Heater problems on a very cold day today! - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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2008- 2010 General Questions General questions related to 2008-Up Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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Old 03-08-2008, 07:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Heater problems on a very cold day today!

While driving home from my granddaughters birthday party today my wife said she felt cold air. I felt it also and thought I'd accidently hit the rear door power window button (I do that sometimes). Anyway, it was the heater blowing cold air! We had the heat button all the way up in the red. After a while it would start blowing hot again and then back to cold. I noticed my temp guage and it was normal. So after a few miles I noticed it would blow cold if I was not on the go pedal (coasting on the down hill places) but as soon as I pushed the pedal a little to go up a grade it would blow hot again. Has anyone else had this problem? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If it's in Auto mode and the temp inside reaches higher then what the temp display is set for it will try to cool down the cabin to the set temps with A/C.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Capt but I just found my problem. It's low on antifreeze! I can't see any coolant in the big plastic tank. I hope someone can help me with my next problem. It's Sunday morning and the only auto parts place here in town is Advance. They don't have the premium gold stuff. Do you or anyone else know what I could substitute for it? I am sorta in a fix here, I have to leave at 6am tomorrow morning for about a 200 miles trip and the Ford dealer in Beckley won't be open that early. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is this a job 1 truck and have you checked the coolant level?
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Capt but I just found my problem. It's low on antifreeze! I can't see any coolant in the big plastic tank. I hope someone can help me with my next problem. It's Sunday morning and the only auto parts place here in town is Advance. They don't have the premium gold stuff. Do you or anyone else know what I could substitute for it? I am sorta in a fix here, I have to leave at 6am tomorrow morning for about a 200 miles trip and the Ford dealer in Beckley won't be open that early. Thanks.
Zerex G-05 (same as Ford's brand).

Sounds like you might have a vacuum leak, though.
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your radiator might be leaking.. Any trucks built before Aug. 07 I believe had faulty ones.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've looked all over the front area and can not find a leak anywhere! The coolant level wasn't as low as I originally thought. After getting out my little 2 step ladder I could see that I had about an inch of coolant in the plastic tank. I just added about a gallon of distilled water to bring it up to the marks. I figured I'd be diluting it a little but I'll just plug in the block heater tonight. Kehale, tell me more about this vacuum leak theory. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'll guarantee you have a bad radiator, it's leaking somewhere at one of the tank crimps.
Mine did the same thing as yours before i realized it had a bad radiator.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If not a bad radiator maybe a bad egr cooler. If it's an egr cooler you won't see the leak, the coolant is going out through the exhaust.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Skidmarks, would my tailpipe tips look any different? I guess I'll get on the phone tomorrow and make another appointment with the dealer. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Kehale, tell me more about this vacuum leak theory. Thanks.

Actually, since there's probably no throttle plate, my theory may be dead.

You said "So after a few miles I noticed it would blow cold if I was not on the go pedal (coasting on the down hill places) but as soon as I pushed the pedal a little to go up a grade it would blow hot again. "

I thought it might be a leak and developing more vaccum might overcome it. Anyway, it was a theory.

I had a loose cap on the overflow. lost a lot of coolant out of it (heavy load on hills).

When my revs were up at 3k, I heard gurgling in the heater core. Sounds like you might just have low coolant. Look for white residue on the passenger side frame rails. Could be the radiator crimp TSB.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You did the right thing, just adding water. And making an appointment with the service department. Watch your coolant level and good luck.
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My 350 was built on 1/08 (which I will assume is a Job 3). When I got it home, I noticed the driver's side wheel well had a bunch of white crap all over the coil, arms, etc. I started poking around and opened up the hood to find the white crap coming from the coolant reservoir.

I started to freak out thinking, great I thought this problem was solved after Job 2 builds. Well, the Bozo who PDI'd this truck forgot to tighten the reservoir cap! I added some distilled water and tightened the cap down.

No leaks after 1,000 miles including towing my boat.
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Just 2 more notes ..mine was down on coolant around 2k and I thought it was a leaking radiator. I added coolant and has been fine since. I've got 9k on it now. I never checked the heater.

The other day it was cold here -20 in the morn. Well I went out for the day and later the heat seemed to stop. Ended up it wasn't turned up enough. With auto mode etc. it can get out of control. Plus the trucks got alot of radiator and engine to cool. I bet it cools down quick when cold and takes a while to heat back up good.

Do you have the supplemental cab heator option? I do.maybe that enters into this.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Capt, no I don't have the supplemental heat, mine's just an XLT so I don't have any of the fancy stuff. I called my service writer guy today and he said to bring it in Wed. morning and they would go ahead and put a new radiator in. He said they've put a bunch of them in and he was supprised that I had almost 20K miles on mine without radiator problems. Thanks for all the replies and support.
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