crazy heater issues
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This is a discussion on crazy heater issues within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi, I am so confused with what my car is doing. I tried searching, but could not find anything that ...

  1. #1
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    crazy heater issues

    Hi, I am so confused with what my car is doing. I tried searching, but could not find anything that connected to this.

    My car is a 2002 WRX sedan and it has 151,XXX miles. The problem im having is that when i turn on the heater it blows cold at the top vents, and the defroster vents, but the floor vents blow hot air like it is supposed to.

    The pressure that blows out is the same on all vents so i dont think its any kind of blockage.

    I burped the cooling system, but things are still the same, cold up top and warm by the feet.

    I need help with this please, its getting colder outside, and this issue doesnt allow my car to fully feel warm inside.

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  3. #2
    Dimensional Drifter Rambo's Avatar
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    Huh, that is a weird problem.

    I would remove the radio console and check that the damper control knob is working properly. With the radio and front trim out, you'll get a good view of the gears and pull cable that the knob actuates. Maybe the cable is opening the wrong vents?

    I guess the other thing to check is that the ductwork past the heat exhanger is connected properly. If it was disconnected somehow, that might explain how the bottom is warm (since all the ductwork is located around there, but the top is cold. I have never heard of that happening, but anything is possible, I suppose.

    I guess just check out as much of the HVAC system as you can behind the dash. Do you have a cabin filter? You can remove the glovebox assy and check that out as well, along with the blower.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
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    He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling... - Jeremy Clarkson

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    i have actually didnt even know there was a cabin filter... so i will check that out... i will also take the stereo out and check whats going on... i did just install a double din stereo, and the wiring back there is pretty ridiculous, and now that i think about it, i wouldn't be surprised if the wiring is screwing with something in the HVAC controls. thanks so much for the quick reply, i will check it out after class, and will keep you posted.

  5. #4
    Dimensional Drifter Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaRR View Post
    i have actually didnt even know there was a cabin filter... so i will check that out... i will also take the stereo out and check whats going on... i did just install a double din stereo, and the wiring back there is pretty ridiculous, and now that i think about it, i wouldn't be surprised if the wiring is screwing with something in the HVAC controls. thanks so much for the quick reply, i will check it out after class, and will keep you posted.
    Well, the temperature, recirc/outside air, and blower location controls are all cable-actuated, so unless the wiring is somehow kinking the cables, you don't have to worry about shorting that. The AC, defrost, and blower controls are of course electric, though.

    The cabin filter was an option (it looks just like an engine air filter), but all WRXs had the bracketry to support it. Here's a handy writeup on how to access it, courtesy of Subaru: Cabin Air Filter Replacement Instructions

    With the glove box assembly out of the way, you'll have a clear view of the rectangular plastic panel that covers where the filter goes. The blower motor is just below that slot, and you can see the outside/recirc air movable panels up above the filter slot as well.

    Good luck!
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling... - Jeremy Clarkson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Well, the temperature, recirc/outside air, and blower location controls are all cable-actuated, so unless the wiring is somehow kinking the cables, you don't have to worry about shorting that. The AC, defrost, and blower controls are of course electric, though.

    The cabin filter was an option (it looks just like an engine air filter), but all WRXs had the bracketry to support it. Here's a handy writeup on how to access it, courtesy of Subaru: Cabin Air Filter Replacement Instructions

    With the glove box assembly out of the way, you'll have a clear view of the rectangular plastic panel that covers where the filter goes. The blower motor is just below that slot, and you can see the outside/recirc air movable panels up above the filter slot as well.

    Good luck!
    Thanks Rambo, I just got out of class, and im heading outside to check it out!

    As far as the cabin air filter, I checked autozone and advance auto to see if they have it in stock just in case, and they do not, but i also heard that my car might not have on in place... like its not installed from the factory... regardless i havent checked, so I'll keep you updated once I have checked it out.

  7. #6
    Dimensional Drifter Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaRR View Post
    Thanks Rambo, I just got out of class, and im heading outside to check it out!

    As far as the cabin air filter, I checked autozone and advance auto to see if they have it in stock just in case, and they do not, but i also heard that my car might not have on in place... like its not installed from the factory... regardless i havent checked, so I'll keep you updated once I have checked it out.
    I'm not surprised they don't have a filter in stock. I get mine off Amazon for around $10 each year. It's not hurting anything not to have one, though, just personal preference. My wife get allergies pretty bad, and the filter did seem to help with that during the worst part of the season.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling... - Jeremy Clarkson

  8. #7
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    When did this start happening? How long have you had the car? Were there any changes made to the car right before this started happening (anything, even things that would seem totally unrelated)? I'm guessing this is the first time you've used the heat since last winter, so please list any other maintenance or repair items that have been done since last winter since whatever is causing this could have happened 6 months ago but you just haven't used the heat so you would notice it.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

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    Figured it out!!!

    The cable that is connected to the hot/cold selector thing was not braced properly, and therefore when i had it on hot, it wasn't completely on hot leaving enough open for the top to get coldish air, and the floor vents to get hot air...

    I popped it back on to where it is supped to go, made sure it was on there securely, and immediately felt the car fill up with hot air!

    I put everything back together, and now my stereo wont turn on... I think i blew a fuse or something. lol but at least my heat works!!!

    Hurray and thanks so much Rambo!

    and Teflon, you too... even though I just read your post... but you were right, when my friend installed my alarm/remote start he must have knocked the cable out of its little clip thing.

    ClubWRX is AWESOME! i also posted this on NASIOC... in fact i posted it over there before here, but I got faster response, and more responses here!

    Thanks again! and now im off to fix my stereo... smh.

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