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Used Cars for sale - Used Trucks for sale [1858921634] Buy Used Cars

Venture van heater blowing cold air/temp gauge fluctuating

- Chevrolet-Venture

Forum Post
12/05/08 00:17

Venture van heater blowing cold air/temp gauge fluctuating

My 1999 chevy venture van''s heater only blows hot air at highway speeds. When we stop or slow down, it only blows cold air. About the time this started, I noticed that the temp gauge bouncing around alot. Gauge is at normal levels on the highway, but goes very hot, then cold when slowing down and stopping. Bad water pump/thermostat? Coolant levels is good. Any ideas?



Archived Replies

This post has a total of 59 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: Venture van heater blowing cold air/temp gauge fluctuating archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 12/05/08 through 04/17/11, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

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Some other things to do:

1. Put a piece of cardboard (10" x 33") in front of the radiator to help warm up the vehicle in cold weather. Open the hood and slip the cardboard directly in front of the radiator - there's slots on either end of the rad that you can slip the cardboard in.

You need to cover between 1/2 and 2/3 of the radiator. The remaining exposed radiator is sufficent to keep the engine from overheating below freezing temperature.

2. Pull the fuse for the A/C clutch. If you run with the windshield defroster on and heat on. And it's above freezing () degC or 32 degF), the AIR CONDITIONER comes on! Add that with the idle/heat problem and you get COLD air.

The fuse box is located in the engine compartment on the passenger side. Unscrew the lid and the underside of the lid will tell you the position of the A/C clutch (A/C clu) fuse. There is a white fuse puller stored in the fuse box for you to use. Expect that it is very difficult to remove the fuse (10 A red fuse). There are some spare fuse slots: 19 and 20 on my vehicle that you can put the fuse so you don't lose it.

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Some have suggested pulling the air filters located in the glove box to increase the air flow. At the back of the glove box is a black snap cover. Open it from the bottom. Then there is a second black snap cover. Open it from the left. There are two filters. The first pulls straight out, the second is located slid over to the driver's side. Slide it to the passenger side and remove. If they are old and clogged, then you can replace them for $$$ or just remove them.

I have new filters bought at 1/4 the price at a parts store for $65. GM sells them for an arm and a leg. If you already have new filters, it won't make much difference in air flow by removing them.

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I also happen to have Pontiac Montana 99, the manifold replaced, coolant was leaking. then the cam shaft broke, I replaced the engine. Now it is heating up. Replaced, Radiator, Thermostat, and a T at the Heater core, Still getting low coolant sign and gauge going up and down. There is no coolant in oil or oil in coolant no white smoke, Heater give hot good heat. After reading all the previous posts, it must be one of the things like air in the system, or water pump or a pulley may be serpentine belt. Will take it to a shop today. Thank you guys for the help will post result.


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Have a 01 Chevy Venture Van - 172, XXX miles. Have the problem of defrost being freezing cold but the heat blows hot after I drive it around for a while. Gets hotter the longer I drive it, but the defrost never gets hot. Had new head gaskets in May 2009. Chevy dealer is now telling me they have to be replace again, that my coolant is leaking from the gaskets and this is why my heat doesnt work. So, sounds like you with the same problem need new head gaskets. Only thing is dont expect it to last. My 1st gasket job lasted 1-1/2 years. Course, that could be shoddy work too, could be they didnt do the best job the first time. Wouldnt surprise me if they used cheap stuff to make sure I had to return in a couple years to do it all over again. Head gaskets were fine for first 130, 000 miles now its on its second time needing new head gaskets. These vans are A PIECE OF JUNK. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER CHEVY PRODUCT. Sad because I grew up riding in Chevy cars/trucks. It was the only kind my dad would buy. This van has cost me more than a new one to keep up the repairs, heater core, transmission, head gaskets, on and on...I've spent about $7, 000 on repairs and bought it used about 5 years ago. COuld have bought a brand new van for what its cost me to keep the thing running.
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GM recommends adding Barrs leak into the aluminum block engines. This is to seal the porus Aluminum block. Unfortunately the uninformed open their radiator cap & believe this is murcky rust. Dexcool should be changed every 4 years no matter how much or little the car has been driven - PERIOD.

a varying temperature gauge can simply be air in the system from a faulty radiator cap. when the car cools, open the rad cap. if the plastic overlow tank is full, and the radiator is not filled to the top, the cap needs to be replaced. it's simply air in the system, and at idle, the temp will range from 1/4 to 3/4. NEVER flush a radiator, just drain & fill with exactly 50/50 dexcool.

