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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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New owner, long time lover.

I recently scored my 02 3.5 ES at an auction for a song, and as expected it has some issues, but in pretty nice shape with 156k miles. My biggest issue is living in North Dakota with no heater. The blower works fine but previous owner removed blend door actuator and mode door actuator. I have moved both doors manually as well as insured that the recirc door changed position but there has been no combination of positions between the three that produce heat. My coolant level is up to par, so I am assuming that I have a core problem. I am mechanically capable but have none of my tools or a place to do the job. My question is;
A. does anyone have a guesstamation of what I am looking at cost wise
B. Is there possibly something else that could be my problem?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 10:29 PM
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Welcome to the site; as far as your heat issue, first thing I would do is check the temperatures on your heater hoses, with the engine fully warmed up.

Where the hoses enter the inside of the car at the back of the engine, one should be hot, the other slightly cooler; if one is hot, one is cold, then water isnt flowing thru the heater core, possibly meaning its clogged.

As far as cost, to change heater core, dash has to come out, so probably $2000 at a shop.

It is an easy dash to pull; if you can do it yourself, you'll save a ton of money; but I'd make sure that is your problem.

The blend door actuator was a common issue with these. Someone was probably trying to troubleshoot it by removing the actuator motors.

I've seen one car with the heater core plugged. Not very common; but possible.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 12:37 PM
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You might get the actuators from a junker - aftermarket ones are junk (made by Dorman), OEM ones might be expensive (not sure). You can get those from any 2nd gen. LH car (1998-1994 LHS, Concorde, Intrepid, or 300M).

Check that the a.c. is working and holds a charge. It is common for the a.c. evaporator to start leaking in these cars a few years before now. Definitely if leaking, or just to be pre-emptive, if you have to pull the dash anyway for the heater core, consider replacing the evaporator at the same time. If the a.c. is not working due to low charge, and if you have to pull the dash anyway, I would definitely replace the evaporator.

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Last edited by peva; 11-27-2018 at 12:40 PM.
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