Trucks & SUVs

Why Is the Heat Not Working in My Ford F-150?

The F-150 was by far the best-selling car or truck in America in 2019, and Americans clearly love their F-150s. That said, the Ford F-150 isn’t a problem-free truck, and it has its own fair share of issues. Here’s everything that you need to know about why your heater is not working in your truck.

Many Ford F-150 model years are affected

A Ford F-150 going through the assembly line
A Ford F-150 model | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

As Repair Pal found, many model years of the Ford F-150 suffer from this issue. In total, Repair Pal says that 20 model years are known to have this problem. These model years are the 1993, 1995, 1997-2003, 2005-2007, and the 2010-2017 model years. That said, the average mileage on the models that had this issue was relatively high at about 144,000 miles. 

This means that the average Ford F-150 that suffers from this heater issue has either been working for a long time or was bought as a used truck. No truck can last forever, so it’s possible that some of these heater issues were simply caused by wear and tear. Indeed, many F-150 owners on Repair Pal mentioned that they’ve tried some homemade remedies but ultimately had to bring their F-150 in for repairs.

Fixing the Ford F-150’s heater issue

Some of the homemade remedies that F-150 owners tried included flushing out the F-150’s heater core or changing the thermostat, according to Repair Pal. However, this didn’t seem to fix the issue for many owners. But, there were two solutions that seemed to work. One of them is relatively easy to do, and the other is something that, while it could be done at home, is more commonly done at a repair shop. 

The simple solution was to simply refill the F-150’s antifreeze. This solution is something that Repair Pal backs up, as low antifreeze levels could be the culprit in causing this heater issue. Refilling a truck’s antifreeze is also a routine maintenance task that every car and truck owner should be doing. 

Rugged Homestead was adamant in following their truck’s owner’s manual by only using Ford’s recommended brand of antifreeze. That said, some commenters mentioned that using GM’s brand of antifreeze also worked.

However, some people on Repair Pal report that even with full antifreeze levels, their F-150’s heater was still blowing cold air into the cabin. The other solution, and the one that’s harder to do it yourself, is to replace the F-150’s blend air door actuator. Repair Pal says that the F-150’s blend air door actuator is the most likely cause of this heater issue.

Replacing the blend air door actuator 

Ford F-150 owners on Repair Pal report that buying a new blend air door actuator was fairly cheap at about $14. Of course, its price will vary based on location and other factors, but most Ford dealers should have some in stock at an affordable price. That said, while the item is cheap, replacing it may not be cheap.

If you know your way around Ford F-150 models, then it may be a simple job to replace the blend air door actuator. However, if you’re less knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the truck, then it may take you a few hours to do it yourself. An F-150 owner mentioned on Repair Pal that it took them 3 hours to replace their F-150’s blend air door actuator by themselves. 

Of course, if you don’t want to do that, then you can just take your F-150 into the shop. Repair Pal says that, on average, it’ll cost between $88 to $111 for a mechanic to repair your F-150’s heater.