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Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 14457
Experience:  Toyota Master Diagnostic
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1997 Toyota: Runner SR5 4wd with a 6 cyl..liter..runs great

Resolved Question:

I own a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner SR5 4wd with a 6 cyl 3.4 liter. 165000 miles runs great, air condition works awesome. I have no heat. Fan works fine. I had a shop look at it. They said my thermostat was working fine. Is my heater core shot? What should my cost be for repair. I found a used 1999 heater core for $35 38 miles away.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for choosing JustAnswer and allowing me to help you resolve your Toyota questions!


Have you check the coolant temp in the upper tank of the radiator is it 180+ when warmed up?

Are the coolant hoses going to the firewall and into the heater core the same temp on both and about the same temp as the other hoses?

Do you have Auto A/C or manual controls?

Do you have any history on the car leading up to this problem?



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
We have owned 4Runner for 6 years. Always ran great. Still runs great, I will get a temp reading this week in upper tank.The auto shop said I had high temp going into heater core. I don't remember if they said it was coming out hot. I thought my thermostat was bad. They said the 3 nuts holding the thermostat was frozen on and I need to soak them with an oil penetrator and come back. They did not think my thermostat was bad because truck was not over heating. My A/C controls are manual.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 7 years ago.

Let me know what you find out about the temperature readings in the radiator and at the inlet and outlet tubes of the heater core. If the heater core is restricted one tube will be substantially colder than the other two going into the heater core. In order to replace this heater core the entire dashboard needs to be removed and the heater box disassembled to extract the heater core. At this point you may want to consider having a flush and back flush the heater core several times to see if you can get any debris to come out of the heater core. If your temperature gauge in the combination meter is rising to the middle point of the gauge where normally does I would agree that the thermostat is not the issue. If the temperature gauges down near cold constantly than the thermostat could be stuck open. If the thermostat was sticking close to you would have tons of heat and the vehicle would have a tendency to overheat. Make sure that when you slide the hot control lever you hear a distinct thud or movement of the heater control bypass doors. Let me know what you find.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I checked radiator fluid this is the 3rd time I found it low. No puddles under truck. Very slow leak. Also I have had some condensation on pass side window. Not everyday but several times a week. I will double check temperatures.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Skyvisins
I'm sorry I took so long to get back and finish getting you the info you need. I had to do tires, brakes & rear shocks. Money tight. My mechanic changed thermostat. repaired leak in rad hose. checked my panel control so when I slid lever to hot that heater control valve worked, its good. Both in and out tubes to heater core very hot same temp..
He doesn't think my core is plugged. He thinks Door actuator might be bad. He wants me to find a shop in knoxville that has had experience in changing actuator. My mechanic did not tell me if he checked for a vacuum leak to actuator. He said it could be tested after actuator gets pulled out. I read about vacuum leak to actuator could be the problem on a blog. Is it hard to test for vacuum leak inside engine compartment? My mechanic said a shop that has done heater cores will charge less because they are faster at the job if they are honest.
I am blowing cold all the time.
PS. mechanic added some acid in radiator fluid to eat away any blockage in core. he has had some success with that trick. so far no go for me.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 6 years ago.

The actuators or air blend door is mechanical with the cable or depending on your model may have an electric servo. There are no vacuum lines going to any actuators. Based on your description it sounds like this air blend door which controls the amount of air that passes through the heater core or around the heater core to supply the temperature that you have it set at.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How can I test this cable to blend door?
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 6 years ago.

If you have manual controls for your air conditioning there are three control cables one that goes out to the water control valve one that goes over to the inlet air door by the blower motor, which allows fresh air to enter the vehicle, and one cable that goes down to the air blend door. If you look up under the passenger side towards the center you should be able to see the cable that controls the air blend door it is on the bottom side of the air box in the middle of the vehicle. As you slide the heat control lever you should be able to see this cable move the door mechanism and lever.



Skyvisions and 4 other Toyota Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi it turned out the tabs that hold the cable going to heater core under glove box had snapped off. the cable was moving freely. when I held cable where tabs were suppose to be and slid the cold to hot my heat turned on.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 6 years ago.
Glad to hear that you got the problem resolved and have heat once again. If you need anything in the future just ask for me Skyvisions, in the question and I will get back to you.