Low temp thermostat causing lukewarm heater output? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Low temp thermostat causing lukewarm heater output?

My Caprice, with a warmed over LT1, has always blown lukewarm air from the heater. My mechanic blamed the 160F thermostat, but my Mustang Cobra has a 160 stat too and has no problem blowing HOT air from the vents. But of course they're two totally different cars, so not apples to apples.

I've flushed the heater core a couple times in the 8 or so years I've owned the Caprice, and it seems like it maybe blows a little warmer air after I do so, but if there is a difference, it's not significant. The car has an F-body cluster in it and the temp gauge needle typically stays halfway between the first notch (160) and second notch (not denoted), although it sometimes goes above the second notch in the summer.

My gut feeling is that the heater core is partially clogged, but I figured I'd see what the consensus is before I commit to a heater core replacement project.

--'94 Caprice "SS" wagon, NO LONGER FOR SALE!
--'96 Roadmaster wagon, SOLD!
--'04 Mustang Cobra, '08 BMW M5
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 03:32 PM
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It wouldn't be difficult to hose flush the core to eliminate that from the equation. My SS (with a 160) does not blow super-hot, but I've found cleaning the fan to do more for keeping things warm.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 03:36 PM
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The heater core is a coolant filter. so if you use drinking water and low coolant % the crude will grow and the heater core starts filtering .

distilled water and 60-65% antifreeze . about 4.25 Gallons total
block drain a must do.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j cat View Post
The heater core is a coolant filter. so if you use drinking water and low coolant % the crude will grow and the heater core starts filtering .

distilled water and 60-65% antifreeze . about 4.25 Gallons total
block drain a must do.
I typically use tap water and 50% antifreeze. (Sometimes if I am thinking ahead, I'll use filtered water from my fridge.) 60-65% seems high--why do you recommend so much?

What do you mean by "heater core starts filtering"?

--'94 Caprice "SS" wagon, NO LONGER FOR SALE!
--'96 Roadmaster wagon, SOLD!
--'04 Mustang Cobra, '08 BMW M5
--1125R, 1050, VMax, VFR800, DRZ-400E

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Black View Post
It wouldn't be difficult to hose flush the core to eliminate that from the equation. My SS (with a 160) does not blow super-hot, but I've found cleaning the fan to do more for keeping things warm.
As mentioned, I have previously flushed the core and if it's made an improvement, it is barely noticeable.

What fan are you referring to cleaning? The blower fan seems to move a sufficient amount of air--it's just lukewarm.

--'94 Caprice "SS" wagon, NO LONGER FOR SALE!
--'96 Roadmaster wagon, SOLD!
--'04 Mustang Cobra, '08 BMW M5
--1125R, 1050, VMax, VFR800, DRZ-400E
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 04:32 PM
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The blower fan seems to move a sufficient amount of air--it's just lukewarm.

Understood, same here - but a bit better than lukewarm. At the slightest drop in hi-speed or any hint of hum or vibration I drop the blower and clean the mouse litter and debris. Goes with garage queen territory.

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, SLP SS, 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds and CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear)
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFleshRocket View Post
I typically use tap water and 50% antifreeze. (Sometimes if I am thinking ahead, I'll use filtered water from my fridge.) 60-65% seems high--why do you recommend so much?

What do you mean by "heater core starts filtering"?
you use distilled water because its pure water no chemicals/metals etc.. filtered water just removes the duck sh*t..

no 60% is not high on anti freeze 75% and higher is too high.

on your impala the distilled water is 1.75 gallons and about 2.5 gallons anti freeze. cost of distilled water about two bucks ..

I am surprised your not aware that distilled water is required in all vehicle coolant systems .

anyway now I know why you have this problem and also why you had to install the 160 T stat,, a clean system no corrosion cools much more than a system with a corrosive film on all the metal.

the heater core filters the crap growing in your ride .. its a filter all the crap goes in there and your heater core gets plugged up.. also the radiator cooling the engine looses its cooling ability .. its a loose loose when you use dirty drinking water with corrosive chemicals and metals . drinking water is dirty ..
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 12:54 AM
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My car has a 160 and has no problems with the heat. In fact, even in the below freezing temps we've been having here it gets uncomfortable if I keep the heat turned up more than 1/3 in to the red on the dial.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 10:54 AM
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FSM calls for 50/50 mix of "water" and Dexcool. (I switched my Impala SS's to green coolant). Even my 2001 Corvette called for "drinkable water" in the FSM.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 11:46 AM
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Anyone knows to use distilled water in cooling systems. It's common sense even for those of you who may have been asleep in high school chemistry class. Steam irons and car batteries also get distilled water. I know, your father "used tap water for years and never had a problem," but this is the truth regardless. The amount of minerals in tap water varies greatly from place to place so some tap water may cause less mineral build up and also water softeners alter the chemical composition of the tap water.

Jim B.

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