04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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6.0L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2003-Up Super Duties and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 6.0L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 02-09-2007, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

My 04 has been a decent runner, but blows cool air at low idle. To boot, my high idle doesn't kick on nearly as often (if ever) compared to all the 7.3's I've had before. 60k. Dealer installed new thermostat (said not quite getting up to proper temp), and back flushed the heater core (was quite dirty, he said). A pinch better, but man, I'm still cold if I need to sit and idle any more than just a few minutes. I can't even count on it to warm up sitting in the driveway in the AM at this rate. I'm better off just firing it up and taking off for the drive. If it would kick to 900-1000 for the high idle, I'd be ok, but it hardly ever does. Anybody else with this issue? What next?
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

This is normal for a diesel. They actually cool down at idle. You'll need to keep the rpms up around 1200 to get heat out of it..
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

If you have an automatic transmission try this high idle mod:

Here's what you need to do. Look up under the dash between the steering column and the parking brake pedal. You will find a wiring harness behind the parking brake handle with a bunch of wires coming out of the harness that have the ends sealed off with charcoal?? colored heat shrink tubing.

If your not sure what you are looking at, look at the three wiring harnesses that come through the firewall to the left of the steering column shaft into the passenger compartment. The top harness is big, the middle harness is smaller than the top harness and the last harness closest to the floor is smaller still. The wire you are looking for comes out of the the middle harness where the harness routes up to the dash directly behind the parking brake handle.

One of these wires will be Light Blue with a Yellow stripe. This is the PTO function wire from the PCM. Placing battery power (battery positive) on this wire will command the PCM to raise the idle speed to 1200rpm as long as the transmission is in Park or Neutral and the service brake is released, meaning your foot is not on the brake pedal and the brake lights are not activated.

The other wire you are looking for is a White wire with a Light Blue stripe. This one is also easy to find. While looking under the dash direct your attention to the black OBD II datalink connector mounted to the lower part of the dash to the right of the steering column. This connector is what a service tech uses to hook up a scan tool which is needed to communicate with the vehicle PCM in order to check engine sensor data, engine trouble codes and to REFLASH your PCM. (You've heard about FLASHES haven't you???)

Anyway, look at this black connector and follow the wiring harness from the plug back up and inside the dash. Along the harness not too far up from the plug you will find the White wire with a Light Blue stripe included in the bundle of wires but the wire just stops short of the connector. Yes the wire does not plug into any one of the ports of the datalink connector.

This White wire with a Light Blue stipe is your positive battery source wire that you will connect to the Light Blue with a Yellow stripe PTO wire through a switch.

What I did was stop at Walmart's automotive section. I purchased some wire, a switch that has a Red illuminating paddle switch lever and some female crimp connectors and some butt connectors. (Note: The crimp connectors I purchased were manufactured or has 3M's name on the packaging and the plastic insulation on the connectors is heat shrinkable).

I used the wire and butt connectors to extend these vehicle wires so I could mount the switch under the dash to the right of the OBD II datalink connector. I crimped the female crimp connectors on the end of each wire so the wires could plug into the male terminals of the switch.

So far I have used two wires connected to the switch. The switch I purchased has three terminals. The last terminal is a ground connection that is used so that when the switch is turned on the switch paddle illuminates. (Note: The switch paddle lever on my switch is not bright enough to see during daylight and is dimmly lit and seen at night. Heck, with the idle speed at 1200rpm I don't think you will forget the switch is on).
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

My truck has been heating poorly as well. I hardly ever get "hot" heat. It is warm at best, and then when I pull up to a red light or stop sign, in 10 seconds it goes to almost completely cold air. I am going to hook up the PTO idle mod this weekend for sure.
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

for the 04 application, you do not need to purchase the Aux. Idle control module from Ford. Does this procedure simply bypass the need for the module?
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

There is a sticky thread at the top of this 6.0 section that shows how to wire in 'outfitter switches' It also indicates which wires do what, and I think there is a link to the Ford site that has colored pictures. I found that extra info very useful when I did the wiring on my truck. As the poster above indicated, you don't need the outfitter switches to wire up the feature.

The high idle feature is already programmed into the PCM. You just need to provide 12V to either the BCP wire (my choice) or the PTO wire, have the parking brake on, auto in park (manual in neutral) and no feet on the brakes.

