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Low heating Escort


saskman's Avatar
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01-13-03, 03:11 PM   #1  
saskman
Low heating Escort

I have an 89 Escort with a 1.9 liter that is only providing a small amount of heat. I replaced the thermostat and the cooling system was flushed with new coolant replaced. Now I haven't checked the heater hoses yet, but if they are both hot or quite warm, is there a good chance that the heater core needs replacing; or if there is not enough pressure in the coooling system is this another cause for low heat??

 
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01-13-03, 05:04 PM   #2  
The pressure in the system has nothing to do with good flow... or heat transfer. I had an '88 Escort that had terrible heat in the winter. Changing the heater core helped a LOT (my old one seemed pretty clogged).

It also helped to cover some of the radiator. I covered more than half (I covered the half that does not have the fan behind it) of the radiator and it helped.

I had an '85 Escort with a high capacity heater. It had 2 heater cores and would just about roast you out in short order!

Good luck with your escort. They're reliable as hell... but it's no fun freezing!

 
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01-14-03, 02:49 AM   #3  
Both heater hoses should be hot to the touch. There is probably a heater valve inline in the heater hose...check to make sure its working properly and its not plugged. Pull the heater hoses off the heater core and flush it with a garden hose. Many times a standard coolant system flush wont remove all the gunk in the core. Worst scenario..replace the core.

 
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01-14-03, 05:35 AM   #4  
Joe_F
I agree with Stevo.

Jason: Cooling system pressure is VERY critical to good cooling system performance. A bad radiator cap WILL cause overheating!!

 
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01-14-03, 08:09 AM   #5  
saskman
Thanks for the info Steve, Jason and Joe. I will check these out as you suggest.

 
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01-15-03, 11:28 AM   #6  
Joe, I believe you misunderstood my response. Pressure in the system has nothing to do with flow.

I didn't say that pressure has nothing to do with the boiling point of the coolant (or itís ability to cool properly over the long term).

My father and I had an argument about this once. I was driving his jeep, and it developed a small leak in the radiator that sprayed out the grille. My solution..... take off the radiator cap (not advisable, agreed... but it can be done safely). Then the pressure was relieved and the leak almost stopped.

My father freaked out when I told him I relieved the pressure in the system. He said that it needs that pressure to open up the thermostat (which would insinuate that the pressure actually has something to do with flow). Funnily enough I drive the 7-10 miles home safely in that jeep.

There is pressure in the system only to raise the boiling temp of the mixture. Since I was driving down the road the air was able to keep the mixture well under the boiling point on the now-depressurized system.

So.... that's all I was saying.... The pressure in the system won't give him better heat. Lack of pressure in the system won't make his heat work worse, necessarily. The water pump will pump just about as much coolant whether itís under pressure or not. (Negligibly I suppose the coolant is denser while under pressure)

Oh, I'm reminded of my step father.... When I lived in Florida he owned a '78 Grand Prix with a water pump leak. His philosophy = drive it 'til it pukes and buy another junker. Absolutely no maintenance besides changing brakes and adding fluids. Anyway.... in Florida he drove regularly with ONLY water in the system with absolutely no radiator cap. Now I'm not saying this is a safe practice, but it goes to show that flow is not impeded by a lack of pressure in the system. (Granted.... about 20 miles was as far away as he drove that car... but it lasted him about 4 years that way)

 
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01-15-03, 05:46 PM   #7  
Joe_F
Jason:

Bottom line: Pressure is IMPORTANT to a cooling system.

If there's one problem, others will follow . A poorly maintained cooling system shows up in all places.

While it might not be relevant here, you have to start with the basics, every time, all the time!

 
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01-15-03, 07:20 PM   #8  
Saskman was wondering if low system pressure would cause his Escort to have "low heat". I said it would not.

If his system was overheating, chances are he'd be getting good heat.

I agree with ya, Joe. Gotta start with the basics, and I don't advocate people running their vehicles with haphazard cooling systems.

But in this specific instance, the answer to saskman's question is: No, low system pressure will not cause a low heat situation.

I do sometimes suggest unorthodox remedies, Joe. But not this time. Promise!

 
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01-16-03, 03:32 AM   #9  
Joe_F
I'm sure. But check one, check all . Always head problems off at the pass!

 
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01-17-03, 10:31 AM   #10  
I see.....

So just because low pressure isn't the cause of his troubles, it's still a good idea to get the pressure problem fixed.

Agreed!

 
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