heater valve switcher thing that runs to the firewall - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 09-28-2005
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heater valve switcher thing that runs to the firewall

I think ive had bad luck with this one part on my ford, because in the 20,000 miles ive had it ive replaced it 4 times... it sorta loooks like this

----))
----))
Q))-----
))------

Well 2 parts of it go to the firewall on my truck, and one comes from under the engine and the other one i forget, but its sorta like a switching thing, theres a vacuum pump top thing where the "Q" is and that lever is what leaks, when the leave is pulled up when i start my engine it starts dripping rapidly from there eventually draining my anti-freeze... .

Any suggestions please post, im so dumbfounded why this one place would leak after only a few thousand miles
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Old 09-28-2005
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My truck is a 2000 with 158,000 miles and I still have the original one.Something is causing them to go bad on your truck.Maybe there is something pulling on the hose and cracking the plastic.Does it keep leaking in the same place?BTW,it is called a Heater Control Valve.
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Old 09-28-2005
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Possible obstruction in you cooling system causing excessive pressure, or a bad radiator cap. I'd replace the cap right away. If it over-pressures the cooling system, you can blow out all sorts of things like gaskets, hoses, water pump seals, the radiator, etc.

Sounds to me like pressure is finding the "weakest link" which is the seal on that valve. It may not actually be bad.
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Old 09-28-2005
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so what if my cap isnt leaking, or is that not a problem, i should just try and replace the cap, will that stop the heater control valve from leaking or has it already busted the seal? i had to put water in it to get my car to school today, i plan on doing something with it soon tho (ASAP)
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Old 09-28-2005
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i thought there could be a high pressure somewhere for it to be doing such things, what are some things i should check when i get home today, other than the obvious get anti-freeze. THe cap doesnt have anything aparently wrong looking at it, no rust or anything. Everything looks to be in good condition.

Yes its leaking in the same place, its not the hoses tho, the clamps are new as well as the hoses i did like 10,000 miles ago and they are fine its just the lil arm on that HCV
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Old 09-28-2005
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Should i go home and flush out the radiator? if so, where is the bolt thing i undo on the bottom of my radiator and how much anti-freeze should i pick up for such a job, ive never done it on this truck yet. :( give me a quick tutorial and i'l be sure to follow
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Old 09-28-2005
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The cap will be hard to tell by looking at it if it is bad they are cheap to replace and yes I would flush out the radiator again cheap to do.
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Old 09-28-2005
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thanks for responding, does anyone know how much antgifreeze i should stock up on b4 i do this, and where the bolt is on the bottom of my radiator to drain it?
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Old 09-28-2005
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Okay, first, there's NO way to tell if your cap vent is jammed by looking at it.

A LEAKING cap would RELIEVE the pressure, and so that would not be a problem.

What we're concerned with here is that the cap is NOT relieving pressure into the overflow tank like it should. Wanna' be safe? Replace the cap.

You need a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze as a general guideline, although there are "pre-mix" antifreezes available. Your owners manual tells you the total capacity of the system.

The drain valve is a little wingnut looking thing at the base of the radiator.
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Old 09-28-2005
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i went to advanced auto on my break from school with a friends car and got a new cap (w/ vent) or somthing, it has a big red tab you can pull up on it if you need to vent it? should i just leave it down and try this for now then do the flush later? (im hoping i got the right cap, i mean not the plain one but the one with a vent)
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Old 09-28-2005
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Well, the vent doesn't hurt, but you usually don't need it.

I'm sorry I'm not explaining better: all radiator caps have a spring-loaded pressure relief valve set to open at a certain pressure, usually around 14 to 16 psi. If you look at your old cap and the new one, that's probably marked.

On the factory-style cap, there is no manual pressure reliever like on your new one, but there is a pressure relief there.

The new cap should be a good test to see if that is the problem.

You can top off your radiator to the top. Then put the cap on. The plastic overflow tank, which is over next to your washer fluid tank, should be filled to the "full cold" mark (usually the lower line molded onto the side of it).

That will get you back in the general ballpark of having a proper cooling system. Do the flush later (or drain and fill) and you can make the antifreeze percentage right when you do this.

There is the possibility that the valve you just mentioned WAS damaged by overpressure and may still leak. If that's the case, it might leak LESS with the proper pressure behind it.

A service place can hook a pressure gauge to your cooling system and see if it's right or not, I would think. They can also attach a pump and pump the presure up to normal operating pressure and see if the valve still leaks.

If you don't solve it with the new cap -- I would take it somewhere (maybe somewhere OTHER than where you've been taking it since they just keep swapping parts and not fixing the problem).
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Old 09-29-2005
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well the cap didnt do what i wanted it to, i was thinking of going to wally world because they said they have a gauge for like 3 or so bux that will tell me the pressure of my radiator? i want to see if i can figure this out on my own if not then i'll put it in the shop, im a lil short on funds right now tho. What should be the prssure in my radiator be about 15psi?

Anyway let me know your thoughts and thanks n3elz, heh i use to live out near where your from, sorry to say i never saw your truck, looks nice
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Old 09-29-2005
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If you can not find the drain just take off the bottom hose and let it run out of the hose.
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Old 09-29-2005
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That works too, lol!

If the pressure is blowing that heater valve, it may be damaged and your system won't hold pressure anymore. This is not simple to diagnose because once that valve has blown out (if that's how it's working), you can't test the system.

Also, if you have a head gasket problem, you can get bad pressure in the cooling system. You're not getting any "white smoke" or anything from your exhaust, are you?
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Old 09-30-2005
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not at all actually, everything seems to be in good shape with it, EXCEPT this lil problem here, i went to advanced auto and bought another heater valve ($15) so if i dont figure it out, and i want a shop to look at it, and test the pressure, but while im there i cant do without this truck now. If they can do that maybe that will tell me some more, as for now as long as i run the AC or cool vents the thign doesnt pull that arm up so it doesnt leak. It only leaks when the ac is off and the arm is pulled up with the vacuum line? (BTW what does that do anyway?)

thanks so much for all your help
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  #16  
Old 09-30-2005
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It prevents hot coolant from flowing through the heater core when you don't need heat. The temperature is regulated by blending hot and cold air and so forth -- but the idea is that if you're not using the heater, not to heat up the coil since some of that heat will always make it into the cab.
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