Heating issues

01PrkAveUltra

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2001 Buick park avenue ultra
I am a new sign in to this site and am looking forward to all the help and wisdom shared here. I have a 2001 Buick park avenue ultra and I drove it home and the heat seemed like it was working properly. The temp gauge was showing 185-195 the whole drive home.(the car only has 84,000 miles so I’m assuming it had the factory 210 thermostat. Well I drove it to work with my twin the other day and it would not get hot. The temp outside was 16 and we were doing 80 down the freeway and the temp gauge only showed like 140-150. This the air never when got lukewarm. I have since replaced the thermostat due to speculation that it was bad due to it not getting hot. So I put in a 180 temp thermostat(I have always run my stuff a little cooler.) Well after that the temp thing was not fixed and I have been burping the cooking system for the last couple days and to no avail on it getting past lukewarm. I used a temp hun and checked the hoses and thermostat housing the housing was up to 190 and the hoses only showed 160 to and 140 lower. My question is do you think it is heater core?(still has factory dexcool) or a blend door problem? Also inside the cab it sounds like the blower motor is going to town and moving a ton of air but it’s hardly noticeable from the vents(I replaced the cabin air filer) I have heard of a temp switch/resistor and also of blend doors. Where are these things located? Also where would I be able to purchase them?
 

2007LucerneCXL

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It may be air still in the heater core, but if it has the original coolant in the system a full flush could be in order. The core hoses should be carefully felt to see if they are both hot, if not the core could be plugged or still has air just something to consider. Here's a couple of diagrams on the system so can see the components and visually check if the actuators are moving. Once components are confirmed good or bad it should lead to what part or area the issue.
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01PrkAveUltra

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Thank you, would you recommend (if it ends up being the blend door actuator(s) should I go with a Acdelco?
 

2007LucerneCXL

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Like anything else if available and if you plan on keeping the vehicle for any length of time, IMO.
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BuickGirlFromMars

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Your factory thermostat is NOT 210 degrees, that is insanely hot. 190 or 195 was the factory hot thermostat, 180 was a cold factory thermostat. 180 is too cold for the winter unless your cooling system doesnt work right.

Are you losing coolant? You have original dexcool at 80k miles, your DEXCOOL has spent many years sitting and breaking down. Its not meant to go that long. Flush it out.

Your blend doors dont make your engine run cold, you need to confirm your engine is at the proper temp before worrying about your blend doors.

Flush your coolant, makes sure your heater core is flushed well in this, and put nice fresh new DEXCOOL or green(one or the other, not both, full flushed). Then get the air out. You have a bleeder valve on your thermostat housing and various ways to bleed air. Jacking up the front of the car so the radiator cap is the top of the cooling system is a good way. Run the car with cap off till its warm for thermostat to open, once its open youll see coolant level drop. Keep it full. Burb the hoses, etc. A no spill funnel makes this easy.

Then cap it and make sure its operating properly. Air pockets in cooling system can make your coolant read cold if the pocket is next to the coolant sensor.


Once your coolant is good, report back with any issues like interior heating
 

01PrkAveUltra

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Your factory thermostat is NOT 210 degrees, that is insanely hot. 190 or 195 was the factory hot thermostat, 180 was a cold factory thermostat. 180 is too cold for the winter unless your cooling system doesnt work right.

Are you losing coolant? You have original dexcool at 80k miles, your DEXCOOL has spent many years sitting and breaking down. Its not meant to go that long. Flush it out.

Your blend doors dont make your engine run cold, you need to confirm your engine is at the proper temp before worrying about your blend doors.

Flush your coolant, makes sure your heater core is flushed well in this, and put nice fresh new DEXCOOL or green(one or the other, not both, full flushed). Then get the air out. You have a bleeder valve on your thermostat housing and various ways to bleed air. Jacking up the front of the car so the radiator cap is the top of the cooling system is a good way. Run the car with cap off till its warm for thermostat to open, once its open youll see coolant level drop. Keep it full. Burb the hoses, etc. A no spill funnel makes this easy.

