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Gatormans
Gatormans, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 18
Experience:  Mechanic Specializing in American Cars
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My car heater gets warm but not as hot as it..cold outside

Customer Question

My car heater gets warm but not as hot as it should when it is cold outside. Do I need a new thermostat?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Gatormans replied 5 years ago.
HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:
-What year is your Car?
-What make and model is your Car?
-How many miles are on your Car?
-What have you already tried?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just sent that info but here is is again. My car is a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero. Is it a v6 and has a little over 80,000 miles. I haven't tried anything yet but is seems that it has gotten worse this winter. I am holding off taking it to a shop because until I can get some idea what the problem is. I am thinking it may be the thermostat because during the summer, I have noticed that it appears my car is about to overheat because the temprature gauge goes way past midway if I am sitting in traffic but once I start moving again, it cools back down. It has never actually overheated though. During the winter, it heats up enough to thaw the windows but it never really get warm inside anymore.
Expert:  Gatormans replied 5 years ago.

HelloCustomer

 

One of three things are happening. You should probably take care of all three at the same time.

 

First - Thermostat and Gasket - You should replace the thermostat and gasket. It is fairly inexpensive. If the thermostat opens to soon, you wont get very hot air inside.

 

Second - Clean the area between the Radiator and Condensor and verify fan operation- This is probably what is causing your summer issues. Make sure your cooling fans (radiator fans) are turning on when the temperature gets higher than "midway" and turns on when you turn on the a/c. Also, the area between your radiator and condensor MUST be completely clean from any leaves and/or cotton from trees. You can blow this area out with compressed air or with a water hose.

 

Third - Lastly, flush your cooling system. This should take care of any buildup in your heater core. Heater cores blocking up is not very common in this car. They usually are good until the spring a leak which you will notice by your windows fogging up and not going away.

 

Seems like you have 2 issues, summer issue which is probably First or Second Repair and the winter issue is probably First or Third Repair.

 

All three of these repairs are fairly cheap and doesn't come close to the price of a new Heater Core. Wink

 

Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions.

Gatormans, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 18
Experience: Mechanic Specializing in American Cars
Gatormans and 13 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for you help. It sounds like I was right about the thermostat. I will replace it and the and gasket and clean between the radiator and condensor and let you know if that fixes the problem. I'm trying to hold out until 2010 0r 2011 to buy a more energy efficient car.

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