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Unread 11-08-2013, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,070 posts, read 6,560,066 times
Reputation: 5514
Default Heater blowing cold air

Car: 2001 Buick Park Avenue, ca. 145,000 miles

As you can expect, this is a major problem in Minnesota in November. The air conditioner in it hasn't worked since I purchased the car, which is only a small issue, but the heater seemed to be intermittently stuck on VENT since late May or so. Now the car never seems to heat up. In addition, the lights on the heater control function intermittently.

Engine Codes:

P0135 - Powertrain - O2 Sensor Heater Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0141 - Powertrain - O2 Sensor Heater Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P0442 - Powertrain - Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (small leak)
P0446 - Powertrain - Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Control Circuit

As far as I can remember, the only one on before was P0446, which has been on since shortly after I acquired my car.

Fuel efficiency also seems to have dropped slightly.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 04:44 PM
 
1,422 posts, read 682,319 times
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If it is stuck in VENT position, that sounds like a vacuum problem. I am not sure if a vacuum problem would affect the diversion of hot air from the heater core to the cabin. However, when I had a vacuum problem on my F-150, the fan diverted the air flow to the windshield (default?). Maybe Buicks default the air to the vent or maybe the air flow gets diverted randomly or dependent on the nature of the vacuum link...I don't know.


The 442 could be a leaky or missing gas cap.

I would also google some of the key words in your symptoms. Somebody on some auto forum out there has probably experienced and posted the exact same problem. Then if you get a solution, go to YouTube to see how it is done. Sometimes it is really easy.

Finally you can buy ($15) a blue tooth gizmo that plugs into your OBD-II port which can interface with your smart phone running Torque (an Android App, $5 or free on Pirate Bay). You can see tons of automobile telemetry including vacuum levels and fault codes.

Last edited by Cheektowaga_Chester; 11-08-2013 at 04:56 PM..
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Unread 11-08-2013, 05:33 PM
 
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My little experience with Buicks tells me it's climate control unit.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,070 posts, read 6,560,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheektowaga_Chester View Post
If it is stuck in VENT position, that sounds like a vacuum problem. I am not sure if a vacuum problem would affect the diversion of hot air from the heater core to the cabin. However, when I had a vacuum problem on my F-150, the fan diverted the air flow to the windshield (default?). Maybe Buicks default the air to the vent or maybe the air flow gets diverted randomly or dependent on the nature of the vacuum link...I don't know.


The 442 could be a leaky or missing gas cap.

I would also google some of the key words in your symptoms. Somebody on some auto forum out there has probably experienced and posted the exact same problem. Then if you get a solution, go to YouTube to see how it is done. Sometimes it is really easy.

Finally you can buy ($15) a blue tooth gizmo that plugs into your OBD-II port which can interface with your smart phone running Torque (an Android App, $5 or free on Pirate Bay). You can see tons of automobile telemetry including vacuum levels and fault codes.
I've had that since I bought my smart phone a year ago.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 07:40 PM
 
2,341 posts, read 967,339 times
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First, easiest, and cheapest...

Check your radiator and overflow tank level. If you're too low on coolant, you get no heat inside the car.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 07:43 PM
 
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You also get an over heated engine.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 07:47 PM
 
2,341 posts, read 967,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piyf View Post
You also get an over heated engine.
Well, actually there is a "sweet spot" in there where the engine might not be overheating yet. But if he's leaking coolant, and that's why he has no heat inside, it certainly won't be very long before the engine begins overheating!
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Unread 11-08-2013, 07:49 PM
 
4,087 posts, read 4,803,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Car: 2001 Buick Park Avenue, ca. 145,000 miles

As you can expect, this is a major problem in Minnesota in November. The air conditioner in it hasn't worked since I purchased the car, which is only a small issue, but the heater seemed to be intermittently stuck on VENT since late May or so. Now the car never seems to heat up. In addition, the lights on the heater control function intermittently.

Engine Codes:

P0135 - Powertrain - O2 Sensor Heater Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0141 - Powertrain - O2 Sensor Heater Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P0442 - Powertrain - Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (small leak)
P0446 - Powertrain - Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Control Circuit

As far as I can remember, the only one on before was P0446, which has been on since shortly after I acquired my car.

Fuel efficiency also seems to have dropped slightly.
You are getting bad fuel economy because your Bank 1 O2 sensor is not working. When the car goes into Closed loop the front O2 sensor tells the car to add or subtract fuel based on the readings it gets to maintain stoich. If they don't work the car will run in Open Loop and most likely is running very rich which hurts fuel economy. Get it replaced along with the bank 2 sensor which does nothing with fueling and is only used to monitor the gases exiting the catalytic convertor to determine if it's still working properly.

As for the other 2, a parts store can get you the parts for those along with the O2 sensors. If you are handy these are easily DIY fixes.


As for your heater. When you change the setting from cold to hot do you hear anything? Have you checked the thermostat since this problem has happened? Being in that part of the country a thermostat stuck open would have a hard time heating up the fluid. Like someone stated before, ithere could very well be a problem with the climate control unit. Try googling your car and the problem. Someone else had to of had this problem before.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 07:54 PM
 
485 posts, read 142,410 times
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"the car never seems to heat up" plus the drop in fuel milage indicate that the thermostat is stuck open. The vent being stuck indicates the shutter control the vent isn't working. That could be electrical or vacuum.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 07:56 PM
 
4,087 posts, read 4,803,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nealrm View Post
"the car never seems to heat up" plus the drop in fuel milage indicate that the thermostat is stuck open. The vent being stuck indicates the shutter control the vent isn't working. That could be electrical or vacuum.

I would lean towards a DTC for Bank 1 Sensor 1 for why the fuel mileage has dropped. But a stuck tstat and a bad front O2 sensor will cause the car to run in OL which could cause the car to run really rich depending on the ECT. And if it's cold outside it where you live with a stuck tstat it will run pig rich which hurts fuel mileage.
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