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Ask Dave Nova Your Own Question
Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Chevrolet Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 19452
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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2005 Chevy Tahoe Z71- heater wont get hot.

Customer Question

2005 Chevy Tahoe Z71- heater won't get hot.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
Do you have dual climate controls?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes- dual climate controls.
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.

The temperature doors are controlled by actuators. When the actuators wear, their feedback values to the control module become out of range and the computer will shut them down. GM has developed new software to correct this problem. You can have this software downloaded at your GM dealer for minimal charge. Certainly cheaper than replacing actuators.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

What is approximate typical charge at dealership to update this software?

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.

Should be less than $100.

Dave Nova and 3 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.



Took the Tahoe in to local Chevy dealer, described problem, mentioned software update. Service Advisor said he was not aware of the software update. I told him there was a TSB on it, he said "I doubt a software download is going to fix your problem- you probably need a new blend door motor, and there are actually two, and they could both be bad." I insisted that they try the software download. They brought it in and hooked it up to the computer- came back and said "we tried resetting the computer, but that didn't work- you will need to make an appointment to bring it in and leave it with us, so that we can diagnose/repair". So my questions are- (1) Is there any chance that they didn't actually download the software? (in other words, am I about to get screwed?) (2) If the software update isn't the fix, what's next? (blend door actuator?) (3) Is whatever is next something I might want to try to fix myself, or is it too complicated? (I am reasonably mechanical- I changed out the blower motor about a year ago). thanks for your help.

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
There are two blend door actuators, one for the drivers side and one for the passenger side. The only way to tell if the software was downloaded is through use of the dealership computer. If you don't trust that they did it, you would have to go to another dealer. If they did the software and that did not fix the problem then the actuators will need to be replaced. The drivers side actuator is easy to get to and replace. The passenger side actuator requires removal of the dash. I can give you instructions on how to replace the actuators if you'd like. Just let me know.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I think I will take it to another dealership to verify that the software has been downloaded. Any chance that only one actuator is bad, or will it always be both? If they need to be replaced, I will definitely be coming to you for instructions. thanks.
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
They don't both always go bad. If you have no control over the temperature on either side of the vehicle, they will both be bad.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It's both sides, also no heat to the rear- I'm assuming that is fed from the front, or is that indicative of another problem?
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
The heater hoses join together out in the engine compartment, this is the only connection between the front and rear heaters. There is another actuator in the rear. You stated that the temperature gauge reads normal, is the coolant level where it should be? Do both heater hoses get hot when running the engine?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Coolant level was good last time I checked, but I will re-check and also verify that both heater hoses are getting hot. Will check tonight at home and get back to you (wife's car and it's at home.) thanks
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
Okay, let me know later. I'll be here.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Dave, checked coolant level and it was low- added coolant and presto- everything seems to work great! Now I just need to find my coolant leak. Thank you so much for your help. I am not at all confident that the dealership wouldn't have gone ahead and given me the new actuators. Anyway, thanks again for your help.

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
You are welcome. Check around your water pump and water pump gaskets, this is a common place for coolant leaks on these trucks.