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Chevy Venture 3.4L gets a bad reputation because of a paradox. people perceive GM to sell inferior cars, so they have a low retail value, so the owners don't take care of them because the effort will not pay when they sell the car cheap anyway. I have an '02 Venture (original owner), and It's been Great, probably the way most feel about their Venture.

Remember not many people read the internet about people praising the reliability of a car. I drained & refilled dexcool 3x already & make sure to add the barrs from Wal mart. Sure the dexcool looks like muck, but it's supposed to. And certainly when you bring it to a mechanic, they will try to sell you a Head Gasket job when it's probably a bad cap or thermostat. - they make more $$ convincing you GM makes bad cars & you need to pay up for that. Plus they can do a crappy job because when it fails after 20k, they know you will just give up & blame GM.

Aluminum Head Gasket threads must be drilled out & Timeserted with GM steel studs. the bolts cannot be reused - otherwise the gaskets will blow apart from the engine bolts pulling apart or stretching.

Don't put the Green stuff in, because you will need to change the coolant every 2 years instead of every 4 years. & you will not be able to reverse that - even if you swich back to dexcool. once Green coolant silica is introduced, it's there for the life of the engine & cannot be removed from the internal cooling system.

If your vehicle was purchased 2nd hand, you have no idea what the previous owner did or didn't do to this car. they could have pissed in the radiator for all you know.

Moral of my story:

drain & fill your Dexcool coolant & use only GM certified & I recommend premix.

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I recently solved the heat guage and blowing of cold air by putting coolant in the radiator while car is running then turning heat on high while bleeding the radiator hoses. Heat works fine now
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I have a Chevy Venture 2002 with same problems(bought 3 years ago, now noone wants for 1500$). And actually 2 years ago i again bought a Brand new GM car (biggest mistake) and the worst i bought extended warranty, Gm doesnt even cares when the car has warranty and when the extended warranty comes in, they dont do anything at all, doesnt backs up. Really depressed, spent 40K + (in 3 yrs) on these worst cars and couldn't get anything out of them.


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Thomas Russell

I need to know how to replace the heater core in a 1999 chevy Venture mini van!
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just fixed the heater problem with venture most of you just need to replace heater core.. its only 70 dollars and not hard to do... the dealer will run you about 500 for all repairs and including small shops same pricel.. im a small mechanic in columbus so its a lil different any questions feeel free to ask
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I have a 2000 chev venture. The problem with mine is that it doesn't get any heat. I've listened for the fans to come on but they haven't. I've changed the thermostat and the rad cap. I put barrs leak(or whatever you call it) into the rad system but I think I am just going to try a rad flush cuz nothing seems to be working. As a temporary fix I have a cardboard in front of the rad. If anybody has an idea of what else could be wrong I'm open to ideas. I know there's nothing wrong with the head gasgets cuz when i put the barrs leak in the system it was leaking out so the mechanics automatically assumed that there was something wrong with them. My engine isn't even a year old and I havent put that many miles into it. My boyfriend is ready to give up but I love the mileage in this van and i want to keep it.
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mark olson

