Reset Blend Door on Ford F150

Reset Blend Door on Ford F150: Step-By-Step Guide

Reset Blend Door on Ford F150

The blend door actuator on the Ford F-150 isn’t exactly immune to any sort of hiccups, as we came to find out when we needed to reset it in one of our trucks that annoyingly refused to blow cold air from one of the vents.

Now that we’ve effectively done the reset ourselves, it’s time to share this valuable piece of info with other F-150 owners that may need to reset their blend door actuators as well!

How do you reset the blend door actuator on a Ford F-150?

To reset the F-150’s blend door actuator, you need to:

  • Access the actuator’s assembly.
  • Align the shaft to the blend door.
  • Remove the HVAC fuse.
  • Turn the ignition on.
  • Turn the AC on.
  • Turn the ignition off.
  • Reconnect the fuse.
  • Recalibrate the assembly.

After giving a quick rundown of the entire blend door actuator reset process, we’ll also be going over each of the steps in more detail below.

Access the blend door actuator assembly.

The first step to resetting the blend door actuator is to actually check if there’s anything wrong with the actuator first. 

This means that we need to gain access to the actuator assembly itself, which requires you to remove the center console, gear shifter and connections, and radio.

Depending on the exact model of your Ford F-150, it can have either 1 or 2 blend door actuator assemblies. In the case of 2 assemblies, there will be one each for both the driver’s and passenger’s side of the radio.

You will have to remove two bolts that are keeping the center console in place, which will allow you to continue removing the rest of the components we’ve previously mentioned.

The radio will be the last component blocking the way to the actuator assembly, which will be a black plastic component located at the rear right of the opening created.

Access the blend door actuator assembly

To check if there is a fault in the actuator/s, you can turn on the climate control and see if there is any air blowing out of either the left or right vent.

Furthermore, getting the actuator out to replace it will be a little bit tricky, as there’s one screw at the back that you would have to access by removing or going through the glove compartment.

Purchasing a new blend door actuator for the Ford F-150 will cost you about $67, while labor costs will add an additional $175 to  $221 on average on top of that. 

Align the actuator shaft with the blend door.

The Ford F-150’s blend door actuator comes with an output shaft that should be properly aligned with the blend door so that it can move properly.

In the event that the actuator output shaft gets misaligned, its gears can either get disconnected from the gear track or cause damage to the gear teeth.

Align the actuator shaft with the blend door.

One common symptom of damaged or stripped blend door actuator gears is that they will make a ticking sound as if a plastic panel is being hit.

You can simply use your hands to manually turn the gears until they move smoothly without any friction or resistance, which will indicate that they are now properly aligned.

Disconnect the power via the HVAC control module fuse.

After addressing any potential issues with the actuator assembly or the output shaft, it’s time to continue with the reset by disconnecting the fuse that actually supplies power to the HVAC control module.

The fuse box containing the HVAC fuse will be located underneath the passenger’s side compartment, as seen at the 2:04 mark in the video below.

The most common fuse number for the Ford F-150’s HVAC control module will be #46 marked with a 10 or 10A fuse. Sometimes, the HVAC’s fuse will be listed as the “climate controls module”. 

But since the fuse number can also depend on the exact F-150 model, we recommend checking the owner’s manual of your truck for a list of all the fuses.

Turn the ignition on / push the start button.

After you have disconnected the HVAC fuse, you need to turn the F-150’s ignition to the “ON” position or push the start button, depending on the model.

This will provide power to the electronics and enable you to turn on the air-conditioning and let it cycle for a few minutes.

Turn on the air conditioning system (HVAC).

Turn on the air conditioning system (HVAC).

Using the function switch or knob on the instrument panel, turn the air-conditioning to the “ON” position and let it run for about 2 to 3 minutes while also making sure to switch from hot to cold settings.

By doing so, the HVAC system will have time to calibrate the actuator, which will take about 30 seconds to finish.

Turn the ignition off and reconnect the HVAC fuse.

After doing the steps above, the ignition needs to be turned off again and the HVAC fuse should be reconnected into the same socket that you removed it from on the passenger’s side fuse box.

Afterward, you can confirm that the fuse is working by using a multimeter on it to test the continuity and voltage going to the HVAC control module. 

Turn the ignition on and wait for the actuator calibration to finish.

By the time you turn on the ignition again, the blend door actuator will automatically calibrate its positioning for about 30 to 40 seconds.

You can confirm that it’s doing so by placing your hand over the plastic cover of the actuator assembly and observing if there is any movement or vibrations.

The calibration of the blend door actuator is performed according to the kinds of signals sent by the HVAC control module. Through this, it will be able to set its own limits depending on the HVAC settings.

What is a blend door actuator?

A blend door actuator is a component of a vehicle’s HVAC system that diverts either hot or cold air into different air vents inside the cabin.

The blend door operates using flat panels (doors) that are moved by a mechanism of plastic gears according to the HVAC’s settings.

What is a blend door actuator?

Why would you reset the Ford F-150’s blend door actuator?

Resetting the Ford F-150’s blend door actuator is necessary when the actuator has become faulty, a new actuator has been installed, or the actuator needs to be recalibrated for proper functioning.

The actuator is faulty.

The blend door actuator is part of the HVAC system, so if anything goes wrong with its electrical or mechanical components, it can fail to provide you with the type of air you need to stay comfortable.

Opening up the F-150’s actuator assembly will reveal different gears that are made of plastic, which makes them more susceptible to wear or damage.

