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Old 03-10-2017, 01:56 PM   #1
Kya
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Sad Heat Only Works While Driving/Revving Engine

I have a 2008 Saturn Vue XE 2.4L I am at my wits end with. My heat only blows warm when I am driving or revving the engine. When I come to a stop it blows cold air and it is cold no matter what level the fan is blowing at! It's currently -20 degrees Celsius outside with a wind chill and I can't get my windows to defrost, let alone de-ice until I am driving.

I have replaced: the heater core (twice), thermostat, and water pump. The system has been flushed in every way possible. The coolant levels are fine and as far as I can tell there are no leaks. The vehicle has been burped, bled and checked for air so many times I've lost count.

I have now been told there is a very small crack in the seam of my radiator, but of the mechanics I've talked to some think this could be the problem while others don't think it is. I am tired of freezing and spending money on this vehicle without having the issue fixed.

Any theories or ideas out there about what I should do next?

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Old 03-10-2017, 03:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Heat Only Works While Driving/Revving Engine

First, if you are truly seeing -20C (-4F for USA values), you are well below normal winter temperatures. While questions need to be asked about heater core, hoses, flushing and anything else relative to this problem, was there ever adequate heat in the same sub freezing temps before replacing the heater core? Are you in areas where blocking off all or part of the radiator is considered a normal procedure for cold temperature engine running? Does the heater work correctly when selecting any temperature, from cold to hot and in between? It's there heat when temps are warmer?

Additional questions to ask; does the temperature selector work correctly and not jammed, are both heater hoses warm to hot with a fully warmed engine?

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Old 03-10-2017, 07:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Heat Only Works While Driving/Revving Engine

Unfortunately for me -20C and worse with wind chill is a normal winter occurrence. Block heaters are a necessity. I'm unsure as to whether the heat was working adequately before the core was replaced. My father bought the vehicle with a faulty core and had it replaced right away before selling to me. At the time he didn't notice any drop at idle but he only had it a few warmer months before selling to me. There are several people in my family who own the exact same vehicle and I can tell you from personal experience a correctly working Vue makes excellent heat at temperatures well below that mentioned once the engine is warm. I was experiencing the issue when the weather was warmer not just in the freezing weather. I actually started working on this problem in September before the weather got really bad in hopes of having it resolved before having to deal with the freezing weather.

Blocking off the radiator is quite common because of freezing temperatures and there is a piece of card board currently doing that job until it warms up again.

Heater core/temp. selector does work properly when changing temperature from hot to warm, can't tell you for cold just yet for obvious reasons. I had the core re-replaced a month ago because it was still under warranty and it didn't fix the issue with losing heat at idle but the heat in the car when driving is better.

As far as I know both hoses are warm/hot with a fully warmed engine. No temp. difference.

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Old 03-10-2017, 09:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Heat Only Works While Driving/Revving Engine

Ok, how about starting with the basics? Can you connect a reader to display coolant temps? And compare it with the other Vues? Is the cooling fan running when its not supposed to?

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Old 03-11-2017, 12:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Heat Only Works While Driving/Revving Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kya View Post
I have a 2008 Saturn Vue XE 2.4L I am at my wits end with. My heat only blows warm when I am driving or revving the engine. When I come to a stop it blows cold air and it is cold no matter what level the fan is blowing at! It's currently -20 degrees Celsius outside with a wind chill and I can't get my windows to defrost, let alone de-ice until I am driving.

I have replaced: the heater core (twice), thermostat, and water pump. The system has been flushed in every way possible. The coolant levels are fine and as far as I can tell there are no leaks. The vehicle has been burped, bled and checked for air so many times I've lost count.

I have now been told there is a very small crack in the seam of my radiator, but of the mechanics I've talked to some think this could be the problem while others don't think it is. I am tired of freezing and spending money on this vehicle without having the issue fixed.

Any theories or ideas out there about what I should do next?
Agree with fdryer - coolant temps and inlet/outlet hose temps are key.

If temps are good sounds like water pump is not delivering sufficient flow at idle RPM ... but to be sure - this isn't a hybrid Vue is it?

They (hybrids) have auxiliary heater coolant pump to maintain heater core flow when engine is at rest. Here's note extracted from FSM:

Heater Core Coolant Pump W/HP5

The primary purpose of the heater core coolant pump is to circulate engine coolant through the HVAC heater core when heat is required in the cabin for comfort. This normally happens when the vehicle is in an Auto Stop and the mechanical pump is not spinning. If the HVAC control module has determined heat is needed for the cabin, this pump is turned on once the engine is shut off so the customer does not notice a change in heater duct discharge temperatures. The HVAC control module controls the auxiliary coolant pump relay via the heater core coolant pump relay control circuit. Heater core coolant pump relay supplies B+ voltage to the heater
core coolant pump.


Perhaps you could have pump added ...

I've attached a few illustrations in case you're interested in the plumbing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2.4 Htr Coolant Pump.jpg (95.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 2.4 Htr Inlet Hose R2.jpg (94.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 2.4 Htr Outlet Hose R2.jpg (89.8 KB, 3 views)

...
I rarely visit forum but respond to private messages (PM). PM creates email to phone & please include email address with question. Avoid using Visitor Message feature ... I almost never check those.

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