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1998 Nissan Altima temp gauge, heater erratic


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CarAf
User

Nov 19, 2015, 11:24 PM

Post #1 of 12 (1521 views)
1998 Nissan Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

The temp gauge doesn't move for about 20 minutes after starting and only touches the first line or slightly above. The heater seems to work, although just on the highest blower setting. It only puts out warm air and sporadically goes cold for a few minutes.

(This post was edited by CarAf on Nov 19, 2015, 11:41 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 19, 2015, 11:33 PM

Post #2 of 12 (1516 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

I think you have a couple issues going on. blower should work with engine off, key on and probably a resistor issue. I think which is now a separate issue. The rest suggests low coolant level so would be checking that out first and if found low find out why!


T



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Nov 19, 2015, 11:45 PM)


CarAf
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Nov 20, 2015, 10:12 AM

Post #3 of 12 (1485 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

Hey thanks!

From what I've seen so far, I can replace the resistor behind the glove compartment, right?

The radiator's full to the top, and the reservoir is about 1/4 full when cold.


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 20, 2015, 11:33 AM

Post #4 of 12 (1472 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

? I'd love to witness this or these characteristics. Blower motor speed really should be on it's own not to do with temp output or slow warm ups. Didn't look it up but most are on top of heater box you usually can get to thru glove box removed or lowered.


This slow warm up and unstable temp output NOW WITH APPARENTLY FULL AT RADIATOR AND AT LEAST SOME IN RESERVIOR NEEDS MORE DIAGNOSING.
So - see if upper radiator hose feels slightly warm early as if thermostat isn't closed fully. By rights it should stay pretty cold near radiator till thermostat opens and stay at a normal temp rather exactly while moving along. They can bump up some and back within norms sitting still or driving slow and be normal.
Guess I'd still pressure test cooling system, feel for heat at that radiator hose and hoses at the heater core too. Might be time for a flush and new mix of coolant plus a new thermostat. If quite dirty it usually would be too hot and possibly for heater to never blow warm enough?


Almost certain this car DOES NOT wait for a fully warmed up engine to deliver heat......... meaning some cars usually with climate control will not blow cold air at you but will blow if full fan is requested. Even those if you asked for defroster or vent would blow at the assorted speeds normally not wait to rule that feature out - again doubt this car but check as that could explain the problems all caused by one thing.
Remember is you change, flush coolant and do thermostat to use correct temp rating, 50/50 mix of coolant and be real sure to really have it full at radiator not just recovery tank. Some can be quite a pest. Several cycles of thermostat open, engine warmed up and cooled down again radiator should show full. Always be careful not to open a pressure cap with a system having pressure as felt by same upper hose or more safely fully cooled down again,


T



CarAf
User

Nov 20, 2015, 2:17 PM

Post #5 of 12 (1462 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

Missing thermostat Maybe?

The temp gauge seems to go up only slightly at slow speeds; doesn't move at all at highway speeds.


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 20, 2015, 5:28 PM

Post #6 of 12 (1452 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

If thermostat is missing then WHY? Some people think it will cover up a problem but it doesn't.


Varying temps at speed or idling/stopped. Front drive and cars with electric fans will creep up at low speeds or still and fan will kick on when it senses it's warm enough. At speed the air thru the grille is enough for most.


OK - If thermostat is missing the hole is way too big and coolant would rush to just that end of the engine. Temp gauge might be reading safely NOT overheating but it's causing problem up to damage to engine to do that,


T



CarAf
User

Nov 21, 2015, 1:04 PM

Post #7 of 12 (1439 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

 


(This post was edited by CarAf on Nov 21, 2015, 1:54 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 21, 2015, 1:43 PM

Post #8 of 12 (1431 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

First if using videos use the right ones. If you messed up your glovebox for just removing and replacing 4 screws this may not be for you. At least take the light bulb out (if equipped) so you don't kill the battery,


T
(type fixed)



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Nov 21, 2015, 1:53 PM)


Hammer Time
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Nov 21, 2015, 1:49 PM

Post #9 of 12 (1426 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

You probably loosened the latch striker and now it's out of adjustment. Loosen the striker and pull it forward a little and re-tighten it.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



CarAf
User

Nov 21, 2015, 2:01 PM

Post #10 of 12 (1420 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

Yeah, the latch fell out. OK, this stuff happens sometimes.

I called a few local auto parts stores, and some can't understand what a blower motor resistor is. I told them exactly what it does, and gave a few other descriptions of what it may be listed as.

I've seen quotes from $17 to $75. This doesn't seem right.

This is turning out to be more time consuming that I thought.


Hammer Time
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Nov 21, 2015, 2:04 PM

Post #11 of 12 (1416 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

If they don't know what a blower motor resister is, then you are just dealing with the guy that cleans the bathroom because they all should know what that is. It's quite common.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Nov 21, 2015, 2:09 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 21, 2015, 2:16 PM

Post #12 of 12 (1407 views)
Re: 1998 Nissa Altima temp gauge, heater erratic Sign In

! You ask for the part and did know the name of it so if a parts outlet can't even look it up THEY are in trouble.
Sport - get the glovebox back together and find out what's wrong with the thermostat if there or not and that stuff first. You may have some serious work to do before fan speed is the primary problem,


T







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