Ford Explorer Heater Blowing Cold Air: What Happened?

Our automobile’s heating system is, beyond any doubt, an indispensable feature that helps passengers go through the freezing seasons of the year.

What if suddenly the system fails to function, and instead of the heat, all you can have is your Ford Explorer heater blowing cold air? A nightmare indeed, I would say.

Yet, no more worry should come into the picture since I am here to be your right-hand man who can help you out of trouble without any sweat.

Read on to grasp more about causes and solutions to your nuisance!

Ford Explorer Heater Blowing Cold Air – Causes & Fixes

ford explorer heater blowing cold air

Your 2014 Ford Explorer heat-blowing cold air due to clogged heater core, low coolant/ air in the cooling system, bad water pump, filthy cabin air filter, faulty blend door actuator, sluggish blower motor, and more.

Scroll down to know!

Clogged Heater Core


Imagine your heater cores as handy radiator-like cooling devices. They operate not much different from each other.

The two both feature fans to distribute the heat produced by the coolant’s release and metal tubes to transport the flow of hot coolant.

The issue here is that such a flow would not get carried well as before if the core became clogged or had any other problem.

Consequently, little or even no heat can make a proper appearance, leading to the Ford Explorer heater not working.

The question here is: How do you know if the blocked heat core should take the blame? Your car always sends the hints you need.

In this case, I have suffered from an overheating engine, a funny, sweet smell, the car coolant running out rapidly, or fog inside the automobile.

How To Fix

The clogged heater core may sound like a big deal to handle, but guess what? It’s not! Sometimes, you only need to flush the device to get it cleaned from the inside out.

Follow these steps below, and you can rest assured that such a nuisance no longer be your pet peeve!

As its name refers, flushing is forcing water through the heater core’s outlet heater hoses and removing the gunk from the inlet heater hoses.

Even if you know nothing about car repairments, flush kits bought online can also easily enable you to complete this task on your own.

Low Coolant Or Air In The Cooling System


Low coolant is one of the most typical reasons for subpar heater performance.

But what is coolant? Many may wonder. So-called a solution of antifreeze and water, your engine’s coolant not only prevents overheating but also serves as a heat source for the heating system.

Once this mixture is insufficient, cold air will be the only thing your bad heater core can send to the automobile’s cabin.

Air trapped inside the heater core is another reason for the coolant not being capable of flowing through the system accordingly.

The more air occupies the space, the less there is for your engine’s coolant to smooth along.

How To Fix

The first thing to do is to determine whether or not the source of your problem is derived from the low coolant/ air in the system.

Just address your coolant overflow reservoir’s location and get the coolant level inspected. The unusual sound raised right after you ignite the engine is also a considerable sign to consider.

Once you are about 80% sure about the root, topping off your coolant may be the only task to get done, and there you go to have your problem tackled!

Lousy Water Pump


As the central component of Explorer’s cooling system, the water pump pumps coolant throughout the system and cools down the engine.

Without this part functioning properly or in its best shape, the coolant cannot travel smoothly.

My heater even eventually ceased operating as no sufficient coolant was available to transmit heat to the destination.

How To Fix

To avoid this incident, it is crucial to bear in mind the lifespan of your water pump (roughly 100,000 miles) and detect the broken one at its first sign of failure.

That way, you cannot only stay away from inadequate heating but also reduce the risk of your engine damage from overheating.

Filthy Cabin Air Filter


There are many places debris can break into and lead to your 2013 Ford Explorer heater blowing cold air. The cabin air filter is one of those that I am mentioning.

Little might you know, the air you breathe daily in your cabin is filtered by the pollen filter, commonly referred to as a microfilter or cabin air filter.

Reduced heating and airflow will arise from a deteriorating internal ventilation system brought on by a filthy filter.

How To Fix

Although there is no set interval for changing the cabin air filter, most manufacturers advise doing so every 10,000 to 20,000 miles.

So jotting down the numbers and replacing your cabin air filter in time will be the best way to prevent the heater from failing.

But my filter becomes dirty considerably quicker than the manufacturer’s advice since I usually drive my car in a dusty or polluted location.

Faulty Blend Door Actuator

2014 ford explorer heat blowing cold air


The blend door actuator is responsible for regulating the inside temperature of your Explorer.

As such, its blend door needs to open as widely as possible towards the heater core so the heating system can perform at its best.

But how could I know whether that door is opened properly or not?