Then cap it and make sure its operating properly. Air pockets in cooling system can make your coolant read cold if the pocket is next to the coolant sensor.


Once your coolant is good, report back with any issues like interior heating
well I have the new thermostat and I am going to drive it around tonight and ensure it’s running good. The coolant should be flowing as normal but even when the gauge in the cab says 180 degrees the heater is only like warm that’s why I asked about the blend doors
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BuickGirlFromMars

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well I have the new thermostat and I am going to drive it around tonight and ensure it’s running good. The coolant should be flowing as normal but even when the gauge in the cab says 180 degrees the heater is only like warm that’s why I asked about the blend doors
Dont touch your blend doors if they arent broken.

You are looking at a heater core blockage before replacing a blend door.

Flush your heater core, doesnt even require a coolant flush.
I can almost guarantee that is the issue, especially because of your mileage.
 

01PrkAveUltra

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A
Dont touch your blend doors if they arent broken.

You are looking at a heater core blockage before replacing a blend door.

Flush your heater core, doesnt even require a coolant flush.
I can almost guarantee that is the issue, especially because of your mileage.
All right I will talk to some people and see if I can get it flushed.
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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If you are having a shop do it, have them reset your blend doors with a tech 2 or equivalent scan tool. There is a calibration that can be done on the tool, because that itself would tell you if you have a blend door issue as it tests them. but if not, dont worry about that this minute.
 

Regal LTD Coupe

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I would keep the thermostat at the factory opening temperature if there is no reason for lowering it. Going to one that opens lower will indeed give less heat as well as possibly make the vehicle run less economically. As to your heat issue, I would at the very least change the coolant and see what happens. If you wanted to dig deeper go ahead and flush the heater core with a hose both ways (easily found how to do on YouTube for your motor I'm sure), probably best at first as changing coolant multiple times isn't cheap anymore. If you're losing coolant don't overlook the plastic coolant elbows under and around the alternator/bracket if you haven't looked at them before. If they're plastic they will leak and need replacement one day and most including me recommend easily available Dorman Help! aluminum elbows.
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01PrkAveUltra

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I would keep the thermostat factory if there is no reason for lowering it. Going to one that opens lower will indeed give less heat. As to your issue, I would at the very least change the coolant and see what happens. If you're losing coolant don't overlook the plastic coolant elbows under and around the alternator/bracket if you haven't looked at them before. If they're plastic they will leak and need replacement one day and most including me recommend easily available Dorman Help! aluminum elbows.
The only reason I thought the factory thermostat was a 210 was that’s when the huge would start to drop and the cooling fans would kick on. So I may also change that back. But I am planning on getting the coolant flushed but I just got told it will be $200 to do so so it will have to wait a little while
 

Regal LTD Coupe

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The only reason I thought the factory thermostat was a 210 was that’s when the huge would start to drop and the cooling fans would kick on. So I may also change that back. But I am planning on getting the coolant flushed but I just got told it will be $200 to do so so it will have to wait a little while
That is really overpriced. If you can raise the front of your car (there should be a large metal brace under the motor where a decent jack can raise it in the middle and then place a jackstand on the left and right side), changing it couldn't be simpler from that point on. The radiator's petcock on the left side twists open to the left and will drain totally from there. If you wanted to flush the heater core you could leave that open and then do the hose back and forward flush thing as found on YouTube videos how to do. Then button it up and add a full jug of unmixed antifreeze and another full of water (preferably distilled which is like $1 or less a gallon, and which the mechanic probably won't use) and a bit more, then bleed from the large screw around the thermostat housing getting the motor up to temperature and all the air bubbles out until you refasten the screw (and do this bleed procedure now if you haven't already); and see what happens. Not worth $200 at all in my opinion and I don't like others doing work on my car as I know they won't do so with the same sort of consideration and time as I would while charging a whole hell of a lot to do it! If I were doing this I might consider evacuating the old stuff completely and going away from Dexcool but that's just me; of course when I did this on the same motor in the past I was also replacing the radiator, all the hoses, and the cooling elbows were new too so it may not be a good idea to change from it in your case. At any rate, $200 would buy you all the tools and necessary things to do the job yourself and then you'd have them still for a future job; if you're into doing this sort of work or learning how to. My preference of owning older cars made it necessary for me.
 