The actuator is faulty.

The actuator’s output shaft can also potentially have its contacts lose connection with the tracking path over time, resulting in the actuator not receiving any electric current to continue working.

Once the blend door actuator stops working or malfunctions, it also loses its proper positioning, and a reset will be necessary in order to have it recalibrated back to its original position.

A new actuator has been installed.

Every time you replace an old blend door actuator with a new one, you also need to repeat the same process of resetting it.

This is because the new blend door actuator still needs to be calibrated according to your HVAC system’s settings, as it will obviously not contain any past records of its own positioning and settings yet.

Thus, you’re essentially installing new hardware that’s a clean slate into your vehicle, and that hardware (blend door actuator) needs to adjust according to your HVAC system’s current settings with accuracy.

The actuator needs recalibration.

Sometimes, there isn’t really anything electrically or mechanically wrong with the blend door actuator. It just needs a recalibration to correct its position and properly divert the hot or cold air from the HVAC system.

One instance when you need to have the blend door actuator recalibrated is when the power is disconnected from the HVAC control module, as the actuator will also stop working and lose its positioning.

It’s worth noting that the actuator actually starts recalibrating itself automatically whenever you turn the ignition on. 

But when it comes to actually finishing the recalibration process, you need to follow the entire reset procedure we’ve discussed in the previous part.

Tips and Precautions for a Successful Blend Door Reset

Tips and Precautions for a Successful Blend Door Reset

Before you go ahead and start on the blend door, there are several tips and precautions that you can do to make the entire blend door replacing and resetting process a safe and successful one.

Have the right parts and tools.

To ensure that the components will be installed and work properly, we recommend choosing an OEM replacement actuator for your F-150 model year. Motorcraft is a good example of a brand that sells OEM parts for Ford vehicles.

Also, you need to have a toolset that includes a 5.5mm socket, a set of screwdrivers, and a ratchet handle. This will be all of the tools you need to specifically work on a Ford vehicle’s blend door actuator.

Disconnect the battery.

Since you’ll be dealing with electrical and mechanical components to get to the blend door actuator, it’s highly recommended that you disconnect the battery (negative cable first).

Doing so will cut the flow of electrical current to the components, preventing the risks of accidental electrocution to occur while working on the vehicle.

Temporary Hot and Cold Air Techniques

If you find that your HVAC system isn’t blowing any hot or cold air into your car but wouldn’t mind keeping one of the settings for now, there are actually a few techniques to temporarily get the system to work using the blend door actuator.

If you’re in need of cold air, then you can use an output shaft from another actuator to replace the one in your current actuator. Afterward, you can slide the shaft into the blend door and tape it so that it stays in the “cold” setting.

If you prefer to have some heat in the cabin instead, you will have to reach behind the dashboard controls to temporarily flip down the hinge of the blend door so that it stays on the “heat” setting.

But unlike the “cold air” technique, the hot air technique will have to be repeated once every day, since it will revert back to its position after a while. 

Troubleshooting Additional Blend Door Problems

Troubleshooting Additional Blend Door Problems

Just in case the blend door reset yields unsuccessful or unsatisfactory results, we’ve got a few more troubleshooting tips to help you diagnose the problem.

Diagnosing Climate Control Module (HVAC Control Module)

If resetting the blend door does not revert its performance back to normal, some may be tempted to go straight into replacing it right away. However, it’s actually worth checking the climate control module first.

Whenever there is an issue concerning the blend door, different codes and data about its position can be stored inside the climate control module, and one way to access them is by using a diagnostic scanner.

In the case of the F-150, the Ford Integrated Diagnostic System scan tool is one of the best scanners to use for the pickup truck and covers all models starting from 1996.

Gaining access to the climate control module’s data and codes using the scan tool will give you a clearer idea of what’s causing the blend door to not work properly, allowing you to effectively resolve the issue based on your findings.

Diagnosing Air-Conditioning Relay

Another component that you can diagnose when the blend door is still not working right is the relay for the air-conditioning, which means that it’ll be in one of the F-150’s fuse boxes.

The air-conditioning (AC) relay will most commonly be located in the main fuse box underneath the engine bay, though the exact location may vary depending on the generation and model of your F-150.

In older trucks (e.g. 2007), the AC relay will be the black cube located in a separate fuse box on the right of the engine bay, as seen around the 2:45 mark in the video below.

In other F-150 models, however, the AC relay may be placed in a bigger main fuse box at the front of the engine bay. Due to such differences, we recommend checking your truck’s owner’s manual for the location.

When you get to the AC relay, try disconnecting it with some pliers and shake it to see if it makes any sort of rattling noise.

If it does, then you should replace it with an OEM replacement relay that has the same part number as the old one printed on top of it.

Diagnosing Without a Scanner (System Diagnostic Mode)

If you do not have access to any scanner tool to diagnose the blend door actuator, then you can still activate your Ford’s “diagnostic mode” by following the steps below.

How to Activate Ford Diagnostic/Test Mode Without a Scanner Tool:
1. Push and hold the AC and heater buttons at the same time for 2 seconds.
2. Release both buttons at once.
3. Press the heater button to activate the system’s diagnostics.
4. Observe as the air vents blow air for 20 seconds as part of the cycle.
5. Wait for any codes to appear on either the top left or right corners.
6. Push “AUTO” or any button to reset all codes and exit the diagnostics menu.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)