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PontiacGT
01-22-2004, 10:26 PM
okay on my 97gagt, my heat isnt very warm, even when the car's at normal temp.......sure it's cold outside but she's just not puttin out any heat to warm me up! what do you guys suggest? is it the t-stat that needs to be replaced? if so, honestly to tell you the truth i dont have a clue where that is, can someone post a pic with it circled or something? if not, what do you think it may be.....

silverbullet
01-22-2004, 10:34 PM
follow the top radiator hose until it reaches the motor. the thermostat will be there. you'll need to take off the coolant hose with a screwdriver or nutdriver and the thermostat housing will typically have two (maybe three) small bolts holding it down. the thermostat will be under it. take it out and pop a new one in. make sure the little gasket is good, but you'll probably get a new one with the new thermostat. simple job though.

atc3434
01-22-2004, 10:41 PM
Wait wait wait! The thermostat is fine if the car is reaching normal operating temperature. Its not a cold engine problem, its just cold heat. The heater core would be my first suspect. Not fun, I'd leave that for a mechanic.

silverbullet
01-22-2004, 10:59 PM
true about the thermostat...it would be opening up if the motor is not overheating.

i have a friend who has a little geo storm with the same problem. he called me tonight and said that his bottom radiator hose was cool to the touch which tells me that the coolant is not circulating well and maybe the fins on the water pump are not up to par. you may want to look into that first because like atc3434 heater core jobs suck.

Azrael
01-22-2004, 11:31 PM
In -20 C weather my car takes 20-25 minutes of driving before heat starts coming out of the vents. And this is with the engine temp at normal for most of the driving. Since I have a 3.1L as well maybe I should take mine in too, if there's something wrong. :(

As ghetto as it might be, you could also try putting cardboard over some of the radiator to make it less efficient at removing the heat in the coolant and see if that helps.

SilverStreak
01-23-2004, 12:57 AM
Check to make sure you have the proper mix of coolant in your radiator. I had a similar problem on my astro van. I found whoever had it before me had just straight anti-freeze in the radiator. So I drained it and filled it back up with a proper 50/50 mix & boy do I have the heat now.

Straight anti-freeze will not heat up. All the more anti-freeze that you need is enough to keep the water from freezing. Best to check with an anti-freeze tester. It's worth a shot & doesn't cost very much.

atc3434
01-23-2004, 09:11 AM
Cardboard over the radiator won't help you... even if you problem is a stuck open thermostat. I had a thermostat stuck for most of the winter last year, and you can't get enough cardboard over the front of the car to stop the airflow from cooling the radiator. Anyways, you say you engine temperature is normal, so you do NOT have thermostat problem, barring a bad sensor. Test the antifreeze, and start thinking about fixing that heater core.

Silverbullet - on your buddies storm, just because the radiator hose is cold doesn't mean that there is a problem. In a cold winter the thermostat won't be open much at all. I did lots of testing on radiator water temp vs. engine water temp, and the engine will (with a properly operating thermostat) hold a nice warm 200 degrees or so while the radiator won't usually break 100 degrees as long as your moving.

PACE
01-23-2004, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by SilverStreak


Straight anti-freeze will not heat up. All the more anti-freeze that you need is enough to keep the water from freezing.


uh....what? wtf Its just the oposite....anti-freeze holds heat much better than water....thats why some people run just water in the summer to keep the engine cooler......

silverbullet
01-23-2004, 09:56 AM
he said it was still cool after idling a while in his garage...which i know is usually kept at a bomby 75 -80 deg. in the winter (atleast when he's working on something). Also, he said that the electric fan kicked on a couple times too so i know the motor is getting hot...

i don't know for sure, but i thought when the heater core goes bad there is usually a distinct antifreeze smell when the heat is turned on or you can visually see a leak on your floorboards...atleast those have been the symptoms that i have seen, maybe they were severe cases?

dunno...that will be a weekend project for us and i got a new blower resistor for my car to put in plus an oil change.

tenspeed
01-23-2004, 11:11 AM
If the engine is at normal temperature and the heater is not putting out heat, I would feel the hoses that feed water to the heater core. They should both be as hot as the radiator hoses. The valve that lets coolant flow may be stuck closed.

Straight anti freeze, a 50/50 mix of anti freeze and straight water will all act the same as far as heat retention. You mix anti freeze with water to get lower freeze protection and higher boil over protection. I believe that it adds water pump lubrication and anti rust agents too.

Gt00
01-27-2004, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by PACE
uh....what? wtf Its just the oposite....anti-freeze holds heat much better than water....thats why some people run just water in the summer to keep the engine cooler...... Using antifreeze alone will not transfer heat nearly as well as water and antifreeze mixed 50/50 . You will have poor heat from the heater and the engine will not cool properly . Water alone may transfer heat better but you would have no corrosion protection . And obviously no freeze protection what so ever .

SilverStreak
01-28-2004, 02:14 PM
thats why some people run just water in the summer to keep the engine cooler......

All that you are asking for is trouble running just water in your radiator. Your heater core will rust up, then quit working along with plugging up your radiator. The anti-freeze is just as the name says it. ANTI-FREEZE(It keeps the water from freezing.) Besides Why would you run straight water when the recomendation on the back of the Jug says 50/50 mix of anti-freeze & water. I don't think they out it on there just for looks!!!LOL

Yes you may run straight water just to get by in a worst case cenario, but I wouldn't leave it in there. But hey if you want to replace your heater core & have it leak all over the inside of your car be my guest.