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Old 12-15-2010, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default Air inside car not getting hot! It's 20 degrees here!

ok so I bought this car at the beginning of Oct and the heat and A/C was working fine. Now, I can leave my car running for 10 mins with the car completely warmed up and the air coming out of the vents is nowhere near as hot as it should be. It's almost coldand it never gets warm. I drove it about 2.5 hours and the air in the car never got warm. Is this a heater core issue? I'm not leaking any coolant or anything but its freezing here and I need some help. Thanks guys.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:54 PM   #2
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I assume it was still cold outside in October when the heat worked????

If so, all I can think of is a stuck open t-stat ancd your coolant is staying very cool. Unless you can confirm that your coolant is getting up to normal operating temp, then I'd say a clogged heater core.......but I don't see how they can get clogged, but I've heard claims of it. Maybe do a real good coolant system flush.

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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Yeah the heat worked great when I first got it up untill about two weeks ago. I'm assuming the coolant is getting up to a good temp because the engine is running right under 210. How would I check to see if the thermostat is staying open/closed? I know where its at just don't know how to test something like that with the engine off?
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:39 PM   #4
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Yeah the heat worked great when I first got it up untill about two weeks ago. I'm assuming the coolant is getting up to a good temp because the engine is running right under 210. How would I check to see if the thermostat is staying open/closed? I know where its at just don't know how to test something like that with the engine off?
If you know the coolant is getting to anywhere above 175*, thats plenty for alot of heat to come out the vents. You probably have a problem with the coolant getting to the heater core.Or when you turn the **** to HOT its not activating the gates inside the dash to give you the hot air instead of the cold air. THAT could be a vacuum line that fell off the intake.....usually a little tiny hose. (if thats how that year car operates)

The t-stat simply comes out by taking the two bolts off when the engine is cold. If its stuck open you'll see it fully open. You can also test it in a pot of water on the stove to see if it opens at the right temp, using a cooking thermometer as the water heats up.

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427ci stroker died at 173,000 miles...what a great engine that was, built by the late, great - Dave DiLuca...RIP...
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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If you know the coolant is getting to anywhere above 175*, thats plenty for alot of heat to come out the vents. You probably have a problem with the coolant getting to the heater core.Or when you turn the **** to HOT its not activating the gates inside the dash to give you the hot air instead of the cold air. THAT could be a vacuum line that fell off the intake.....usually a little tiny hose. (if thats how that year car operates)

The t-stat simply comes out by taking the two bolts off when the engine is cold. If its stuck open you'll see it fully open. You can also test it in a pot of water on the stove to see if it opens at the right temp, using a cooking thermometer as the water heats up.

.
Any idea on which hose it is that comes off the intake? I'll go look here in a min if you can tell me which hose it is. I'll also check the thermostat. It's kinda hard to flush anything right now because it's below freezing and I've taken off all the hoses to my house for the winter.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:31 PM   #6
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are you sure its full?
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:56 PM   #7
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I went to check the coolant and when I pulled the cap off there is a bunch of brown crap all over the dip stick. I'm guessing this stuff probably clogged the heater core or something?
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:58 AM   #8
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I went to check the coolant and when I pulled the cap off there is a bunch of brown crap all over the dip stick. I'm guessing this stuff probably clogged the heater core or something?
If you're still running with the Dex-Cool, extended life coolant that GM originally put in these cars, that brown residue is probably it. People will argue all day about the pros and cons of Dex-Cool, but alot of us, especially in my personal experience, have dealt with Dex-Cool and decided it gunked up our cooling systems. I'd recommend flushing the system as best as you can. What coolant you decide to use afterwards is your decision but I vote for the Prestone "all makes and models" extended life green stuff...
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:23 AM   #9
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Dexcool in a open system like our cars are is going to turn into brown sludge. Brown sludge is actually from dexcool turning acid and eatting your engine block. Nice stuff........thanks gm.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:32 PM   #10
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Dexcool in a open system like our cars are is going to turn into brown sludge. Brown sludge is actually from dexcool turning acid and eatting your engine block. Nice stuff........thanks gm.
Sweet yeah looks like its time to flush it and put in some good old green stuff.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:00 PM   #11
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Sweet yeah looks like its time to flush it and put in some good old green stuff.
Lots of people use the green stuff..........I'm going on 13 years and my Dexcool stays crystal clean always. When I first had my car it was bone stock for 4 straight years till my 427ci went in....I never once took the radiator cap off in 4 years, it was full and perfectly clean. For the past ~9 years with my 427ci, same thing, perfectly clean, doesn't leak a drop.

It all has to do with having a healthy, SEALED, cooling system. Dexcool is great stuff and desugned for our LSx engines, but I guess people have no issues with the green stuff.

Whatever works I guess............

Here's the best way to flush an LS1....no need pulling engine plugs.

