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Old 12-15-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
S3aturnR
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Default changed my thermostat and...

i'm still having a problem with the heater not really throwing out warm air. sometimes it does, sometimes it don't. what are my next steps?

i figure that the problem lies in either the heater core or the water pump. i have the fsm, but it's packed away because hopefully i'll be moving in a week or two. anyone have any experience with either of these? it's been a few years since i've changed a heater core and i can't remember a time when i changed a water pump. i'm hoping it's something much simpler...


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p.s. this is on my 1999 sl1...

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Old 12-15-2009, 08:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

Changing heater core is no fun. Exactly where is your temperature gauge reading when you are driving at 35-45mph with the heater blower OFF?

And, how many miles and what speed does it take for the gauge to reach this point?

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Old 12-16-2009, 10:33 AM   #3
DonP
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

Intermittent heat - is the blend door and control cable working properly?

Done any maintenance on the cooling system lately? Added stop-leak?

Not likely a water pump issue. That would bring on other symptoms.

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Old 12-16-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

temp gauge is reading fine once the car heats up normally. it heats up in the normal timeframe (maybe 3 miles of driving or so). when i move from one vent to another, i can still feel the mechanical arm and it seems to have the same resistance as always. only maintenance i've done on the cooling system was the thermostat when it started doing this. most likely when i noticed that it was doing this. for all i know, it was doing it all summer long.

leaning towards clogged-up heater core, but still not convinced of anything. diagnosis is not my strong point.

also, the air that comes out doesn't seem to come out with very much force. i figure that this is due to years of neglect of the blower fan. (it's probably clogged full of **** from when my sister had the car).

i'm hoping that i can deal with this for another 3 or 4 weeks when i should have my new house with a garage to work in. i can drive one of my other cars while i tear this one apart, i guess.

thanks for the input! keep the ideas coming...


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Old 12-16-2009, 09:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

Quote:
Originally Posted by S3aturnR View Post
temp gauge is reading fine once the car heats up normally.
Is the gauge reading 3/8+?

If so, I would try backflushing the heater core before replacing it.

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Old 12-16-2009, 10:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

Lack of heat, first thing to do is to change the thermostat. Still no heat then back flush the heater core. Start at the surge tank and run the flush water through the heater core and the engine block.

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Old 12-17-2009, 10:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

Quote:
when i move from one vent to another, i can still feel the mechanical arm and it seems to have the same resistance as always.
Sounds like your t-stat is OK based on the gauge reading and warm up time.

Also you should head some change in the sound of air blowing through the heater vs. A/C core as the door moves. Need to be sure the blend door is moving at the other end of the cable from the lever.

If the door is confirmed to be moving properly, the core is the next likely suspect. There are several threads that discuss flushing (back flushing) the core.

FWIW: On my car, air flow tends to be modest (but still in steps per the switch) on all but the the high blower setting.

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Old 12-17-2009, 02:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
Lack of heat, first thing to do is to change the thermostat. Still no heat then back flush the heater core. Start at the surge tank and run the flush water through the heater core and the engine block.
ok, i searched "back flush heater core" and got nothing useful. can you give me some cliff's-notes on this?


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Old 12-17-2009, 03:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

Disconnect the hose at the intake manifold that connects to the heater core. Force water into the reservoir with a garden hose and allow it to flow from the disconnected hose. Repeat several times. You can pinch off the small hose into the block down by the thermostat to increase flow and pressure into the heater core.

Flush, resemble fill system with water and any automatic dishwasher soap and run engine till warm. Shut it off and let it cool and repeat. Do this with the reservoir cap off so you do not boil the system and make new problems. Then flush the entire system. Use a full gallon of 100% antifreeze when refilling.

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Old 12-17-2009, 04:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: changed my thermostat and...

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=145455

Instructions posted early in the thread above, then diagram posted later

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