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Discussion Starter #1
This cold spell is really getting on my nerves and on my cars too. I have an 89 LS that is having issues when it is 20 F or below. Today it was about 5 F and this is what was wrong. I let it warm up for about 20 minutes, and still no heat for the entire ride to school. The Temp redlined twice on the way to school and would drop back down to normal. Also, when turning on the heat/defrost I hear a very loud annoying sound coming from the glove box area. It wouldn't go away until I turned the heat/defrost off, which wasn't working anyways. What is causing all of this to happen? Is it my sensors? Or is it due to the cold weather we are having. I need help before I start randomly checking things in the car. Thanks.

Brian
 

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Was hoping someone more knowing than I would answer, but.....

Easy stuff to check first is: Most likely to be your coolant level, in clear tank, in radiator, AND take off the bleeder on top of engine and pour until its full as well. If they arent full and you have to add some, run it for a while and refill after it cools down. There are procedures for burping the air out in the tech articles. Also if they arent full, find the leak and stop it fast. But not with a bottle of stop leak, that will only make things worse in the long run. Whatever you do, dont let it redline on the temp guage! It only increases the chances of blowing the head gasket, pull over or whatever you have to do until it cools off.

Also, test your coolant, make sure its actually coolant and its not freezing. That would be very bad.

That noise could be your fan motor, they are noisy in these things. Good luck.
 

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well, first i would also say to check ur fluid, i have a 92 sc that would have the temp climb if it was just idling. it turned out to be low coolant. also, when was the las time ur fluid was flushed? another problem might be the thermostat. with the cold weather it may not be opening properly. as far as the noise coming from the glove box, ur heater coil is located up behind the dash in the area of the glove box. have u been smelling any antifreeze in the car? if that is about ready to go, it usually will let u kno by making noises and/or reeking of antifreeze. but if it is on its way out, change it quick, cuz when it lets go u will have a puddle of antifreeze on the floor below ur glovebox, and if it starts to burn the smoke will fish bowl the inside of the car. well goodluck, hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well on Saturday I replaced the thermostat and everything seemed to be working properly. There is no smell of anti-freeze or anything like that. I warmed it up again today to go to school and it was doing the same exact thing. The fluid levels are fine and replacing the T-stat didn't help at all. It seems that it does this only when it is in the low teens. I am going to have my dad take it to the mechanic tonight or some other night to get it checked out becuase I am running out of ideas on what it could be? So I will keep you guys posted on what the problem is. Thanks for the help.

Bri
 

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Keep checking for air bubbles using the bleeder thing on top of the motor, It can take quite a while to get them all out. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The bleeder cap that you are talking about, is it like a yellow-whitish color? I think I know what you are talking about, its above the thermostat correct? How would I go about getting the air out of the system? Take it all the way off o crack it? My dad was going to do that but he wasnt sure. Thanks for the help.

Bri
 

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maybe your vacuum line disconnected from the actuator to turn on the heat. That could explain the annoying noise behind the dash. I believe the vacuum hose for it is located behind the DIN slot. You'll have to take out the entire front dash to get to it.
-Thomas
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The heat does work though. When the weather is warming in the afternoon the heat works fine and the temp gauge doesnt move as much. It just seems that the car hates the cold weather. There still could be some air in the system, will have to check. I don't know anymore.

Bri
 

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after it cools, take out that plug and fill it to the top with coolant. and check the radiator for a few days and make sure both of those stay full. There are better instructions on this in the TCCoA tech articles.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great, thanks for all the help, i will keep you posted.
 

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i got the same kinda car and when it is cold out there is a squeeling under the dash. i just kinda figured a bearing went out and never really messed with it. It only does it till the car reaches normal tempatures. If you make the fan go faster it gets louder kinda wierd but ionno.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
JohnNaas,

My dad and I loosened the cap and let air out if any. We waited until coolant was coming and and shut it. After shutting it, we topped everything off and made sure everything was working right. This morning I actually had heat for the first time. The temp went up to normal and stayed there for a long bit of time, longer then usual. Then after a bit the temp dropped, as soon as that dropped, the heat stopped working. THen the temp would do the same thing as usual, go up and down and the heat didnt work after that. But I did have heat first thing this morning. I am still stumped.

Bri
 

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It is still possible that there is more air in the system. I would repeat the process a few more times first.
If this doen't work you may have a partialy cloged passage, or a collapsing hose.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Jim,

How would I go about finding the partialy closed passage or collapsing hose, if I have any? I have to work tonight, so I will try to air it out some more when I get some time. I might stop by our friend mechanic again and see if he can do any more for me. Thanks.

Bri
 

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Its definitly possible that there is more air that worked its way up, like I said, its a pain to get all the air out of one of these cars. I would also make sure you have no leaks at all, not even a drip. Wherever coolant gets out, air gets in and you have this problem all over again. I would just burp it a few more times and see. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I am going to take it to our friend mechanic tomorrow and we are going to check it over real good. I was talking to him today, and he says that with all these signs, it mostly likely is the head gasket. He said for me to take it easy on the car and we will fix it in the early spring, or whenever its alot warmer out. I guess I will have to start driving the 93 Explorer. If the head gasket was going would I be able to smell coolant from the exhaust? I thought I got a quick smell, but I wasn't really sure. But right now I have to go get ready for work. Thanks for the help.

Bri
 

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I agree with your mechanic. I think you do have a head gasket starting to go bad. If you changed the T-stat, bled out the air and the problem came back, it's a pretty good bet that it's time to pull the heads off. What's happening is that its getting airbound slowly from compression leaking into the water jacket. The noise you hear inside may be bubbles inside the heater core. Very common on these engines. This is exactly what happened when mine went. It never ran badly at all, just lost the heat and started overheating one day.

Another simple check is to run the engine with the radiator cap off (only with the engine cool and coolant topped off). If you see bubbles coming up out of the radiator fill neck that smell like gasoline, you are definitely leaking compression somewhere. This isn't as good as a compression test, but it's easy to try.

Goodluck with your car!

Carlo.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BLOWN

With the weather being as cold as it is and me needing the car, I am having our mechanic do it for us. He said it will run me about $850, too much money for me to spend to fix a car. Then I have insurance to pay soon too, I am going to be broke.

Just thought you all wanted to know. Thanks for all the help.
 

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crazed maniac said:
BLOWN

With the weather being as cold as it is and me needing the car, I am having our mechanic do it for us. He said it will run me about $850, too much money for me to spend to fix a car. Then I have insurance to pay soon too, I am going to be broke.

Just thought you all wanted to know. Thanks for all the help.
That's a great deal! Mine cost 1700. Make sure he has your heads plane checked. If they're warped your new gaskets won't last long.
-Thomas
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well the problem that i am facing right now is whether or not to have it fixed. I need a car for transportation so right now I am driving my parents 93 explorer, and they really dont like the idea of me drivin it. I love this car so much and I would hate to see it go for the amount of things that I have done to it so far. I am only 18 and its going to be a real pain to spend 850 to get it fixed and then be hammered by insurance. So you guys think I should just get it fixed? I just cant see living without this car right now. Thanks for helping me through this.

Bri
 
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