2006 Impala heater


Asked by Lee_2006 Jan 15, 2011 at 01:25 PM about the 2006 Chevrolet Impala LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2006 Impala with a little over 40500 miles on it and it is having issues with the heater. I let the car warm up for 5-10 min and there is still cold air blowing out when the heater is on. This is the weird thing that when I step on the gas warm air comes blowing out. When I let off the gas the air slowly goes back to blowing cold. I am at a loss.

18 Answers

Bobby Wong

Does your Impala have enough antifreeze, does it have dexcool (pink) antifreeze if it has dex cool sometimes when you mix dexcool antifreeze with tap water the chlorine in the water reacts with dexcool and turns it to a rusty substance. and plugs the heater core.then you need to flush the engine and heater core.


I have the 5 year antifreeze (orange) and have never put water in it. but thanks for the info.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Danny Wang

have you checked to see if the temperature door operates properly?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

What do you mean by temp door?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Jon Romero

Sounds like a low coolant condition more so than an HVAC door. Do you hear anything "flopping around" in the dashboard? When actuating the different modes on the HVAC controls, can you hear a definite change in air flow?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I assume you have checked the operation of the thermostat? Is the reading normal on the water temperature gauge in the instrument panel ?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Yes to both

Danny Wang

yes I do mean the temp door, which is different from mode doors

Jon Romero

Pull your blower motor and see if you have any moisture in the HVAC case.

Fred Blackman II

heater core is probably busted ot the thermostat is bad

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I have the exact same problem, what all the people do not understand is it only doesn't work when the car is standing still, lets say at a red light, as soon as you are moving the heat comes on, very weird. all the answers of low fluid, etc make no sense, because the fluid is the same level moving or not

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

Blend door actuator vacuum issue.It is like the rubber diaphram that holds your speed,when you set your cruise control.It is way inside the dashboard on the passenger side.Below the glove box area.Take the inner shell of the glove box out to see it easier.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

These are very common issues. And yes, common for the problem to only happen when it's idling. The coolant has to flow unrestricted as much as possible through the heater core and because it was placed at the highest point of the cooling system, air gets trapped in it so at idle the water pump is turning slower and can't manage to move the water through that circuit in the cooling system. Remember, the impellor (blades) on the water pump is turning at the same speed the engine is. Slower the engine RPM, slower the coolant flow. If there is a leak in the system, then air will be in the system. You can get the air out, but you need to resolve the problem first, not the symptom. Pressure testing the system with proper tools is best. The water pump, intake gaskets, and tstat housing gasket are all common coolant leak points. Another thing about this system that is really important to know..... The temp gauge is misleading. It's not really telling you actual temp, in fact, it might as well be an idiot light for all it's worth. On a scanner the ACTUAL temp can be monitored and I have seen these routinely show running at midway on gauge but not anywhere close on the actual fluid temp. It's a long story as to why but many manufacturers "dumb" up the gauges for oil pressure and temp gauges to keep the pilot (customer) happy. Be VERY careful opening the pressure cap on the cooling system as you can get burned big time if it's got air in it and is still under pressure. Remember physics, liquids don't expand/compress but air does.. Now, after the cooling system is fixed, bleeding the trapped air is tricky on these. Gotta remove top heater core hose at the engine side between hose and pipe, pour coolant into pipe side till full and then the heater core side till full. It will be a little messy but this is important. then attach the two again, start the motor and have someone pouring coolant into the inlet where the cap is until it's full. Slowly run the RPM up to about 2000 rpm at which time the level generally drops due to several factors and while that is happening, top it off and put cap firmly on again. Keep running it but the idle can come down. No need to run the heater to cycle coolant as it's a passive system. Now, try the heater.. Other causes but less frequent... heater blend door not opening/closing completely but that usually has a marked affect on the heat even when driving. Same with thermostat but again, not as much heat at any speed. Water pump impellors failing does happen on Jaquars (certain models) and other vehicles that used plastic impellors. On some older cars with old coolant and poor maintenance there can be cavitation caused by the metal housings getting pitted by electroyisis etc but pretty rare. Most likely, the first issue (air) is the real issue and then as I said, find out where that coolant went. BTW- I am a certified master tech, run a shop and work on vehicles like this all day long..... Hope that helps.

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thank you Nate for a complete answer and explanation. I used to work on my own cars in the late 70's thru the 80's when things were a bit more simple, when either your heater worked or it didn't, if it didn't you either needed to fill your radiator or get a new heater core or a fan. The issue is just an annoyance here in the San Francisco area, but when i move to northern Oregon it would be a bit more of an issue.

Bobby Wong

Did you chck if you have enough ccoolant

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You have a bad vacume line somewhere between the switch (whic could be bad) to the actuator valve which is under the hood close to the heater and cooling cores and inline with the hose that comes from the bypass on the water pump.It does not matter how fast the engine goes to circulate the antifreeze,however it will increase your vacume and therefore open the valve.This tells me right away that the valve is working properly and it is most likely the vacume that opens and closes this gate valve which is the culprite at hand.Look at the top in front of the engine and you will see that where the large hose from the top of the radiator attatches to the neck on the engine is about three or four lines stacked up.This is called the vacume tree and sender switch which opens and closes vavume according to the engines coolant temperature,it screws into the thermostat cover neck,where the big radiator hose from the TOP of the radiator conects to it.You need a large pan to drain some antifreeze into and a funnel with a screen,these are handy to have around and are called transmission funnels(later).Drain the fluid down when it is cooled down by turning the pit valve at the bottom inside of the radiator with the cap off the top of the top hose or radiator.If you have not change your antifreeze for over a yearSTOP and take it to a shop(dealer will have you out don't right and probably cost less).The goose neck which us mechanics call the piece holding all the pieces I have already explained and housing your thermostat,Which could be sticking as well until youand put more pressure on it,we want a new one here.A new vacume modulator thermo switch and we also want to replace all the vacume lines which are not that much and is sold by the foot .Flush the system clean,replace thermostat,vacume themostatic control and all the caume lines.You will be at the right specific gravity range on your antifreeze for engine proection,parts lubrication and pump protectent all of the purpose for changing anti freeze fluids(this goes for trans fluids as well).and with your temperature switch and thermostat working properley and no leaks in your vacume,you will notice this** Improved fuel milage,less engine shake,smothher temperature range if you have manuel gauges and HEAY without flooring your engine and wasting gold(I meant gas).This I will gaurantee will have you running like clockwork and save you alot of other problems in the future.We do thinks right or we don't even do them in my shop.Another thing do not for any reason ever take out you thermostat,you can cause major engine failures doing this and never try to tape hoses.**This is an excellent time to have your belts and main hoses checked as well.Siple's Services of Texas/ A Div. of Outer limits Farms of Texas.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you for the blend door actuator answer and every one who said coolent leave are idiots

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have a question: My 06 Chevy Impala has been a great car. I started hearing a clicking noise in the dash board.Then this momornin I left my house and it said engine over heated turn engine off. Can someone help me with knowing what I need to fix please!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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