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Troubleshooting Truck Heater Problems

Category Repair Advice
When your vehicle's heater is not blowing hot air, you need to figure out why not. This guide is about troubleshooting truck heater problems.
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March 16, 20172 found this helpful

If your Ford F-150 truck heater isn't working you will want to get it fixed before cold weather sets in. This is a guide about Ford F-150 heater not working.

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February 22, 20170 found this helpful

It is maddening to get into your car or truck on a cold day to find that the heater is not working. Check out this guide for some troubleshooting ideas when your Dodge Dakota heater isn't working.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 7, 20140 found this helpful

I have an 04 Chevy Silverado 5.3 and I'm having heater problems. I'm not getting any air hot or cold blowing out, but when I get on the highway a very small amount will blow out. Days will go by and then out of nowhere the blower well start to work and blow perfectly fine on all speeds for a day or so and then it will stop.

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By Andrew S. from Kansas

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February 7, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

This same thing was happening in my husband's jeep. It was the heater core that had to be replaced.

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February 10, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try having this done. Back flush the heater core. It cost me $100.00 to have. I had no heat at all.
I am 79, coming on 80 years old and still learning about a car. I own a
1994 Ford Crown Vic named Louie and he takes me everywhere. Hope this helps! Mrs C.

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By 2 found this helpful
October 3, 2016

I just had my air conditioner replaced. My heater was working fine before I did. It would get really warm to the point that I would need to turn it down. Now it's blowing little to no warm air. I paid out a lot of money for the air conditioner work, only to have the heater not working all of a sudden.

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Could it be they did something during the work that would cause my heater to not blow hot air?

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October 17, 20160 found this helpful

My heater stays hot thin back to cold the blower working fine

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December 1, 20160 found this helpful

I have 2006 dodge ram 1500 Hein. Heater blows cold air if I turn it off for a minute then turn it back on the heat works for about 10 seconds help winter is coming fast

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By 0 found this helpful
October 3, 2017

I am able to turn on the heat, but it goes cold quickly. So I turn the dial to cold and back to heat then it warms up again briefly then goes cold again. Then later in the day I turned on the heat and it stayed on with no issues. Is it the contacts on the switch or something else?

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October 4, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Here are a few things you can check on your own.

  1. Check the blower motor operations.
  2. Listen to your motor and see if it changes speeds when you turn the knob.
  3. If the motor changes speeds then the motor and associated resisters are working fine.
  4. You could have a problem with recirculation door. This could be broken or blocking the air from coming in.
  5. Check the recirculation door by removing the blower and looking at the door. Use a mirror to physically look at the door.
  6. If this is your problem, then you will need to replace the part in your truck.
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By 0 found this helpful
October 18, 2017

I have a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 with a 6.7 Cummins engine. I turned the heater on this morning and all it would do is blow cold air. The temp gauge on the truck read 200 degrees, but still no warm air. Is there a valve on the block like on a semi where you can turn off the water to the heater core?

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October 20, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Here are a few things you can check:

  • A common problem in these trucks is blend door failure. You aren't receiving any hot air inside the truck.
  • On YouTube, there is a video that can show you how to test this to see if this is your problem. https://www.you  ch?v=52K8c0ENMFw
  • Another thing you can check which is common in your case is to check your coolant. Make sure there isn't a leak and the coolant isn't getting into your lines.
  • This leak can be very small and you won't see coolant on the ground. Just check all your hoses and make sure none of them are wet.
  • Also, check the door that opens up to your heater core that blocks off your evaporator core.
  • Try moving these settings to see if the hot air will now pass through.
  • Also, check the motor to the heater and make sure it is working and there aren't any teeth broken.
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  • Check you Blend door bar. A lot of time if you can move this up or down you will feel the heat coming out of your heater unit.
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November 10, 20140 found this helpful

How do you get to the heat and ac vents that distrbute hot and cold air to the windshield? The hot air and cold air won't blow out of the bottom or windshield vents.

By Jason

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November 11, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

You likely have a broken fan.

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November 23, 20140 found this helpful

I have a 1998 Chevy Z71 1500. My heater won't blow hot air unless I am driving it or giving it more throttle.

