Funny Thermostat Problem... - Nissan Forum
B15 2000-2006 2000+ Sentra including 2002+ SE-R and SpecV

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#1 Old Nov 30th, 2010, 08:07 PM
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Exclamation Funny Thermostat Problem...

Hi,

Firstly, I'm trying to investigate a problem with my mom's 2003 sentra xe that did not want to produce heat unless the engine was reved. After several attempts at removing this air from the system and getting heat with no success, I've gone to the next step and replaced the thermostat.

Now, the car produces "mild" air when the engine is cold but immediately switches over to freezing cold air once the engine gets warm. What's going on? I put the new thermostat the same way the old one was in. The engine temperature does reach the operating temperature (half way up).

Any ideas? I have to try and fix this problem before winter returns to Alberta...


Thanks!
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#2 Old Nov 30th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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check your coolant level. make sure its not low. make sure there is no discoloration. also check your oil make sure its clean and not foamy. if it is foamy then u have a head gasket problem. i had the same problem. if not . then look into getting a coolant flush. which will clear out and debris in the system. also when the car is warm. there are two hoses going into the firwal towards the center of the car from the engine compartment. try to feel them and see if they are warm. if they are not. then u dont have any coolant going into your heater core that supply;s heat to the car inside. also get check for coolant leaks around radiator. if there is a small leak that will cause no heat. hope it helps..

Dj KiD

05 Sentra 1.8s. / 2012 Rogue SL
#3 Old Nov 30th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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These cars had some problems with heater control levers breaking and mode doors sticking. It's addressed in TSB# NTB03-005a. Your problem likely has nothing to do with the coolant system, but with the heater system. Start by checking the temp mode cable operation.
#4 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 12:45 AM
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The coolant level is high. Before I replaced the thermostat, I got to this point where I suspected the coolant wasn't flowing past the thermostat. Basically.. I open the rad and after the pressure release, the level in the rad would be low and the reservoir above full.

I suspected air was in the system so I filled the rad up and let the engine run. It bubbled away, the more I revved it, the harder it bubbled (thought that's good..letting the air out), except that the last time I tried it, I decided to turn off the engine and noticed that there was very little coolant in the rad and I could not get it to pop-up by squeezing the hoses... To me, this is suggesting I was evaporating coolant when reving the engine. Meanwhile in the cabin... bone cold air.

As for the two hoses heading into the cabin, one barely gets "mild" at best. What I thought was initially the case was the air bubbles being trapped into these two hoses.. but after removing the thermostat, I started getting coolant coming from up front(albeit,a slightly different shade of orange)

I can't check the oil at the moment unfortunately.

As for the "temp mode cable", I'm not sure what/where that is.
#5 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 09:45 AM
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The temperature mode cable runs from the temperature control lever of the heater control to the temperature mode door of the heater case. You'll need to get under the dash and move the temp control lever back and forth to observe the cable movement. If no movement, then you'll need to pull out the heater control assy. and inspect the lever and cable connection.Also, IIRC, the heater cock (or control valve) lever is attached on the opposite side of the temp mode door. When the cable operates the door, it also operates the contol valve which controls the flow of coolant through the heater core. For this reason, based on the differance of the temperature of the heater hoses, I would stick suspect a cable or heater control lever issue.

Last edited by smj999smj; Dec 1st, 2010 at 09:48 AM.
#6 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 09:55 AM
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to get the air bubbles out, lift the front end (jack stands etc) take the rad cap off and start engine, air bubbles will work out. the color of your coolant is a concern... any white smoke? ruff running at start up?
#7 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 10:09 PM
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The oil looks okay, no bubbles or anything. I'm not sure if it smokes or not as it's -10c outside and most cars I've seen create steam with a cold engine at this temp. Only odd thing, once in a while, right after starting it doesn't idle right. Like a piston isn't in sync. Turning the key off, waiting, and then starting it again fixes that.

As for seeing if the cable is okay, I guess that'll have to be a weekend check as it looks like I have to remove part of the lower panel/dash to see.

Speedo, I've put in prestone long life premixed coolant. It's orange. Also, that's how I went about trying to remove the air bubbles. Trouble is, it never got to a point where all that would be expelled would be coolant. I put a container on the ground below the rad and it looks like it got practically all of the coolant I put in (half a bottle of coolant....)

I think that cooling system flush is in order..
Does anyone think it could be a waterpump issue? Do those ever fail in these cars? In at least one occasion, the car was ran with little coolant (it also would not heat..but adding coolant fixed it before).
#8 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 10:24 PM
jdg
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You got the wrong coolant for one thing!!!
http://www.courtesyparts.com/pdf/2003-Nissan-Sentra.pdf
Mixing the two isn't SUPPOSED to have a negative impact and maybe the evidence is anecdotal at best, but I've heard of a number of cases where using 'orange' in place of 'green' would eat up the metal on the head gaskets. Whether that's actually true or not, I don't know.
What I do know is the book calls for green and you've got orange and it's wrong.

