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View Full Version : Heater doesn't get hot



Flipx99
01-15-2008, 10:54 AM
I drive an 01 S-10 with aprox 100k miles. I drive mostly highway and for some reason, even though the engine warms to where it normally does, the heat never gets very warm. It is only slightly warmer than outside air. Today it was 27* out and super cold. Eventually, my body heat warms the truck up some. Any suggestions on what I can check? I have a sufficient amount of coolant. It doesn't appear to be leaking.

Under the hood is a funny smell of something burning. Not quite what it is though.

jco1385
01-15-2008, 10:55 AM
is it a sweet smell? if so it's coolant and you have a leak.

do you hear the fan blowing when you have the heat on?

Pootie
01-15-2008, 10:55 AM
Actually I have the same problem besides the funny smell except I got a Bmw 328i

PsychoTheRapist
01-15-2008, 10:56 AM
First off, I would change out your thermostat, a simple and very inexpensive fix.. If that doesn't help then I would look to your heater core, as it may be clogged.

jco1385
01-15-2008, 10:59 AM
First off, I would change out your thermostat, a simple and very inexpensive fix.. If that doesn't help than I would look to your heater core, as it may be clogged.

good point. is the truck engine temp not getting as hot as it normally would, or any problems overheating? symptoms of a bad thermostat. changed mine and heat was all good

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 10:59 AM
is it a sweet smell? if so it's coolant and you have a leak.

do you hear the fan blowing when you have the heat on?

The fan blows. The air isn't hot.

I am unsure of a leak persay, but could it have a small leak that leaks pressure or just a little bit. The smell is of something on the engine cooking...like oil, grease, or something.

Louisiana_CRX
01-15-2008, 11:00 AM
the heater core may be clogged or rusted out....if so its a pretty expensive fix.....

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:00 AM
First off, I would change out your thermostat, a simple and very inexpensive fix.. If that doesn't help than I would look to your heater core, as it may be clogged.


good point. is the truck engine temp not getting as hot as it normally would, or any problems overheating? symptoms of a bad thermostat. changed mine and heat was all good

The engines temperature is in its normal range.

Would a coolant flush fix the potentially clogged heater core?

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 11:00 AM
First off, I would change out your thermostat, a simple and very inexpensive fix.. If that doesn't help than I would look to your heater core, as it may be clogged.

inexpensive for most cars, very few..if your unlucky.. you'll be in trouble... 100$+labor for a .75cent part.. otherwise shouldn't be nothing more then 50$ AT most.

jco1385
01-15-2008, 11:02 AM
a coolant flush may help, may hurt. could unclog it if it is clogged, but could also cause any weak points in the heater core to rupture and leak water everywhere under your dash (this is what mine did :fyi:)

PsychoTheRapist
01-15-2008, 11:05 AM
It would probably be in your best interest to take it to a local shop that gives out free estimates to find out what is wrong. If something small, you can probably fix it yourself on the cheap. Good luck.

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:06 AM
inexpensive for most cars, very few..if your unlucky.. you'll be in trouble... 100$+labor for a .75cent part.. otherwise shouldn't be nothing more then 50$ AT most.

I could change the thermostat myself. I only use GM parts...so a bit more than .75, but I get what you mean.


a coolant flush may help, may hurt. could unclog it if it is clogged, but could also cause any weak points in the heater core to rupture and leak water everywhere under your dash (this is what mine did :fyi:)

How would the flush cause a rupture? The DIY ones have no increase or unusual pressure to my knowledge. However, if it didn't have enough pressure, it may not remove the clog either.

jmanpc
01-15-2008, 11:06 AM
Refill your heater fluid :fyi:

PsychoTheRapist
01-15-2008, 11:07 AM
It may also add to the clog, creating more hassle in the long run.

jco1385
01-15-2008, 11:09 AM
well coolant causes deterioration due to some scientific shi* i am not gonna try to explain so this eventually wears the metal, which could cause a leak. my heater core shat itself while i was riding around one night. all my coolant was in my floor and evaporating out of my vents.

so i'm not saying it will rupture, but it could

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:11 AM
Refill your heater fluid :fyi:

wtf?

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:12 AM
I see.

