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Old 02-28-2005, 10:49 PM   #1
Spazie
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1999 SL2
Default Question about heat and thermostat

I'm fairly certain my thermostat is shot. The engine temp guage never reads above 1/4 unless I'm idling for a long time, then it gets up to 3/4. It takes about 15 minutes before my car puts out ANY heat.

My question is this - will a dead thermostat cause the heat to barely come out of the vents? Once I'm finally getting heat, it doesn't even blow out of the vents. It's like it leaks out... I can put my hand in front of the vent with the blower on high, and feel that it's warm but not feel the air blowing onto my hands like it used to. Also, I think the fact the heat barely comes out is why my front defroster barely works at all. It only defrosts the bottom center of my windshield (when it finally decides to defrost .. takes about ten minutes!), and almost never gets the spot directly in my line of vision, so I have to sort of slump to be able to see well.

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Old 02-28-2005, 10:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Question about heat and thermostat

Sound like the thermostat is dead.

20$ for a new one and good time for a flush/fill!

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Old 02-28-2005, 11:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Question about heat and thermostat

I know the thermostat is dead. My question was if the thermostat could cause the lack of heat 'umph' once it finally gets going. I'll be putting in a new thermostat this weekend, I'm sick of having no heat!

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Old 02-28-2005, 11:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Question about heat and thermostat

D'you mean the air isn't that hot, or the air isn't coming out that strongly?

If the former, then yeah, stuck-open thermostat -> coolant too cool -> not-so-hot heat.

If the latter, does the fan sound like it's kicking full speed? Do you hear a distinct difference in the fan noise at each of the four speeds?

When the car is standing for a while and the temp gauge goes up, does the air from the heater feel hotter as well?

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Old 02-28-2005, 11:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Question about heat and thermostat

The air is hot (after about 10-15 minutes), but it doesn't come out strongly.

The fan sounds like it's working alright - it changes sound and speed depending on which speed I've got the controls set at, but the air doesn't come out at a different strength.

I'm not really sure if the air from the heater gets warmer when the car is idling for a long while .. I don't believe it does, but if I've got the heater off when it starts trying to overheat, and then turn the heat on all the way, the temp gauge will drop like a rock, right back down to 1/4, even if it's not actually putting heat out through the vents. It's very strange, really.

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Old 03-01-2005, 03:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question about heat and thermostat

Have you tried the heat with recirculate on? Think you may have a blockage in your air system(or faulty door), recirc test may give a hint where. Does air come out of any vents strongly? I thought I read that your radiator fan is on full time. Surprised that it reached 3/4.

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Old 03-01-2005, 04:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Question about heat and thermostat

Yes, my radiator fan was hot wired to always be on. I was suprised too, but not as much as you'd think .. my car has almost overheated plenty of times in the past, but that was back when my radiator was completely shot and leaking coolant faster than I could put more in.

The air actually comes out weaker when recirc is on. It does not come out any vents strongly. I have had problems with my air direction before, I used to only be able to put it on defroster - the flap far back under the dash that directs where the air goes had come apart and didn't move. My brother fixed it though, quite awhile ago. But after he fixed it, and until only a month or two ago, I used to get nice strong air when the vents were turned on high.

Is it possible that this directional flap (I think it's a flap, I've never actually seen it) has come disconnected again? I can still direct where the air comes out, but I'm thinking maybe part of it has fallen down and is now blocking the majority of the air flow.

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Old 03-01-2005, 04:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: Question about heat and thermostat

One more question, and then I will leave it to the people who know. Does the air flow better if the temperature is set to "cold"?

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Old 03-01-2005, 05:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Question about heat and thermostat

A little bit, but not a whole lot. I had the defroster set to A/C just so that I had a prayer of getting my windshield defrosted earlier. It did seem to put out the air a little bit harder, but it's still not as strong as it used to be.

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