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Old 12-07-2009, 04:12 PM   #1
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Heater not really working & poor idle

Hey guys,

i have a 97 TJ and its been getting real cold the last few days here in NYC, so I turned on the heat. Here's what happens...

The first two settings seem to be identical. The car blows warm air (at best) and barely enough just so you know that it is on. And its the SAME speed and heat on the first two levels. Then I turn it upto the 3rd and 4th setting and it does blow better but the air is still just lukewarm. Not hot at all. This is pretty much the SAME throughout all the went with the excpeption of the leg option where it barely blows at all.

I have to drive FULLY dressed in gloves and everything otherwise its real cold in the TJ.

What can this be?

Can it possibly a vacuum leak somewhere?

***The reason im thinking maybe vacuum leak is because along-side this issue, the wrangler doesnt idle 100% steady. I cant figure out what it is AT ALL and Ive been at it for some time now, did plugs, wires, cap, rotor, sea-foam cleaned the IAC, seafoamed it, replaced the CPS. No CEL, but no improvement really.

Maybe its just how the 2.5L idle but I feel like that cant be the case. It almost has surging idle. It will be steady for 3 to 5 secs then surge up 50-100 rpms then back down, then again and again....and it sort of takes a while for it to turn over. It cranks well but it cranks 5-6 times on average before it turns over.

Im sorry for the never ending post but I wanted to provide as many details as possible to narrow down the problem.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for any & all of your input!

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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Get a Haynes Manuel. It will provide you with vac. line routing. You can follow them and correct any suspect issues. I fixed my cruise control issue on my WJ with it. It sounds like the fresh air damper is stuck partially/fully open. Might want to open up the knob control on the dash and check the pneumatic connections.

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Old 12-07-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
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where is the fresh air damper located and what exactly does it do?

im not doubting what you are saying but how did you conclude that that might be it? Are you thinking that it is stuck open and the cold air from the outside is getting in and therefore causing the blower motor to blow out warm/cold air?
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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I said that because; for one it seems to be a common problem with jeeps, for some reason.
I am pretty sure there is no bypass valve on your heater core. So if you are getting any fan movement from the blower. You will have heat. The heater core is a heat transfer coil that transfers heat from the engine coolant to your cab via air moving over it. Your H-core is not block up (your jeep is not over heating).
It sound like there is a fan speed switch problem (another common problem with jeeps). Blower is not going to all speed settings. Pull the switch and check for burnt wires or a charred relay (smells like it has been really hot).
While you are into the front of the dash look at the comfort control switch. See if there is any vac. tubes that have come loose or have broken off. Get a Haynes manual and follow the vac. lines around. Once again look for the said above. The slightest leak will cause issues.
The way the HVAC system and dampers work is from the use of pneumatics from the vac. system off your engine. When you switch the controls (which ever one you choose). It redirects the vac. pressure to a different location. Opening a damper for the desired setting (heating, cooling, fresh air, defrost, etc..)
Good luck and remember to take your time and keep up good spirits. Vac. issues can be a B***h......
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:29 PM   #5
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I see I'm not the only one with this problem! Thanx for the advice pt4wdl. I'll try to pull the Jeep inside tomorrow and look. I know the plug was already melted on mine and I had it replaced. Its been getting down to like -6 in the mornings here and with it A.) taking forever to blow heat and B.) BARELY heating up at all, it sucks to drive. I LOVE driving, but damn, the cold weather and lack of a heater is taking the fun out of it.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagged92sdime View Post
I see I'm not the only one with this problem! Thanx for the advice pt4wdl. I'll try to pull the Jeep inside tomorrow and look. I know the plug was already melted on mine and I had it replaced. Its been getting down to like -6 in the mornings here and with it A.) taking forever to blow heat and B.) BARELY heating up at all, it sucks to drive. I LOVE driving, but damn, the cold weather and lack of a heater is taking the fun out of it.
Try taking off the actual temperature knob and make sure it isn't stripped. I know it sounds so stupid but I was away on biz before and my lady had no a.c. She takes it to mechanic who wants to charge her $600 for...I dont even know.

The day I got home was the shop day. Im driving it there and I take needlenose and pop off temp knob and wala - the inside was stripped so when I was turning the knob it was simply spinning - NOT increasing the temp.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:32 PM   #7
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Just a hunch though. Couldn't it be a clogged heater valve that's causing the heater core to blow insufficient heat to the passenger cabin? This is also likely to occur aside form the heater core being clogged. If that is the case, the heater valve or heater core should already be replaced.

There are also some instances where one of the connections to the heater core begins to leak. A symptom of this could be a smell (ethylene glycol is widely used as coolant and has a sweet smell), later it may cause (somewhat greasy) fogging of the windshield above the windshield heater vents (lifted from Wiki).So you could probably check those two.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:18 AM   #8
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my vote is for a t/stat stuck open or a colgged heater core
check to see if both hoses to the heater core are the same temp. if one is cooler than the other. take off both hoses blow compressed air thru the top inlet. and watch your eyes mud will probably come out the bottom hose outlet.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:59 PM   #9
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Anyone have any thoughts on the idle problem I have the same thing going on with my 97 tj

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