01PrkAveUltra

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2001 Buick park avenue ultra
That is really overpriced. If you can raise the front of your car (there should be a large metal brace under the motor where a decent jack can raise it in the middle and then place a jackstand on the left and right side), changing it couldn't be simpler from that point on. The radiator's petcock on the left side twists open to the left and will drain totally from there. If you wanted to flush the heater core you could leave that open and then do the hose back and forward flush thing as found on YouTube videos how to do. Then button it up and add a full jug of unmixed antifreeze and another full of water (preferably distilled which is like $1 or less a gallon, and which the mechanic probably won't use) and a bit more, then bleed from the large screw around the thermostat housing getting the motor up to temperature and all the air bubbles out until you refasten the screw (and do this bleed procedure now if you haven't already); and see what happens. Not worth $200 at all in my opinion and I don't like others doing work on my car as I know they won't do so with the same sort of consideration and time as I would while charging a whole hell of a lot to do it! If I were doing this I might consider evacuating the old stuff completely and going away from Dexcool but that's just me; of course when I did this on the same motor in the past I was also replacing the radiator, all the hoses, and the cooling elbows were new too so it may not be a good idea to change from it in your case.
I was going to see you f they could flush it out somewhere else and see if it’s cheaper. I would do it myself but I don’t want to risk freezing the block wher I’m at it gets down to like 10 degrees at night
 

01PrkAveUltra

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2001 Buick park avenue ultra
That is really overpriced. If you can raise the front of your car (there should be a large metal brace under the motor where a decent jack can raise it in the middle and then place a jackstand on the left and right side), changing it couldn't be simpler from that point on. The radiator's petcock on the left side twists open to the left and will drain totally from there. If you wanted to flush the heater core you could leave that open and then do the hose back and forward flush thing as found on YouTube videos how to do. Then button it up and add a full jug of unmixed antifreeze and another full of water (preferably distilled which is like $1 or less a gallon, and which the mechanic probably won't use) and a bit more, then bleed from the large screw around the thermostat housing getting the motor up to temperature and all the air bubbles out until you refasten the screw (and do this bleed procedure now if you haven't already); and see what happens. Not worth $200 at all in my opinion and I don't like others doing work on my car as I know they won't do so with the same sort of consideration and time as I would while charging a whole hell of a lot to do it! If I were doing this I might consider evacuating the old stuff completely and going away from Dexcool but that's just me; of course when I did this on the same motor in the past I was also replacing the radiator, all the hoses, and the cooling elbows were new too so it may not be a good idea to change from it in your case. At any rate, $200 would buy you all the tools and necessary things to do the job yourself and then you'd have them still for a future job; if you're into doing this sort of work or learning how to. My preference of owning older cars made it necessary for me.
Well I took it for a drive tonight and while driving it will get to 180 and stay between 180-175 but when I stop it will slowly climb up to 205-210 and the cooling fans will kick on. I opened the bleeder valve on the thermostat and no air came out, the upper and lower radiator hoses both read 160 with a temp gun. Is my water pump bad?
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MelsRegal

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Well I took it for a drive tonight and while driving it will get to 180 and stay between 180-175 but when I stop it will slowly climb up to 205-210 and the cooling fans will kick on. I opened the bleeder valve on the thermostat and no air came out, the upper and lower radiator hoses both read 160 with a temp gun. Is my water pump bad?
Nothing wrong with the pump or the 180 up to 210 reading.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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As mentioned in post 2, what are the heater core hose temperature? If one or both are significantly lower than the rest it may be the area focus on, if not then it is on to the next in line. Troubleshooting is just going through a system from point A to B and eliminating each item in the sequence, bouncing around and tossing parts is expensive and time consuming. Good luck on getting it resolved.
 
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