I may try to just replace the heater core. It is a long job, but I got a 3day weekend to knock it out. It will be **** cold though.

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 11:13 AM
whens the last time you did a coolant flush? most likely if not in the past 50k i'd probly do one, and at the same time get thermostat unless your going to DIY, then idk..try thermostat and if dont work just do a coolant flush at a service place, if anything should happen, they will be half at fault. soo.

PsychoTheRapist
01-15-2008, 11:13 AM
I would switch out the thermostat first.. :fyi:

jco1385
01-15-2008, 11:13 AM
also, think GM has it's own antifreeze for their cars. is your coolant green or orange?

jmanpc
01-15-2008, 11:14 AM
wtf?

Its right next to the blinker fluid tank.

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 11:14 AM
wtf?


:wow::wow::wow::wow: :eek::eek::eek::laugh::laugh::laugh: HAHAHAHHAHA. sorry..lol..yea go down to like autoparts store and buy sum "heater fluid"

joetama
01-15-2008, 11:15 AM
Before you replace the heater core make sure that you are getting hot coolant to the core. I don't know about your car but one car I worked on had a valve the was stuck so when I turned the heat up the valve didn't open.

joetama
01-15-2008, 11:16 AM
also, think GM has it's own antifreeze for their cars. is your coolant green or orange?

I hate that stupid redish orange GM fluid...

PsychoTheRapist
01-15-2008, 11:17 AM
Before you replace the heater core make sure that you are getting hot coolant to the core. I don't know about your car but one car I worked on had a valve the was stuck so when I turned the heat up the valve didn't open.

Which would most likely be the thermostat. ;)

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:18 AM
whens the last time you did a coolant flush? most likely if not in the past 50k i'd probly do one, and at the same time get thermostat unless your going to DIY, then idk..try thermostat and if dont work just do a coolant flush at a service place, if anything should happen, they will be half at fault. soo.

I have never done one. I'll get a new thermostat as well. Is there a significant difference between the prestone version and one done at an auto repair place? If there is, I will just get it done on Monday with my front end alignment, rotate and balance, and brake system flush.



I would switch out the thermostat first..

Easy and cheap enough, I may give it a shot.


also, think GM has it's own antifreeze for their cars. is your coolant green or orange?

Orange. :crap:


:wow::wow: :eek::eek::eek::laugh::laugh::laugh: HAHAHAHHAHA. sorry..lol..yea go down to like autoparts store and buy sum "heater fluid"

I knew he was screwing around.

joetama
01-15-2008, 11:18 AM
Which would most likely be the thermostat. ;)

Well, when I think of thermostat I think of the valve on the motor that kicks open when the motor gets hot...

I don't think of that valve as a thermostat... My bad...

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:20 AM
Interesting. Swapping out the thermostat wouldn't hurt. I'll go to the dealership on Friday and get one. Shouldn't be too difficult as there are only two screws.

Based on what's going on, the logical explanations are there is no coolant getting to the heater core due to a clog or a stuck thermostat. It wouldn't hurt to swap out the thermostat so I will try the easiest / cheapest first.

Coolwazabi
01-15-2008, 11:21 AM
didn't read anything but sounds like heater coil

lilmaniac2
01-15-2008, 11:21 AM
I would change the thermostat first too :)

joetama
01-15-2008, 11:21 AM
You also might want to check the freezing point of the coolant to make sure that you don't have a bad mixture and a frozen spot somewhere in the core or feel lines...

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 11:21 AM
I have never done one. I'll get a new thermostat as well. Is there a significant difference between the prestone version and one done at an auto repair place? If there is, I will just get it done on Monday with my front end alignment, rotate and balance, and brake system flush.




Easy and cheap enough, I may give it a shot.



Orange. :crap:



I knew he was screwing around.



no there isn't any difference. well for the life of your vehicle it doesnt lol. and after saying you never had a coolant flush..yea that might be the problem..but if you get those 2 done and you don't have hot as hell heat, then its your heater core... atleast if you get all 3 done u know you'll be swett'n lmao

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 11:22 AM
You also might want to check the freezing point of the coolant to make sure that you don't have a bad mixture and a frozen spot somewhere in the core or feel lines...

very true. if you do take it to the shop have them find out the freezing point.....

