Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:17 pm Post subject: Why do you s'pose the Impala takes longer to warm up?
I don't feel that I'm getting the heat I should out of the ol' Impala. It will HEAT, but it takes a looong time to do so when it's cold, and when it does reach what I'm guessing is operating temp, I'll only see 110 or 120 out the vents max. The system was flushed in '09, so I don't really think it would be a heater core (I hope not at least). Where should my temp gauge needle be when the car is warmed up and at operating temp? I don't believe I'm getting past tick #3 on the gauge. Maybe I need a stat?
I would like to see it heat up as well as the Blazer does. As an example, I went out last night while both vehicles were cold because I had to swap 'em around in the driveway and do a little snow removal, and so I started them both, and both were on defrost to the windshield. The Blazer warms up pretty quick, and in the time I had 'em sitting there idling while shoveling, the Balzer reached 100-deg of heat that just barely went past the vent since it was on defrost. Once I put it out the vents at me, I got 140-deg and rising. She'll hit 150-deg out the vents. I got back into the Impala, and the sucker was still at like 40-deg and putting it out the vents doesn't move it all that fast.
These things were designed for worse case senario during summer heat. So it doesn't take much of a t/stat getting weak to cause it to be not as warm. I'd slip a new t/stat in there and see what happens. Make sure you use the 195* and I'd highly recommend an AC-Delco brand.
Alright, I just got back from a mix of regular & freeway driving for roughly an hour with a few stops to run in somewhere quick. It's 18° out (were havin' a heat wave). The highest the temp needle on my stock LS gauge did get is dead center between tick 3 & 4 off the 140. I don't think it will go any further. Is it supposed to? The majority of the time the temp out the vents (positioned straight out at me) read 120°, and looked to have went as high as roughly 125°. It's warm, after an hour it feels fine and all, just wondering why it takes so long and why not as quick and not 160° like the Blazer. Just when I was about to say that's all it can get, w/in seconds of looking up from my vent gauge which was at roughly 125°, it all of a sudden read 160°! WTH?? I mean it was seconds (less than 60) later. Well now this throws everything out of whack! So maybe I have an issue w/the vent gauge (or maybe not). I'll have to swap w/another one to rule that out. Either way, even if the gauge is glitchy, the car is still MUCH slower to heat than the Blazer, like easily 2x or more slower.
Does anyone know, on the 3.8 Impala LS, where the needle is supposed to be when the car is up to operating temp and/or where the needle is supposed to go up to just before the T-stat opens?
First, change the thermostat. And be sure you get the stock 192-195 degree 'stat, not a cooler 180. Many parts stores will automatically give you a 180. This won't set a code, but your heater won't get as warm. It won't help your power or your fuel economy, either.
This is exactly how my '05 3.4 acted. A new thermostat fixed it.
Thermostats are cheap overall. Cheap to buy and cheaply made. I've had them be bad out of the box. Certainly not out of the question it could be getting tired.
Second, comparing the warm-up and heater output of an aluminum V6 engine in your Impala to the (likely) iron-block engine in your Blazer is comparing apples to oranges. Two engines the same size, one aluminum and one iron-- The iron one will warm up faster and make more heat out the vents. Aluminum bleeds off a lot of heat on a cold day.
And if your Blazer is an older "big" Blazer with a V8, that's a lot more difference yet.
My 5.3-litre iron-block Tahoe heats up a lot faster than my '05 aluminum-engine Impala, and will put out a lot more heat when I turn it up. As one more point of comparison, my '88 Firebird with its iron 406 out-heats the Impala any day.
_________________ '05 Impala 3.4 litre (Wish it was flex-fuel)
'03 Z-71 Tahoe 5.3-litre (Flex-fuel)
'88 Formula Firebird (6.6-litre Flex-fuel)
The Blazer is an '01 S10, it's listed off to the left under my username & in my garage on here. So 4.3L anemic V6. But yes, iron none the less I'm sure, good point. I guess I didn't even think of the block material. Same goes for my mother's '99 Regal then too I'm sure since she commented that her's is really slow to heat up too. Hmm.. were the 3800s always aluminum? I think I'll change or get the stat changed at least to rule it out. Won't hurt that's for sure. And yeah I don't want a 180, don't think it would do me any good on a N/A motor.
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