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luke-warm heat from heater

 
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Old 22 Jan 2015, 03:08 pm
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Default luke-warm heat from heater

My daughter has been complaining that the heat coming out from her car isn't enough to really get warm. For a while I was dismissing this because she primarily drives short distances where the car probably doesn't get fully warm.

I drove the car for about 1/2 hour the other day and she's right - it really is just luke-warm... Here's what I know:

- Temp gauge runs right at the middle when fully warm. I can see the thermotstat cycling when it's cold as the needle drops to about a needle-width below the line when the thermostat opens and then goes up and down a couple of times before being steady at 1/2 mark.
- Fan control works fine, the direction control (defrost, dash or foot vents) work fine, the recirc control works and I can hear the door 'thump' as it shuts
- moving the temp control knob changes from cold to luke-warm - but I never hear the flapper 'hit' against either end like I'm used to in other cars - it's nearly silent (or maybe it's really not opening / closing all the way?)
- the heater hoses are about the same temp when I feel them at the firewall - I was actually a little suprised they weren't hotter when I reached down to feel them but they were warm and at about the same temp.
- letting the car idle while I filled up a low tire the temp seemed to be a little better when I got back into it but not much.
- coolant was drained, flushed with clean water and re-filled when I did the radiator fan this summer - I didn't pull the heater core hoses and flush them separately since I didn't know there might be a heat problem. I did bleed the system and think I've got all the air out - it hasn't run hot or done anything odd in the last 6 months of driving so I'm thinking it's fine.

I know no maintenance or repair history on the car in it's first 128k miles as the owner I bought it from got it with 70k and all they said they did was a timing belt on it - it's got 137k on it now.


This one has me stumped - could the core be clogged - usually the heater hoses are hot/cool when that happens but these are about the same temp. Could the flapper that controls the temp blend door be loose or otherwise barely functioning? It changes temp but not a lot. FWIW - the A/C worked great once I fixed the cooling fan motor
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Old 22 Jan 2015, 04:45 pm
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Location: SW PA
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Default Re: luke-warm heat from heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwiencek View Post
My daughter has been complaining that the heat coming out from her car isn't enough to really get warm. For a while I was dismissing this because she primarily drives short distances where the car probably doesn't get fully warm.

I drove the car for about 1/2 hour the other day and she's right - it really is just luke-warm... Here's what I know:

- Temp gauge runs right at the middle when fully warm. I can see the thermotstat cycling when it's cold as the needle drops to about a needle-width below the line when the thermostat opens and then goes up and down a couple of times before being steady at 1/2 mark.
- Fan control works fine, the direction control (defrost, dash or foot vents) work fine, the recirc control works and I can hear the door 'thump' as it shuts
- moving the temp control knob changes from cold to luke-warm - but I never hear the flapper 'hit' against either end like I'm used to in other cars - it's nearly silent (or maybe it's really not opening / closing all the way?)
- the heater hoses are about the same temp when I feel them at the firewall - I was actually a little suprised they weren't hotter when I reached down to feel them but they were warm and at about the same temp.
- letting the car idle while I filled up a low tire the temp seemed to be a little better when I got back into it but not much.
- coolant was drained, flushed with clean water and re-filled when I did the radiator fan this summer - I didn't pull the heater core hoses and flush them separately since I didn't know there might be a heat problem. I did bleed the system and think I've got all the air out - it hasn't run hot or done anything odd in the last 6 months of driving so I'm thinking it's fine.

I know no maintenance or repair history on the car in it's first 128k miles as the owner I bought it from got it with 70k and all they said they did was a timing belt on it - it's got 137k on it now.


This one has me stumped - could the core be clogged - usually the heater hoses are hot/cool when that happens but these are about the same temp. Could the flapper that controls the temp blend door be loose or otherwise barely functioning? It changes temp but not a lot. FWIW - the A/C worked great once I fixed the cooling fan motor
It happen to me, (not on a Pt) you had the right idea, the core needs flushed
take both hoses off and be very gentle.. ( Never twist or pry or pull on the ends going into the fire wall, the thin aluminum pipes could be damaged inside the car and require the heater core be changed. Remove the hoses near the engine and flush both ways, you shouldn't need much pressure since the cooling system is not pressure fed it is just circulation.. you will probably see some brown flow when back flushing... Keep an eye on the cooling fan as they have been known to stop running, wouldn't want the head gasket to blow.
You can pic a new one up from RockAuto and put it in your self for under $150. Dealer is at least double that.
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Old 22 Jan 2015, 05:37 pm
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Default Re: luke-warm heat from heater

I would still replace thermastate first.
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Old 23 Jan 2015, 10:38 am
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Default Re: luke-warm heat from heater

I might just have to try flushing it this weekend as it's supposed to be warm enough out - and I might as well replace the thermostat while I'm at it since it's cheap and I'm going to need to replace a bit of coolant anyhow...

So which one is in and out on the heater core? I'm going to guess lower is in and upper is out so to back-flush it's go in the upper and let it flow out the lower? Anyone know for sure?
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Old 23 Jan 2015, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: luke-warm heat from heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwiencek View Post
My daughter has been complaining that the heat coming out from her car isn't enough to really get warm....
Could the flapper that controls the temp blend door be loose or otherwise barely functioning? It changes temp but not a lot. ...
Yes!! You should certainly remove the radio bezel and check on the climate control temperature cable.

Here is the shop manual info about the temperature control cable (#1 & 2 are likely OK).

"ADJUSTMENTS
(1) Engage cable to actuator arm on temperature door and attach to housing.
(2) Attach other end of cable to instrument panel control.
(3) Turn the temperature knob completely counterclockwise.
(4) While holding the knob in the counterclockwise position, pull on the gray casing of the temperature cable. This will take up any free play in the cable and index the temperature door to the temperature knob.
(5) Then snap the cable hold down clip into position.

(6) Remount control." (reinstall everything)
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Old 23 Jan 2015, 01:18 pm
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Default Re: luke-warm heat from heater

If you have a 1st generation cruiser, here is what it looks like when you take the bezel off. You can see the cables and their operation as talked about in the post above.

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Old 23 Jan 2015, 02:11 pm
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Default Re: luke-warm heat from heater

^ and if you pop the cable retainer clips off, be careful you don't lose them. they fly farther than jesus clips.
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Old 23 Jan 2015, 05:19 pm
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Default Re: luke-warm heat from heater

After warming up the engine to normal, feel the hoses and compare the heater hoses with the radiator hose. If the radiator hose is noticeably hotter than the two heater hoses going through the firewall, you probably found your problem.
Carefull with the hose pressure, you cooling system is only designed for low pressure where if you try to use the water pressure from a hose to force it open, you get the picture, It shouldn't take much if thats your problem.
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Addicted to Mopar You can tell how old I am..
65 Dodge Coronet 6 cyl 2dr Post
66 Ply Satellite with 273 engine swap to 69 340 4spd
70 340 4spd Dart Swinger "Those were the days my friend"
73 Charger SE
Had a few Vetts on the way 69, 85
Several Neons some flips
01 Sebring flip
Cruiser's 01, 220K Gone to a new home
Cruiser 03 133K Gone to a new home
Cruiser 06 110K Project
Cruiser 05 Ltd 120,809 bought with broken belt Oct2015
May 16 Resurrected to once again roam the streets.

20 Miles South Of Pittsburgh
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