No matter how long the car runs, don't get any real heat coming in to warm the inside, and the temp gage on the dashboard never rises, it stays at cold. Is this an easy fix i could do, or am I going to have to take it in to a shop?
First check you coolant level, the thermostat might be stuck in the shut position , that prevent’s the collant to circulate in the engine and warm up; changes the thermostat is not major repairs, if not sure, see you mechanik for replacement. Let me know, Pierre ( Montreal )
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You likely have air in the cooling system, and the air bubbles are in the heater core, which takes heat from the coolant and puts it in the cabin air.
I have put a post in about trying to get air out of the cooling system, but essentially, unscrew the 3 screws holding the coolant reservoir down, and lift up the corner that does not have tubes coming out of it so that it is standing on end. That will help get the air bubbles out. Then start the car and let it warm up for 3 to 5 minutes at idle so that the thermostat opens. That should accept a lot of coolant. Then keep adding coolant and standing the reservoir up until it doesn't accept any more.
check the real value of the temperature sensor with a scan tool. Compare it withe the value in the gauge. It can be a defective temperature sensor or a damaged gauge...or else the car is really overheating
The amount that it gets hot is a clue but theres no shut off switch. It's possible that the car is over heating and the temp gauge does'nt have enought water over it to report the problem. once the cooling system is cleared as it's full circulating and the fan will come on when it's hot ( disconnect the temp. switch on the therostate cover on the top of the transmission, ( the stat is in the lower hose ) with it disconnected and the key on the fan should be on and connected f till it's real hot. The crank senser or distrubutor module can can too hot and shut down too
First of all, it doesn't sound like your thermostat is working correctly to keep good hot/warm air coming , so I would change that, or have it changed for better heating inside. If you lift the hood & look in front of your radiator, On the engine side, you'll see a fan attached to, or in front of the radiator. It won't come on until the coolant temperature gauge gets up to proper operating temperature. Without getting in to too much detail, have your thermostat changed, and my guess is everything else will start working as it should, and whoever does the work, should know enough to check the fan operation when they do the thermostat.
Just finished fixing my daughters 1999 taurus heat. It would blow warm only when running down the road. At idle it blew cold. I started with replacing thermostat, and water pump because they are the easier fix. Still did not help. Then I replaced the heater core. A daunting job but not that hard to move the dash slighly out of the way to replace. There is a good write up at tarusclub.com. After that, heat was better but at idle, it would still blow cool sometimes. Researched and found answer. Park car on the steepest hill you can find with front of car up. Start car and take off reservoir cap. Let car warm up and keep rpms about 1500. After a while the fluid will come running out of the car and all over the place but it will bring air bubbles with it. Reduce rpm, add more fluid and repeat about 3 times. It will make a mess but after that, the heater works perfectly. We get heat long before the temp gage indicates any and it never blows cold unless you lower the temp.