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My heater isn't working, it just blows cold air

I just changed 2 rad hoses, the lower one and one of the ones leading to the oil cooler. i put the same amount of coolant back in as i took out but now it only blows cold air. (not good at -20c) i'm hoping that letting it sit tonight will let any air bleed off. i did run it till it was warm and it did take all the coolant. all the coolant hoses get hot as they are supposed to.any suggestions?

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There may be an air lock in the system that is not allowing the coolant to flow through the heater. Check the vent control module as it may not be switching on the tap for the heater.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014

  • gord bottrill
    gord bottrill Nov 14, 2014

    great thanks, i'll check that

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Need help.. I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 1/2 ton truck.. heater will not get hot.. changed the thermostat..had the radiator flushed.. checked heater coil (sp).. checked the air conditioner flapper door to see...


1 check,Feel the heater hoses,do they get hot ,both or one?They should be hot,if not flush the heater core directly with a hose,back and forth at each hose connection.
2nd check,clamp off the top rad hose and force the hot water through the heater and check heat output.If there is heat with top rad hose clamped change the thermostat,it's either leaking or defective,new or not.

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Loosen the cap on the rad and run the engine up to operating temperature. Make sure the rad is full, and go for a short drive around the block to warm up the engine. Make sure the heater is turned on high and the fan running full. There will likely be some burping and gurgling going on as the air gets forced out. Keep checking and topping up the rad. Eventually it will stop.You should run it for acouple days with the cap loose to be sure all the air is out. After that, make sure the rad is full, close the cap and top up the overflow bucket.

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My 92 Saab 900 blows cold air constantly and the temp gauge stays on low. I replaced the thermostat but still no change. When the heat switch is off for a period of time while driving I can turn the switch...


Unless you have symptoms of over-heating, I rather doubt that your water pump is a problem. I recall that my water pump had a metal impeller (1992 C900); I haven't heard of a plastic impeller on a Saab pump before. (Most pump failures are the bearing seal, and the pump leaks coolant) If your temp gauge is slightly low (and was OK before) I'd rule out water pump issues.

You might have one or more of the following issues:
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  2. did you use a low temp stat? this opens at about 82 deg (rather than 89 deg), and will run cooler during the winter, hence you gauge will show lower than the mid point. The big benefit is that your engine won't overheat during the summer (a very good thing!) with the low temp stat.
  3. has your rad and heater core been flushed recently? If the heater core is obstructed flow will be reduced and the heater will run cool. Feel the rad and heater hoses when your engine is warm; if heater hose is much cooler than rad hose with heater temp set to max, then core flow is likely restricted, or valve is not moving much from the shut position.
  4. is you vacuum tank properly connected and are there no leaks in the vacuum piping? The tank is in the driver side rear wheel well below the trunk deck on a convertible, and in the passenger side front fender area on the other cars. It's a white bottle with one or two hoses connected to it. If not properly on, your vacuum operated heater flaps won't move. Does the air distribution knob make sucking or hissing noises when you set it to different positions? If not, check the tank connections, look for vacuum line leaks, then suspect the vacuum valve behind the distribution knob.
  5. Lastly, the shaft connecting the temp control knob to the valve behind it may not be properly in place. This can be inspected, and adjusted if necessary, from the speaker/vent cutout on top of the dash. Make sure you re-connect the black flex hose to the air vent tube, or you'll get no defrosting afterwards!
  6. remember, the centre vents always blow cold air; a brilliant idea from Saab so the driver (and passenger) can get fresh air in the face and stay awake while the rest of the driver, passenger and car is toasty!
  7. see http://townsendimports.com/Web/cooling_system_folder/thermostatreplacement.htm for flushing and stat replacement info

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