Question about 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan

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Cabin Heat is Intermittent / Fluctuates / Cycles

2002 Dodge Grand Caravan. The dash thermostat reads a regular operating temperature and remains constant. Over the past few weeks I have had cycling hot and cold coming from the vents when I use the heater and now have virtually no hot air coming from the vents at all. (The air, of course, is blowing fine.) However it does still sometimes blow hot briefly before returning to ambient air temperatures.

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  • sewercockroa Dec 10, 2009

    I removed the radiator cap with the engine cold and ran the engine. There is sufficient coolant in the reserve/overflow. I allowed it to fully warm up the engine (dash temp gauge went from zero to normal running temp - middle) and the coolant in the radiator expanded upward and bubbled a little out of the top of the rad where the cap was off. The vents were blowing cold air (it's very cold here, so ambient temperature) the whole time. After turning off the engine I put the rad cap back on. Running the engine with the rad cap back on and the engine fully warmed up the vents still blow cold air.


  • sewercockroa Dec 15, 2009

    I fixed this problem earlier today. I removed the rad cap and warmed up the vehicle. This did not fix the problem but I put the rad cap back on after it warmed up and let it cool down. Then I removed the cap and ran it again and I could see a large amount of coolant get sucked down out of the rad. I refilled the rad and replaced the cap and it has been fine since.

    These pockets that develop may just take some fiddling with to get rid of. I was going to start removing lines from the heater core and seeing if there was adequate flow to and from, but I'm glad I could fix it without tearing anything apart.

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You may have air trapped in the lines to or from the heater core.
If you (still) have a real radiator cap on the radiator, remove it with a cold engine, start and run the engine allowing it to warm up while watching the water/coolant level. Make sure the heater control is set to its highest heat setting while doing this. If it is trapped air, you may see it 'belch' after the engine is warm and the engine thermostat is open. Refill as needed if this is the case.
It's more difficult without direct radiator access and may require several cycles of hot/cold to allow refilling through the overflow.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009

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