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Heater Only Runs When Driving, Washers Won't Work...

3323 Views 25 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  leadfoot
So I'm fairly new to the Rover world and have spent alot of time just getting my recently purchased '90 on the road, but now I'm in the mountains for the winter and looking to maximize my heating, windsheild wash, and defrost abilities out of pur and vital necessity.

I've read that no heat will come from the fascia vents as this is per design (as ridiculous as I think this is) but my defrost vents on top of the dash only seem to pump heat when I am on the road driving and at decent speeds. I'm not sure if this in an indication of a coolant/thermostat problem or if it is in the actual blower motor itself. Air flows freely from the fascia vents, but that does me no good on a 0F degree morning in the Rockies. After 10 miles of driving the truck is warm enough to sit in comfortabley, but I'm hoping to be able to start, it let the heat crank, and be ready to drive as soon as I open the door in the morning.

Another problem is that I have nothing coming from my wiper wash system. I'm really only concerned about the front because, as I mentioned earlier, I need it out of necessity. Is there a fuse for this, is it possible that the line may be plugged, or the pump motor itself may be bad? Any way to check these possible faults in some sort of logical sequence?

Looking forward to any sort of tips or suggestions whatsoever. Thanks alot guys!
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Are you getting any heat anywhere at idle? One option is that your water pump is weak and you are only getting enough circulation to the heater core when at higher RPM. The fins on the water pump like to corrode over age esentially leaving you pushing water with cheasecloth or little stumps for an impellor.
if your blower motor isnt working properly, you probably have a bad resistor or motor starting to seize. lucky they are in the same spot, look in the duct by the hood, pop the grill off and peek. the resistor is there, often they rust out, and the motor further, under the dash, but you can see it. you should be able to reach in with a stick and try to spin it, should be very easy to do so, if not your bearings need lubrication.
Thanks for the quick replys guys. I'm pretty sure I'm not getting anything at idle, and it kinda makes sense that the water pump might not be pushing because I haven't replaced it nor know when it was last replaced. I'll check the situation in a while when I go out for the night. But as far as I can tell, it only pushes at higher rpms (highway driving)

I will also look in the access spot for the resistor and the motor. I'm getting a good push from my fascia vents though, but I'm not sure if this is proof that the motor is good. I got an extra blower motor with the truck, but wasnt' sure what it was until I did a little more research. Guess I will just take the bus when it gets too cold!

Looking forward to updating you guys on the situation, thanks again for the help...
What's going on with the engine temp gauge? Does it come up to 1/2 way after 5 mins idling or does it take 10 miles of driving to get up to operating temp?
Rufant, Its more like 5 minutes of idling and then 5 miles of driving and it doesn't quite go all the way to the half point...

I checked it last night at idle and there is no heat coming from the vents at any time during idle, whether it is up to temp or not, and there's also no real adjustment on the blower controls either...just driving and pumping a bit of heat or idling and doing nothing.

I'm talking myself into the water pump situation, could this be the reason why my truck sometimes lags at a stop light and wants to die unless I keep the rpms up ~750-1000ish RPM? Maybe a coolant sensor of sorts is making her want to die? I'm not convinced my AFM is properly calibrated either, but I need to start coming up with some answers.

Thanks much again for the responses, I appreciate everyones willingness to help each other out around here...
it's your thermostat, it's stuck open. I thought you meant nothing was coming through the vents, sorry.
I'm getting heat coming from the dash vents when it is up to temperature, although its not much no matter where I put the blower controls. I keep it all on max demist and it pumps minimally after some driving. When I get back to idling nothing comes from them. I was under the impression that there would be some powerful blast or something more like the front fascia vents...makes sense that the thermostat would be problematic, the truck is 20 years old and I have no maintenance records on it other than what I've done myself in the past month or so. Water pump and thermostat were on the list but didn't get around to replacing them before I needed to leave...
So are you lacking any air being blown out when on de-mist or just hot air? (is the interior fan working? but the temp control does nothing?)

As Bandit says sounds like the thermostat is jammed open too. The water pump is a mechanical device and usually only suffers when the bearing goes, is there any play in your engine fan?
Rufant, I'm getting hot air from the dash/defrost vents, but not very much at all and only when I am driving down the road at a decent speed aka highway speeds. When I adjust the blower control it does nothing to push more or less. The dash vents are pushing air although it is cold and I'm getting a little warm push from my foot vents as well.

Temp control will adjust in temperature when I move from the highest heat setting to anything lower. I gave my fan a good shaking and there was no noticeable shaft play whatsoever. As of now I think I will try to replace the thermostat, or at least check to see if there is one in there at all.

