Question about 2002 Jeep Liberty

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No heat when car not moving

Jeep Liberty, 2002; large engine (Minnesota - is cold here)

When coming to a stop, at a traffic light for example, the air temperature from the heater goes cold; COLD, not just cool. Fan remains on. Coolant is at the proper level. Heat gauge does not drop (about in 12oclock position).

Have covered the front radiator with cardboard (is loose, outside temp is below zero - no gauge movement) This did not help at all. Belts are good. No leaking of fluids have been seen. No engine codes.

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Ok, judging from what you've said it sounds like a vacuum issue. The temperature controls are activated by vacuum which is produced by the engine. Look for small hoses that lead from the intake manifold to the firewall, check them and make sure they are not broken, disconnected, or leaking.  The vacuum directly controls the doors inside your dashboard which push the air to the heater core. Also make sure that the coolant hoses going to and from the firewall are hot.  If all that checks out, then the controls inside the car may have gone bad, or may have become disconnected from the vacuum supply, or the actuator door inside the dash is stuck or broken.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008

  • brian ford Mar 17, 2012

    I had the exact same issue. Heat would go cold at idle. My temp gauge would climb to about 3/4 at driving speed of about 40 mph. My problem was the water pump which is a well known issue on the 3.7L engines. I had no leaks, coolant level normal. The water pump on that engine has a plastic impeller and in my case and apparently a lot of cases that impeller had cracked where it joins the shaft and it was actually loose and spinning freely of the shaft creating a poor coolant circulation condition. When at idle the impeller was not circulating enough coolant through the heater core which caused the heat to go cold. Upon acceleration the impeller turned a bit faster circulating coolant better through the heater core and returning heat to the inside of my vehicle. This water pump replacement is very simple and takes approximately 1 hour and my brand new pump cost me $70. It was the first time I had encountered a water pump that had went bad and didnt leak or make any tell tale noises of going bad. In any case its well worth removing the pump to check the impeller for problems. If it turns out not to be the water pump impeller, reinstalling only requires the purchase of a $4 rubber ring gasket. Good luck and I hope this helps.

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