I haven’t yet encountered anything quite this drastic yet, but I suppose it’s just a matter of time:
Paul Rubner thinks what’s happened to his Ford F-150 is criminal — and he should know, he’s a detective with the Calgary Police Service.
The heating system on his 2009 truck suddenly failed, blowing only extremely hot air on the passenger side — so hot, no one could sit in the passenger seat.
But the biggest problem? It can’t be fixed.
“It’s crazy,” says Rubner. “My truck is only seven years old.”
But there are no parts:
The part in question is the Dash Control Unit (9L3Z19980Y), which Ford Parts Canada lists as discontinued and unavailable. It was installed in V8-powered 2009 F-150s of various trim levels, equipped with dual-zone climate control, heated rear window, mirrors and seats, but with a seat cooler delete. That makes it a relatively low-volume item.
TTAC’s Bozi Tatarevic describes Rubner’s problem: “The issue that he is having is that the passenger side blend door actuator is shorting out. This causes the blend door to get stuck open when it should be closing. Since it is stuck open, the passenger side gets air that is flowing over the heater core. The shorting of the blend door actuator is caused by the HVAC module.”
Ford eventually saw a PR problem a-brewing:
The automaker has since agreed to have a supplier build a one-off module specially for Rubner’s truck. With stereotypical Canadian politeness, Rubner thanks the company for making his truck driveable during winter, though he wishes it hadn’t cast him aside the first time he appealed for help.
We have to wonder if this is the only time Ford builds a bespoke replacement part for an F-150 owner, or just the first.
I can’t imagine Nissan knocking out a part for me after 16 years. Regular visits to the dealer parts counter tell me that there are no more OEM wiper blades or rear brake rotors to be had. The aftermarket, in these cases, fills the bill adequately. But if my HVAC module ever craps out, I can probably safely assume I’m screwed — maybe. Then again, apart from those two exceptions, everything I’ve had to have ordered from Nissan USA actually showed up in a day or three.