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Author Topic: Erratic heater  (Read 398 times)

Offline pointer

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Erratic heater
« on: December 07, 2020, 12:46:39 PM »
My son was driving home from about 40 miles away but he noticed little or no heat from the heater.  On occasions a 'burst' of hot air came through but that quickly subsided.  I checked water levels the following day and they seemed low (difficult to see the pink level line!) so I topped up with red antifreeze at 50:50 mixture. 

I then drove a few miles on country lanes with little heat coming out, even though I had set both controls to max.  On travelling back on a faster road I pressed the middle button and the car warmed up nicely until I got home.  Once home, I switched off the middle button and the heat output was practically non existant. [OOPS]

Does any one have any ideas what is wrong or is it a visit to a knowledable garage? :-\

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2020, 05:04:18 PM »
Whatís the engine temp at the time? Could be thermostat sticking open causing low temp to matrix.
Could also be a climate issue not operating  heat control flap properly.

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2020, 05:59:42 PM »
THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE SHOWED NORMAL OPERATING RANGE, SO I AM A LITTLE MORE THAN DISMAYED!

Offline brianh

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2020, 07:16:23 PM »
If you can access the pipes that lead to the heater matrix (from under the bonnet) check if they are hot once the engine has been running. If they are, that suggest your issue is a flap problem (one of the flaps inside the heater box not working as it should do). If they are cool/cold that would suggest a coolant issue of some type (thermostat/pump/airlock/lack of coolant due to leak/other plumbing issue all possible causes).

Given your temp gauge shows normal, I'd suspect its a flap or settings type problem you have. Did the coolant level drop after you topped it back up last time?

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2020, 09:48:40 PM »
Does the 1.8 have a coolant temp sensor or is it like the 2.0 and have a cylinder head temp sensor??

As above get up to temp and physically check hoses to heater to see if they are hot and then go from there.

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2020, 11:48:14 PM »
As I do get some heat through from time to, I would agree it is more likely to be a 'flap' problem.  However, looking through my Haynes manual, they do not make any mention of 'flaps', unlike the manual for my Passat that I use for my dog walking! :'( 

Can any one cast any information to help me find out how to access the flaps (provided I check the pipe connections first for heat flow !! ::)  )

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2020, 07:12:30 AM »
Accessing flaps is usually an involved task requiring trim removal and quite often dash out.
Has it got climate control or manual heating controls? Ford diagnostic software could help you out before ripping it apart as you can check for fault codes,actuate motors etc

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2020, 10:40:31 AM »
I think it must be climate control as we just set the separate temperature controls for driver and front passenger, and we normally either get warm air or cooled air as a result, we do not have to change anything, but I see you have a Mk2.  So will it be the same for access in Mk3? :-\

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2020, 02:02:08 PM »
I donít have the mark 2 anymore. The system in yours is very much like the Mondeo type then. Ideally you need to plug diagnostics in and see what the internal temp sensor is reading aswell as flap motor operation. Check the heater hoses first to make sure they get hot though.

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2020, 05:25:08 PM »
I do have an old DB2 that I could plug in probably at the weekend but I'm not sure it will provide the information needed.  However, it's the pipe check first before worrying about access to flaps but I will keep you informed thanks. :)

Offline brianh

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2020, 07:59:03 PM »
I'd suspect that Forscan is what you'd need https://forscan.org/ and a suitable lead to go with it (several listed on the Forscan site, this looks like one of the best options available here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Veepeak-FORScan-Compatible-Professional-Diagnostic/dp/B07S7W14X9/ )

I don't own a mk3 so can't advise if that will work or give you the info required, but I'd expect its your best shot. Basic obd2 diagnostics aren't going to help as they only look at the engine. I do know that there is little to no similarity between the mk2 and mk3 as they were produced off different assembly plants, The mk1/2 were produced with Ford/Seat/VAG using mostly VAG parts with a few Ford specific parts whereas the mk3 is all Ford as a new design.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 08:01:48 PM by brianh »

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2020, 03:00:47 PM »
Just to complicate matters, I checked the coolant level in the reservoir and it was so low I could not see any!   I topped up with about 1.5 litre of 50:50 antifreeze/ionised water mix and ran the engine for about 15 minutes but did not see a temperature rise on the dashboard thermometer, so I went for a 10mile drive and the temperature rose to mid point.  However, back at home the temperature gauge dropped a bit even though the engine was still running!  ??? ??? ???

I had a good look over the engine and could not see any sign of water leaks other than just under the reservoir but that may have been from when I topped up(?).

I did put my hand at the end of the exhaust pipe and it felt a little damp, so could that be a sign of cylinder head gasket failing? (I hope not!!!)

Maybe the heater problems have all been due to coolant loss rather than flaps or anything else,  Any advice would be appreciated as my local garage are closing early for Xmas although he did tell me it is more difficult to check cylinder head gasket integrity on diesels but to give him a call on 4th Jan 2021.  :'(

Offline Mirez

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2020, 03:28:54 PM »
You won't have got a diesel 'hot' in 10 miles, especially in the current conditions so any dampness on the exhaust is likely just condensation.
Surprised you didn't get a 'low coolant' warning tbh, but if it was that low then it is possible it was causing your issue as the matrix entry/exit points are one of the highest points on the system.

