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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a few Suggestions on what may fix a heater issue i have recently been having. On the driver side, the heater works well in all modes (auto/manual in all combinations). The passenger side, however, blows relatively colder air than the driver side. With both temps at 85, the driver side is fine, but the passenger facing body and feet vents, as well as the defrost vents blow cold. Because I am now out of the warranty period and would like to avoid the excessive charges at the dealership, any ideas on what may be the culprit?
 

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You must be way over on your miles if you are already out of warranty. Could it be some kind of vacuum leak?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I am over the mileage (48k). I was recently charged on an electrical issue which i thought would be a warranty repair, and would assume i would be tagged again for something like this.
Do you suppose a vacuum leak in the engine may cause this or a leak in the heating system itself?
Thanks!
 

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Sounds like a vent door is stuck. Your engine is generating all the heat necessary to bake the cabin, but if a vacuum door is stuck closed (or partly closed), you'll feel cool outside vent air seeping around it.

Could be a problem with the door itself, the servo that opens it, the wires that power/control servo, or in the HVAC panel itself. I'd troubleshoot in that order.
 

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jimbo said:
Sounds like a vent door is stuck. Your engine is generating all the heat necessary to bake the cabin, but if a vacuum door is stuck closed (or partly closed), you'll feel cool outside vent air seeping around it.

Could be a problem with the door itself, the servo that opens it, the wires that power/control servo, or in the HVAC panel itself. I'd troubleshoot in that order.
Thanks. Been there done that and all was good, but good advise.
 

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I would have gone with jimbo's guess too that it's a "zone" door getting stuck since your getting heat on the other side.:Dunno:
 

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I found a recall for certain VIN# 2006 Tribecas (Service program WWY-09)and some other models that had issues with chlorine in the coolant creating corrosion issues in heater core. Involves a good flushing of the heater core.
http://www.scoobymods.com/my_06_coolant_flush-t6634.html?t=6634 Thanks Peaty :)
The coolant system may have flow issues to and in the core. I'll update after I flush it.

Hopefully this info will help others having the same issue.
 

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I have the same problem in my '06. Dealer told us the heater core needs to be replaced; we're taking it in next week to have it replaced; I'll let you know if this fixes the problem...
 

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Did they try doing the flush first?
If it needs replacing I hope they do it under warranty for you as it sounds like it would be due to chlorine contamination.
 

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Same heater problem

Hi, I have an '06 as well, and I am having the exact same heater problem. I also have the problem where I need to turn up the heat on the driver's side to about 75 to be comfortable (the passenger side needs to be at about 85). Any solutions yet, or handy tips? I am not very mechanically inclined, but I will probably try to solve the problem myself anyway, as I am also very cheap. Thanks for any help.
 

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Same issue passenger heat doesn't work

Hi, I just got my car back from my independent shop and they threw in the towel. They tried to replace the motor that operates the vents on the passenger side but figured out something was binding up the motor. So they told me I would have to take it to the dealer. Before I do that I thought I would check with you folks and see if anyone had resolved this issue. Appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
 

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Kilbu said:
something was binding up the motor
"Something"? Still sounds a little vague to me. If I were in your shoes, I'd think about whether to commit to investing money and time in pulling your dash apart to fix it, or whether to just trade her in.

There's not a good chance this problem would be discovered in the trade once-over a dealer would give it...
 

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Concerned

That idea definitely crossed my mind! My independent shop said the dealership would charge me $500-700 just to get into it. Then who knows how much the rest of the labor and parts will add up too. I could be creeping up on $2000. My biggest fear is going through this for the passenger side then the driver side will go. It's too bad because we absolutely love the vehicle. Thanks for your feedback jimbo.
 

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i had the same problem with my tribeca. the heater core was plugged up with the factory coolant that was in it, i guess it caused alot of corosion and plugged. anyways i tried flushing it about 4 times and put some treatment into it, but inthe end i had to replace the heater core. the core was about $150cdn and i had a local mechanic do it for about $500. now everything is working great
 

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Interesting that a lot of folks are talking about vacuum controls on the heater/AC. All of the Tribeca's controls are electric servos. It also doesn't make sense that the heater core is the problem, as the heater core serves both sides not just one. This is a fairly common problem with Tribeca's, mine, too.
The diagnostic routines say everything is OK, and if anything doesn't work replace the AC ECU. Wasted almost $300 on that. Pulling the servos is fairly easy, and all of the doors on the right side seem to work OK. I suspect that with those folks that had someone replace the heater core the mechanic found the real problem and fixed it gratis. So, I'm still stumped. It would be nice if someone found the real problem and reported back. I don't have a grand laying around for the dealer to play with my car.
 

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Thought I would chime in with my experience. Same issue no warm air for passenger side. I pulled the inlet/outlet pipes off connected them together so I minimized coolant loss. I then covered starter and other electronics after disconnecting the negative terminal. Next step I took my compressor and stuck in the inlet (upper) side and kept going til nothing but air was passing though. I then grabbed a garden hose with a nozzle and put pressurized water through the core for 30seconds then blast more compressed air til dry. I did this a couple times then reconnected all lines. Burp the system and you should be good to go. Hope this helps.
 

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Heater core!!!

We had an '06 that had the same problem. At 50,000 with a Subi service contract brought to dealer. They put a blend motor for pass side on. not fixed. Brought it back, they had car for 1 1/2 weeks and had nearly 25 hours invested in it. Had Subaru tech support invloved and it turned out to be a heater core.

I am a general manager for an independant repair facility so I tested all the basic operations including moror and door movements but was unable to get any heat out of the passenger side. So off to the dealer which initially put a blend motor in without testing first.

We now have a '08 with 92,000 and have no heater issues yet.
 

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If something is plugging up the heater core like that, I don't want to know what can be happening with the smaller coolant passages in the engine block and heads.
 

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dan04103 said:
Thought I would chime in with my experience. Same issue no warm air for passenger side. I pulled the inlet/outlet pipes off connected them together so I minimized coolant loss. I then covered starter and other electronics after disconnecting the negative terminal. Next step I took my compressor and stuck in the inlet (upper) side and kept going til nothing but air was passing though. I then grabbed a garden hose with a nozzle and put pressurized water through the core for 30seconds then blast more compressed air til dry. I did this a couple times then reconnected all lines. Burp the system and you should be good to go. Hope this helps.
Even though I did not believe the problem could be related to the heater core as there is only one core and the core is not divided at all, I tried what Dan suggested. FAIL! I put it all together and no change. Right side has no heat. What I've been doing is set mode to feet and defrost, turn off A/C, and set recirculate cabin air.
 
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