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post #1 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thermostat problem?

Is this a thermostat problem or a problem somewhere else or maybe not a problem at all. I live in Wisconsin where it gets ccccccold! So I use my heater a lot. When I'm driving and the car is moving heat comes pouring out, but when I'm idling at, say a stop light, cold air comes out of the vents. Does that sound like I have a bad thermostat? Anytime the car is in drive and moving forward tons of hot air comes out, but once I stop and the car is simply idling then the air turns cold. Any thoughts on what could be wrong?

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-01-2009, 04:28 AM
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Is the coolant topped off, make sure there is air in the system. Check that first, then go for the t-stat.


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post #3 of 11 Old 01-01-2009, 07:14 AM
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Is your blower moter/fan working well? There is a certain amount of forced airflow coming through the ventilation system once the car gets moving.

It's kind of tough to check this problem with the electronically controlled heater valve where you don't physically move a lever that contolls the heater valve........

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-01-2009, 08:19 AM
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It does sound like you may have a thermostat stuck in the open position. Does the temp needle fluctuate at all? This is a sign that it may be that.

Now you also have the chance that someone didn't fully purge the air out of the cooling system so you may want to have a check of that too. Also check the resivor tank to see if it is ok, then open the radiator cap (when the engine has cooled) and see if the coolant is near the top. If it isn't then you may have a leak somewhere too.

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-01-2009, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent suggestions! Thanks so much. I'll check all your possibilities and post what I find out. Thanks again!

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-01-2009, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npolite View Post
It does sound like you may have a thermostat stuck in the open position. Does the temp needle fluctuate at all? This is a sign that it may be that.
Once the car is warm the needle pretty much stays at just a hair short of straight up (half-way). I did notice the car does warm up quickly. In single digit temperatures I've got heat after five minutes, but maybe that's to be expected.

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-01-2009, 01:04 PM
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five minutes for heat is a little long, but a stuck open t-stat shouldn't cause no heat at idle vs moving. If the stat were really stuck open I'd expect it to take forever to warm and the gauge would never come up to where it says is normal.

You can check for an open stat fairly easily, when the engine is cold, start it up, open the hood. Wait about a minute or two, feel the upper, lower and both heater hoses, do you have all the hoses feeling about the same temperature?
If you do, then the stat may be stuck open.

The gauge will show "normal" from about 140 to 230, after 230 it jumps to 3/4 scale, at around 250 it will peg hot. Anything lower than 140 and it stays lower than the nearly halfway position.

On an inlet type tstat, the upper should be warmer than the lower, especially when the stat is closed, the heat supply hose should get HOT, and the heat return should be slightly cooler than the supply hose. In very cold weather the lower hose should stay nearly stone cold until the stat opens and it'll slowly warm up.

The heater core has priority in flow when the heater valve is open, it's the thermostat bypass. When the heater valve is closed there's another passage that acts as the core when that flow path is cut off.

Check the heater hoses when it's warmed up and idling, the one from the coolant crossover is the "in" to the core and the one going to the pipe under the intake is the "out" or return from the core. Put the hvac on max hi temp and low fan speed. Feel each of these hoses, is there a temp difference between them? Rev the engine for a few seconds, does the temp of the hoses change?

make sure it's full, it sounds as if it's low on coolant. The core would be starved for lack of flow at lower engine speeds. (air) A worse scenario is one where the car is serviced by someone who's topped the system with conventional green coolant and it contaminates the system. The additives in the conventional coolant will quickly precipitate out of such coolant, and usually either partially plug the heater core or partially plug the bottom of the radiator core, causing flow issues.

Honda has had some issues with Elements that got defective coolant, and that happened. Many ended up with new heater cores and radiators for this issue.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-03-2009, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Fredsvt! I'm going to check out all these solutions when it gets a bit warmer outside. Thanks again everyone. I appreciate the feedback.

Michael

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post #9 of 11 Old 01-04-2009, 12:11 PM
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Make sure you get an oem t-stat if you end up buying a new one.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-19-2015, 03:34 AM
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On my Accord, the temp gauge will go from normal operating temp to cold while driving down a hill. The engine is in fourth gear but still engine-braking. The air from the heater will cool when this happens. Is this normal?

Last edited by HondaSDB; 01-19-2015 at 03:35 AM. Reason: First sentence was irrelevant.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-31-2015, 08:50 AM
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No you may want to change the thermostate..
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