Question about 1997 Chevrolet Malibu

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Heater not working, blower not putting out hot air.

My 1997 malibu heater is not working. the blower is putting air out the heater outlet but the air is cold. The engine is warming up to around 180 degrees showing on the gage.

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  • crazycrux Jan 28, 2009

    my car have the same problem

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Its going to be your heater core which is located on the passenger side under the dash board. pretty $$$ . its cheaper if you know someone who could do it 4 u

Posted on Jan 01, 2009

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There are two other good possibilities.

1) You may have air in the cooling system. A small leak can cause air, or if you've recently had the system drained/flushed or had any hoses replaced, air can get trapped in the system. Some models are equipped with bleed valves, usually on the thermostat housing, which allow the air to be bled out. Other systems can be bled by opening a flush valve or simply by releasing the radiator cap while the engine is cool and waiting.

2) There is a vacuum controlled flap style door that blocks access from the duct work to the heater core. This door remains closed when you have the heat off, are using AC or just plain blowers. It only opens when you select one of the "heating" modes or a mixed heat mode. If the vacuum line is plugged, torn or pinched off, no vacuum can get to that door and open it. Some doors have a cable that opens them, but it is still connected to a vacuum operated lever.

I'd check the vacuum hose first. If that's not it, move to checking your cooling system for air, or have it checked. They are both relatively inexpensive fixes compared to replacing a heater core.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009

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Poor Heater System Performance CAUTION
Check all fluid levels and adjust as needed, before operating vehicle for extended periods at idle.
  1. Start the engine.
  2. Idle the engine until the thermostat opens (upper radiator hose will be hot) Is the engine at normal operating temperature (approx. 200° F)? If yes, go to the next step. If no, go to step 16.
  3. Set the mode selector to FLOOR mode.
  4. Set the heater control selector to the warmest temperature setting.
  5. Set the blower speed the lowest setting.
  6. Carefully feel the inlet and outlet heater hoses at the heater core. Is the inlet heater hose significantly hotter than the outlet heater hose? If yes, go to step 14. If no, go to the next step.
  7. Set the mode selector to PANEL mode.
  8. Select the maximum blower speed.
  9. Select the warmest temperature setting.
  10. Place a thermometer into the center I/P PANEL air outlet and affix a second thermometer to the heater core outlet heater hose.
  11. Record the temperature at the center I/P PANEL air outlet and at the heater core outlet heater hose. Are the two temperature readings about equal? If yes, go to the next step. If no, go to step 13.
  12. Inspect and repair the cowl, cowl area, recirculation door, and the HVAC evaporator/heater core case for cold air leaks. Repair any problems found, go to step 17.
  13. Inspect the temperature door operation. Repair any problems found, go to step 17.
  14. Turn OFF the engine. Back-flush the heater core. Start the engine. Select the FLOOR mode and the lowest blower speed. Select the warmest temperature setting. Feel the temperature of the inlet and outlet heater hoses at the heater core. Is the inlet heater hose feel significantly hotter than the outlet heater hose? If yes, go to the next step. If no, go to step 17.
  15. Replace the heater core. When the repair is completed, go to step 17.
  16. Check for low engine temperature problems, Repair or replace as needed, go to step 17.
  17. Operate the system in order to verify the repair. If the system operates properly, the repair is complete. If the heater still does not work properly, repeat the entire procedure.

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