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My '94 Ranger has a heater problem that I can not figure out. First off, the temperature gauge does the windshield wiper thing, up and down, up and down. To make matters worse, often there is no heat. I have changed the thermostat and that didn't help. The top hose from the radiator does get warm, sometimes the heater hose gets hot. I've flushed the system once already. Any ideas?
Richard from Waterford, CT
Sounds remotely like a possible plugged heater core, to flush take both heater hoses off and flush with a garden hose.
You could check for a broken head gasket. Check the oil on the dip stick and see if there is any water mixing with the oil. Or take it to your mechanic and he will check the oil.
My husband had the same problem with our 93 Ranger. Several years ago, after driving for 2 Chicago winters with no heat (he tried all the usual stuff), I suggested he SOAK the heater core in CLR over night.
Looking at some of these very strange answers, I thought I might need to say something. Here are some things to pay attention to when it comes to your heater... If you turn on the heat and it does not blow, check the fuse, then there are several other things to check, fan motor could be bad or you may have had something sucked up onto the fan to stop it, fan switch could be bad, the resistor could be bad. Now this resistor is usually on the AC case under the hood, (also if you fan only blows on high, it is a bad resistor).
Problems with heat direction, a lot of newer cars and trucks use vacuum to work the blend doors and actuators, check for vacuum leaks. People in very cold climates, some times you need to block off portions of your radiator to allow you cooling system to heat up enough. Your heater works today but not tomorrow, you got a shorted circuit or a bad switch. Heater hoses get hot but heater only blows cold, you got a blend door problem. Trying to conserve fuel, don't ride around with your defroster on, it runs the AC to dry the windshield, turn on the defroster only when you need it.
!!!!FREON DOES NOT GO BAD!!! If you AC compressor will not come on, most likely it is low on Freon, meaning Freon leak! Getting someone to add Freon does not solve the problem. Fix the leak, fix the problem. That little sensor on the silver bottle under the hood turns off your compressor when it doesn't have enough Freon. Go right ahead and get Mr. Shadetree to put a jumper wire on that for you so the AC works again. Just be prepared to buy another $400 compressor, $70 dryer, $30 filter tube, and of course $15 per pound of 134a or $30 per pound of the old stuff. Hope this helps!