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The heater in my 08 will not get hot until you drive for several miles no matter how long you let it warm up while idling. This is my son's car and he drives 9 miles to school one way. His brother's school is about 5 miles away. He tells me that he can turn the heat on full blast and it blows only cold air until he's almost at his brother's school to drop him off then it starts blowing hot air. I have a 2004 chevy Avalanche and it has the same problem. I found that in my Avalanche I have a slow coolant leak and the problem happens mostly when the Dexcool is low in the overflow. But I don't know if it's the same with his impala. Does anyone know what this could be? OAN: Once he was at McDonald's drive through and it was taking awhile and he said steam started coming from the hood. He even videotaped it on his Iphone and showed it to me. He called me when It was happening and I don't him to check the temp gauge. He said it was reading normal. And after he left Mcdonalds and got on the highway it stopped steaming. When he got home and I opened the hood and can see where the area above the overflow was wet. What could be causing these issues? Do I need a radiator flush? New thermostate? Is there a leak or what?
 

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The heater in my 08 will not get hot until you drive for several miles no matter how long you let it warm up while idling. This is my son's car and he drives 9 miles to school one way. His brother's school is about 5 miles away. He tells me that he can turn the heat on full blast and it blows only cold air until he's almost at his brother's school to drop him off then it starts blowing hot air. I have a 2004 chevy Avalanche and it has the same problem. I found that in my Avalanche I have a slow coolant leak and the problem happens mostly when the Dexcool is low in the overflow. But I don't know if it's the same with his impala. Does anyone know what this could be? OAN: Once he was at McDonald's drive through and it was taking awhile and he said steam started coming from the hood. He even videotaped it on his Iphone and showed it to me. He called me when It was happening and I don't him to check the temp gauge. He said it was reading normal. And after he left Mcdonalds and got on the highway it stopped steaming. When he got home and I opened the hood and can see where the area above the overflow was wet. What could be causing these issues? Do I need a radiator flush? New thermostate? Is there a leak or what?
Steam is normal on cold overnight start up .
As long it not doing it all the time.


my impala it takes about 1.5miles to start getting warm. gets nice and toasty inside. So hot in fact I turn it down to 1 and it will keep the temperature inside.
 

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Heater

The newer cars are not like the older ones. I guess that is directly proportionate to how old you are. Anyway, keep this in mind. As your engine gets hot it circulates that warm coolant through your heater core and is usually controlled by a climate control valve on most newer cars. If there is not coolant because it's low, or because it got low it allowed air to get into the system it is not going to work period. It's and air over coolant transfer so to speak. Your engine can be out of coolant, ( or with plenty of coolant and your heater core not bled properly ) it can get red hot, and it is basically not going to pass heat from the heater core. You need to get hot coolant into the heater core. Just my opinion, but steam should not be coming from your car. That's a sign of overheating. My brother's lincoln just did this. Steam, no heat, etc. 2 things, the radiator hose was loose and it drained the coolant allowing it to allow air into the system. He filled it back up and bled the engine. It stopped overheating but the heater didn't work. He didn't bleed the heater seperately. also the DCCV ( dual climate control valve ) went bad when it overheated. Just some thoughts.

Jeff
 

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Got Bass?
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steam.... open the hood and behind the passenger side headlight check for coolant on the top of the radiator... I had this problem and it was my water pump. what had happened was that it would piss coolant out only when the seals got hot and expanded.. then the coolant would hit the belt and fling up on the radiator causing the car to lose full coolant level and not deliver any heat to the heater core. ( indicated by the heater core hoses being luke warm and barely pressurized.)
 

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Mr. Handy
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Possibilities: Heater core (not likely), Coolant leak, faulty thermostat, water pump. Check coolant level in radiator and overflow tank. Leave the rad cap off and start the car. Watch the coolant to see if it is flowing/moving at all.


What I would do

1. Fix the leak
2. Have the coolant flushed by a machine and not a simple drain and fill (quick lube does these for $80)
3. Replace thermostat, gasket, and coolant temp sensor while your at it
4. Drain coolant
5. Replace coolant with prestone and bleed the system (leave rad cap off and squeeze rad hoses while engine running)
6. Refill as necessary


DO NOT mix prestone or anything else (not even water) with dexcool! It will cause a major headache and problems down the line.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The engine temp can be running at normal temp on the gauge an it'll still blow cold. It will eventually blow hot but it takes a long time. How do I check the coolant level? On this car the overflow doesn't have a coldfill line like my Avalanche does. If it does I couldn't see it. I don't know if you should be able to see coolant in the overflow or not. I'll have to look at it to see what Red Cap you're talking about. Is it covered with anything?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Steam is normal on cold overnight start up .
As long it not doing it all the time.


my impala it takes about 1.5miles to start getting warm. gets nice and toasty inside. So hot in fact I turn it down to 1 and it will keep the temperature inside.
No steam at startup. This happened when he was at a drive through and the car had been running a while.

I'm not talking about 1.5 miles. I'm talking more like 7 or 8 miles even after letting it idle in the driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The problem was my ignorance. Since we bought the car used (actually a repo) it didn't come with a user manual and I never got around to finding one. Well I got one offline tonight and discovered where the cold fill line is on the overflow reservior. My son's car was seriously low on coolant. When I say low I mean low. Bought a gallon Dexcool and it took all but a little of it. Ran the engine for a few minutes and all of a sudden there was heat. I feel dumb but never said I was a mechanic. But I know better than to let the fluids get that low. Thanks for the replies.
 

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Mr. Handy
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No problem. Just please tell your son to monitor engine temps and coolant level's. There must be a leak somewhere.
 

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The cold fill line is set at almost completely empty, anything below it is clearly a problem... I use the hot line as the cold fill, GM was slightly retarded when they made those tanks...
 

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i have a 03 impala and its not smoking wen i drive it from my house to about 9miles it gets over to hot sometime it go back down its self i changed the thermostat i took it to express oil and the reading they gave me said radiator service coolant sysem can anybody tell me whats next.
 

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What?
 
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