1998 Grand Am No Heat- Engine Not Getting Too Hot

1998 Pontiac Grand Am gt 3.1L. Question = my 98 Grand Am has no heat. The gauge on the dash works. The engine gets hot to normal operating temperature, and the car has not over heated. Is the problem on the car the thermostat or the heater core?

Answer:
Several things can cause a no heat condition.
Assuming the coolant is full, there could be air pockets in the cooling system- this engine is prone to having leaking intake manifold gaskets, and/or blown head gaskets. Either can make air pockets in the cooling system, and the heater core cannot transfer heat from an air pocket into the interior. Will not necessarily overheat.

Possibly a plugged heater core not allowing coolant to flow through it. Possibly a temperature door problem in the dash not directing air over the heater core.A bad thermostat will usually either cause an overheating, or an engine that will not get up to proper operating temp. If the coolant temp is lower than normal, then would suspect a stuck open thermostat.

pontiac grand am

1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP.
I have 5 vents on the upper dash board. I will count them from the passenger side starting with #1. With the AC on #2 upper dash vent is the only one providing cold air. I must have a damper not working somewhere. The other vents 1-3-4 and 5 have the same volume of air but it is ambient. #2 provides cold AC air.

Answer:
Sounds like you may have 2 problems. Two common causes for the right side vents being cold, and the left side warm.... 1) The drivers side temp door actuator motor has failed. This would cause both right side vents to blow normal, the drivers side vents to blow warm. 2) Low freon charge. This would cause 1 or both of the right side vents to blow cool- but not as cold as they should be.

There is no damper between the 2 right side vents. They are from the same plenum. This is why you may possibly have a low freon charge, and the drivers side door motor faulty. I would suggest getting the freon charge checked. Not just the pressure, but actually remove and have it measured. Even a 1/4 - 1/2 lb can cause the right side vent to be cool only. I have seen many a good mechanic overlook this basic test and start going after other very expensive things. Get the freon charge correct, then see is the drivers side vents are still warm. If it is then you probably have a temperature door motor gone bad.


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