Ford Explorer & Mercury Mountaineer: Removing HVAC Control Head

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The HVAC must be removed before you can properly replace your car's heater core. Learn to remove the HVAC correctly from a certified mechanic in this free automotive video.

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Video Transcript

Here we're demonstrating how to change a heater core on a late model Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer. In this step we're going to talk about the proper service procedure for removing our HVAC control head. Now HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and the control head part of the name is the computer which runs the whole system, that's this piece right here. Now it has a bunch of connectors in the back as well as four retaining bolts that we need to take out. It is a 7 millimeter bolt head, I'm going to go ahead and take them out, and for the last one here. And take and slide the control head out, and unhook all the connectors you see in the back. Now a lot of this stuff is vacuum controlled, and you're going to want to take and take these two bolts out and not try and unplug all of these vacuum hoses. If you were to unplug all these vacuum lines, odds are you're going to get them mixed up. The idea is to take and just unbolt the connector, and leave it as one assembly for later re-installation, it will make it a lot easier on you. There's one, and now I've got one more connector. I'm using a small flat blade screwdriver to take and depress the retainer, just because it's in a real difficult spot to reach with your hands, there we go. Alright, we have two nuts to deal with in order to get this vacuum head off, there's one here, and one here, and they're a 10 millimeter kind of a cheesy stamped metal kind of nut, you want to take a lot of care when spinning them off and putting them back on just due to the material they're made out of. Let me show you one here real quick, that is all that is, is some stamped sheet metal, it's not like your conventional cast or forged metal nut, this is just taken and made it out of a thin piece of metal. And now for the last one, drop it in the tray, and remove the vacuum head, just like so. We're going take and set this aside for later re-installation. That is the proper service procedure for removing your HVAC control head.

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