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 Post subject: No Heat
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:12 pm
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Year and Trim: 1997 SSE
I know there are several threads on heater issues, but have not found one that really addresses mine. So your help would be greatly appreciated.

1997 SSE with Electronic Climate control

Started having a problem recently after I had battery problems. When I start the car, the heater blows hot air (when engine is warm), but after 30 seconds to a minute, the air turns cool. Regardless of the temperature setting on the ECC. And then temp gauge on the ECC will flash. I have checked coolant levels, and they seem fine. I just recently had to have the radiator replaced. 4 months ago. Also, I have noticed this issue...ever since I bought the car, when it is cold outside, the heater won't blow until the engine is at a warm temperature. But now, it begins blowing immediately. When the engine is cold, the air blows cold to start with. But when hot, it blows warm/hot until it has run a few moments and then turns cold.

So my question...bad ECC? Bad thermostat?

Your help is appreciated.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:21 am 
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You cracked a gear on the airmix actuator when the battery was reconnected.

The repair goes like this:

1. Remove the glovebox door and inner liner. Using a small flashlight, find the actuator through the little round hole in the dash support bar.
2. Once familiar with the area, remove the passenger footwell hush panel, and run the passenger seat fully to the rear, and fully reclined.
3. Using small 1/4" drive sockets and THUMB/FINGER adapters (knurled aluminum), remove the screws from underneath by reaching up and working blind.

There are more detailed instructions available by searching. A dealer would remove the entire dash to do this. Your first one will be pure H E L L. Your second will be easier.

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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1997 SSE
willwren:

Let me pursue this a little further....as it is really acting strange.

During the heat, I was having no problems with AC. Good cold air. Sometimes, when I would start, it would blow hot for a few moments, but it would then turn cold. Then we had a cold spell hit, and I had no heat. I did find that the coolant was low, and I filled the radiator and the reservoir. I then had hot air when I set the temp on 90. But below that it was just tepid. But I still had good AC. Then this morning, I got in the car, and it was cool out, and I had great heat. Not just at 90, but at all temp ranges. In fact, I had no cold AC air. I frittered with it a bit, and I then got cold AC air, and then heat too. What is going on? Do you still believe it is the air/mix door issue?

Thanks

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:42 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
Year and Trim: 1994 SSEi
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There is a relatively long 'learn' time for the actuator to get itself straightened out, it seems. Pretty sure i read that somewhere on the forum here.
Mine was really flaky for a long time after I had my last bout of bad battery cable connections. However, it got better after a while, and now responds to all temperature adjustments. Not sure if that helps in yor instance or not, and I can certainly understand wanting to get it figured out and reliable.

I had dreaded having to try and replace the actuator. I have read thru the techinfo article several times, and had been trying to psyche myself up for the task. In this case, my procrastination appeared to have saved me form some anguish. Your results may vary, LOL! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:43 pm 
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yukong wrote:
1997 SSE with Electronic Climate control
...ever since I bought the car, when it is cold outside, the heater won't blow until the engine is at a warm temperature. But now, it begins blowing immediately. When the engine is cold, the air blows cold to start with.
So my question...bad ECC? Bad thermostat?


I had/have a bad actuator on my 98. I took it out and glued the cracked gear to the axle inside the housing with plastic glue. So far it has held.

But to address this observation, I suspect the HVAC starting in auto mode does as it is designed--it waits for coolant to warm up to a certain temp (100, perhaps, deg. F.) to start the fan, and then starts slowing adding fan speed as the coolant gets hotter. You may have switched the HVAC controls to manual mode for the blower speed. In manual mode, the speed will be whatever your setting is when the car is started.

If your car has memory settings for the remotes, everytime you use the remote, it should reset the HVAC to whatever mode it was when you last saved the settings.

Try turning the controls OFF by hitting the Off button twice. Then press the AUTO button before turning the key when ambient temp is cool. That puts the control back into Auto mode.


Last edited by imidazol97 on Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:45 am 
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Year and Trim: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SSE
I to am having a very similar problem. About two or three weeks ago, my fiance accidentally left the lights on when she went to school. Three hours later she found the car was dead, and had to get it jumped. Since then, the outside temp and a/c and heat temp will flash at me for about a minute. After running the car for a little bit and shutting it off, at the initial restart of a warm engine it blows out warm air and once the temps stop flashing, it will go to ice cold no matter what it is set it.

I am currently looking into it since it is starting to get chilly out, so far all I have is this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1997 SSE
OK. Here is an update. It is strange. As I previously posted, for weeks going into months, I have been having problems with my ECC/HVAC. It started in August or so. Was having problems with my battery cable (positive side). It was corroding bad and after some time, it would lost contact and then I would lose power. When it started, and died the first time, after that my EEC wouldn't work properly. The temp display on the EEC would flash for several moments after start, and then the air temp was out of wack. Cold when I wanted hot. Hot when I wanted cold. I could get cold if I put it on 60 and hot if I put it on 90 but there was no other control. I posted here and got your suggestions, which I appreciate, but I had just put off tearing into the air-mix actuator as it looks like a pain in the butt. Then last week, I had the battery cable problem again. And it happened about 3-4 times over 2 days. So I took the car in to have the battery checked. Well, it checked out bad. It was under warranty so they replaced it.

