Question about Dodge Stealth

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The heater works when it wants to and when it works it is not really hot. The tempture gage reads about 185/190 Deg. The radiatr has been replaced and so was the thermostate. Any idea would be appreciated. 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T

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Sounds like the coolant level is possibly low. also check the mix and make sure that it is the proper mix to much water will have adverse effects. finally it could be the heater core possibly going bad or the temperature control switch on the dash could be bad.

Posted on Mar 23, 2011


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2010 Subaru Tribeca. Tempiture gage goes up no heat not head gasket or thermostat

Very strange. Something was done during the procedure that is keeping hot water from the heater inside the car. Got to find out what is stopping that flow. You did all the right things, replacing thermostat, etc....this is a head scratcher...

Jan 26, 2017 | Subaru Cars & Trucks


Why Is My Heater Cold?

This is a very common question that does not have a single answer. There are several things that can cause your heater to not work properly. The object of this article is to help you to determine which part of your heater system is causing your particular problem.

First, you must understand that the heater is part of your engine cooling system. Then, it also has its own parts inside the vehicle that have absolutely nothing to do with the engine cooling system. The trick to getting your heater working is to first determine which part of the heater system has the problem.

The first step is to verify proper engine cooling system operation. There is more to this than just replacing a thermostat (like many people will probably tell you to do). If you have a problem like a blown head gasket or a defective water pump, your heater will not work. What SHOULD be done is to operate the engine while watching the computer data for the engine coolant temperature sensor (ECT). Doing this, you can verify that the engine is warming up to operating temperature. You can also verify that the thermostat is opening at the correct temperature by watching the computer data. The engine temperature will drop when the thermostat opens.

Then, use an infrared thermometer to take a manual temperature reading from the engine near the temperature sensor. The reading you get from the thermometer should be within about 5 degrees of the reading that the computer is getting from the ECT sensor.

You can also see when the thermostat opens by using the thermometer. The radiator hoses and radiator tanks should not start getting hot before the temperature of the thermostat housing is between 187 and 195 Deg. F (87 to 90 Deg. C). Checking thermostat operation in this way will eliminate unnecessarily replacing the thermostat if it is working correctly.

Also check for a clogged-up heater core by taking the temperature of the heater inlet and outlet hoses. The inlet hose should be within about 10 Deg. of the thermostat housing temperature. The outlet hose is normally 20 to 30 Deg. cooler than the inlet hose. If the outlet hose is much cooler than this, there is most likely a restriction in your heater core.

The engine cooling fans should come on between 220 and 228 Deg. F (104 - 108 Deg. C). When they do come on, the air that is blowing through the radiator should be HOT. If it is not, this is an indication that the radiator is stopped up, the water pump is not pumping correctly, or there is a blown head gasket that is filling your cooling system with combustion gasses.

If you do not have access to a scan tool that can read live engine data, all of this can be done with just the thermometer, but it is best to also verify the computer ECT data.

Please note
that a pretty good infrared thermometer can be purchased at most any auto parts outlet for around $40 (US). It is a good investment because you can use it for many other things and it costs about half as much as an hour of diagnostic time at most shops. For most automotive purposes, you need one that can read from 0 to 700 Deg. F (-10 to 370 Deg. C).

If the engine cooling system is working properly, it is time to look INSIDE the car for the problem. The blend-air door in your A/C-heater housing may not be working. When you switch the temperature control inside the car, you should be able to HEAR a change in the air flow. This applies to ALL vehicles, whether they are equipped with cable, vacuum, or electronically-controlled blend-air doors. If you cannot hear a difference in the sound of the air moving through the A/C-heater housing when the temperature controls are moved from HOT to COLD and back again, then chances are pretty good that the problem is with your blend-air door.

The actual problems that can occur with the blend-air door varies depending upon what type of system your vehicle is equipped with. It could be a disconnected or "out-of-adjustment" cable on cable-controlled doors. It could be a bad vacuum servo, broken vacuum line, or malfunctioning vacuum switching valve on vacuum-controlled systems. It could be a defective electronic blend-air door actuator or a bad electronic control unit on electronically-controlled HVAC units. It could also be that the blend-air door itself is broken on any of these systems.