By DB

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December 27, 20140 found this helpful

Louise,
After reading several of your "why don't you just take it to a mechanic?" posts I feel compelled to respond. The whole idea behind these sites is to give people with some mechanical aptitude a chance to get advice on their car troubles so they, in turn, might be able to fix them. Labor is generally the most costly part of a bill from a mechanic and in some cases, worth it to have a professional do the work. However, there are many instances in which simple car problems can be handled by someone with some mechanical abilities and a few tools saving potentially hundreds of dollars on a repair bill. I hope this helps you understand the premise behind these sites.

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November 19, 20150 found this helpful

U know its not only needing a trusted mechanic. Its the fact I done spent five hundred dollars getting ac fixed four months ago. For them to spend an hour replacing a 20 dollarpart.now I dont have six hundred for them to fix my heater. So thats what these forums r for. Im sure ur son GREAT trust worthy mechanic. But we dont leave near him. So please quit posting ur gp to a mechanic post.. we know this already.

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Anonymous
January 5, 20160 found this helpful

Amen!

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Anonymous
February 5, 20160 found this helpful

Add more fluid and check for leaks

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Anonymous
March 22, 20160 found this helpful

low coolant

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By 0 found this helpful
November 6, 2017

I replaced the heater control for my 1998 GMC Sierra 1500, 2w/d, 4.3 eng. The fan works and the directional switch works, but there is still no heat. It just blows cold air.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 31, 2016

I have a 2002 Chevy Silverado. I turn the heater knob and nothing comes on. Can you tell me what is going on? Help, it's cold here in western New York.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 10, 2016

I have a 1993 Chevy truck. I turned my heat on for the first time this year and it blows cold, last year it was hot. I replaced the T-stat and flushed the system with no luck. Is there something else that can be tried before I replace the heater core or should I go ahead and replace it?

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December 7, 20160 found this helpful

My car was doing the same thing and it was a little low on anti freeze. Added the antifreeze and heater is now heating.Hubs used to work at a dealership. Thats how he knew to add the anti freeze. Hope this helps.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 13, 2016

I have a 2008 Silverado and yesterday I went to start it after only being parked an hour and heard a grinding noise, which stopped after 4-5 seconds. Then no air flow at all. I checked the blower motor, resistor, and wires, but it all is fine. The grinding sounds like it's coming from under the hood when it happens. It's happened again today and nothing will blow. If I wait 15 minutes, the air will blow again. Can an idler pulley or belt cause this? My belts need replacing.

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November 24, 20140 found this helpful

My 99 S10 v6 heater/ac blower works well except the fan doesn't blow air/heat on the floor setting or the combination floor/vents. When I put the selector on floor setting, I can hear the "door" directing it to the floor open/close, and the fan running, but nothing is coming out of the floor vents. Also the blower doesn't work on the #1 setting no matter what vent setting. Position 2 - 4 works on all except the floor.

By Jerry c

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Anonymous
December 1, 20150 found this helpful

Ohh wow! That was extremely helpful!!!! LMFAO!!!!

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

Check the vaccume hose that activates the vent door for leaks
I have an 07 Chevy van and that was my problem
Only had defroster venting until I replaced the vaccume hose between the intake manifold and vaccume ball
Now all works well again

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Anonymous
November 10, 20160 found this helpful

Heater core

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By 0 found this helpful
January 22, 2017

Why is my heater turning on with the truck powered down? Also, when you drive, it turns off and on when it wants to. Only high speed works.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 3, 2016

Hey can anyone please help? I just bought a 97 F-250 xlt extended cab and the heat will not work. It does not blow air and the heat/ac control does not light up. The truck did not come with a manual so I downloaded one from internet and I checked the fuses that the manual said were for the blower. I don't know how accurate the manual is because I'm also having an issue with my turn signals staying illuminated and when I take the relay that the manual says is for blinkers out they still have power. Anyway I do get a little bit of heat coming out while I'm driving but very little. I'm from jersey and it's starting to get cold can anyone please help.

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January 4, 20160 found this helpful

I have never really read anything on this site which has been helpful for truck repairs, although problems with heaters are very common. Perhaps you could try googling for a truck repair/mechanics forum. My son belongs to several for modifying vehicles for off-roading. These are usually guys with a mechanical bent or actual journeymen mechanics asking each other for tips and advice. I would suggest that before you start making extensive repairs yourself, you take it to a shop with a good mechanic. I see many people on here who make extensive repairs, add all sorts of parts themselves, and still don't have their vehicle repaired. It is a false economy to attempt repairs yourself if you do not know what the problem is.

