Primera heating problems - No Do$h
A friend has recently returned to the UK and picked up a dirt cheap '96 N Primera 1.6 SRi to get around for job interviews.

He has a problem with heating. To get any noticable heat in the car he has to not only stick the heater control to max, he also has to put the fan on full. Without this, there is barely any warmth in the air coming through the vents.

The fan works correctly so I suspect it is either a blocked feed to the heater matrix, a blocked matrix or the control rod to the matrix has come adrift. I'm deeply suspicious of the fact that the header and rad seem to contain new antifreeze. Very unusual on a £700 car.....

Anyone had similar problems and would like to offer their suggestions?


Primera heating problems - Aprilia
Primeras have a good reputation, but will suffer if neglected (just like any other car).

The obvious thing to do is to start the car from cold and feel the inlet and outlet hoses to the heater matrix. As the engine warms up you should feel the hoses get warm. With the blower 'off', both hoses should be at approximately the same temperature.

I note that the fan has to be on full. Could the pollen filter be blocked resulting in no airflow? Before you ask, pollen filter is behind glovebox. Remove retaining screws and slide out the glovebox. Remove screw holding PF cover and slide out the PF.
Primera heating problems - No Do$h
Thanks Aprilia, will get him and his poorly car over here on monday and have a look.
Primera heating problems - FatDog
Could be the heater resistor card - which is located under the glovebox - They cost about £30 from Nissan

Primera heating problems - No Do$h
Heater resistor card? Blimey, what happened to hot water in, hot air out?

What does the card do so I can eliminate it from my enquiries?
Primera heating problems - Dave N
Are you saying that there is very little airflow from the vent, or plenty of airflow but it comes out cold?
Primera heating problems - Aprilia
Resistor pack (nearly all cars have them) is in the circuit between the blower control switch and the blower motor. It is what gives you the four fan speeds (i.e. you switch the different value resistors in series with the motor). I don't think that its relevant to your problem.
Primera heating problems - M.M
Fresh anti-freeze?? A clue?

The Primera has a bleed point in one of the heater hoses hiden behind the air cleaner. Strangely it isn't at the highest point of the hose! Also the rad filler is way below the highest point of the system.

Leaves plenty of room for errors in re-filling the system and not removing all the air.

Primera heating problems - FatDog
This fault is common on this model primera,from reading the Nissan Primeras owners club fora (membership £15) - the most likely cause is the resistor card. I would try it anyway £30 is nothing compared to what a garage mat try an charge you to sort it.
Primera heating problems - No Do$h
Fair point.

There's plenty of airflow but no heat coming through. From what's been said, bleeding the system may be in order, expecially given the presence of neat antifreeze in the header and rad.

I shall whip the glovebox out and put a multimeter across the card to check the resistors, check the filter then run up the engine whilst checking for heat going in and coming out of the matrix. I'll let you know how it goes (probably be mid-week).

Thanks for your help,

Primera heating problems - lezebre
Perhaps I can save you some work here, ND.
I'm not in the league of your above respondants, but as an owner I think I've sussed that the car is one of the last of the old model - type P10 on VIN plate. As such it is unlikely to have aircon, and my feeling is it may not have a cabin filter!

In any case, if there is good airflow, albeit on the parky side, then any filter is def not the problem. (My 1998 P11 has never had a filter change, and ventilation functions perfectly, btw.)

Similarly, you report normal fan operation; all the resistor does is allow variable fan speeds. Fat Dog is right, this is a known weak point, and if it fries the fan blows at top speed on all settings. Not your problem though, nothing to do with the amount of heat added to the airflow, so I don't think you should bother to disturb the resistor.

The 1.6 isn't particularly prone to airlocks so if one *has* been introduced by a hurried coolant change it should be quite easily cleared. The plastic plug on the heater hose is simple enough to work on, Haynes says bleed it (ie remove it) with the coolant cold and the engine stationary, and with the heater control turned to the max heat setting.

Primera heating problems - No Do$h
Right, that's the last time I trust my mate Simon to describe the problem over the 'phone.

It was the resistor card.
A small airlock.

Now all sorted, thanks to you bods for your advice.

Value my car