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'95 legacy runs hot, heater doesn't work


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5 replies to this topic

#1 JohnK

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:04 PM

I'm trying to diagnose my '95 legacy and hope I can get some feedback or input from more experienced users

Check engine light is on (I've heard this is an obd2 even though it's a '95 and can be read by auto parts store's equipment?)

Runs hot (after driving but not while idling, I think) even after replacing thermostat and heater doesn't blow hot air

It runs smoothly even when hot. Just replaced plugs & wires after I had check engine light the first time (had been idling unevenly in wet weather)

Anyone have experience with this or have ideas what's up? on my way to see if I can get codes read...

#2 bosango

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:35 PM

Welcome JohnK! You'll find plenty of great help within this group. The simplest explanation for your problem is there's not enough fluid in the radiator to circulate around. The next easiest culprit might be a bad replacement thermostat. You can test to see if it opens in a pot of water on the stove. The exact replacement Stant thermostats are all the rage around here. Up next would be a bad water pump not circulating the fluid about. Usually, but not always, a bad pump makes all kind of racket. You might be able to take off the radiator cap, let it warm up, and watch for movement to see if the pump is doing its job. If it is the pump, you can replace that and all the timing belt parts for under $150 (probably less with ebay kits, which I've used with good success).

As for the codes, I'm sure someone can pipe in how to read those. It may be quite simple.

#3 Olnick

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:13 PM

Check engine light is on (I've heard this is an obd2 even though it's a '95 and can be read by auto parts store's equipment?)
Runs hot (after driving but not while idling, I think) even after replacing thermostat and heater doesn't blow hot air
It runs smoothly even when hot. Just replaced plugs & wires after I had check engine light the first time (had been idling unevenly in wet weather)
Anyone have experience with this or have ideas what's up? on my way to see if I can get codes read...


Good suggestions above. Yes, '95 is OBD-II. If you pull the codes get the actual code numbers for us, not a verbal description. How many miles on the car?

Did you replace the thermostat with an OEM unit or the "exact replacement" Stant? Cheapie aftermarket t-stats can give problems. What plugs and wires did you use?

Start by burping the coolant system to make sure there are no air bubbles.

Good luck.

#4 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

any t'stat other than from the dealer is suspect. Stant Xacstat might be OK but I don't think there's been a lot of feedback on those yet. There's another brand out there too that seems like a direct replacement. Certainly, typical small aftermarket t'stats are known problems. Also, the system is prone to holding air pockets. Some people even recommend parking with the nose up on a curb to help move air out of (burp) the system. There are several ways to proceed. Are you losing fluid or is the overflow bottle filling up? Are there bubbles in the coolant? Seems like your radiator fans are working OK, but doublecheck them. Is the coolant clean and clear? has the system been well maintained?

#5 MilesFox

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:11 PM

LOW COOLANT. check for leaks. cold heat is an obvius sign. fillit up now and you will be ok. do the burp procedure, may want to search tat(youtube) and use a good oem thermostat (do this now with a fresh coolant change.

For now, top it off and check for leaks

#6 Fairtax4me

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:27 PM

Check engine light is on (I've heard this is an obd2 even though it's a '95 and can be read by auto parts store's equipment?)

Yes, that is correct. Just tell the parts stores it's a 96. Most will not believe you if you tell them it will still work. I had a guy try to argue with me that their scanner wouldn't work because my car was a 95. Even after I had used the scanner at that store several times before on the car. I just flagged over one of the more experienced associates (that knew who I was) and got her to give me the scanner instead. :rolleyes:

These are difficult to fill the coolant. You have to fill the block through the upper radiator hose first, then fill the radiator. Remove the bleeder plug on the top of the radiator on the passenger side while filling the radiator.
Also, if you didn't buy an OE style thermostat, i'd suggest you get one. There is a sticky link at the top of the forum page with a part number available at some parts stores. Otherwise get one from a dealer.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 19 March 2012 - 08:32 PM.





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