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Old 10-09-2010, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Heater blows cold air!

Yesterday my heater stopped working, as did the defroster on my 98 forester. The fan still works but it won't get hot. The ac still works. Anyone have any ideas on what to do? It's getting really cold here in Alaska and I can't afford to take it to a shop to have them tell me what's wrong. Any assistance would be super appreciated. The car has coolant and does not overheat. Just won't blow hot air.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check your coolant level. Heat blowing cold is a sign of extremely low coolant and/or blown headgaskets.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Check coolant level. If that is good, the problem may be in the dash. You will need to make sure coolant is in the heater core lines. How is it running other than the heater?
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just changed the thermostat and put new coolant into it. Ran it around the block and then let it sit and idle for about 10 minutes. Still no heat! Could it be a fuse or something like that?
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Also it runs fine except for being cold. No check engine light, no smoke from tailpipe, nothing out of the ordinary.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Heater core maybe......
Not sure what happens if that part is defective

Edit: other thoughts would be if you have done anything to your center console. If so you could have accidently disconnected the temp switch from the wire.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i would say more along the lines of an air pocket in the heater core, thats why i love my radkit, it draws a vacuum then sucks all the new coolant in!!!!!! its overkill for a DIY, but for someone who works on cars for a living its great
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Air in core is possible. Is the car coming up to temp normally?
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderAKskies View Post
Just changed the thermostat and put new coolant into it. Ran it around the block and then let it sit and idle for about 10 minutes. Still no heat! Could it be a fuse or something like that?
Are you leaving the rad cap off when idling? Maybe on a slight incline front higher than the rear. Does the heat dial feel like there is any resistance when you turn it? If a cable clip has come undone, they can be a PITA to get at.
I'll assume you could check the heater lines both feed and return and see if they are warm indicating flow through the heater core.
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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the car temp comes up normally. i am not leaving the rad cap off while it idles, is that something i should do? If there is air in it, how the heck can I get it out? I really dont know much about cars, so i sure appreciate yall offering suggestions and taking the time to reply!
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Are you leaving the rad cap off when idling? Maybe on a slight incline front higher than the rear. Does the heat dial feel like there is any resistance when you turn it? If a cable clip has come undone, they can be a PITA to get at.
I'll assume you could check the heater lines both feed and return and see if they are warm indicating flow through the heater core.
I can't believe I didn't think of that. If the lines are warm, your problem is in the dash. Did you change the radio recently?
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I can't believe I didn't think of that. If the lines are warm, your problem is in the dash. Did you change the radio recently?
You would have thought of that See I never thought about a recent radio change, which would likely require the fascia to be removed and those clips are a pain to get at and can unclip if not careful. In an attempt to see if my controls were getting the maximum (Canadian XS's still have the manual knobs ) the dealer (warranty) needed to remove the glovebox to get at them.
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i have not done anything to the dash, except maybe hit it while in the midst of an epic air drum solo while rockin out! Just went out and took rad cap off to let it idle, but coolant rose above and started to spill and so i turned it off. Also found the fuses and checked them, they are all in tact. Is there too much coolant in it and would that effect it? Do I need to let it run for like an hour or something? I felt the hose that was coming off the rad, its warm after it runs for a bit. Not sure where the return is. I noticed to metal hoses one with an H and one with an L, are those related?

Thanks again for your time folks.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If it spilled over you got air in the system
I think......
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Let it idle for a few minutes with the rad cap off. Usually the fans will cycle on and off a couple of times. I'm going to agree with Elmy, there is still air in the system. How it got there? Has it ever been low on coolant, remember there is evaporation through the reservoir tank over time. If an air bubble is trapped somewhere, changing the elevation of the front end could help displace the air. Even driving up on a couple of 2X4's placed incrementally on top of each other could help, kind of like DIY ramps.
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