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Saturday, April 13, 2013

No heat when idling

My 2003 Olds Silhouette has developed an odd problem. When idling with the air temp set to heat, it blows cool air, and my engine temp rises. When I get up to speed after a few seconds, the heat blows hot again and the temp goes back down. I have 190,000 miles on it, and have had no other major problems except having the water pump changed out a couple years ago.

Last time I had my coolant flushed was a couple years ago. I have not checked my coolant levels yet, I keep forgetting to follow-up on this.

Any input is, as always, appreciated.


  1. Low coolant level is your problem.

  2. Ok. I'm going to take a look at my reservoir today before going anywhere. I probably don't have the required coolant on hand here, and if I do, it's going to be several years old. So can I put water in there for now, until I can get into town later today?

  3. Also check your oil level.. If your coolant level is low it could be leaking into the oil pan.

  4. Your small leak could be a more or less harmless leak through a gasket to the outside top of the engine, or it could be symptomatic of a leak that is worse. The suggestion to check your oil was to see if the oil looked like it was mixed with water when you checked the dipstick. It is possible that coolant is leaking into a cylinder or the bottom of the engine very slowly.

    It's worth checking just to have peace of mind.

    Judging by your next post it probably isn't this, but it's still worth checking.

  5. I had the same problem on a 04 Taurus, it was just low coolant. simple fix.