just changed coolant thermostat in 2000 venture van -- internet said to remove exhaust crossover to gain access-- DONT DO THAT-- instead just remove throttle body to gain access to that stuborn bolt-- it still takes time but much better way to go --
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reply numbr 48 was the best u rule jason
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2000 venture -- I flushed heater core -- now heats better but sometimes there is cold air blowing -- whats best way to bleed out air -- Ive opened the two bleeders and got some air out but im assuming there is more ?????????????????????
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HI....I have a 1995 Grand am. I just had the intake manifolds replaced along with the thermostat. The problem I am having is while the car is driving and warming up, the temp gauge slowly rises, and once past 220*, the heat changes to cold air, and the gauge continues to rise to about 250*, coming very close to the "overheat" area. The gauge will sit there for about 30 seconds, then fall back down (quickly) to 200*, with the heat returning. After that the reading is fine. The anti-freeze is new and full. Any suggestions?
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Hey, I am having all the same problems as you all. It finally blew hoses on Saturday. Towed it to Hall Chevy in Daytona. They replaced Plastic tees to rear heat, leaking coolant. Found Bypass o-ring leaking. Replaced it. Had a bad #1 Coil. Replaced coil and plug wires. Now it's worse then it was.. I can hardly drive it. It's fluctuating real bad, I'm afraid it will blow again, and they put this motor in. Help, Help, Please Help. It cost me $986.00 yesterday. It didn't even work for ten minutes.Please email me with the answer if you have it, I sure would you all.
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Me again. About my Fluctuating temp. OK everyone I did what #34 Eugene said to do and it is working so far. I am going to try it again in the morning when the engine is cold, that is when I have the most trouble. There was a lot of air in the lines. Bless You Eugene.
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if you have a chev venture that the temp is low on the gauge and it doesnt blow warm heat try back flushing the heater core and radiator. Also make sure thermostat is good, this has been a problem on most of the ventures that i work on.
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My 2004 heat was working fine till last fall, when a plastic paiece broke it looked like a three way elbow with hoses attached at the back of the engine compartment, well we fixed that with a new plastic T piece, and filled it up with coolent and then bled the coolant, the van does not over heat, it stays constant at between 1/2 and 3/4, but does not get warm at all, once in a while it will warm up some, but mostly just blows cold air. Before the problems started it got warm just fine, actually in the summer it got too warm even with the heat off and windows down, A/C doesnt work. anyway, I have now been smelling coolant and when i checked today the resovior is empty again and the rad is a little low, so I filled both up and bled it again, the bleeder on the water pump side bleeds just fine, but the other bleeder hardly has anything come out, and when it does its in spurts and stops?..anyway The heads were replaced and it was switched over to the green stuff, I put the yellow stuff in it. I dont have 1000's to spend fixing this van, but its needs to have some heat for my wife and kids, any ideas?
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I had the same thing wrong with my van warm heat only gauge move up and down taken it to two shop spend lots of money and all it was my rad cap and it let air in the lines replace my cap and brup my lines and know it works great
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I had the same issues with a 98 Venture and after almost pulling off my hair and reading a lot of info. I found out that the air bubbles that collect at the thermostat do not allow it to work properly, but every time i hit a pothole it worked. So I decided to take the thermostat off altogether and it worked fine. Then a friend of mine mentioned to put the thermostat back on but drill a little hole on the lip and then install it. Magically I dont have the problem anymore, since the bubbles go through the hole and the thermostat opens when it it supposed to.
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I am a small shop owner in PGH, PA. I have swapped, rebuilt, and serviced 3.1, 3.4 ltr engines from GM. When you replace anything on the coolant system, it should be bled...(on ventures with the 2 bled screws on the engine). Go with Eugene reply #34 and #35, those two methods are the the most accurate way to bleed ventures. If you have a 2.4 ltr from GM, fill the cooling system and run the vehicle until the temp gauge hits normal operating range, then shut it off and the coolant will be bled automatically (as this engine is self-bleeding). This process will need to be repeated approx. 3-4 times before the air is fully out.

I will agree that GM has made mistakes, but they are still reliable with their cars.

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Joe Little

I have a chevy venture 2001 I had the fluctuating temp gauge there is a tube on the intake manifold that cracks common problem on the venture got mine fixed 1100 dollars ok now
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2002 venture bought second hand. started having problems with it about a year after purchase. i love my van. i came to this forum first before any repairs. there is a lot of good info here. thank you all. i am going to try reply #34, 35, 36 in that order. i will let you know how it goes. thanks again for all your knowledge guys.
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i took my van to the neighborhood quick lube. i explained about the cooling system. i told them i wanted it flushed very good. and new coolant added. i also told them the air needed to be bled from the system. these guys done an excellent job. my van is running well and i havent had any problems since. i had the work done on mar 30. thanks again guys for all the good advice.
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    Archived Replies

    This post has a total of 59 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: Venture van heater blowing cold air/temp gauge fluctuating archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

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