Oh 1 more thing, I've noticed a rather annoying squeaking coming from somewhere underneath the truck, possibly from the transmission/transfer case area. It mainly is only prevalent when I'm pushing the accelerator, but I've also heard it coming to a stop 1 or 2 times. A friend with a dodge truck told me his made the same sound when it was low on fluid in the transfer case. I'm going to check that out but I just replaced the fluids and sealed the plugs with pipe threading so i'm not sure how it could be leaking.

Just getting a little worried that my newest jewel will not last me through the winter. Maybe I am just a pessimist? Anyhow, I appreciate you guys helping me out with everything...
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It sounds to me like the fan may not be running or the fan controls are not functioning.
You stated that: I'm getting hot air from the dash/defrost vents, but not very much at all and only when I am driving down the road at a decent speed aka highway speeds.
You also state that: When I adjust the blower control it does nothing to push more or less.
This leads me to believe that you have the controls set to "fresh" air. Try it on recirculate and see if the air flows at highway speed again. If not the only air flow you are getting is from the fresh air intake and not the fan.

It sounds like the PO knew he had problems with the fan since he gave you a spare!!

Do you have the vent control to closed, that is down. The heater and demister vents will not operate while the vent control is up.
vents are open. no air on recirc. pretty sure the blower is completely dead. i recieved numerous parts with the truck, so I wasn't sure what needed repairing as I was on a strict time line because of recently moving. i'll look into it a little more, and possible thermostat replacement as well. hopefully there's some insight in my ragtag manual about the motor and what needs to happen to effectively replace it...

thanks again guys, I'll keep you updated!
Could be as simple as the switch for the blowers - I had to strip mine down and clean up the contacts when it started playing up.
Probably easier to first check the switch like Danny stated. Getting to the blower motors and replacing would be a pretty big job.

With my blower motor turned off and demisters on I will only get air to the demisters the faster I go (set at fresh air). At idle I would get nothing. If I turn the switch to engage the blower motor I will get air at idle. It will blower harder the higher I move the switch.

Try turning your A/C on (bottom left lever all the way to the left and the left up/down lever all the way down) and then engage the blower. If you are not getting any air out of the vents then it is the switch or the blower motor.

Good Luck and lets us know how your doing on this.

1993 LWB Plymouth Blue
I have a '90 RRC. Heater blower works only on max. You would know if it is working because of the noise. If it is not turned to max I get some heat accordin to speed of the car.

I am told I need to exchange the resistors that control the speed of the blower. This is a common problem.

I have seen that in cars older than '90 you have to take most of the dash apart, get the blower motor out and then you can exchange the resistors.

In the newer ones I am supposed to be able to get at it as described above
look in the duct by the hood, pop the grill off and peek
. Hope I can get to it that way.

I have still not done this because I have not got the resistors. I have found replacement resistor here: http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/PRC8010.cfm

These are more robust than the original ones, got very good cooling.

And here are instructions http://www.roverparts.com/Instructions/RRC_A-C_Heater_Blower_Resistor_PRC8010_1.cfm
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Thanks so much again for the insight and replies...

Parker, I've put my switch onto the a/c side of things and it moves air and pushes even more when I select my blower speed to III. I guess my question now is are there 2 blower motors in the system? One for the fascia vents and one for the demists? I'm not really sure how everything works...

Danny, when you say switch do you mean the actual knob that is used to select the blower motor speed? I've got a ragtag repair manual put together by a tech somewhere and there's not much information on the heating system at all.

With all that being said, I've been going to work in the morning at -20c temperatures and a decent heater system would be a luxury. Still looking at the washer fluid situation as well. Man trying to work on something in sub-freezing temperatures really kills your morale.

Thanks again for everything guys, looking forward to getting things sorted out...
You should just check your fuses. Look in your owners manual and it will tell you where they are.
[quote="El Cheapie"
Danny, when you say switch do you mean the actual knob that is used to select the blower motor speed? I've got a ragtag repair manual put together by a tech somewhere and there's not much information on the heating system at all.

Yes. The contacts jet dirty and corrode over time. From memory, you need to pull the knobs off the front of the switches, then you can unscrew and remove the facia plate. The actual switches are screwed in place behind and can be removed, stripped down and cleaned up. It's a few years since I did it, so I'm afraid I can't remember exactly how the switches come apart.
noticed today when i switch from floor to demist my analog clock loses its lighting. maybe its a sign?
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