Question about 1998 Acura TL

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Heater Slow to Warm Up

Have noticed the heater takes many minutes to warm up. Is this a sign of a heater core going out, it has 148,000 miles.

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  • stmike432 Oct 30, 2008

    help appreciated

  • stmike432 Nov 03, 2008

    Nope, I replaced thermostat, still VERY SLOW to warm up.

    Maybe heater core is bad????

    Aren't these a pain to replace, because of where they are located?



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Probably the thermastat stuck open and not allowing water to heat up before going through the radiator.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

  • samson-1
    samson-1 Nov 03, 2008

    Is the engine slow to warm or the heater? It could be the heater core if only the heater is slow. You can flush out the heater core by un-hooking the heater hoses under the hood and using a garden hose to flush the core.



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1 Answer

Heaters slow at warming up

In normal circumstances the heater wouldn't begin blowing warm air until the vehicle has travelled 5 miles - call it 5 minutes. That's because the thermostat only begins to open at around that mileage/time and allows coolant to circulate around the engine. Before that - there just isn't any warm coolant in the heater matrix.

After 10 miles/10 minutes of normal driving the engine will be at its correct operating temperature and the coolant will be hotter - as will the circulating coolant in the heater matrix. That's when the heater blows the hottest air.

If you're sure that the heater has lost efficiency it may be due to air being trapped in the heater matrix/coolant system, or a blockage caused by limescale/engine corrosion within the heater matrix itself.

To remove any trapped air, set the heater to maximum, remove the radiator cap/coolant bottle cap and let the engine tick over for 10 minutes.

If the heater matrix is blocked/partially blocked, drain the coolant system, refill with plain water, set the heater control to open .. and let the engine tick over for 10 minutes. Drain it again.

Refill again with plain water and add a can of 'radiator flush'. Follow the instructions on the can of 'radiator flush'.

Drain again and refill with coolant/water.

If the heater is still inefficient then the only option is to replace it - and that's not an easy job.

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I just bought this car with only 36k miles and the heat takes 15 minutes to blow warm air. Does this signify a big problem?

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