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Old 11-24-2003, 04:50 PM   #1
Utah Saturn
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Default Heater won't heat


I hope someone here can help.

The heater in my 96 sl2 won't heat up. I have changed the thermostat, flushed & drained the radiator and it still doesn't heat up, it does get luke warm. The temperature guage only goes to just over 1/4, should it be higher?. The coolant level is full. Has anyone else seen this? what do you suggest that I do.

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Old 11-24-2003, 05:42 PM   #2
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How's your gasmilage?

Did you use a oem thermostat? When was the ECTS last changed?
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Old 11-24-2003, 09:20 PM   #3
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The heater core may be clogged not allowing enough flow. Also make sure the mode door moves fully from cold to hot. You didnt install the t-stat backwards by any chance did ya? I dont think you can its been awhile since I have done one but I know you can in hondas
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Old 11-24-2003, 11:33 PM   #4
Utah Saturn
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I did install an oem thermostat, and I am positive it is in correctly. How do I check the mode door? The lever moves all the way from cold to hot but how and where do I check to see if it is actually opening? I made sure to really flush the heater core when I flushed the system I ran water through the hose that runs towards the firewall that connects near the overfill bottle. When I feel the hoses (including the hose out of the thermostat) they don't feel hot. They are warm, but not hot. The hose going to the heater core feels to be the same temperature.

I do only freeway diriving with this vehicle and I get 37 mpg.

I have never changed the ECTS. Should I?

Thanks
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:06 AM   #5
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Welcome to the Board.

The cooalnt temp sensor will not effect how hot the engine gets, the thermostat will. Do you get any better heat if you rev the engine? If you do then the heater core would certainly be part of the problem. From what have said though it seems like none of the hoses are getting real hot. The two hoses to the heater core should get hot enough so that you can't keep your hands on them without being burned by the heat before you start to get any real amount of heat through the upper rad hose and rad to lower rad hose. The surge tank should be good and hot before the rad gets hot coolant in it. In this case I would concentrate on getting good hot coolant into the heater core before checking the mode doors. If you are getting the hot coolant into the heater core this would be the place to check.
At this point I would suspect a bad thermostat or one that was some how installed incorrectly. Do you get the two hold in prongs for the tstat into position correctly? Is the center of the unit in position correctly? You did have to use the fine special tool that is provided by Saturn to install the tstat yes?


By the way, only one way to get the tstat in. Not like on a Honda.
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Old 11-25-2003, 06:41 AM   #6
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I think Ssicarman is on the right track, it sounds like the coolant flow is getting past the thermostat allowing too much flow to me. That would explain the lack of heat and low gauge readings anyway.
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Old 11-26-2003, 04:39 AM   #7
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Thanks for your responses

I have another question though. I am having a hard time seeing the second hose that comes from the heater core. I see the one that connects to the overflow tank and runs back to the firewall. I cannot see the other one from the top of the engine. I haven't gotten under the car yet. Doesn't the coolant flow from the heater core to the overflow tank through the hose that I can see? Or does the coolant go from the overflow tank to the heater core.

I am going to flush the system again and replace the t-stat (again) and the ECTS just to be safe. I want to force water back through the heater core just to ensure it isn't blocked. I have searched the forum but haven't found anything on how to flush just the heater core to ensure it is clean. I am thinking I need to detatch the other hose to do this correctly. Do you have any advice on how to do this?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-26-2003, 06:10 PM   #8
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There's a special tool for installing the thermostat? That's news to me. Hmm.

Saturn did issue a TSB about cars not heating up properly. (95-I-02) This TSB concerns a car not heating during extended idling, but I've found that it affects heating during regular driving as well.

The TSB states that if you turn the heater up too high before the engine has had a chance to get to temperature, then the heater core will act as a second rad, and not allow it to get to temp.

This makes for some damned chilly drives to work on these cold winter mornings.

Jim
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Old 11-27-2003, 04:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah Saturn
Thanks for your responses

I have another question though. I am having a hard time seeing the second hose that comes from the heater core. I see the one that connects to the overflow tank and runs back to the firewall. I cannot see the other one from the top of the engine. I haven't gotten under the car yet. Doesn't the coolant flow from the heater core to the overflow tank through the hose that I can see? Or does the coolant go from the overflow tank to the heater core.

Thanks in advance.
One hose goes from the firewall to the intake. Accessible from the drivers die of the engine at the back bottom of the intake. Intake piping off and you should be able to see/get it.
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Old 11-30-2003, 12:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for everyone's help. I bought a different thermostat and flushed the cooling system, especially the heater core (I found where the other hose comes out). The car now feels like Phoenix in July. I'm not sure if it was the t-stat or the heater core was clogged but as long as it is warm.

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