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Guest Message by DevFuse

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The science of warm feet in my GL wag.

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Ofeargall


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Posted 11 December 2013 - 06:07 PM

Okay, I believe I've discovered the scientific solution to my cold feet while on the highway. First, a little context… I'm in Oregon where, lets be honest, it's wet. This week though, we've been under a blanket of cold air that's somewhat uncommon for our area. Single digits at night, 20's during the day.. Yeah, I know, all you NorEasters are like, "Cold?! Whatever. 20 is a friggin HEATWAVE around here.". Indulge me.


Anyway, it's been pretty cold, for us warm-weather-whimps, that is. I noticed on my 70 mile commute that the engine just couldn't keep warm when the temp dipped below 25F. With my heater going it seemed to compound issues resulting in a 'bracingly' cold breeze coming from my heater vents and taunting me with hypothermia at 60MPH.


I'd had enough the other morning I pulled off the snowy path, grabbed a box and blocked half of my radiator. To my surprise it yielded me virtually no results. Since I was late for a meeting I didn't have time to stop and fiddle with it.


On my next trip I grabbed a bunch of floor mats, pulled my grill and stuffed the mats against the radiator. Voila! The car started running at the regular operating temp with heat! 


Here's how the data works out:


Fully blocked radiator, heater on full-heat, fan on '3', 60MPH at 25 degrees F and below the car runs at just above normal operating temp.

25F up to 30F, you'll need to block about 65% of the radiator.

35F and above, no blockage seems needed.


So, there you go. For the uninitiated Northwesterners running an ancient EA82, take heart! You CAN stay warm!

#2 rain_man_rich


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Posted 11 December 2013 - 06:20 PM

Now I think something is wrong with mine as it's been heating up just fine during our "cold" snap.

#3 cal_look_zero


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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:03 PM

Now I think something is wrong with mine as it's been heating up just fine during our "cold" snap.

Not sure if the water cooled turbo affects heat that much?

I have a huge C&R radiator in my Impreza, takes a good 7 miles on the freeway before the air gets warm. Don't even bother with the heater on the way to the shop in the morning.

#4 WoodsWagon


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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:29 PM

It sounds like your thermostat may not be blocking flow through the radiator properly when it's closed.

#5 Luvn737s


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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:37 PM

Peugeot used to provide a big plastic cover with "gills" in it to place over the grill for just this purpose on their old 504's. Standard equipment, I think. 

#6 noahkanzig



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Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:00 PM

Sounds like your thermostat is letting too much coolant through. You should try replacing it with one that will let your engine run a little hotter or at least one that works properly. I live in colorado and it's been -10 all the way down to - 20. My EA82 heats up, slowly at those temps, but eventually. Also check your coolant level. Regardless, 30 degrees will not effect the heat on a properly working Subaru. 

#7 SmashedGlass


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Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:00 PM

Coolant flush*. It works. 

...unless sludge has been holding your heater core together, in which case it will give you nice

hot water in the cab instead of hot air   :lol:


*by flush, I mean with actual cleaners, not just changing your coolant.

Edited by SmashedGlass, 11 December 2013 - 10:00 PM.

#8 robm


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Posted 12 December 2013 - 11:45 AM

The T-stat is stuck open. 

#9 -tombba-


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Posted 12 December 2013 - 04:13 PM

I've never had any issues with cold interior air at winter even that it has been really cold I mean really cold in here in the winter times. Sometimes temperatures drop down to -35 Celsius (around -30 Fahrenheit) and still the car is very warm when it reaches the normal temperature. So +1 for the stuck open thermostat.

#10 MilesFox


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Posted 12 December 2013 - 06:36 PM

I drove 60 miles on 10 deg weather and had nice warm heat. Blocking the radiator shouldnt be necessary unless it's like -30 degrees. Perhaps the thermostat is failed open, missing, or the heater core is plugged.


30 degrees is not cold. Wear wool socks.

#11 TomRhere


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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:58 AM

Yeah, T-stat and/or heater core.


Been in the low/mid teens for low, mid/low 20's for high around here. Nice warm air out of the heater on my '88 Wagon. Unless there is a frost, I don't warm it up, just get in and go on my 32 mile jaunt to work.

I smoke, so I crack the window open about 1/4", still nice and warm inside although I can feel a cool draft around my legs.

#12 ivans imports

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:54 AM

I remove heater core unsoilder the back end rod it out resoilder it and then try heat on mine of the 50 core tubes 38 were pluged my heat was 95% better after burns my feet and had to turn it down in -15

#13 Ofeargall


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Posted 14 December 2013 - 07:32 PM

Well , new data is in and it proves my worst nightmare. The issue was induced by the owner (me)...

This summer I rebuilt the oil pump. To make life easy I removed the radiator. After everything was done amid buttoned up I filled the cooling system with a weak water/antifreeze ratio.

When the cold temps hit my water pump froze and popped the weeper seals on the pump which meant I was running with a lot less fluid. So, new water pump is installed and the cooling system is acting as normal, for the most part.

I should have flushed the system this fall and actually prepare for winter. Epic shade tree mechanic fail. I'm totally kicking myself now. I'm usually pretty good about this stuff.

The down side to all of this is that, even at full temperature the heat coming from the defroster and floor vent is barely warm at best. I suspect a heater core cleansing is next up.

Thanks all who chimed in. Sorry to waste your time on such a stupid problem.

#14 ivans imports

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 11:09 PM

Hey check frost plugs in top of cly head have not been pushed out have been there and is no fun

#15 TomRhere


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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:19 AM

Flip the hoses around going to the heater core. It may flush some of the crud out giving more heat. Doesn't always work, but I've had more success than not.

I've also ran a couple bottles of Super Flush in a few systems for a couple days, just to get a better cleaning.

Mac's Radiator Cleanser from NAPA is some good stuff too. I've left it in longer than the 20 minutes the directions say, again for a day or two. Kind of hard to do with freezing temps though, as you need plain water in the system.

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