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heater works intermittently

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03 Jan 2018, 12:59 pm
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Default heater works intermittently

2010 PT Cruiser Classic (non-turbo) Heater issue.

My daughter's heater doesn't work all the time.
When driving around and turning on the heater, usually the cold air stops (if the AC was on) and slightly warmer air comes out of the vents.
When it does work, there's a loud KATHUNK that feels like it comes from under the passenger seat idea. You hear it and feel it. Then the heater works until the car is turned off and it's anyone's guess as to whether it will work the next time.

I'm not losing coolant from heater core. The coolant system seems to work normally otherwise. Car comes up to temp, the thermostat opens, and the temp leveles out where it should.

I removed the center panel and checked the temp control cable. There's no slack in the cable that I could tell. I ran the car up to temp and then felt the hoses running to the heater core. The bottom hose is hot, the top hose is only warm.

I assume this means I should try flushing the heater core. Unhook hoses from the T (not at the firewall), use the garden hose (not on high pressure). That sound about right?

Thanks,
McKinzie's Dad
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Last edited by McKinziesDad; 03 Jan 2018 at 06:11 pm. Reason: New info!
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Old 03 Jan 2018, 06:54 pm
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

Quote:
Originally Posted by McKinziesDad View Post
I ran the car up to temp and then felt the hoses running to the heater core. The bottom hose is hot, the top hose is only warm.


Thanks,
McKinzie's Dad
Sounds like a blocked heater core.
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Old 03 Jan 2018, 09:20 pm
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

Both hoses should feel about the same temp, a heater core dosen't throw off that much heat to make the outlet cold unless flow is very low and the water has a change to cool off.

The thump is kind of odd. Do the later cars have an automatic temperature control?
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Old 04 Jan 2018, 01:36 am
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

Quote:
Originally Posted by 06_PB6_TOURING View Post
Both hoses should feel about the same temp, a heater core dosen't throw off that much heat to make the outlet cold unless flow is very low and the water has a change to cool off.

The thump is kind of odd. Do the later cars have an automatic temperature control?

I was thinking about that also, but the only thing under the passenger side seat is the CAT.
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Old 04 Jan 2018, 09:10 am
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

I am wondering if the blend door is what might be making the noise?

The link below has information on the blend door.
2001 PT A/C blowing hot air
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Old 04 Jan 2018, 06:26 pm
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

Quote:
Originally Posted by McKinziesDad View Post
When it does work, there's a loud KATHUNK that feels like it comes from under the passenger seat idea. You hear it and feel it. Then the heater works until the car is turned off and it's anyone's guess as to whether it will work the next time.
Are the heater controls being left in the same position all the time you are driving the car? RE: controls set to defrost / high temp when starting out then floor / cooler when driving and left in this position. If the knobs are getting turned to another position, I wonder of the heater doors are sticking when the car cools off.

My 06 was sitting for a few months before I got it, the floor / face / defrost knob would spring back when turned / released. After I drove it and got some heat into the car, I gently turned the knob and it worked fine.

Something I noticed on my car, the recirculation button won't light up and the car takes a while to build interior heat. Perhaps yours is sticking to outside air and snapping to recirc.
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Old 04 Jan 2018, 06:39 pm
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

Quote:
Originally Posted by 06_PB6_TOURING View Post
Are the heater controls being left in the same position all the time you are driving the car? RE: controls set to defrost / high temp when starting out then floor / cooler when driving and left in this position. If the knobs are getting turned to another position, I wonder of the heater doors are sticking when the car cools off.

My 06 was sitting for a few months before I got it, the floor / face / defrost knob would spring back when turned / released. After I drove it and got some heat into the car, I gently turned the knob and it worked fine.

Something I noticed on my car, the recirculation button won't light up and the car takes a while to build interior heat. Perhaps yours is sticking to outside air and snapping to recirc.
I'll have to check mine, but I think the recirculation button only works when the A/C is on.
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Old 04 Jan 2018, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

The recirculation button works when the air flow is directed out of the forward vents (not when on defrost or just on the floor). I assume this is normal(?)

When I removed the panel and checked the cables attached to the back of the controls, they didn't have any odd tension. The knobs turned as they should and the cables moved how I would expect them to.

I don't think the KATHUNK is under the passengers seat, but that's where the vibration seems to come from. Probably has to do with where the mix is attached.

Thanks!
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Old 04 Jan 2018, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
I am wondering if the blend door is what might be making the noise?

The link below has information on the blend door.
2001 PT A/C blowing hot air
ptcruisersteve, that's very helpful. Do you know if the setup for a 2010 is similar to this?
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Last edited by McKinziesDad; 04 Jan 2018 at 11:16 pm.
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Old 09 Nov 2018, 10:57 am
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Default Re: heater works intermittently

Starting up a new post as it's been a while since I've had a chance to work on this, other problems have been evaluated and fixed, and there are new developments.
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