03 Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 115 Ghia in Spruce Green Metallic
With cream leather interior, Full Bodykit, Remapped at 145bhp, Lowered on 18's
19 Mercedes Benz C42 AMG Coupe in Brilliant Blue Metallic
With cream leather interior, panoramic sunroof, 385bhp on 19's
14 VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI 177 AWD R-Line in Deep Black Pearl
With panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights remapped at 205bhp.
08 Ford Transit 2.2 TDI 115 in Frozen White
With retrofitted everything except another slidey door! :)

VCDS HEX/CAN - Scans/Coding done in Wiltshire in exchange for winegums! :)

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2020, 05:37:36 PM »
Thanks Mark, that's welcome news about condensation in the exhaust pipe being the likely cause of dampness. :)  [THANKS]

With regards coolant loss, I think I might need a replacement reservoir cap as it has never been changed since I have owned it since 2008, and it did look a bit tired! ::) [OOPS]

Offline brianh

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2020, 05:44:31 PM »
If you do replace the cap and it doesn't fix it, the old one may be possible to fashion into a DIY pressure tester with the addition of a foot pump or hand pump. Don't need a lot of pressure in there to show leaks usually, 10 psi can be enough.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 05:47:18 PM by brianh »

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2020, 11:22:53 PM »
Thanks Brian  [THANKS].  It just goes to show the forum is a 'must have' for great ideas that will hopefully sort out problems. [agreed]

My only problem now is getting a replacement without going to a main Ford dealer, does any one know of a source? [NE1]

Offline brianh

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2020, 11:43:18 PM »
Try ebay you can often pick up odd bits like that on there. Some of the dealers use them too offload excess stock of genuine bits. Pattern ones you might be able to get from the likes of euro car parts etc. If your going on the ebay route,it helps if you can find the part number to search with.

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2020, 11:46:55 AM »
I tried EBay but where the advert states it fits a 2007 Ford Galaxy, the site states it doesn't ! [OOPS]

I do not have the ability to find the part number, so any help on that count please, so expansion tank cap part number please  [NE1]

Offline Mirez

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2020, 12:58:40 PM »
8100   1301104   Cap Assy - Radiator Expansion   1.00   
from 06.03.2006, to 15.03.2010, S-Max/Galaxy 2006-
03 Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 115 Ghia in Spruce Green Metallic
With cream leather interior, Full Bodykit, Remapped at 145bhp, Lowered on 18's
19 Mercedes Benz C42 AMG Coupe in Brilliant Blue Metallic
With cream leather interior, panoramic sunroof, 385bhp on 19's
14 VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI 177 AWD R-Line in Deep Black Pearl
With panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights remapped at 205bhp.
08 Ford Transit 2.2 TDI 115 in Frozen White
With retrofitted everything except another slidey door! :)

VCDS HEX/CAN - Scans/Coding done in Wiltshire in exchange for winegums! :)

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2020, 05:15:11 PM »
After cleaning the expansion tank cap (and inside the tank), I found the cap's part number which is 302 320 494, and I ordered one on eBay (OEM quality).  So, will wait for that to arrive.

I went for another drive this afternoon  [drive], with the original but cleaned cap, and the heater was lovely once I had done 4-5 miles, although the trip was about 25miles and the heater was smashing right up to getting home!  I will now await until the morning to see if there has been any loss of coolant. [FYI]

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2020, 10:29:10 AM »
I checked the expansion tank coolant level this morning and there doesn't appear to me any loss :), so lets hope that was the problem :-\

Offline mike wilson

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2020, 03:22:35 PM »
Most popular place for coolant loss on that motor is from the plastic themostat housing.  It is on the front of the engine, slightly to the right and about halfway down.  Leaks from there can escape without showing much, if any, sign.  Wipe your hand underneath it to see if there is any coolant hanging about.  Check especially the joint between it and the motor, where the O ring fails.  Replacements are not horrendously expensive but a bit of a pain to fit.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2020, 06:57:28 PM »
When I was younger cars didnít really have heaters anyway, you just wrapped up warm and got on with it

The galaxy takes ages to warm up because the engine is so efficient

Some things arenít really worth worrying about, if the car works ok but the heater isnít working and it looks like a pig of a job to fix it then itís probably easier just to tell him to put an extra jumper on of a chilly morning tbh
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline brianh

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2020, 07:10:41 PM »
If hes been losing coolant (which it seems it did), its definitely worth fixing it for reasons that should be fairly obvious.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2020, 07:30:45 PM »
Ah yes if itís losing coolant then that definitely needs to be fixed without delay!! [THANX]
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2020, 11:28:37 PM »
I would also fix a poor heater aswell not for my comfort but more for the safety aspect of clearing misted up windows etc.

Offline brianh

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2020, 11:45:49 PM »
Having the occasional trip in a 1973 Land Rover, reminds me everytime that some things were improved on for good reason. Working heaters being one of those things, though some vehicles of that era struggled to clear the rain from the outside as well as the misting on the inside.

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2021, 01:26:38 PM »
As the weather has been too cold to work (I'm 75 next birthday) I contacted my garage as we now have a strong smell of diesel at times. 
The garage intimated that it could be a blown gasket but due to the car getting old and having approx 190 thousand miles on the clock he would be reluctant to take the head off and suggested the use of something like Steelseal (which I had used on an old VW Passat successfully). 
Any comments would be appreciated, good or bad please.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2021, 04:02:25 PM »
Not a chance would I use steel seal surprised a garage would suggest that. Canít see what difference it makes having 190k on the clock to make him reluctant to take the head off if it has gasket issue. I wouldnít think twice about having the head off a 190k car. Suppose it really comes down to if the owner wants to spend the money on it?

Going back to the snake oil liquids they wonít cure a blown gasket but can and do block up small coolant lines,radiator and heater tubes.

Offline pointer

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Re: Erratic heater
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2021, 11:49:04 AM »
Thanks for the advice. [THANKS]  The garage have now been in touch and found a diesel pipe leakage that needs replacing.  They have also found a water leak on the thermostat housing and are dealing with that.  So let's hope that ends the 'possibility' of a head gasket failure  [cool].

 

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