Escort reset button for heater circuit breaker

Suddenly, the heater blower fan has stopped working. You can hear the dampers move when the ventilation mode dial is turned, so it seems it is a fan problem only.
The owner's manual mentions a 30 amp circuit breaker with reset button in the upper left part of the fuse box area. I see a small black plastic (about 1 inch by 1/4 inch) thing with a red dot painted on it, but no button.
Is this black plastic some sort of cover for the button which has to be pryed off or removed in some fashion?
Thanks in advance.
Bud H
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It's a 1997 Escort Wagon, which I forgot to mention.

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Most likely you blew the thermal overload fuse on the blower speed control resistor bank, which is a small module held in the blower motor discharge duct behind the glove box (thats where it is in my 94 Escort) by two small self tapping hex head screws. The thermal fuse commonly blows if your blower is frozen up in the cold or you have snow and slush clogging the system. I've had several go south over the years. In a pinch, you can solder a jumper across the blown thermal fuse to get things going again, but replace the resistor unit ASAP for safety purposes. They are a Ford dealer item, but typically in stock, about ten bucks, as they are such a common failure item. In the Escort heater control circuit, the fuse is in series with all speed's resistor settings, so you lose ALL blower function. Interestingly enough, my 97 Taurus has the same problem, but full speed bypasses the thermal fuse, so I only lose the lower speeds of the fan. It just went out again in the Taurus last week. The Taurus design makes more sense, since the thermal fuse function is to protect against overheating of the speed control resistors in the case of a fan motor stall. Since all the resistors are bypassed in full speed, there is nothing to protect thermally at the resistor block from overheating. If the motor is stalled in full speed, the circuit breaker you described protects it.

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Lemme guess.. whole lotta snow that turned to ice... Good thing I read this, because the heater blower on wife's taurus quit... just after i repair the cracked trans cooler line from plowing into the 18 inches of snow in my drive.
While digging out, heater running on full but didnt check to dee if it was moving air.. get all else done no blower... until I removed the assy, and THEN it worked ... corroded rivets on thing I guess.
Replaced it anyway..OF COURSE.. about 19 bucks for the 95 taurus
Chris Bowne opined in

--
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -

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Thanks for the information. As it turned out, it mysteriously was working two days later on its own, so a blown fuse doesn't seem likely!
Still not sure what happened - or what might make it occur again. It hadn't snowed much at all from the last time I knew it had been working before the failure.
Bud H

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If it's intermittent, check for loose, burned, or corroded connections on the resistor pack cable connector. A high resistance (i.e. poor) connection there can generate a whole lot of heat at that point. I had this problem with my 94 Escort a while back and had to replace the multipin connector with spade lugs on the individual leads to mate up with the stabs on the resistor pack.
The root cause of the resistor thermal fuse blowing due to icing in the fan intlet is the lousy design of the fresh air intakes, where the inlet is below the bottom of the windshield in that gap between the windshield and hood that invariably fills up with ice and snow and is hard to clear out. All that moisture that gets sucked in there also causes lots of windshield fogging from the inside until the heat cooks it out. You would think after over a hundred years of automobile design Ford could come up with a better idea. Come to think of it, didn't the early 50s Fords (and other cars) have a little exterior door on the heater fresh air intake that kept unwanted stuff out of it for just this reason? Probably eliminated for "styling" and "aerodynamic" purposes.

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On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 02:54:55 -0500, "Chris Bowne"

Many cars even older than that had a pop-up air inlet. Cost seems to be the main reason for eliminating good things like that, sell us less for more money.
The inventor of the concealed wiper should be in jail !!
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Thanks so much! After over 2 hours of ripping my dash apart trying t get to the blower selector switch, I found this post, tested tha stupid thermal overload fuse, went to the Ford dealer, and had i fixed for $13. I hate to have seen the bill the dealer would hav given me to troubleshoot and then fix this thing. This forum i priceless! Thanks again. :
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I had exactly the problem described by Chris Bowne. It was freezin last several days. And before that, the rain was pouring and it wa the first time my Ford escort was leaking. There were some wate under the glove box. I did not pay any attention. Then, the blowe fan was dead.
I had no clue, but I know if I take my car to some repair shop, th
bill was not acceptable to me. I decided to do it myself. I searche the internet, and found this. I took the blower out. Ow, a lot of ic inside. I actually used the hammer to break it. And leave it on th heater in my room for a while to dry it. Then, I put it back on. thought it wold be fine. However, it did not work. I came back t this post. OK, the resistor. I took it off, and brought it back t test. Yes, that is the problem. Now, I put a jumper on it. The nex thing is to go to FORD dealer
Thanks! Especially to Chris Bowne
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