I chose the BCP wire (battery charge protect) because it didn't lock the torque converter, and it would allow the idle speed to go higher if the batteries were being drained (like if you were running a 12 volt compressor, or jump starting another vehicle).

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

Good ideas by all, Thanks! I did notice that it was blowing good heat yesterday at low idle, 7 degrees F. This is as warm as the temps have been in about a week, so this issue has been wearing on me. I'm going to look into the mods suggested.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

If you only lose heat at idle and it comes right back with more rpms, check your coolant level. If you haven't already, read the thread about coolant loss here.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

Drove my truck for a couple of hours today. After it was good and heated up ... it heated! But every stop I made, there was large amounts of anti freeze puking out. It comes out of my cap. The cap is the second new one. I don't know where it is coming from, but obviously the pressure is simply too much.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

Wierd thing now. Several times yesterday I started after several hours off (5 degrees F), I start, let'er come up to somewhat operational temp (by the gauge), and she's blowing cool. Drove it a block or two at various rpms, came back to sit and idle. Twice now, I've gotten it to kick out HOT air while at low idle. It's happening sporadically, maybe 25% of the time now, the rest of the time it is still cooler output. One other thing I noticed when getting HOT air (Are my eyes playing tricks on me or is the temp gauge a little higher when I get the heat at idle)? I cannot tell. Would air in the system cause this? Is it just working it's way out yet? It was just 5 days ago that I had the heater core flushed. Coolant levels are perfect with no losses at all.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

You got blown headgaskets. It's happened to several trucks this way and they all get a no heat issue in very cold weather.
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

I wouldn't be so quick with the head gaskets. I was having identical problems, and today out of desperation, I flushed the coolant system with a garden hose and a t in the heater core hose. I didn't see one chunk of anything come out, but it heats like a sauna now ... and yes ... even at idle. I did this in 5 degree weather. Cold water and 5 degrees ... not a good combination ... I froze my you know what off!
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 04 Poor Heat at Low Idle? Help

I would have your dealer chk it out also do you have a flute like noise coming from under the hood mine was doing the same no heat at idle i mean cold air it had the flute noise coming from under the hood had a tech drive it he loosened the radiator cap and voila noise went away anyway the truck is in the shop right now for both head gaskets an injector and oil leaks (2003 f-350 cc drw 6.0 bone stock)
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Exclamation Interior Cabin LOSS of HEATING "quick fix" check

FWIW

Like it or not, we all are aware that these trucks like to "burp" radiator fluid every time the engine is under load and/or run hard (like a truck should be). As well, plowing snow will do it as well and these "loads", due to engine cooling system design, cause an overflow of radiator fluid; compounded already by the fluid being heated and seeming to "expand" somewhat due to the micro-bubbles of air (caused by cavitation) in the system.

This being said, the "design" of the cooling system is VERY unforgiving when it comes to the "proper" level of cooling fluid needed to "maintain" the system. Again, like it or not and by design, being as little as 1/2 quart low (yes, 1/2 quart, maybe even as little as 1/3) can and certainly will affect the systems ability to provide cabin heat when the truck is at normal idle rpm's (625 rpm).

You may certainly do all of the "modifications" with the PTO wire, idle control and everything else up to and including replacing the thermostat - all will help and may provide a "fix" to the low/no heat issue, but in reality .....

.... all that 9/10 trucks just need to have the radiator fluid "topped off" to where the "line" is (when engine is cold) just above the "minimum" fluid level indicator.

I keep mine at just below the "center" of the minimum/cold and maximum/hot levels and it takes care of the cabin heat issue every single time.

So, before you run out and replace your thermostat, before you flush your cooling system and before you perform all/any of the PTO/Wiring modifications .....

.... and you just want sufficient cabin heat ....

.... just "top off" your radiator fluid levels and see if that fixes your problem.

You can thank me later for the advice.







p.s. No, I'm not trying to sound ****y or am I trying to pick on anyone else for giving advice on these trucks, but hey ... I've had mine for eight years now and it's still running rock solid in all aspects.


PLEASE .... IF YOU DO THE ABOVE AND IT WORKED FOR YOU .... PLEASE POST YOUR RESULTS BACK ON THE FORUM SO THAT OTHERS MAY BENEFIT FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE.

Everyone gets the advice, gets their truck fixed, but most don't ever come back and give a follow-up on what & how really worked and that little bit of extra "after action" information is really helpful for others that may or will have the same problems in the future.
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