If your engine cooling system is functioning correctly and you think you may have a blend-air door problem, it is probably best to get it checked by a professional that has the information, equipment and knowledge to check it out. Broken blend-air doors and defective blend-air door actuators are fairly common and often require removal of the instrument panel to repair them.

on Dec 06, 2011 | 2006 Chevrolet Cavalier


Nice tip! I replaced my heater core about a year ago so I don't really think...

f041a09.jpgWhen dealing with a clogged heater core causing poor or no heat situation, I've had good success doing it myself, for about $25-$30 . First thing to look at is if you can get to your heater hoses, as some may be a nightmare, others are easily accessible, but the closer you can get to the heater core, where the hoses go into the firewall, the better. Many will allow you to remove the heater hoses right at the firewall which is ideal.
With engine cool, I simply remove the heater hoses (after draining down the system and making sure I don't spill antifreeze on the ground where animals can get to it, which if ingested could more than likely kill them), and attach a drill pump, and hose to one of the heater core tubes, then get an extra piece of garden hose, and attach it to the other core tube, and cut it long enough to run it back into a pail, as a return line, to recover the cleaning solution. The hose on the suction side of the drill pump also goes in to the pail. Then add 1 or 2 jugs of CLR, (calcium, lime, rust remover) available at most hardware stores, into the pail as my cleaning solution. With pressure side hose from pump attached to heater core tube, and other hose(suction) from pump inside pail to draw liquid, as well as return hose from core in pail, start up the drill pump, which can be driven with electric, or cordless drill. I circulate it through for a while, then stop and let it sit in the core to work at the calcium etc inside the core for a few minutes, longer the better. After running it through a few times that way, I reverse the hoses at the core, and run it through again, like a reverse flush, and repeat as above, letting it sit in there for a while from time to time. I will normally do this when it isn't urgent that the vehicle be used soon, and if at all possible, I will let the CLR sit in the core overnight just to give it that extra time to break things down inside that core. Then next morning, I will run it through again, and reverse hoses again, run it some more, then I'm done. Remove all hoses, re-attach heater hoses to core, and start vehicle, re-fill cooling system, with heater turned on to remove air in system, and your done. I found this quite effective as well on vehicles that tend to blow cooler air when idling, but get warmer when RPM's are increased, just due to less restriction now in heater core, allowing coolant to flow through better at idle as well as higher RPM's. I've saved $100's if not $1000's of dollars this way, not to mention a lot of aggravation trying to change the heater core. Even if it doesn't get you back to the heat you were getting when vehicle was new, if money is tight, or your just trying to make the vehicle last a little longer before your ready to replace it, this will probably get you the heat you need to get you through until it's warmer outside. If you can't get to the hoses at the firewall location, try following them back toward engine to a location that may be easier to work from. There you would want to buy a couple of "Barbed" fittings (Joiners) the proper size to enable you to cut heater hoses, attach hoses from pump, then re-attach heater hoses together when done. Be sure to get good quality fittings, and re-check for leaks after/occasionally, to be sure. Be sure to check also, that there isn't some type of valve restriction or whatever in the hose between where your planning on cutting hose and the heater core where it's attached, that will not allow flow through, as well as out on return hose. Be sure to store or dispose of cleaning solution (CLR) in a safe place. It does have other cleaning abilities, as labeled on the jug, and a simple coffee filter in a funnel, to filter out the debris from core and poured back into jugs will allow you to re-use it elsewhere, but if you do, please remember it has been contaminated with antifreeze, and if re-used for cleaning or whatever, make sure it's not an application where it may be ingested by animals, or humans. Best bet for safety sake, is to dispose of it properly to avoid that risk. Good luck to all who try it, and please keep me/us informed of results.

on Apr 04, 2010 | Dodge Cars & Trucks

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