99% of the questions that are "STRANGE" have a dirt simple answer...usually answered by a dirt simple search.

NISSAN GOOGLE

Is it just me, or does the majority overlook the obvious?

Somebody ate a whole bag of dumbass for breakfast.

Why do people continue to run a vehicle when a warning light comes on or starts flashing? Isn't that a clue that something is wrong and you probably should NOT drive it?
Is this whole car driving thing really freekin' brain surgery?

Here's something new for the crowd/clowns...
"A little bit of Google goes a long way!"

Ever notice the one post wonders for info on turbo'ing a GA16 are never heard from again after they figure out the cost???

And if you can read this, you don't need glasses! :)

And yes, I am diggin' it...
#9 Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 08:42 AM
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^ correct! Get the orange stuff out of there! Flush it out to make sure its all out, then put some good stuff in there!
#10 Old Dec 6th, 2010, 08:33 PM
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Well.. the cooling system clean took things from bad to worse...
The heater core was supposedly blocked, and now fixed... but there is no warm air coming into the car.

Not only that, but now the engine is overheating. Any other ideas? Could it be the water pump? The only upside.. if there is such a thing right now is that one of those heater core hoses gets warm rather quickly.. but like I already mentioned, there is no heat coming into the car.


Not that this is really a concern right now but they did put the green stuff in...
#11 Old Dec 6th, 2010, 09:31 PM
jdg
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ND, USA
Posts: 2,671
Define "overheating"

99% of the questions that are "STRANGE" have a dirt simple answer...usually answered by a dirt simple search.

NISSAN GOOGLE

Is it just me, or does the majority overlook the obvious?

Somebody ate a whole bag of dumbass for breakfast.

Why do people continue to run a vehicle when a warning light comes on or starts flashing? Isn't that a clue that something is wrong and you probably should NOT drive it?
Is this whole car driving thing really freekin' brain surgery?

Here's something new for the crowd/clowns...
"A little bit of Google goes a long way!"

Ever notice the one post wonders for info on turbo'ing a GA16 are never heard from again after they figure out the cost???

And if you can read this, you don't need glasses! :)

And yes, I am diggin' it...
#12 Old Dec 6th, 2010, 11:55 PM
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Posts: 14
Engine temperature has risen from the usual midpoint place to hot (it has never done this!). Coolant container filled up to the very top and apparently smoke coming from the rad....

Last edited by Alin99; Dec 6th, 2010 at 11:57 PM.
#13 Old Dec 7th, 2010, 05:56 AM
jdg
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ND, USA
Posts: 2,671
Do a compression check.

99% of the questions that are "STRANGE" have a dirt simple answer...usually answered by a dirt simple search.

NISSAN GOOGLE

Is it just me, or does the majority overlook the obvious?

Somebody ate a whole bag of dumbass for breakfast.

Why do people continue to run a vehicle when a warning light comes on or starts flashing? Isn't that a clue that something is wrong and you probably should NOT drive it?
Is this whole car driving thing really freekin' brain surgery?

Here's something new for the crowd/clowns...
"A little bit of Google goes a long way!"

Ever notice the one post wonders for info on turbo'ing a GA16 are never heard from again after they figure out the cost???

And if you can read this, you don't need glasses! :)

And yes, I am diggin' it...
#14 Old Dec 7th, 2010, 08:02 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: PHX AZ
Posts: 3,018
the heater was blocked and is now fixed? dosent sound like its fixed, both heater hoses should be warm or your not getting water flowing in/out of the core...
#15 Old Dec 7th, 2010, 10:04 AM
jdg
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ND, USA
Posts: 2,671
Ya, the one heater hose is getting warmed from STEAM!

99% of the questions that are "STRANGE" have a dirt simple answer...usually answered by a dirt simple search.

NISSAN GOOGLE

Is it just me, or does the majority overlook the obvious?

Somebody ate a whole bag of dumbass for breakfast.

Why do people continue to run a vehicle when a warning light comes on or starts flashing? Isn't that a clue that something is wrong and you probably should NOT drive it?
Is this whole car driving thing really freekin' brain surgery?

Here's something new for the crowd/clowns...
"A little bit of Google goes a long way!"

Ever notice the one post wonders for info on turbo'ing a GA16 are never heard from again after they figure out the cost???

And if you can read this, you don't need glasses! :)

And yes, I am diggin' it...
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