Re: Intermittent heat in '04 Escape 4 cyl. XLS
Well, for a home mechanic with GOOD tools will take the near part of a day to properly disassemble and categorize the various dash parts and hardware to aid in proper installation after. A day is a solid 8-10hours. A GOOD shop may be able to do this in as little as 6 hours.
The downside is if after you take the dash apart and find that the blend door is operating as it should.
In some cases, and as the years pile on a vehicle the hoses can show signs of fatigue and require replacement. Luck will have it that you won't have to go all the way into the dash, and just behind the HVAC controls.
I know in my Durango I rarely use the HIGH fan setting (it has 4, plus off). On occasion when going up or down a steep hill with the fan on HIGH, I'll hear a pebble or two getting picked up by the fan. Of course it won't come out, but knowingly my day will come when those pebbles will get jammed and stop the fan from turning, or jam into the blend door somehow giving me no temperature control. I haven't had to do this to any vehicle of mine, but I did replace some internals on an older GrandAm sedan years ago and it was a PITA. Took three days with 2-4 hours a day.
It doesn't help any when other people are in the drivers seat and the knobs are constantly being turned. I know in my '99 Taurus for instance, there is a delay of about 3-4 seconds when I change fan mode from say defrost, back onto floor or vice versa. I think to prolong these systems in any vehicle one has to make sure other drivers know to be patient. It's like trying to change TV channels 3 times in a second...won't happen. But in the case of mechanical hardware vs electronics, you can do damage and not even realize it until its too late.
One thing you can check as well, is the PCV valve. there's a small ball in it that should rattle. If it doesn't rattle (it's not very loud), replace it. Another sign the PCV is bad, you'll notice yellow gunk built up on the inside of the oil cap.
There's also a vac line in/around the brake booster. You can pull this line off and put a finger on the end. If you get suction that's a good sign, if not, you might have a blocked tube somewhere (hopefully not in the dash).
'11 Ram Quad Cab 4x4 SXT 5.7L HEMI (stock); 48,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 64,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 28,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!