By November 27, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

96 Chevy Monte Carlo Heater Not Working – Not Hot

Reader Question

Hello Sir,

Just a quick question. I own a 1996 Monte Carlo and for some reason the heater quit. I live in Montana and it has been in the teens lately in the morning, this could be a problem.

Now, what confuses me is that the temperature gauge reads normal. Also, the rear window defroster doesn’t seem to be working either. I checked the fuses under the hood, no problems there.


Thank you for your time.



Hey there Scott,

Have you felt the two heater hoses going to your heater core to make sure they are hot? They are located on the passenger side under the hood leading inside the vehicle. Both of those rubber hoses should be hot to the touch when the engine is at normal operating temperature.

If they are not, I would first start by checking the coolant level inside the radiator. The heater gets hot because of hot coolant circulating through out the engine and inside the heater core. I would bet that living in Montana in winter the engine could be completely dry on coolant and still NOT overheat. So just checking the temperature gauge is not going to be very accurate as to what is happening inside your radiator.

If the radiator is significantly low on coolant, top it off with WATER and look for a leak in the cooling system, I bet you have a leak somewhere….your coolant had to leak out somehow. Once you find and correct the leak, then refill your radiator with coolant.

IF the radiator is full of coolant, AND the two heater hoses are still not hot to the touch then I would then look at your thermostat as the culprit. It is usually faster/easier to just replace the thermostat with a new one than to test the old one to see if it is working properly or not.

If the radiator is full of coolant, the two heater hoses are hot to the touch but you still don’t have heat, I would suspect you have a duct work problem inside the dashboard somewhere that is not allowing the hot air from the heater to enter the cab of the vehicle. Something could be restricting the door that opens and closes the heater opening or the cable that operates the door could be broken.

Here is more about this issue – Heater Core

Keep me posted while ya?


Austin Davis


Reader Update

Thanks Austin, the radiator had a leak. I appreciate the advice.


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