Best/easiest way to flush and get every drop of old coolant out.

-Cold engine.
-Remove radiator fill cap.
-Remove the t-stat from the housing. Leave the housing attached to the rubber radiator hose, just remove the 2 housing bolts and pull it away from the water to pump to get to the t-stat. (2-3 minute job).
-Put t-stat housing back on. (1 minute) Just put one bolt in, no need to put them both in, there’s no pressure in the system during the flush.
-Take the entire radiator drain valve (petcock) "off" and let it drain, don't just open the valve itself. It'll drain faster with it off and that’s what you want. ((Buy a new petcock valve before starting this flush process, sometimes they break when you remove them all the way just because they're cheap plastic and they get briddle over time, they're like $2.00))
-Take a hose and stick it in the radiator fill cap, running medium to high.
-Start the engine.
-Turn heat on full blast
-Let it run for about 15-20 minutes or until the water is running out the drain CLEAR.
-((If you want to, you can wait till it runs clear, close the drain valve, add a bottle of radiator flush and let it run for 15 minutes, then drain it all again. Then open the drain and put the hose in for about 5 minutes run it all out till its CLEAR. The flush chemical will help break up the crap thats stuck DEEP in the BLOCK that sits and swirls and doesn't like to come out.))
-When it runs clear your entire system is clean.
-Remove the overflow reservoir from the car and clean it out real good. (I had to use gasoline to clean mine out because the sludge and grime was so thick inside. The gas broke it all down and then it flushed right out. I filled it about 1/3 up with gasoline and shook the hell out of it real vigorously, the black stuff kept coming out. I did that like 4 separate times with gasoline till no more chunks of black crap came out. Make sure the lines that go to the reservoir are also cleaned out. Or just buy a new piece of 3/8” heater hose and replace that line, 3 feet will do, then cut to fit. My sludge came from my power steering fluid leaking into my coolant system.)
-Put the t-stat back in.
-Put the overflow reservoir back in.
-Put the drain valve back in. Use the new one, what the hell.
-Put half a jug of Dexcool in the radiator. (Or if you live in very cold places, 1 to 1 ½ jugs of Dexcool)
-Fill the rest with water.
you do not need to use distilled water, clean hose water is just fine, just make sure your city water is clean and not total crap quality.

**Bleeding the system of air:
Start it up and let it run, radiator cap OFF, and let it warm up till the t-stat opens. I rapidly squeeze the upper and lower radiator hose like 20 times while its warming up to help move any air bubbles through the system and by the t-stat on the engine side. When the t-stat opens you’ll see the level drop as you squeeze it, its sucking the coolant through the system. You will also see the coolant start to flow in the radiator fill neck, once it starts to flow the level should drop down a lot, immediately top it off with coolant/water. Then the flow will stop when the t-stat closes. Wait one more time for the t-stat to open again and start to flow, if it drops down again top it off again. Do it a 3rd time if you want to make sure. I always massage the upper hose during the whole process to keep any air bubbles moving through. Always works like a charm. Just keep checking your temp gauge until the t-stat opens for the first time to make sure it’s not sitting there overheating from a trapped bubble. May take 10-15 minutes for the t-stat to open the first time.
If you do start to get hot while sitting there and the t-stat will not open…..you have an air bubble on the engine side of the t-stat. Shut the engine off and rapidly squeeze the upper and lower radiator hoses again. Then start the engine again and see if the t-stat will open. Sometimes you just have to work those hoses to move the air through. Even after it seems topped off after a couple cycles…check it the next time you have a cold engine…top off if needed.

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427ci stroker died at 173,000 miles...what a great engine that was, built by the late, great - Dave DiLuca...RIP...
-Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well DANCE.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:31 PM   #12
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check your radiator fluid make sure its full for starters
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:17 PM   #13
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Hi,
i would do the complete flush and use your choice of coolant. Most people change drain the radiator every year and just top it off with 50/50 mixture.
Just buy a gallon and mix it yourself to save money. I would also take the heater hoses off and back flush the core. This is a good time for new hoses,clamps and thermostat. Remember some units are housing and thermostat
made together. Do not............try to pry the thermostat out....the housing will break...............remove the coolant tank and flush it as stated by LS6427.........he is correct in the information stated. If i can be of help please contact me. Have a merry christmas and happy new year..
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:36 PM   #14
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great info on the dexcool, i have saw that sludge and had no clue the dexcool was the issue
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:50 AM   #15
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If I take it to Valvoline or somewhere like that and get it flushed, can i put the 50/50 green stuff in it or is that a bad idea? i know you're not supposed to mix them I'm just wondering if they will flush it good enough.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #16
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Our cooling systems are not sealed, the recovery bottle is wide open. This is why dexcool in our systems can get nasty. My 99 had big trouble with it until i changed it out for non dexcrap.
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:24 PM   #17
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dexcool was introduced in 1995, it is still being used as of 2011, that is 16 years later.
Ford is switching to dexcool, it is factory fill in the 2011 mustang.