Strange but true, after about 2 drive cycles, the EEC is working normal. Cold when i want cold. Hot when i want hot. And everything in between. No flashing display. No mess ups. It works as it should. I am thrilled. Confused but thrilled. Any thoughts why?

Thanks for all the help.


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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 12:28 pm
Posts: 86
Year and Trim: 1997 bonneville se
So Im having the same problems with mine. When its real cold out it will only blow out cold air to defrost the windows and i did try it today it was warm outside and it was throwing out some heat.... i really need to find out how to fix this problem cause im starting to get frost on windows in the morning. please help me out guys

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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Glenn, please start your own (new) topic. Your issue is confusing someone else's topic, and your problem may actually be from a different cause.

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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:46 pm 
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yukong wrote:
OK. Here is an update. It is strange. As I previously posted, for weeks going into months, I have been having problems with my ECC/HVAC. It started in August or so. Was having problems with my battery cable (positive side). It was corroding bad and after some time, it would lost contact and then I would lose power. When it started, and died the first time, after that my EEC wouldn't work properly. The temp display on the EEC would flash for several moments after start, and then the air temp was out of wack. Cold when I wanted hot. Hot when I wanted cold. I could get cold if I put it on 60 and hot if I put it on 90 but there was no other control. I posted here and got your suggestions, which I appreciate, but I had just put off tearing into the air-mix actuator as it looks like a pain in the butt. Then last week, I had the battery cable problem again. And it happened about 3-4 times over 2 days. So I took the car in to have the battery checked. Well, it checked out bad. It was under warranty so they replaced it.

Strange but true, after about 2 drive cycles, the EEC is working normal. Cold when i want cold. Hot when i want hot. And everything in between. No flashing display. No mess ups. It works as it should. I am thrilled. Confused but thrilled. Any thoughts why?

Thanks for all the help.



Typical computer response to a flakey power problem. Your desktop PC will act "crazy" like that too with similar power problems. Processors don't like having their power messed with - they go "bananas". - BC

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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Location: Rolla, MO
Year and Trim: 1997 SSEi 40th Anniversary Edition
I was having the same problem with mine after a battery change and did a google search. Here is what I found. I tried it and now mine works as it should.

Gotta give credit to "Billy Bob" at www.GMinsidenews.com

Try a "reboot"!

Remove a battery terminal for 10 minutes, then reconnect.
Turn ignition switch to on, but don't start.
Wait 1 minute.
DO NOT touch any buttons in the vehicle during this minute.
Then start vehicle and let idle for 5 minutes.
Drive above 45 mph as soon as possible.

This "reboots" all the computers in the vehicle including the A/C which then "resynchronizes" the actuator doors during the power-up.

This also reboots the engine computer and the idle and driving above 45 mph helps it to "regain" its operating memory.

If this does not work, you would need a GM Factory Service Manual set which would have complete troubleshooting instructions for this problem as well as complete part replacement procedures. Order from helminc.com or a GM dealer.


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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:31 pm 
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97 Buick LeSabre
That procedure is way off base. Trust those of us that have been doing this for years.

When they fail, 90% of the time it's a cracked gear inside the actuator. Replacing the actuator is the only practical option.

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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:46 pm 
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Ok fine, but it worked for me. :)


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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:35 am 
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Location: Oregon WCBF'04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11 Survivor
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95 SLE (SC)
97 Buick LeSabre
Billy Bob is confusing some stuff between systems. Driving above 45mph will have no effect on the PCM or the climate control system (Programmer), and neither will idling for 5 minutes. There is also the risk of cracking the gear if you use that procedure, assuming the gear isn't already cracked. It's a no-win situation.

There is also the risk of another fault occuring, keepalive memory lost.

The procedure in the Factory manual calls for removing the entire dash which also requires removal of the front seats in order to replace the airmix actuator. This is totally unnecessary. I do them in 20 minutes start to finish without removal of those parts.

The moral of the story is that the experts tend to be the people that specialize on one type of car for a long period of time, and have experienced these issues several times.

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PontiacDad at WCBF '04: Cruise control? That's like surrendering!
Comprehensive guide to troubleshooting, rebuilding, and modifying Eaton Superchargers


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 Post subject: Re: No Heat
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:50 pm 
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I believed the gear was cracked, and maybe it is...but after replacing the battery, the system is working normal. Hopefully it will remain normal. But if it does this again, i will try and replace the airmix actuator


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