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Anonymous
January 5, 20160 found this helpful

Needs new Heater Core.

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November 22, 20130 found this helpful

The heater will not blow hot air. The truck doesn't run hot and cools fine.

By Tim

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November 23, 20131 found this helpful

If it blows air at all, try checking the thermostat. It may be stuck in the open position, not capturing heat to blow into the cab.

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November 24, 20130 found this helpful

Your heater fan is broken.

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October 30, 20110 found this helpful

My truck is a 96 S10 2.2l with a manual transmission. The heater is not functioning. I have flushed and back flushed the heater core already and changed the coolant and flushed it too. So now I don't know what to do. I need help guys.

By Jon P.

Answers

October 31, 20110 found this helpful

Change the thermostat.

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October 31, 20110 found this helpful

I asked my husband and he said the same thing as zoodad, so that is two in favor of so far.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 16, 2010

How do I fix a 2007 Ford Ranger heater? It has been to the shop and they said there was no problem with the heater core, but only a leak. It still does not work.

By Brenda Harrington

Answers

November 17, 20110 found this helpful

The key is you said it does work once in a while and you arent looking for a short or a switch problem and maybe you should. In the dash because it will work sometime and it wouldn't if the thermostat was closed. Think simple I would buy manual for the year of your truck and start reading. Being a female it was the way I had to learn how to fix my own vehicle. I think you'll find a simple small fix. Shucks guys I have fixed a radiator with a potato before.

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March 6, 20130 found this helpful

Turn your cold to hot mixture knob back and forth and listen for it to open and/or close. Mine puts out either cold or luke warm air. I was pulling a uhaul trailer and the temp never went above low on the guage. When I stopped because I thought I was low on coolant I was able to actually remove the cap and see it was full also put my finger in coolant and it's luke warm. I've changed out the door on a ford RV that one wouldn't move so you wouldn't hear it close. I flushed my system and I will be replacing the thermostat.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 17, 2016

There is heat to the heater core, the fan blows cold air only to roof vents. When I open the cover to the heater core the fan blows the air out instead of sucking it through the core.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 9, 2016

The heater on my '96 GMC doesn't turn on. I turned the knob and there is no air what so ever. What's the problem?

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By 0 found this helpful
July 22, 2016

We have a 1997 Ford Ranger pickup. The heater is turned off and the blower is turned off, yet it is still pouring heat into the cab. Any suggestions?

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By 0 found this helpful
January 23, 2016

I have a Ford 250 diesel pickup and it doesn't heat at all when it gets really cold. It is an intermittent problem. When it gets down to -20 celsius or colder it doesn't work. When it's above that temperature it works normally. The heater fan works and the antifreeze is good. If anyone has any ideas they would be appreciated. I had the truck at the Ford dealership and they said they could not find the problem.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 19, 2016

My 2014 Dodge 1500 heater and thermostat are crazy. Why does the temperature gauge stay on cold after the temp outside is below -19, but after running the truck for 20 minutes and shutting it off the heater and gauge work properly. It has gone to the dealership several times and they can't figure it out.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 20, 2015

I replaced the radiator and thermostat in my 199 1500 Chevrolet pickup. The climate control wasn't working properly so I replaced that. The air is now blowing fine, but I have no heat.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 12, 2015

I have a 1994 GMC Sierra with new A/C evaporator installed six years ago. The A/C works great with no bad odor. When the heater is turned on, the air has a bad odor. The odor continues (forever) during the winter. What could cause this?

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Anonymous
December 13, 20150 found this helpful

leaky heater core, antifreeze around the heater core, replace or flush the system.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 1, 2015

I have a 2004 Silverado. The heater works on one side, but not the other. One side blows hot air, but the driver's side doesn't, it blows cold air.

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December 2, 20150 found this helpful

Call Auto Zone or O'Riley ' s I bet someone in there can tell.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 1, 2015

I am stumped. I can't seem to get anything more than lukewarm air out of my heater. I have flushed the radiator, put in a new 190 degree thermostat, a new heater core, new hoses to the heater, cleaned the heater housing, and made sure all the controls are working and flaps are moving. The water pump is good. The hoses get hot, and there is a new fan.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 25, 2015

I have a 2001 Chevy Silverado. The AC works fine, but when I turn on the heat it blows only lukewarm air at best. If the truck is hot it will come out warm for a minute when I first turn it on, but it does not last. It is hot when the blower is off. I have not checked anything as of yet. I was told the actuator may be stuck. Is there a way to determine if it is the heater core or the actuator? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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March 8, 20150 found this helpful

Something fell in. How do I get it out?

