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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2011, 07:10 AM
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Default nissan altima no heat ???

i have a 2002 2.5 nissan altima with 117 thousand miles on it . i have a problem with the heat . if i warm it up in the morning it may get luke warm but will not defrost windows. sometimes once i get to driving it will actually get hotter .
i do hear gurgling under the dash by the glove compartment box. i would like to know if anyone has had this problem and maybe if they have had anyluck fixing it ? 6 months again i had to change out the head gasket which was not too bad being my first time to dive into that . all in all its been a good car and i would like to fix it up to sell , but i cant sell without heat !!! the ac works great so that is a plus . thanks for any and all help in this matter :) david
my email address is davidwilliams@suddenlink.net if you have any questions to me .
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:00 AM
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You have air in the cooling system. Our cars are bad for that when it comes to getting that air out. It has something to do with elevating the front end of the car, but I don't know what else such as rad cap on or off.

Also the heat exchanger for the in the 2002 was a bit on the small side. The dealer replaced it with a larger one (more exchange area) and that made a big difference.

Another thing is that when idling, because of a lower coolant flow on the original core, there was less heat because the coolant flow was not sufficient.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:45 AM
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To keep this from happening, always make sure there is a supply of coolant in the overflow reservoir; if it ever gets empty, it will suck in air into the system and you will have this problem.

Do a youtube search for a video for 2002 Altima and cooling system. Use keywords as radiator or no heat. There is a video on the procedure.

To do it, I first raise the front of the car, usually on ramps (or hill), about 2 feet, then I unbolt the overflow reservoir and hang it with a coat hanger from the hood (elevate it - make sure it has coolant in it). I then remove the radiator cap and use a large piece of bent wire (shaped like a U or V) inserted into the pressure relief valve of the cap and reinstall cap (make sure the wire is a tight fit and won't fall into radiator - do not use a paper clip, it must be bigger (coat hanger size will work). Start the car. Now, get the RPMs up above 2000 for short spurts, and you will see air escape to the reservoir. Do this several time for about 10 minutes. You will start feeling heat.

Turn off the car, remove the radiator cap (carefully), and remove the bent wire. Make sure the radiator is full of coolant. Replace cap, re-install the reservoir, make sure everything is back in place. Start car and you should have very hot air out of the vents. Drive it a bit and be sure.


If not, repeat until successful
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:31 PM
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thank you i will try this in the next day or two and let you know if this works . :)
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:26 AM
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1) When the engine is cool, check the fluid level in the radiator and the reservoir. Check hoses and radiator for leaks.
2) If it is good, may need to do a coolant flush, and replace thermostat.
3) Still nothing, check the flow valve to the heater core and make sure it is functioning properly.


Edit: Could always go to an auto store and rent a coolant pressure tester. If you haven't done a coolant flush in a while, or cant remember when it was done, might be a good idea to do one. Good coolant not only provides heat and freeze protection, but also lubricates your water pump. Old coolant contributes to premature pump failure. Get a gallon of coolant, some flush, and a flush kit. Splice the adapter on one of the heater core hoses, drain the system, put fresh water in and add the flush. Just follow the directions. The kit lets you purge out the flush good. Make sure you drain all the water from the system, including the block. Some motors have a drain valve on them as well as the radiator. My recommendation is to get the 50/50 coolant, as it uses sterile/de-ionized water to help prevent corrosion. Or, you could just get distilled water from the grocery store. If you do a pressure test, do it after you flush, but before you add any coolant. Just with regular water. You Tube may or may not have any videos for a DIY coolant flush. Havent checked.

Last edited by ericld; 06-14-2011 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:34 AM
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Thermostat could be a possibility but air in the system is the most complained about problem with the Altima design. A thermostat will also tend to show other symptoms like erratic temperatures. One that is sticking often will show the temperature rising not always to the H but almost get there and then come back down. You may also see the temperature not get into the normal range (just below half) and you get no heat at all.

A symptom such as heat when driving but no heat at idle even though the temp gauge shows normal is almost always air in the system and the procedure above will remedy this resulting in very hot air coming out of the vents.

As for where does the coolant go? I've read that coolant can be consumed ever so slightly during the process and not have any noticeable leaks. This isn't necessarily a bad thing unless it gets worse. Things to check as well, radiator cap. I've seen faulty ones emit steam and only noticeable when driving, which then dissipates before you figure out where it's coming from. Small coolant leaks can be a pain in the but.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:32 PM
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I too have no heat below 2000 RPMs with my 2005 Altima (234k miles). What I dont understand is how having an RMP of 2000 and above permits heat, while below 2000 RPM, as coming to a stop light, the temperature drops. Can anyone explain that relationship or point me to a text for explaining it? Thanks, and I will try the air purge.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:48 AM
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the higher the rpm, the more pressure and flow through the cooling system. The less the rpm, the less flow. Air gets caught in the heater core as opposed to fluid and air does not transfer the heat as well as the coolant does.

Follow the steps I outlined above, get all of the air out and your problem should go away.

I just replaced a small bypass hose on my Maxima and was able to burp the air out of the system by squeezing the upper radiator hose to get the air out and never had to go through a purge process similar to the Altima one.

I do know that if you follow that Altima purge process, YOU WILL get all the air out and your heat will be so hot you will have to turn the temperature down.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:01 PM
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Thumbs up Air in radiator system...

Hey everyone,

I have read so many of these posts and replies... From having a head gasget leak to raising your car up to crazy hights to bleed the air out... Rediculous!

I have a 2005 3.5 SE Altima with 189k hard miles on it. This "air gurgling under the dash" issue did not start until I replaced the radiator

First off, it is normal for air and a little coolant to travel from the radiator to the reservoir and back into the radiator. If your reservoir has the proper coolant level (hot) line, then no air will be sucked back in.... No coolant in reservoir = air being sucked back into the system.

90% of all these problems can be fixed by just replacing your radiator cap with a new OE Nissan cap.

While driving with your heater on and with a load on the car (freeway), the air will eventually move around and escape out through the reservoir in a relative short time. Remember, I think the only time the air will escape is just before the fans come on, it has to be hot for the steam to escape.

Problem solved.

Hope this helps...
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:16 AM
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You are correct in that keeping the reservoir full (checking it often), is the best way to keep from introducing air into the system, however, air will creep into it in many ways. Yes, a radiator cap can be an easy fix. Mine on my Maxima had just enough of a leak that the radiator fans would dissipate the coolant making it difficult to determine where the leak was. Yes, correcting that, did fix the problem.

The part about raising the vehicle is part of the process recommended by Nissan to remove air from these systems. Due to design and the position of the heater core, you must get the radiator above the top of the heater core for the air to move out of the system. It doesn't take much, but I find getting it up on car ramps is enough.

I have also found that you can burp out the air by massaging the upper radiator hose.

The best way to avoid air is to insure a completely sealed system, unfortunately, no matter what you do, as your car ages, air gets sucked in as coolant is lost.
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