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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 02-17-2006, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default Heater brrrrrrrr

88 Bonne sse: The car heats up fine but doesnt put out much heat at all and some days not at all, we keep the radiator full of the right mixture. So just wondering where to start so not spending time and money wasted, there is a small leak in the radiator but like i said we keep it checked atleast once a week, there isn't a bad odor in cockpit so figure the heater core isnt atleast leaking but maybe wondering if plugged because the car will get really hot thermostat wise when setting running for like 15 mins but still doesnt put out the heat. So seems like naybe we outta start with a good flushing of the whole system and maybe a new thermostat to get things rolling. Been like this since g/f got car 3 years ago from her brother but has got worse every year and now is really bad when like 20f out isnt very comfortable. OPEN FOR SUGGESTIONS.
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:05 AM   #2
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You said the car has no problem getting to operating temperature, but does it stay their steady? Does the temp fluctuate at all? If so, and your coolant is always kept topped off, I'd say the thermostat is definitely a good start. And a good flushing never hurts.....except when you have a small leak in the radiator like you do, in which case, that leak may get far worse.
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:08 AM   #3
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was trying to talk her into a new rad but 189.00 for a reman one is costly but might not have a choice unless someone can fix rad that in there if they even do that anymore.
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:12 AM   #4
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You did put a new thermostat in it, right?
Disconnect the heater core hoses from the engine, and take a water hose, and run fresh water through the core, back and forth, through the inlet and outlet. Repeat this till all the crap is out.

BE WARNED THOUGH!! This may cause a leak in the core, as the crap, if its plugging the holes in the core, they will come unplugged. Its not a bad idea to change the core, and do a block flush, and radiator fluch, as well as a new thermostat.
Cores are about 120 bucks, and the old ones have plastic sides as well as inlets and outlets.. Makes removal easy if you just break it off. Yank the upper hose off, it'll snap easily. Then get in the cabin, jerk the core down, and yank her out. (Unscrew it first). Easiest way to remove it.
Use hose clamps instead of the factory spring loaded clamps upon replacement.
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:15 AM   #5
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are the heater cores hard to get to on the inside, seems like everything would be in the way. and no didnt replace thermostat yet gonna though.
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:31 AM   #6
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You need to first determin if the heater core inlet hose is hot by feeling it after the car is running. Your thermostat could need an o-ring.
If it is hot, The stat is working and core should be flowing properly. Is the temp gage holding to the first line?
The SSE has climate control with a air damper motor.
The actuator is just above the glove box. So swing the box down and look in and see if its moving right and left all the way when you change temp from hot to cold.
The third thing is air flow. If your not getting much there is a procedure in tech info for flushing the core.
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:05 PM   #7
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OK ty we will get on this as soon as warms up a little it is like 16F today so a little to cold to be outside with no garage :(
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelcm38
OK ty we will get on this as soon as warms up a little it is like 16F today so a little to cold to be outside with no garage :(
Yeah, I know how that goes. Sucks, don't it? Thus why I've been treading water with getting my cars restored the last 2 years, and why I've finally decided to sell all of them this spring.
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy'* Buick
Cores are about 120 bucks.
A heater core is only $35. For 1992+ they're $40. You Canadians are getting ripped off. Maybe they sell for more in places where it actually gets cold.
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Old 02-19-2006, 04:28 PM   #10
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I agree with SSEBONNE4EVA, do a little diagnosis before you start tearing stuff apart. From your description, thermostat does not sound like the problem. Here'* a quote from an earlier post that might help out:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill buttermore
You can do a simple analysis to give you an idea of what might be wrong. After the car has been running for a while, feel the top radiator hose. It should be nice and hot. Also feel the hoses that run to and from the heater core.

If the heater hoses are both hot, that means that hot coolant is circulating through the core and the problem is not the thermostat, or the heater core, but in the air flap or door that directs air to pass through the heater core and into the cabin.

If the radiator hose is hot but both heater hoses are cold, you've got no coolant flow through the heater core. This could be caused by low coolant or an air bubble that is blocking flow, or a plugged heater core.

If one heater hose is hot and the other is cold and you are not getting any heat out of the ducts, then there is a restriction of flow.

If your thermostat is stuck open or not letting the coolant heat up, you should notice that the top hose to the radiator never gets really hot. Check the hoses on a car with a heater that is working well and you will see what I mean.

Be careful where you put your hands when the engine is running, and don't let your clothing or hair dangle around moving belts!
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