We never get letters like this from Louisiana.

Dear Tom and Ray:

We own a 1984 Lincoln Town Car. The heater wasn't putting out enough heat, so a mechanic installed a 195 degree thermostat. It still wasn't hot enough, so he put in a 205 degree thermostat. It's warm now, but still not hot enough for the severe winter weather we experience in Wisconsin. Our radiator and heater have been back-flushed. Another mechanic said it's probably the controls on the dash. What do you suggest?
Henry and Lillian

RAY: Well, the first thing you should do is put the regular thermostat back in. The hotter thermostat isn't doing the engine any good, and it'll definitely lead to overheating when summer rolls around.

TOM: Assuming you have enough coolant in the system, the lack of heat could be caused by two things. First, the heater core could be corroded and plugged up. If the coolant can't flow easily through the heater core, the car will never get really warm.

RAY: But more likely, the problem is with the controls. This car has an "automatic" climate control system. Even when you have the heat on full blast, it's always mixing in at least some fresh, cool air. That's just to keep you from being asphyxiated or overcome by your own B.O.

TOM: But if the controls are mixing in too much cold air, then obviously, you're not going to get enough hot air on your little tootsies.

RAY: So take the car to either a heating specialist or your Lincoln dealer. This is not something that Fred and Ethyl's Filling Station and Charm School is going to have much experience with. But someone who knows heating controls ought to be able to figure it out pretty quickly.

TOM: And if not, our other suggestion would be to move about 1,600 miles south. We never get letters like this from Louisiana.
Tags (Browse All)

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login / Signup
Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel