Question about 1994 Mercury Tracer

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No heat. Temp gauge barely moves, but hoses to/from core are hot

I have replaced the coolant, thermostat, and radiator cap. Still no heat inside the car. Thought I might have to replace the heater core, but I don't understand why the temp. gauge (which I believe is okay) reads cold. Hoses to and from the core are relatively hot. There are no external coolant leaks, nor any apparent internal problems with the head gasket. I heard replacing the heater core is a nasty job, so before I do that, I was wondering if there could be some other cause for no heat. Any suggestions?

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  • paulga52 Jan 02, 2009

    If blend/air door were the problem, wouldn't I at least be getting hot air to the defroster? There is no heated air in any position of the selector. Any tips on replacing the heater core, if that becomes necessary?

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Did you run engine from cold, with heater (not defrost) on , rad cap off & wait for rad fan to come on 2 or 3 times before you put rad cap back on? Rev engine slightly and hold it there for 30sec. to 1 min. every once in a while while doing this to aid in increasing flow & remove air locks. If both hoses in & out are hot to touch, then you should be getting heat, and I would start looking at blend/air door etc on heater to make sure it's going to it's proper position.

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jan 02, 2009

    If your door is blocking hot air side, and only allowing outside cool air in, no you won't feel heat, and 9 chances out of 10 if your heater hoses in & out at the firewall are hot to touch when engine at normal running temperature, and one is not cooler than the other, then you have flow & should have heat. If heater core is proven to be the problem, I'd flush it with a small drill pump that you can buy at a hardware store for about $10 dollars, and a couple of pieces of garden hose attached right at firewall, and use CLR to do it. Circulate it both directions by reversing hoses, and even let the CLR sit in there overnight or as long as you can to clear out the calcium etc., then circulate both ways again, and hook up your heater hoses and re-fill, re-bleed your system again & try that before i'd tackle replacing the core. I've done this on a few Dodge Caravans with no or little heat & have had real good luck fixing the problem without touching the core. the other benefit to this way is that you can see how much flow your getting through the core, by watching the jug or pail that you have the CLR returning to.

  • Carl Kay Oct 20, 2013

    NICE,. I like the way you are thinking!

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If the temp. gauge on the instrument panel is OK, test and eventually replace the temperature sender, and check the wiring to temperature sender.

Replacing the whole heater core is not a simple operation, test sender and wiring first.

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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