Air blender motor fails

Q. I have a 2005 Grand Marquis with 61,000 miles (out of warranty, of course). I recently had to have the blender motor replaced because the old one stopped working. The cost: $864! Six hours labor at $114 per hour to remove the instrument panel, plus the part. This is a part inside the car, infrequently used to change air flow from warm to cool and not exposed to the elements.

I complained to Ford and got a computerized letter saying "sorry." I complained to the car dealer from whom I have purchased three Grand Marquis since 1993 and been a regular customer and he gave me a $200 service credit, which was very nice but a long way from $864 for a seldom-used part that really should last forever.

In my complaint I pointed out that I had been involved with Ford for 26 years as a supplier, and they were a frequently unreasonable and demanding customer, which was OK as long as they make a product that is reliable. But this part had to be borderline defective when assembled into my car at the factory, and I know what happens if something isn't to their convenience. I could not find a recall or TSB.

A. Blend door motors do fail from time to time. They can fail electrically or the gear on the end can shear; I have seen it both ways. You didn't say, but I'm guessing your car has climate control so anytime the temperature is being adjusted, either by you or the computer, the blend motor is moving a blend door. There is also a mode door motor under there as well. As with any mechanical part these motors can fail for a multitude of reasons.

The problem with a blend door motor is what you have to go through to change it; the part itself is not too expensive. I am not sure you should be so hard on Ford. The various components on your car will fail from time to time. We have seen blend door motors fail but I can't say it's a common failure. I can't take the sting of the $864 away but maybe my opinion will help bring some understanding to the circumstance.

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