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Old 03-23-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
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Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Question strange heating problem with 1999 chevy malibu


About two weeks ago, my oil light came on. My coolant light had been on for awhile, but I drive an older car and hadn't noticed any issues (mostly heating issues as I am always cold and it is winter), so I didn't top off the coolant until I had to open the hood to deal with my oil anyway. I topped off both oil and coolant and have since had no dashboard lights come on. My engine runs fine, or as fine as it did before either light came on.

About the same time as the oil light came on, I noticed a strange thing start to happen with my heater. I should say with the fan in general because it happens whether the temperature is set to heat or to cool. When I started my car up in the mornings, the fan would work just fine, but if I idled for awhile it would dim and then stop. The longer I drove the car, the more quickly it stopped. It would start again when I started to drive. Then it began to stop when I idled just long enough for a stoplight. It took longer for the fan to start again, but if I drove long enough without stopping, it would.

Lately, the fan only works for the first minute or so that I start my car up in the morning or if I am able to go at least half a mile without braking. It immediately stops when I stop. I have been very cold except on sunny days!

My dad said he thought it sounded like the alternator, and I believed him for awhile, but the car has always stalled once or twice a day when I first start it up. But I can always get the engine to turn over, and upon further observation, it hasn't gotten any worse. Plus, the fan gets better when driving, and from what I've read, if it's the alternator, it should get worse when driving. I haven't had any other problems with electrical systems. I did just change the battery not too long ago, if it has any relevance.

Is this a wiring issue or an issue of needing the fan cleaned and lubricated? Those are my best guesses now, but I don't know much about cars other than how to put coolant in and how to check my oil. I need an idea of what I'm looking at so that I can budget for a repair.

If anyone can help me know what's going on, thanks!!!
saraliesel is offline   Reply With Quote