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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My heater isn’t working well. It takes a while to get up to temperature. When it does and starts heating it will only stay warm/hot while the vehicle is moving. When I come to a stop light, it starts to blow cold air and if lingering long enough the temperature gauge starts moving up towards hot. I don’t think it’s the heater core. Could it be just low coolant level or a bad thermostat? Should coolant be a 50/50 of coolant/water? Similarly, was having a problem in Summer with gauge going toward overheating. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Normally, bad thermostat (if stuck open) will have the opposite effect... over-cooling when driving, and fine when stopped.

Coolant should be 50/50 coolant and water, yes. Most coolants come pre-diluted, so they're already 50/50.

Sounds like you have a bigger issue if you were overheating in the summer. Did you check the coolant level?
 

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My heater isn’t working well. It takes a while to get up to temperature. When it does and starts heating it will only stay warm/hot while the vehicle is moving. When I come to a stop light, it starts to blow cold air and if lingering long enough the temperature gauge starts moving up towards hot. I don’t think it’s the heater core. Could it be just low coolant level or a bad thermostat? Should coolant be a 50/50 of coolant/water? Similarly, was having a problem in Summer with gauge going toward overheating. Any advice is appreciated.
Check if your rad cooling fans are working properly----also your in car temperature sensor could be toast, this could explain the no-heat part but that is assuming the cooling system works properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you all for your suggestions. I filled the radiator and the overflow reservoir to the middle line and I am very happy to report that the heater is now working fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My heater isn’t working well. It takes a while to get up to temperature. When it does and starts heating it will only stay warm/hot while the vehicle is moving. When I come to a stop light, it starts to blow cold air and if lingering long enough the temperature gauge starts moving up towards hot. I don’t think it’s the heater core. Could it be just low coolant level or a bad thermostat? Should coolant be a 50/50 of coolant/water? Similarly, was having a problem in Summer with gauge going toward overheating. Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you all for your suggestions. I filled the radiator and the overflow reservoir to the middle line and I am very happy to report that the heater is now working fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry for the way this is posting. My heating problem has returned. After topping off the coolant level everything was working fine. This may be coincidence but a family member backed into the front of my van. A few days later I noticed leaking on the garage floor. It’s leaking onto the plastic guard underneath and falling in small drips on the driver side front and also on the passenger side but further back, no doubt falling down and just following path of least resistance off the plastic guard. The passenger side pooling is much more. The temperature gauge shows above the middle mark up to three quarters although if I drive to far I fear it will totally overheat and ruin the engine. There is no heat coming out of vents. Only cold air. Only one cooling fan of two comes on when the engine is turned off. I called my mechanic to get this checked out but he said they are so booked he can’t fit me in until five or six days. Unacceptable. I can’t wait that long. I was thinking of taking chances and using a stop leak. The leak is about a cup per day or less. Alternative is I’m thinking of taking it to a Radiator specialist. Any ideas? Thanks. Signed “Desperate”.
 

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Yeah you need to fix the leaks and do not drive the van until you do this. It will damage the motor and likely has already been damaged.

If you overheat these engines the head gaskets can fail. That allows coolant to seep into the combustion chambers and exit as steam out the exhaust pipe. Adding coolant is a temporary fix but it will just continue to leak and exhibit these signs your having.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good news. I used JB Weld on leaks in the radiator and A/C Condenser. It stopped the leaks. The down side is I lost the refrigerant to the leak in the condenser so I have no AC. Question: Is it doable to recharge the AC myself? What special tools/ knowledge are needed? Does it matter that there is a rear heater involved? I also was told by a mechanic that the JB Weld will not hold once the recharge is done as there is an oil component to the the refrigerant that would most likely cause the bond to break. Or should I cut my losses and take it to my mechanic or radiator specialist? Keep in mind I’m a weekend warrior/mechanic with limited experience/skills. I do what I can with what I have. Like Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Thank you all for your help.
 
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