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:22 AM
no there isn't any difference. well for the life of your vehicle it doesnt lol. and after saying you never had a coolant flush..yea that might be the problem..but if you get those 2 done and you don't have hot as hell heat, then its your heater core... atleast if you get all 3 done u know you'll be swett'n lmao

Sounds like a plan for the weekend.

Good deal.


Thanks!

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:23 AM
very true. if you do take it to the shop have them find out the freezing point.....

i have a testor....the one with the little balls or whatever.

jco1385
01-15-2008, 11:25 AM
Its right next to the blinker fluid tank.

just behind the DB resevoir

lilmaniac2
01-15-2008, 11:31 AM
Where is it in relation to the halogen fluid?

joetama
01-15-2008, 11:33 AM
Heater control valve is what I meant to say earlier...

Thermostat is the part on the motor that opens to circulates fluid when the motor gets hot.

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:38 AM
Heater control valve is what I meant to say earlier...

Thermostat is the part on the motor that opens to circulates fluid when the motor gets hot.

Heater control valve....I had something like that on my Park Avenue, but I don't think the S-10 is that advanced....lol

I checked the Prestone site and it looks like I will need 3 products to ensure a proper treatment


The Super Flush for the engine block
The Super Radiator Cleaner as the name implies
and the flush and fill kit for everything else.
Gallon of Antifreeze

At that cost, it may be cheaper to pay someone else so I don't have to be in the cold.

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 11:38 AM
i have a testor....the one with the little balls or whatever.

wasn't sure, i think there like 10$ at APS... but here in wisconsin its manditory under a "maintenance inspection"

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 11:39 AM
i think its like 50$ for complete flush here in WI.

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:39 AM
wasn't sure, i think there like 10$ at APS... but here in wisconsin its manditory under a "maintenance inspection"

TN doesn't have BS like that. The first car I rode in didn't have a floorboard, it was a piece of cardboard.

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:39 AM
i think its like 50$ for complete flush here in WI.

About the same here. It's worth $10-15 to not have to go in the cold.

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 11:42 AM
About the same here. It's worth $10-15 to not have to go in the cold.

lmao sure is..then u don't have a possible mess either, if so then u got floor dry.. and all that ****...and there pressure systems clean it better also...so i guess imo is better..

joetama
01-15-2008, 11:50 AM
Heater control valve....I had something like that on my Park Avenue, but I don't think the S-10 is that advanced....lol

I checked the Prestone site and it looks like I will need 3 products to ensure a proper treatment


The Super Flush for the engine block
The Super Radiator Cleaner as the name implies
and the flush and fill kit for everything else.
Gallon of Antifreeze

At that cost, it may be cheaper to pay someone else so I don't have to be in the cold.

You have one... Or you wouldn't have a way of controlling the temperature of the air coming out of the vents...

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:53 AM
It's $69 for a coolant flush.

If I did it myself, here's how it would break down

Coolant $13
Super Flush $5
Radiator Cleaner $5
Flush and Fill Kit $10

So about $33.

I wonder if paying someone will do a $30 better job.

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 11:54 AM
You have one... Or you wouldn't have a way of controlling the temperature of the air coming out of the vents...

I am not sure if it's electronic, I think it is a manual cable changing a blend door.

joetama
01-15-2008, 12:04 PM
It's $69 for a coolant flush.

If I did it myself, here's how it would break down

Coolant $13
Super Flush $5
Radiator Cleaner $5
Flush and Fill Kit $10

So about $33.

I wonder if paying someone will do a $30 better job.

Depends on how confident and how much time you have.

Some vehicles can be a pain in the *** if you have to bleed the lines...


I am not sure if it's electronic, I think it is a manual cable changing a blend door.

It is probably electronic.

jco1385
01-15-2008, 12:05 PM
on my car, it has auto climate control. i set it to a temp and it gets there and shuts off (just like your house) there's a sensor on a heater line that will not allow the heater to blow until the water is heated enough. maybe your's has a similar setup...

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 12:06 PM
on my car, it has auto climate control. i set it to a temp and it gets there and shuts off (just like your house) there's a sensor on a heater line that will not allow the heater to blow until the water is heated enough. maybe your's has a similar setup...