To just say dexcool is bad and it eats aluminum and rots your engine out is not true.
Any antifreeze or coolant mixture can turn acidic, can wash away iron oxide from an iron block if there's air in the system and clog things up, and will degrade over time. All antifreezes have a service lifespan.

There are simple answers to the problems that have happened with dexcool.

are we talking about a 1999 camaro LS1 with coolant that's never been changed?

simplest thing to do is with the engine hot, feel the return line from the heater core. or just feel both lines from the heater core, they should both be hot. If so then hot coolant is going thru the heater core and you either have a problem with the head unit in the dash or a vacuum line problem like was mentioned. If only one hose or neither hose is hot near the heater core then you have no coolant flow thru the heater core, which is either a plugged heater core or air in the system which is trapped in the heater core- fast idle the car on an incline for a little bit to purge the air then keep topping off the radiator and overflow tank after the next few cool downs. Also make sure you're overflow tank hose is unobstructed and that your radiator cap is working and holding pressure.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:32 AM   #18
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Well, it really is a sealed system....with a pressure relief cap only there as a safety measure so you don't blow a hose. You should never blow any coolant, ever, into the overflow tank unless you have a problem, system failure like a leak somewhere that lets air in and then overheating and then overpressurizing, to push coolant out.

I've had coolant blow into my overflow tank one time in 12+ years and thats when I threw my serpentine belt 1 month after I got my 427ci in and wacked the throttle for the first time with that piece of crap factory tensioner. I was on the highway doing 130mph when I glanced down and saw my temp almost in the red. By the time I pulled over and stopped on the side of the road the needle was buried in the red. I heard some coolant that blew into the overflow tank, maybe a couple quarts only though. Otherwise my overflow is always bone dry. When the engine cooled down that coolant went right back into the radiator cause it was not there the next day and my coolant is always topped off.
I keep a gallon of water with me all the time if I need it though.

The pressure relief cap is there to also let coolant escape AFTER the engine is turned off, because the temp and pressure in the block and heads rise for about 20 minutes after the engine is shut down, before it starts to cool. So for those hot *** days when you're riding around pretty damn hot you won't pop a hose off after shutdown. So people that ride around hotter than other cars do, they have this process going on all the time....coolant goes into the tank and then back out into the radiator when things cool off.

People that have problems with Dexcool are those who have worn out radiator caps and spend alot of time figuring out why they are losing coolant, all the while air is getting in for days or weeks. Or those people with failed water pumps, pinhole leaks in hoses, loose clamps......and again....air is getting over periods of time. That kills Dexcool. Liek I said, my Dexcool has always been crsytal clean....brown....but just as clean as when it goes in. Never an issue in 12+ years. Gotta have a sealed system....if it ever gets opened up because of a problem you need to flush the system and replace it with new Dexcool. Opening it to check it does nothing, I check mine all the time.

Oh well....it all works.

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427ci stroker died at 173,000 miles...what a great engine that was, built by the late, great - Dave DiLuca...RIP...
-Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well DANCE.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:55 AM   #19
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If I take it to Valvoline or somewhere like that and get it flushed, can i put the 50/50 green stuff in it or is that a bad idea? i know you're not supposed to mix them I'm just wondering if they will flush it good enough.
Mixing the coolants won't cause your car to melt down, but it will cancel the "extended life" properties of the Death-Cool; you'd end up having to service the cooling system much sooner than 5 years, 100K miles. If you're taking it to a shop like Valvoline, their machine is pretty thorough and you can be confident you won't have mixed solutions in there.

Personally, I wouldn't take it to Valvoline though. They use "recycled" coolant, and although I'm sure all coolant is recycled to some degree, seeing "their" coolant in that dirty machine just doesn't inspire confidence. Why do I say this? Because I used to run a Valvolvine shop...
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:28 AM   #20
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Mixing the coolants won't cause your car to melt down, but it will cancel the "extended life" properties of the Death-Cool; you'd end up having to service the cooling system much sooner than 5 years, 100K miles. If you're taking it to a shop like Valvoline, their machine is pretty thorough and you can be confident you won't have mixed solutions in there.

Personally, I wouldn't take it to Valvoline though. They use "recycled" coolant, and although I'm sure all coolant is recycled to some degree, seeing "their" coolant in that dirty machine just doesn't inspire confidence. Why do I say this? Because I used to run a Valvolvine shop...
Well that's nice to know. I got my last car flushed at valvoline and the coolant looked pretty good but I guess you know what you're talking about.

anyway, my car is hot again...I didn't even get a chance to flush the heater core or system. i have no idea what happened but i'm guessing there was a clog and the system finally just pushed it through. Idk, I'm still going to flush it when I get a chance.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:28 AM
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