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Dodge Neon Doesn't Make Her Warm

Q. Hello, I have a 2000 Dodge Neon, base model, no extras, no bling. Automatic transmission, no cruise control. I have 135,555 miles on her. Last January I had a hole in my radiator which led to my car overheating. this problem went on for a week prior to the car being fixed. When it was repaired they replaced the radiator, hoses, and temperature gauge/pin.

Dodge Neon Doesn't Make Her Warm

I noticed intermittently after that repair that the heat didn't seem as hot as I thought it should be. Now though my heat is not working practically at all. The air is warmer than the outside are but barely able to clear my windshield when i have the defroster on and certainly not warm enough to take the chill out of the air, and it isn't even winter yet! Any suggestions on where to begin looking for the problem?

Perhaps none of this is related to the earlier repair but I believe the first time I noticed the failure of the heat was on one of the occasions when my car was overheating I tried to turn the heat on high to draw the heat off the engine and into the car, but surprisingly the air coming out wasn't warm at all... stupid move I know but I was trying to make it home.


A. At first glance I would say that the thermostat needs to be replaced. It is not uncommon for them to go bad when the engine overheats. But then you say when it was overheating and you turned the heat on 'HIGH', a wise move I might add, that the outgoing air was not hot. This makes me think you have a problem with the Blend Door in the heater box.

The heater and optional air conditioner are blend-air type systems. In a blend-air system, a blend-air door (1) controls the amount of unconditioned air (or cooled air from the evaporator on models with air conditioning) that is allowed to flow through, or around, the heater core. A temperature control knob on the heater-A/C control panel determines the discharge air temperature by moving a cable, which operates the blend-air door. This allows an almost immediate manual control of the output air temperature of the system.

Dodge Neon Doesn't Make Her Warm

The problem is almost certainly with the cable. If you look under the dash on the passenger side, you will see the cable where it attaches to the heater-A/C box. Look to see if it came off or is kinked. If it just popped off, you should be able to pop it back on. If it is kinked, you can try to straighten it, but that almost never works and it will need to be replaced.

If it looks good there, then the control panel will need to come out to inspect the control panel end of the cable.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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