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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned a 1993 Spirit, and a 1995 Escort. Both with tiny engines, and both have kept me sweaty in the -30+ below zero range with awesome heat.

This 2006 Cobalt coupe(5spd) does not do a good job at all of keeping me warm in the winter. Even my feet are half frozen most of the time because of the severe lack of heat. When it's warmer out (10 degrees and above), the heat seems to be effective and such, but below that, the heat just isn't hot enough to do it's job.

Are there things I can check to see if something is malfunctioning? Coolant is still fresh and heat is piping hot (because it's 50+ degrees out).
 

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Pretty sure your heater core is clogged or your fan isn't working properly - mine heats the car up fast and has to be turned off after a while because it's too hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pretty sure your heater core is clogged or your fan isn't working properly - mine heats the car up fast and has to be turned off after a while because it's too hot.

Let's see, the fan works perfectly, but the heater core being clogged?


Hmm.............. is there a way to check this without removing the thing?

Also, like I said, the lack of heat happens mainly from 10 degrees F and below, or with a severe windchill, or if I'm just idling in the cold.
 

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Assuming everything is ok with the car during the winter you could also block off your grille to prevent the excessive cold air from getting in, thereby allowing the radiator to stay warmer. If you do this make sure not to close off the bottom grill in the center of the bumper if you have an automatic. That one is for your transmission, and you need to leave it open.
 

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dex cool does tend to sludge. try doing a coolant system flush and replacing your coolant with conventional green coolant. 50/50 as always, and be sure to use a flush additive. though i warn you, the process is very messy.

---------- Post added at 07:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:37 PM ----------

Assuming everything is ok with the car during the winter you could also block off your grille to prevent the excessive cold air from getting in, thereby allowing the radiator to stay warmer. If you do this make sure not to close off the bottom grill in the center of the bumper if you have an automatic. That one is for your transmission, and you need to leave it open.
you'll notice truck drivers do this in colder weather, but do not drive it with that on if the coolant temp exceeds 210F. about 250F coolant temp is when your head starts to warp and your gaskets start to fail. gm also offers an engine block warmer to keep the oil and coolant nice and toasty.
 

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any coolant will sludge on an older engine, but i've noticed dex cool more than others. it's really just prefrence. dex cool supposedly has conductors in it that improve grounds to the block. i don't buy it though. i just call it "the orange crap", flush it and use the green stuff lol. i still run dex cool with no problems 80k miles. we have aluminum engines and radiators so rust doesn't really happen. i've only noticed major sludge on cars with iron blocks and steel radiator end tanks. according to gm we're supposed to flush it at 100k miles only if it starts causing issues. we may be talking up the possibility of a clogged heater core for no reason here. take a look in the reservoir and look for brown deposits on the tank. if it's clear orange, chances are there's no sludge. if your blower motor works at all 4 speeds and varies accordingly, it's not the blower motor or resistor. our thermostat opens at 113F also the temp that the ecm goes into closed loop. if your car takes forever to warm up, the thermostat may be stuck open. if there is pressure in both the radiator hoses on a cold motor then you've found your problem. just squeeze them, it's not hard to figure out. if at 113F the heat is not warm and your car is not overheating while driving and you have pressure in both rad hoses, i would say it's safe to assume the heater core is at fault.

also i noticed if you put your climate control on circulate rather than outside air, the cabin will warm up quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Now, I know that the car isn't overheating or anything because I watch the on-board temp gauge and don't max out the fan until I hit 150.

My coolant is the orange stuff, but I have topped off the tank with 50/50 green universal stuff. Like I said, it's mainly when I idle, the wind is really blowing(severe windchill), or if it's really cold outside (-15 degrees+).

Maybe this year, I'l try blocking the main grill (since I run a manual, I'm in the clear). I do know for a fact that any moving air over a hot aluminum abject will discipate the heat much faster than with iron or steel. Block the moving air, the heat should stay.
 

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Now, I know that the car isn't overheating or anything because I watch the on-board temp gauge and don't max out the fan until I hit 150.

My coolant is the orange stuff, but I have topped off the tank with 50/50 green universal stuff. Like I said, it's mainly when I idle, the wind is really blowing(severe windchill), or if it's really cold outside (-15 degrees+).

Maybe this year, I'l try blocking the main grill (since I run a manual, I'm in the clear). I do know for a fact that any moving air over a hot aluminum abject will discipate the heat much faster than with iron or steel. Block the moving air, the heat should stay.
Sounds like a good approach to me.
 

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Check water pump for proper function. Check electric fans to make sure they are not coming on in cold weather unnecessarilly removing heat you need. Maybe as a preventative (and fairly cheap) maintenance, replace engine thermostat with original GM/Delco unit. If over 5 years/100,000, flush coolant with oem Dex-Cool. There is a reason is was factory fill. Check your owner's manual for additional info on that.
Those that extend recommended maintenace schedules have coolant, and other service issues. If within mileage and not close, check it to make sure it's at proper level and save your money.

423
 

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Aha, I think we may have found the problem. Green is not universal! You cannot mix dex and conventional under any circumstance. It will most likely cause clogging and god knows what else. It's also a bad idea to block your radiator for whatever reason. Just because semis do it doesn't mean its ok to do it on your car. Aluminum is very prone to warping and any overheating is a high chance of a junk cylinder head.
 

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Aha, I think we may have found the problem. Green is not universal! You cannot mix dex and conventional under any circumstance. It will most likely cause clogging and god knows what else. It's also a bad idea to block your radiator for whatever reason. Just because semis do it doesn't mean its ok to do it on your car. Aluminum is very prone to warping and any overheating is a high chance of a junk cylinder head.
THIS! As soon as I saw that green and dex-cool was mixed...big uh ohs.
 

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Aha, I think we may have found the problem. Green is not universal! You cannot mix dex and conventional under any circumstance. It will most likely cause clogging and god knows what else. It's also a bad idea to block your radiator for whatever reason. Just because semis do it doesn't mean its ok to do it on your car. Aluminum is very prone to warping and any overheating is a high chance of a junk cylinder head.
From the months of November to the end of March, it gets to an average of 5 degrees above zero. Factor in natural windchill(if there is any), plus the additional wind chill speed from driving(most of my driving is hwy), I think I'll be OK.

But since I am a metal fabricator, I can make a nice cover that'll block 80% of the main grill. After all, the bottom of the grill still gets hit with airflow anyway.
 
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