I have a knob I turn. My park avenue was as you described and the part that opens the blend door failed.

J31Rob
01-15-2008, 12:07 PM
...then it's no longer a heater.

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 12:09 PM
i wish my s- had a climate control of, so hot yr balls got bigger....lol i hate WI FTW, -2 :S

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 12:22 PM
i wish my s- had a climate control of, so hot yr balls got bigger....lol i hate WI FTW, -2 :S

You have an S-10 also?

_JaY_
01-15-2008, 01:08 PM
You have an S-10 also?

pm has been sent.

Blazin_Jason
01-15-2008, 08:46 PM
Why didn't you ask this on s10 forum? =) You said that the engine gets up to normal operating temp, which it should show on your temp gauge. That would indicate that the thermostat it probably working correctly. However when you pull out the stat you may notice it is stuck open. So changing it might help. I would also feel the hoses going to the heater core when the truck is hot. This can determine if the core is clogged or not. If one hose is hot and the other is not (the outlet) then it's probably clogged. A coolant flush may resolve the problem. If it's the heater core, start searching on s10forum on how to replace it. It wouldn't be a cheap repair to have done as it's time consuming.

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 08:51 PM
Why didn't you ask this on s10 forum? =) You said that the engine gets up to normal operating temp, which it should show on your temp gauge. That would indicate that the thermostat it probably working correctly. However when you pull out the stat you may notice it is stuck open. So changing it might help. I would also feel the hoses going to the heater core when the truck is hot. This can determine if the core is clogged or not. If one hose is hot and the other is not (the outlet) then it's probably clogged. A coolant flush may resolve the problem. If it's the heater core, start searching on s10forum on how to replace it. It wouldn't be a cheap repair to have done as it's time consuming.

Yeah, I am a member, but when I log it, my firewall at work blocks me posting and searching. That is why I opted for the OEM because I found a thread that indicated cheapos have an issue with air bubbles.

Due to daylight issues, I won't be able to check the hoses until Saturday. However, will the thermostat being open be noticable?

What I would do if it is indeed the heater core is cut the hoses and use a piece of heater hose to circumvent the heater until it is warm enough outside to complete the project. If it is clogged, I'd hate to see it bust on me in winter.

Thanks for your comments.

Blazin_Jason
01-15-2008, 09:03 PM
Usually when a thermostat fails it fails open (good ones at least). You should be able to see what I mean. If you do just bypass the heater core for the time being you will need like a splicer/reducer type thing. Since the hoses are different sizes it will let you join the 2. Shouldn't be too hard to find since lots of people do that when the heater core fails. They sure can be a pain to change. Took me a while to do the one in my thunderbird. First gen s10's is hella easy though :P

Flipx99
01-15-2008, 09:09 PM
Is the larger hose the inlet or the outlet?

Blazin_Jason
01-15-2008, 09:13 PM
Not too sure. One usually goes from the water pump to the heater core, and one from the intake to heater core. I think (not sure) the one from the engine to the core should be the hot.

bump - N - ugly
02-03-2008, 12:54 PM
Have you checked the linkage that opens the flap/ valve that allows the coolant to ciculate through the heater core? Get someone to move the heat/cool back and forth and see if the flap opens and shuts. Some are mechanical - a small caable, some work off a vacuum. Could be a bad cable or vaccuum leak. Vacuum only works with car running!! I had this happen and the problem was under the dash were the vacuum lines come out of the controls for hot/cold. Mine was stuck wide open on Hot I live in Texas and that ***** in the summer!!!

Flipx99
02-03-2008, 02:13 PM
Changing the thermostat didn't help. I am going to try a flush one day soon if i get the time and it isn't too cold out.

joetama
02-03-2008, 03:00 PM
Changing the thermostat didn't help. I am going to try a flush one day soon if i get the time and it isn't too cold out.

Did you change the thermostat or the FCV?

Flipx99
02-03-2008, 03:06 PM
Did you change the thermostat or the FCV?

thermostat...in the motor, right above the water pump.

joetama
02-03-2008, 03:17 PM
Welp it is either in the Heater Control Valve or the core is clogged somewhere.