'11 Crown Vic Defrost problem


Asked by Sep 11, 2017 at 05:59 PM about the 2011 Ford Crown Victoria

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2011 Crown Vic Police car and the defrost air just trickles out, but
the vent air blows strong. I pulled the dash out and checked the door
actuators and they all work. The problem is there is no way of shutting off the
air flow to the vents. The door just cracks open 1 inch to the defrost/heat
section when setting for defrost. The door hinges from the back and cannot
possibly block the vents. I looked up older CV and the door hinged from the
front and blocked the vents. Did Ford change their plenum doors for the
worse? My door looks like the picture I posted.

6 Answers


I have about 50 p-71s I repair regularly. There is a small actuator motor at the very top of the unit, it is in a very tight area that is difficult to see, it is usually white and right up against the top of fire wall. I have change them without pulling the dash or air unit

2 people found this helpful.

Thanks for your reply but that isn't the right actuator. I finally figured out the problem. The door that directs air to the vents OR defrost and heat, has a plastic hinge mounted to the back of it. Over time that plastic cracks from flexing back and forth and the door simple breaks off. The actuator still worked but the door will not swing properly. The door would be an easy replacement but Ford makes you purchase the entire plenum unit instead. So I drilled two sets of holes through the door top and bottom and on each side of the case, put a zip strip around the top and bottom to pull the door back into place, and it has been working like new ever since. Saved about $1,500 too. Thanks for your help.

2 people found this helpful.

If you look at the picture the door has a gap on the left side, that is not supposed to be there. The white strip is the plastic hinge that has broken and the door pulled away. The door should be tight against the left side and swing forward and back to switch between vents and defrost/heat. I fixed mine with zip strips, works great.

3 people found this helpful.

GuruD8RXS I may be having the same issue my friend. No matter where I put the blower on (vents, defog, floor, or etc) it only blows out of the vents. Did you have this same issue? I'm not as mechanically inclined as you are apparently so I am going to need to bring it to service. That being said I just want to be sure its the same issue and at least I can point them in the right direction. What is the name of that unit that has the broken door inside?


Hi Jason, I don't know the actual name but I call it the Plenum, heater box or air flow box. The problem with finding out if the door is broken is that you have to remove the dash to see it inside the plenum. The first thing I did was remove the heater control knobs which is simple and shine a flashlight through and watch the vacuum servos to see if they were working when I rotated the know from heat to defrost. They all worked fine. I went to the local Ford dealership and asked questions but they were useless. They had no clue what my problem could be and were no help. I just kept plugging away until I found the problem and I am 62 years old and on disability. Most of the work is done laying on the seat removing the dash. My wife helped with getting into tight spots. If they remove the entire plenum they have to remove the heater core too which I didn't want to do. After I got that fixed and everything put back together the steering wheel just spun freely. I had to drop the steering column to remve the dash and when I did the bearing fell out of the bottom. There was a recall for this back in 2014 for Crown Vics and they checked it and claimed it was fixed but they never installed the new part. All of this can be found online there are numerous sites with Crown Vic problems and repairs. Good Luck.


Jason, by the way, yes all the air came out of the vents because the door would not move to change directions to defrost or heat. Sounds like the same problem I had. If you have a Crown Vic and take it in for service have them check the steering column bearing. If this falls apart while driving you will have no steering.

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