Need some help with my girlfriends car..

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danman132x
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Need some help with my girlfriends car..

Post by danman132x » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:25 pm

She drives a 1997 Mercury Sable, and I need some general advice. It has two main issues:

First, it has a hard time starting up. Fuel has pressure, spark plugs are new, and has new wires. I will be getting my multimeter out to do some more diagnostics. Any other ideas of what may be causing a hard start (literally about 5 seconds of cranking each and every time, car hot or cold) Once started, the car drives just fine.

Second, is that her heater does not work. The car can be at operating temp, and still has no heat. So far I'm reading that I should replace the thermostat and also flush out the heater core if possible. When I turn the knob to hot, I can tell it wants to blow "hot" air, but no hot air comes out. Any suggestions?

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Post by srtjesse » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:25 pm

first of all pics of said gf lol jk check your relays for the heater and ac blower and check the timing for the starting problem
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TheRandom1
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Post by TheRandom1 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:34 pm

Definitely try flushing the heater core. Those things get nasty junk in there and clog really easy. Plus, it's cheap, easy, and something worth doing even if it's not the cause of the issue. After that, (or well, during I should say) make sure your coolant is full and properly mixed. Your car can be underfilled with coolant and you won't notice it on the temp gauge, so pop the radiator cap (when the car is cold) and make sure it's full.

As far as the hart starting... How many miles? The car is 11 years old, so I'm guessing over 100K on it. Does it crank slowly? When was the battery swapped last?
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Post by OB » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:19 pm

The problem is in the first sentence in your post. :lol: JK

A bad thermostat would cause more than just the heater not to work. If it blows air fine, it's probably a clogged heater core or very low coolant.

As far as the starting issue goes, might be timing related. A weak starter or battery will could also be the issue.
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TheRandom1
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Post by TheRandom1 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:21 pm

Unless the thermostat somehow managed to fail in the open position instead of closed...
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Adionik
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Post by Adionik » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:31 pm

I'd say have the battery and starter checked. Moreso of the starter, with batterys it seems they either start the car or they don't.
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Post by TheRandom1 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:33 pm

That's true, but once it starts going out it'll take longer to start the car, giving smart people who pay attention a little warning.
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Adionik
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Post by Adionik » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:02 pm

True. I somehow killed my battery right now...and did that loud clicking. Won't start for shit in this cold.
dank(r/t) wrote:you tell 'em altezza light, black headlight cover guy!
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TheRandom1
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Post by TheRandom1 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:02 pm

That sucks.
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Post by OB » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:03 pm

TheRandom1 wrote:Unless the thermostat somehow managed to fail in the open position instead of closed...
The thermostat is strictly for startup purposes. It allows the engine to warm up as fast as possible.If it failed in the open position, the engine would simply take longer to warm up, therefore the heater wouldn't work for the first ~10 mins; longer if traveling at speed. It would still be fully capable of blowing hot air.
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TheRandom1
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Post by TheRandom1 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:05 pm

I've had thermostats fail wide open and not blow heat before. Replace the thermostat and voila, I had heat again.
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Post by occasional demons » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:16 pm

T'stats made today are generally "fail safe" designs. They are supposed to fail in the open position. This prevents engine damage to todays engines, as overheating is a far quicker death. This, I'm sure was to cover their asses for warranty repair, more than the concern of we the customer.

If the car has a heater bypass valve, it could be bad. The "better" cars use them to keep from having a 210ºF mass inside the HVAC box hampering A/C performance.

The t'stat also helps maintain engine temp after start up. Drive one in 10º weather and see how long it stays warm with out a functioning t'stat.

Cam and crank sensors might be contributing to hard start. "shrugs"
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Post by danman132x » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:38 pm

Thanks guys. Forgot to mention, her car used to stall out some in the past she told me, but with new spark plugs that problem went away. IDK. I'm going to look into what it could be.
If it was my car, I'd have it fixed asap, start swapping out sensors, wires, everything, and get the heat working asap, but she's a lil pressed for cash so repairs are limited for the time being. I'm trying to help her as much as I can though.
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