you said "no rusty water came out"). Also because you wrote "hose going into heater core is luke warm" but "return is hot" - this indicates little flow though the heater core itself, and rather flowing through the short BYPASS hose and then over to the return and back to the engine. I suspect the initial heater core flush was not successful or effective, and so you still have a restrictive / plugged heater core. Advise: When flushing the heater core you MUST clamp off the short bypass tube or you do not flush much at all through your heater core. The water you flush with just flows through the bypass and does not push the crap out of the heater core. The short little rubber bypass tube on this car, is a little difficult to get to, it is right flat on the firewall, center, part way down, runs between one steel tube on the firewall to the other sort of at a "T" on those steel tubes. Squeeze the short rubber bypass section off, carefully, to block it off. Then disconnect heater core supply hose from water pump, and disconnect the return hose to engine on other side and flush back and forth with full hose pressure and see what comes out. Should probably be a little dirty and rusty. If you see that ... I think you have flushed successfully.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

pb731 - Some are able to clamp (carefully) short bypass hose with, for example, needle nose vice grip style plyers. They slip some protective pieces of hose over the jaws so they do not damage or cut the bypass hose itself, and adjust the vice grip plyers just closed enough / tight enough to clamp it off and block it and hold it shut while they flush through the supply and return lines, disconnected from water pump and engine. It's a little difficult to get behind the V6 engine there, but I was able by removing a couple small items, sensor and wiring there, I think. Hope this helps.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

pb731 & all - advice / warning: never leave the bypass permanently clamped or plugged off or blocked. For example, in an attempt to get more heat by forcing all flow through the heater core. The bypass must run open during normal operation. I discovered that practically myself on a 2000 Taurus. Blocking the bypass permanently leads to other troubles - engine cycling hot and cold, electric fans cycling too much when hot and then burning out pre-maturely. Improper engine temperature control. System was designed by Ford to have some "bypass" for proper operation. Do not negate that bypass permanently - needed for proper overall operation.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Could I just disconnect hoses from heater core and flush there? My concern is that maybe bad head gasket because the temp gauge is going cold to hot then back to cold. The car is not over heating. Cooling fan coming on. Both fans come on in stages. I noticed that the car took awhile to warm up. Put new thermostat in no change. Put new radiator cap on car warms up faster but no change in heat. Also noticed antifreeze on side of expansion tank. I am not loosing any coolant. The oil looks normal no white smoke out of tail pipe only when its real cold out. Heater core was replaced 2 years ago. This is real puzzling. Could the water pump not be circulating enough? Causing not enough flow through heater core and is going through the bypass (least path of resistance). Kinda of cold driving in morning. When its 17 out. Any other digestions. Just hope its not the head gasket.... not in my budget to fix.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
Ghaliyah Halimah

I am having the same issues. Change the heating core. But a little plastic part broke that was in between the motor and the heating core. Replaced tubes. Got a new radiator. Not sure what else to do. No heat and it's winter

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

okay so now i rechecked the heater core i have noticed that when the car is off the hose coming from the water pump to the heater hose assemble get extremely hot. i did check hoses again the hose coming from the thermostat housing to the heater hose assemble is very hot. so i flushed heater core again, no change in the heat. i did however check the flow took the hose off by the water pump and had very little flow out of it. also checked the hose that goes to the water pump from heater hose assemble it appears to be clear. could the water pump be the problem? not circulation enough through heater core but just enough to keep the car from overheating?

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
Marc Roffman

Been working on this problem myself. Replaced blend door actuator, and found that the actuator did not work, so I manually adjusted the door, and heat is still, just warm, to cool air blowing. Now I have two problems, have to flush heater core hardcore, or replace, and find out why the electronics in the blend door actuator are not working.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Just had new thermostat put on my '99 Sable last week. Today, Ford garage flushed heater core. Afraid to pay yet again - for a new heater core after reading these posts!!!!!!! Still only have 'tepid' heat!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marc Roffman

No use. I bought a core on ebay, and had it put in for $550. Great heat and AC now. 1999 ford taurus, 6cyl.


Hi. I'm new here just had to share my experience with 2002 Ford Taurus heat problems I resolved myself. I had heat issue and changed thermostat, heat control knob,had lines flushed 2x at Ford dealer both ways so they said. Used some chemical flush stuff from walmart 2x and still heat sucked if it was cooler than 40 deg. Out. Pissed by this time I thought heater core also. (Some of the things I did might of helped) BUT what I did that worked is unhooked coolant hose coming from water pump, and hose coming from thermostat housing on driver side and with engine warm I took Air compressed and blew the lines out which blew stuff out of heater core then did it from other side. Had better heat, then a while later after putting some miles on it did it again both ways and even dumped water in hoses and blew it threw again Now in 10 Min. Heat gets up to 120+ out of vent. Got a $.97 thermostat from Walmart and put in vent to monitor heat.

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