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I have a 2015 CRV LX with 20,000 mi. This is the second winter I've had it in Michigan. Just recently I've had random problems in heater working and gauge not working as normal. Started out about a week ago .I live about six miles from town.Heater worked fine all day evening I drove to town and the heater never blew warm air,all the way to town even after letting it sit a few more minutes.The gauge wasn't even moving up.Then it moved up about 1/8 of an inch.Then went back down.I thought maybe it's just too cold About 10 degrees. I visited friendabout an hour went out and started car and let sit a few minutes and the heater blew medium heat but even after going all the way back home the gauge never moved past 1/4 inch from cold.I was concerned and made an apt. with service .The day I took it in was 35 degrees.Naturaly warmed up fine. After service did all there test checking heat from vents etc,they said it probably was because I didn't let it warm up long enough and the engine is only a small engine and it takes longer. I'm 66 and have had several four cylinder cars different makes in colder weather and never had this problem.I've had the car back about a week and the weatherhas been usually in the 20s at night and the car heats up witin a mile from the house but the gauge is acting up again.Some times only moves up 1/4 inch sometimes up to normal(about the thermometer insignia.No matter how long I drive.
Now after that long explanaition.I'm not a mechanich And I certainly don't know the new systems nowadays ,but I'm trying to find out whassup!I My dealer is 35 miles from me and I don't want to wait until we're back in dead winter storms with no heat.
Please help.
 

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Everything in Moderation
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Sounds like the classic symptom of a stuck-open thermostat. (Thanks for your detailed observations)


First, be aware that the dash gauge isn't really an accurate indicator of coolant temp.

An OBDII scan tool will read coolant most accurately. On my '06 the gauge starts moving at about 140F. and the needle indicates normal at 165F. Fully warm, it should stay around 180F. to 195F. (but the dash needle will stay at the exact same place the whole time). New cars 'dampen' the reading so that you won't be concerned while sitting in traffic or stressing the engine with the A/C on.

If you can buy or borrow a scan tool, you can verify whats up, yourself. Do your one-hour drive and observe what the real temp is...

Otherwise, you could ask the shop what the actual temperature is.

A typical failure mode is for the thermostat to not quite totally close, so a shop not as familiar with your car might not discern the issue. It will be subtle, as you found out.


If the coolant temp is normal but you still have no heat, there could be other issues.

Let us know how you make out.
 

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Should I need the thermastat replaced? Does that happen on a car with as low miles as mine?Do they fix themselves or am I to expect it to stick open again so I should replace it?
Appreciate info. Always like to be informed.
 

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I recall one night driving home and it was about 10 degrees as well. My temperature gauge never really warmed up either and the heater never blew the warm heat that I was used to either. I just chocked it up to the really cold air and the fact that aluminum dissipates heat. Never have had the issue since then and there hasn't been outdoor temperatures that cold either.
 

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hdtripper,

Thermostats don't fix themselves, in my experience.




If my diagnostic indicates a bad thermostat (coolant temp drops below 170F at more than an idle), it can be removed (save the coolant!), inspected, and if it isn't closing, it could be replaced.

If it IS closing (and I mean totally, even a slit is enough to give you your symptoms) it could be reinstalled. In that case, a partial radiator or grill covering would allow enough heat to be retained to provide comfort to you.

Here's a good and a stuck t-stat: See how the bottom of the LH one is remaining open?

This is an extreme case, as I said even a small opening could cause your symptoms.


Owners in very cold climates deal with the issue by using a grille cover:



http://www.autoanything.com/winter-driving/fia-grille-covers

You test out the effect with a piece of cardboard, too (but it wouldn't be weather resistant).
 

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That thermostat isn't hard to change and perhaps you may even be covered by your warranty.
If you replace the thermostat, use a geniune OEM one.
Curious, have you checked the coolant level when cold? (both radiator and reservoir)
Buffalo4
 

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You need to make sure the thermostat is working properly. If the engine is running below the proper temperature, it can cause multiple problems. It can cause the fuel mixture to be rich because the computer doesn't think it is warmed up yet. It can also cause sludge build-up in the engine. If you recall many years ago, Toyota had a terrible problem with sludge build-up in the V6 in the mid 90s. The engine wasn't getting hot enough to burn off the impurities in the oil. It destroyed the engine in my son-in-law's Avalon.
 

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Ditto on the thermostat being the likely cause. Let the dealer replace it under warranty.

When i replace thermostats, i check the new ones in a pot of water on the stove with a meat thermometer in the water to make sure it opens at the correct temp. Very easy to do. I had a new thermostat once that opened 30 degrees below stated value...the engine never got warm, so i verified it with the above method.
 

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Let me throw something into the mix. Please check coolant levels whenever poor or erratic heater performance occurs.
If low, air can be drawn into the coolant and get pumped around until it finds the highest point in the system.
Then it stays there. Typically this is the heater matrix.
Result poor heater output.
 

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^^ the difference here is that the dash gauge seems to be reading cold. It's not just a lack of heater output.

Another diagnostic that wasn't mentioned yet, is to feel the radiator inlet pipe (which, unfortunately, is on the BOTTOM because Honda uses reverse-flow coolant circulation) on a cold engine.

If that pipe or hose gets warm to the touch really quickly (while the dash gauge is near zero), it's an indicator that the t-stat isn't closed.



I think that hdtripper needs to go back to the dealer if the warranty is still in effect. Perhaps a prior phone call to Honda Customer Service alerting them that this issue exists would be worthwhile. Then, the dealer would be more likely to actually inspect or just replace the thermostat.
 
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