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Discussion Starter #1
We were on vacation for a couple of weeks and our 2006 Ody Touring wasn't driven at all. We're in Colorado and the temps right now are about 25 degrees in the morning.

In the morning, we're in a habit of starting the van, cranking the temps to HI, and go back in the house. The van usually idles for about 10-15mins and by the time we get the kids loaded in the van it is nice and toasty.

I noticed that after we got back from vacation, the van is still blowing cold chilled air even after 15 minutes of idling and with the engine temp needle already half up.

It's not until I actually start driving for another 5-10 minutes do warm air start to come in the vents. This has happened 3 mornings in a row.

What happened to our heater???
 

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Is the coolant full in the radiator?
 

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Could be the thermostat is stuck in the open position.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm going to check the coolant tonight.
I don't think it's the thermostat - the engine temp needle is up to about the middle, so engine temp is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The coolant reservoir is just above MIN.
 

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If the thermostat is stuck open the engine will still warm up to normal, it just takes a long time to get there.
Check the radiator level as the cap could leak and not pull coolant back from the reservoir.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Question... would low radiator reservoir (just above MIN) be the cause why there would be a delay for my heater to blow warm air?

Again, with car idling on the driveway and engine temp up to middle, the air blown is still cold. It's not until I drive away does it start to blow warm air.
 

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Question... would low radiator reservoir (just above MIN) be the cause why there would be a delay for my heater to blow warm air? ***snip***
Normally, no. But the MIN mark is just a guide. What's really important is to check that the end of the overflow tube is immersed in coolant inside the reservoir. If it isn't, the cooling system could suck in air when the engine cools down.
 

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It doesn't matter where the level is in the resevoir. It is just an overflow as the coolant expands and contracts. What matters is the radiator is full.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Over the weekend, I finally found out why my heater was acting up. Apparently, someone hit my car... possibly in a parking lot. The impact was minor, so the damages was also very minor that I did notice it until I washed the car. Then I saw the blemishes, scratches that looks like someone backed into the front side of my car.

I didn't even realize there were any real damages, until this weekend when I saw coolant drips on my driveway. So I looked closer behind the grill and found that the impact must have been enough to drive some components into the radiator.

So I'm thinking the radiator got pinched in some parts that's impeding the circulation. And that's probably why hot air doesn't blow until I'm at higher RPM (than just idling). I assume coolant pressure gets higher with RPM and that's the only time I get enough circulation to warm up the heater.

I'm not sure exactly, but it seems very likely to be what's effecting my heater performance.

Anyway... I wasn't going to file a claim for a few scratches, but with these extensive damages... I guess I'll have to call the insurance company.
 

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Wow, who would have thought!

A hot engine would blow coolant out of the leak in the radiator and then suck air in through that same leak when it cooled down. If you open the radiator cap (when the engine is cold) you would probably see no coolant, just air, and so the resulting poor circulation to the heater.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The hole in the radiator must really, really small is all I can think. You would think that hot coolant would be shooting out of the radiator and drenching my driveway. But it's not. I just see drips (green in color).

Also, the collant levels must still be within limits. The engine temp gauge doesn't go above half way (in fact, it's always just shy of half way). My insurance company doesn't give me a rental allowance, so my wife may have to drive the car in its condition until the body shop can fix me up.

My question, I should be ok as long as I top off the coolant, right? At the very least, keep an eye on the engine temp gauge and stop driving the car as soon as engine temps rise above normal (above half way mark).
 

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It should be ok, just don't top off the expansion reservoir, but the radiator itself.
...with a cold engine of course. (Got to cover our liability here ;))
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Fellas!
 
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