By Tammy

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March 12, 20150 found this helpful

Need to know the make, model and year of the truck, what dropped in and from where.

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February 21, 20150 found this helpful

Why does my heater not blow hot air when it is turned to the red on the switch?

By J W

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February 22, 20150 found this helpful

Need a bit more information to find an answer-the heater manufacturer, type, age, etc. However, it is possible that the element is damaged.

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January 23, 20150 found this helpful

My truck heater blows hard, but does not get hot. If I turn the mix down it gets cool, but if I turn the mix up to total hot it gets lukewarm. There is a new thermostat, new hoses, and new fluid. It just don't get good and hot. The scan shows 180' hoses in and out of the heater core are hot going in an cool coming out. Could it be blocked in the cold hot mix? Can someone help?

By Keith

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January 23, 20150 found this helpful

Perhaps some of the heating elements stopped working?

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By 0 found this helpful
November 7, 2014

My Chevy S-10 pickup heater only works when I drive fast. It'll work for a few seconds and then stop blowing hot air.

By David L.

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November 10, 20140 found this helpful

Make sure your radiator is full of water.

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November 3, 20140 found this helpful

I have a 99 Dodge 1500 that the heat blower works fine until you turn the head lights on; then there is no blower. Tried all settings and it just doesn't blow. If you turn the headlights off the blower turns on.

By Jamie G.

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January 14, 20150 found this helpful

Louise, we all understand you are proud of your son, and I am sure he is a great mechanic...but replying to every post with "find a trusted, reliable mechanic" isn't really what this forum is about. This is for those who are mechanically inclined and may be able to fix the problem themselves.

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September 30, 20140 found this helpful

I have a 2005 Chevy Colorado; it will blow heat and a/c and then it quits after awhile. If I shut the blower off for a little bit it will work again. I don't know what's causing it.

By Tom

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October 2, 20140 found this helpful

I'm not sure, but I too have a 2005 Chevy Colorado, and my blower only works on high. I'm wondering if this is a problem with Colorado's? I've checked for recalls, but have found nothing on this. Hopefully someone else will know the answer to your question... :)

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February 19, 20140 found this helpful

Why does the fan in my '98 Chevy 1500 turn on and off by itself?

By TyC

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February 22, 20140 found this helpful

Sounds like an electrical problem to me. If you don't have the manual for your car go online and get one. Look up the problem once you get the manual.

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February 9, 20140 found this helpful

What would be the problem if there's no power to the plug for the resistor?

By Samuel from Russellville, AR

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February 17, 20140 found this helpful

The guide that is attached to this post has a lot of good suggestions. Here is a direct link to that guide. Click on any post to see all the information posted.

http://www.thri  f643993.tip.html

If you find a solution, please report back and let us know what you found.

Best Wishes,

Jess
ThriftyFun

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January 15, 20140 found this helpful

My heater only blows hot air on the low setting, but cold air on high.

By Brandon

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January 17, 20140 found this helpful

This usually means the antifreeze is old, and needs to be changed. It still has some ability to hold heat, so you get heat on low, but when you switch to high the extraction of heat is faster than the fluid can absorb. Replacing the antifreeze solution completely should solve this problem. You might also want to look at your thermostat, since a poorly functioning thermostat can create the same problem, except it never allows the heat to build up as high as it once did.

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January 15, 20140 found this helpful

I have Ford E 250. The heater blower works, but there is no hot air.

By Mark

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January 17, 20140 found this helpful

Is the thermostat working? A poorly functioning thermostat never lets enough heat accumulate.
Does the antifreeze test in the correct range? Old antifreeze can't pick up heat fast enough to deliver it to you. If you get warm air on low, and cold otherwise the antifreeze is prob the first thing to check.
The heater core can be at fault. The hoses to and from the heater core. Check or replace them. A leak anywhere in the system can cause these problems.
Ford usually has excellent heaters, but they can only work well if everything is in good shape.

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