Low heat at low RPM's Gen 3 Camry - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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3rd & 4th Generation (19921996 & 19972001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 12-10-2009, 11:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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USA Low heat at low RPM's Gen 3 Camry

Well folks, I too have experienced no heat at low RPM's. So I changed the radiator, changed the thermostst twice, new hoses, new radiator cap, new coolant, new water pump, same problem. I was living with the problem. No big deal since most of the time I'm on the highway. Until my beloved 1996 4 cyl. 5 speed manual trans. coupe ( 2 door ) was rear ended on Rt. 80. Putting an end to a great run of 258,000 miles. It still sits in my driveway, I can't bear to get rid of it. So I was able to find the identical car, ( plus 2 more doors and a auto trans. ) with 140,000 miles and guess what?....Same heat issue. I would love to hear any sugestions for a remedy beyond what I've already tried on my other car.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I don't know maybe you expect too much.

But like with the majority of 4 bangers, heat temp varies greatly upon engine speed, RPM. As obviously more, hotter coolant runs through the heating core. At idle you are not going to get much heat because theyre is limited air flow and the engine is not really revving high.

If there is an issue, the climate control on the DX-LE models is cable driven, & it controls what kind of "hot-cold" mix you get in the car.

I am sure though that your Camry is fine.

Of Course I am assuming your engine coolant levels are good, as often not enough coolant will make it to the core if she's low.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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+1 on coolant being filled to the brim and ALL AIR MUST BE BURPED OUT OF THE SYSTEM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Put a piece of cardboard box in front of the radiator (winter only, of course). If your engine starts to move off of the "normal" temp setting, remove some or all of the cardboard -- the intent isn't to over heat the engine, the intent is to keep the thermostat open as much as possible, so you've got full circulation of the coolant. If that doesn't cure it, then I'd take a look at the water valve for the heater (engine compartment, up near the firewall, driver's side) and perhaps the heater core. You can backflush the heater core by disconnecting the two hoses that go into the firewall and hooking a garden hose up to the outlet side (the side NOT connected to the water valve) of the core (helps to connect a drain hose to the other side so water doesn't spray all over your engine compartment). This is kind of a nasty time of year to be doing this, 'tho, at least if you're worried about heat.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The coolant is constantly circulated through engine, throttle body and heater core. Only when the the temperature is at the Thermostat's opening temp does the rad get coolant.

Raise the idle speed manually.

1. Speed of the coolant through the system (function of engine rpm -> water pump) is the reason you get less heat at idle. With blower on, Defogger on, the engine rpms really drop.

2. Less fuel is burned at idle, not much fuel is needed to maintain 800 or so Rpms with no load. Also the fuel ratio is actually leaned out as you idle.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You kind of got me curious, so I paid more attention when I took the Green Machine out this morning (0F / -18C). Once she warmed up, the heat out of the front vents was (IMHO) unbearably hot (so hot, I kept it on the boot warmer setting) when the engine was non-idle. At idle, the temp dropped to what I'd consider reasonably warm (comfortable on the front vent setting). This was with the intake set to "fresh air" instead of "recirculate". I've got a '95 with the 5S-FE (2.2L 4-banger)...radiator, coolant, all coolant hoses (even the little ones), and thermostat are all new within the last year, but I've never touched the water valve or the heater core. Water pump has about 35K miles on it.

Not sure how this jibes with your experience. One man's comfortable is another man's too cold, etc.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i have this problem on my wagon too, card board in front of the radiator wont help if the engine is already at operating temp. the heat output issue can be a real problem for me here in alaska when it gets 10 above or lower. i think the problem is just that the water pump doesnt pump enough at lower rpm's to keep the heater core temp up. i have found that selecting the heater's air intake to 90% fresh air and 10% recirculate or so will help a lot. if you recirculate too much the windows fog.
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