1996 Saturn SL2

Tiny
BRAMMERS
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 108,000 MILES
1996 SL2, Had a leaky radiator, and a radiator fan motor go bad. After running some super flush through the cooling system, replaced the radiator, thermostat, temp sensor, water pump and fan motor. Hoses weren't that old and still in good shape. No leaks, all is well. Until it got cold outside! Switched the temperature from cold to hot and the windows fogged up really fast! Eventually figured out a balance using the AC compressor, cracking the windows, and "sneaking" the temperature over from cold to about 3/4 hot. Is there some sort of valve or something in the HVAC system, or am I looking at a leaky heater core?
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 2:47 AM

9 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So are you trying to defrost the windshield when the engine is cold?
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 2:53 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Check the air blend door if its stuck in the cold position
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 2:57 AM
Tiny
BRAMMERS
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No, initially I was driving down the interstate and turned the heater onto the floor. In practically no time, the windows fogged up. Turned the setting from floor to defrost, and turned the AC on to help with the moisture. Had to pull over as I totally couldn't see, eventually rolled the windows down, and switched the temperature from hot to cold. Got the windshields cleared, and rolled the windows back up, switched the temperature back over to hot, and the windows started fogging up again. Eventually figured out a combination that would keep the windows clear without me freezing to death. It was: front windows cracked about 1/4 inch, air flow on floor, temperature at about 3/4 from all the way hot. When the car was new, we had it to the dealer twice 'cos we smelled coolant in the cab whenever we turned on the heater, but the techs never found anything wrong. I'm wondering if there is a valve of some sort somewhere in the system, possibly connected to the temperature cable?
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 3:11 AM
Tiny
BRAMMERS
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I don't think it's the air blend door, as I do feel a difference between cold and hot when flipping between the two. But what I am getting is a lot of moisture when the temperature lever is shoved all the way over to the hot side.
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 3:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
There is no valve connected to the temp cable it's a direct connection to the slider control. Also there is no heater control valve on the coolant hose's coming into the heater core. It's a very basic set up depending on how much moisture is in the air you can get what is called flash fogging like you are describing. What I like to do when the I get flash fogging is turn the temp control all the way to hot put recirculation on put it to defroster/windshield and turn the a/c on that clear's it really nice without rolling the window's down or freezing to death. Let me ask you this do you have hot coolant coming into the heater core?When you turn on the heater when the car is warmed up is the air blow out hot?
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
BRAMMERS
  • MEMBER
As this happened last night, and I had neither the time, nor the inclination to physically troubleshoot this problem, I took the "comfortable" way out and went web-surfing. Today this problem was easily diagnosed by the copious amounts of water pumping its way into the passengwer side floorboard of the car. The heater core appears to have let go. By the time I'm finished, this car will have a completely new cooling system, as I'm going to go ahead and change out the original heater hose when I install the new heater core. Thank you, saturntech9 for your willingness to help me. I'm reassured knowing if some other curve-ball comes my way concerning this well engineered, American made machinery, you will be there to advise me.
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 11:04 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Glad to hear you got it figured I will be here if you have any other problem's or question's.
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 AT 11:20 PM
Tiny
BRAMMERS
  • MEMBER
Saturntech9, I tackled the job today. It took some time with the shop vac to suck up most of the water, then only about 3 hors or so to do the job. A stinking piece of duct work held me up the longest, and the old foam duct seal simply disintegreated on contact. I loathe any kind of job that involves me getting into or under the dash. All that plastic. So much can go irreplacably wrong in the blink of an eye. Anyway, the plumbing was the easy part, the devil was in the details. I used pipe insulation (cut to fit) to make a new duct seal. Improvise, adapt, and overcome is what old Gunner's Mates do best! It's all back together now, no runs, no drips, no errors, and no left over parts either!
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 1:20 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Glad to hear you got it all fixed up that's what we like to hear.
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 11:15 PM

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