A persistent, mild clicking noise or any other strange commotion from beneath the dashboard was the first sign I recognized in the bad blend door situation.

Such a noise will be more likely to be noticed for a brief time when the air conditioning or the temperature gauge changes.

How To Fix

One common way to solve this dilemma is to change the damaged component.

There are many likelihoods that your effort to fix the blend door actuator would be in vain. Instead, why don’t you choose the easier one, which is to purchase the new one?

The replacement project may cost you a little budget money, but believe me, you will see how much it’s worth your pennies once you see the result.

Sluggish Blower Motor


The sluggish blower motor is another possible source to pay attention to. 

For the airflow to be powerful enough and the heating performance adequate, the system must require the blower motor to spin quickly so other components can operate well.

The problem is things do not always go the way we want. Any internal issue or even the smallest failure in the control/ resistor module can also be the culprit causing your motor to malfunction.

How To Fix

Since the broken heater blower motor is another spectrum of complexity, it would not be easy to handle the repair task on your own.

That is why I recommend you to head to the nearest garage as soon as possible so your dilemma can get decent care and adjustment.

Faulty HVAC Module


Every machine has a construction where there is a brain to control other components to do their tasks.

Your heater is not an exception. In this case, that brain is the Ford Explorer’s HVAC control module, which regulates other parts of the system.

You would not encounter this frequently, but there is still a chance that a problem with the temperature control system might stop the heater from working.

How To Fix

As the above issue, this one will also be in need of an expert’s hands and, in this case, a scan tool to ensure a proper fixing operation.

Bad Thermostat


Do you have a thermostat that remains in the “C” position every time, including when your engine has warmed up? If the answer is yes, then your thermostat could be at risk of malfunctioning.

But why does it matter so much that this component must work well?

The reason is that without it detecting engine warmth, your engine’s coolant cannot smooth along to get the heater heated, thus generating cold air.

How To Fix

A new thermostat installation would be indispensable to get your heater running again.

Blown Head Gasket


The head gasket is what supplies the seal between the cylinder heads and the engine block.

Its main function is to cover combustion gasses inside the cylinders and prevent engine oil or coolant leaks.

Poor heater performance is only one of the issues your Explorer may experience from head gasket leaks. Especially for older cars like mine, you will be more likely to encounter such an incident.

How To Fix

To ensure a good mending procedure, this problem will also require an expert’s hands.

Dirty Evaporator


Weak airflow and decreased heating efficacy in Explorers might result from a dirty evaporator.

The air always goes through the evaporator coil before passing over the heater core, even though the evaporator coil is a part of the air conditioner’s cooling mechanism.

Most of the dirt or other airborne particles are captured by the dirty cabin air filter, but some evade the filter and may end up stuck on the evaporator.

This debris accumulates on the fins over time and eventually obstructs airflow through the evaporator, reducing cabin airflow and resulting in subpar heating or cooling.

How To Fix

To get the issue addressed, I just had to clean my evaporator.

This can be done by pressing the AC button to activate the compressor, which cools and dries the air before entering the heater core.

This mode will help you remove fog as well as other debris from the windows and your evaporator.

Dead Blower Motor (No Airflow)

ford explorer heater not working


When you turn on the heater in your Ford Explorer, no air should come out of the air vents in the dashboard. Otherwise, this indicates a problem with the fan or blower motor.

The most frequent reasons for Ford Explorer heat blowing cold air I encountered are blown fuses, damaged relays, defective resistors, and control module issues.

However, the blower motor might cease operating due to a faulty electrical connector, a damaged cable, or an issue with the temperature control system.

How To Fix

This issue also needs the hands of a professional to ensure a quality and non-expensive repairs process.


Why My Ford Explorer Heater Only Works When Driving?

Coolant-related problems can be the cause of a lot of cabin heating problems, including the stuck-open thermostat (which can be informed by a P0128 code), clogged heater core, low coolant, and airlocked coolant system.

How Do I Know If My Heater Core Is Clogged?

Some major warning indications you should give heeds are little or no airflow, apparent coolant leaks within the cabin or a musty odor, and cold air flow through the vents as you switch on the cold air heater.


Your Ford Explorer heater blowing cold air can result from several reasons.

The most concrete ones to examine in the first place are a blocked heater core and a low coolant level or air in the cooling system.

Still, unless you are confident about your knowledge regarding automobile mechanisms, I recommend you to leave the job for professional mechanics under any circumstance.

Hopefully, my post can be of great help to you. See you then!

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