1998 Saturn SW2 Heater Does Not Seem To Be Working – What Should I Check?

Reader Question Several questions for you: My 1998 Saturn SW2 has warm vent air even in the winter. It is always warmer than outside air. I’m wondering if heat is getting in even when its set on just vent? What would I check to see if this is the case and what can I do?

Recently a SUV hit me from the side while I was stopped at a light. When their insurance repaired the small amount of body damage on the driver’s side and they sent the car to be aligned, the alignment shop reported that the frame was bent on the opposite side. I have hit a curb/barrier when pulling up to it to park–would this have done it?

I was told the cradle would have to be replaced and it is quite expensive. Should I worry much about this on an older car? It is very low mileage and generally in good shape.

My driver’s side power window is starting to go down slowly, especially at first. Is there anything to do to help–lubricate something or whatever, or is the motor going out?

Thanks so much for your help. Your site is great!!!

Hey there

I would check the heater hoses to see if both hoses are hot going into cab of the vehicle and coming out (checking the hoses under the hood) You might have a bad heater control valve that is allowing a small amount of hot antifreeze into the dashboard of the vehicle. One heater hose should be hot and the other should not…when the heater is OFF of course.

I would go back to the insurance company and demand that they repair your vehicle. In my opinion, there is no way you could have damaged the engine cradle by hitting a curb…..sure it could be done, but you would have blown out a tire and bent the wheel. I have a gut feeling the damage was done when you were broadsided. Your little car is no match for an SUV. Don’t let the small amount of body damage fool you. Your car was probably pushed sideways by the impact.

Don’t let the insurance company push you around…they know how side impacts can effect other areas. Keep your ground and stand firm on the fact that you never had this problem before the accident. You might also want to call the mechanic who did the last alignment and see if by chance they kept a print out of your alignment, I do this at my shop with every alignment we perform.

If they refuse to pay, and you get tired of fighting them…..the worst thing that will happen is your car will go through more tires than if it did not have this bent frame, AND it could hurt your resale value if someone checks the alignment prior to buying it from you.

The window, try spraying a small SMALL amount of silicone spray on the felt or the rubber strip at the bottom of the window in the door or both sides inside and out. If that does not work, you might have a weak window motor or a weak switch

I am off for vacation…keep me posted!

Austin Davis

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