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Old 01-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #31
concours
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Originally Posted by MapBoy View Post
I blew a heater core in my 2001 f-150... was a $1150 job at the dealer, found a independent mechanic to do it for $800. It worked great for 6 months, and then leaked again - defective part. They warrantied the $50 part, but the $750 labor was all me, again. If it happens again, I'm headed to the nearest cliff to take care of it Thelma & Louise style...

Good luck with the repair... good thing it is not all that cold in MN in the dead of winter... oh, wait. Nevermind.
Your independant ass raped you. Parts suppliers will compensate labor to the garage. Sorry
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:54 PM   #32
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Keeping a heater core in good shape REQUIRES the use of enough anti-corrosion additives for protection. All "decent" antifreezes contain these, but the cheap green stuff's silicates don't last too long, ~2 years tops.

Run it at 50% and change it every 2 years and that's about all you can do. I'd avoid the orange stuff, it usually works but there's too many horror stories for me.

For my "good" engines I use the $26/gal Toyota red antifreeze (has lots of corrosion-fighting phosphates that last many years--no silicates), but you MUST use only distilled/very soft water with it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:23 PM   #33
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I called that first gear garage and they said I have to evacuate the freon from the A/C system for a heater core replacement?? Haynes manual says nothing of the sort.

I found another 2000 GMC Jimmy for $3600 I'm going to look at Saturday. Freeze my ass off until then...
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:40 PM   #34
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No personal experience with the following but I've heard some people advise to call a few local high school tech schools and see if they want to do the repair. If they have a auto mechanics curriculum, you might get lucky. Might get you some heat for less money.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:57 PM   #35
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No personal experience with the following but I've heard some people advise to call a few local high school tech schools and see if they want to do the repair. If they have a auto mechanics curriculum, you might get lucky. Might get you some heat for less money.
Do you really want the 17YO crackhead working on your ride???
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:20 PM   #36
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You can buy. A generic radiator/heater core with a fan used for aux heaters in busses etc.

In canada they cost about $20 at princess auto, our version of harbor freight. Just plum in 4' of hose and put the lot on the dash.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #37
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If stop leak is so bad why do all GM cars get it from the factory? Or at lease used to a few years ago. Heck the older caddies used to get a double dose.

Rod
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:12 PM   #38
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If stop leak is so bad why do all GM cars get it from the factory? Or at lease used to a few years ago. Heck the older caddies used to get a double dose.

Rod
"cadillac tabs" are brown pellets sold by GM dealers and are sometimes used to solve seepage problems in cooling systems. I doubt they'd solve a corroded heater core, but for the $3/tab it can't hurt much to try 'em.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:56 PM   #39
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Pour a half bottle of ground Ginger (the spice) in the radiator and drive on. Best DIY stop leak out there...and it wont leave your water pump FUBARed.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:26 PM   #40
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Pour a half bottle of ground Ginger (the spice) in the radiator and drive on. Best DIY stop leak out there...and it wont leave your water pump FUBARed.
That's the main ingredient in the Bars Leaks tablets.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:20 PM   #41
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I have run my heaters once,
for 5 min. in the summertime.
Just to change the fluid in the core.
Never had one fail on me.
The cost is zero.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:49 PM   #42
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Semi-retired autotech-I have changed out a pile of heater cores.The GM cooling system tabs work great-last time I used some it was on a H1 Hummer with a leaky head gasket.Caddy dealers always have them.The reason heater cores fail is from not changing the coolant-it turns acidic after awhile and the heater cores are aluminum on late model cars & pu's.Pulling the dash isnt that hard-just time consuming and you need to be parked in the middle of a garage because both doors will have to be open.Follow a service manual.A good set of torx bits and a 1/4 drive socket set with extensions will be needed.Sometimes I pull the seats-you make up the time spent on this in the end.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:20 AM   #43
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Semi-retired autotech-I have changed out a pile of heater cores.The GM cooling system tabs work great-last time I used some it was on a H1 Hummer with a leaky head gasket.Caddy dealers always have them.The reason heater cores fail is from not changing the coolant-it turns acidic after awhile and the heater cores are aluminum on late model cars & pu's.Pulling the dash isnt that hard-just time consuming and you need to be parked in the middle of a garage because both doors will have to be open.Follow a service manual.A good set of torx bits and a 1/4 drive socket set with extensions will be needed.Sometimes I pull the seats-you make up the time spent on this in the end.
working under the dash is top of list of worst jobs to do.

this is why I'll always install Bars Leak long before any problems becomes due. even if my cooling system is not leaking. Bars Leak also conditions coolant and lubricates your waterpump.

ethylene glycol the main ingredient in anti-freeze really doesn't wear out. but anti corrosion additives do get depleted. installing Bars Leak helps maintain coolant.

only use the original pelletized version of Bars Leak. adding something wrong to your cooling system could really screw it up major.

not a proponent of changing out anti-freeze just to renew anti-corrosion additives. have ran the same anti-freeze for 20+ years on multiple vehicles with zero problems. but they all had Bars Leak installed right from the beginning. then anytime radiator hoses were renewed. Bars Leak reinstalled.

---------------------------
How to Check for Electrolysis Corrosion
With the engine running and at normal operating temperature, use a digital voltmeter to check for voltage between the coolant and the battery negative (-) cable. Carefully remove the radiator cap or coolant reservoir cap (use a rag and open slowly as the system will be under pressure and hot steam may blow out of the opening). Insert the positive (+) voltmeter lead in the coolant, and touch the negative (-) voltmeter lead to the battery negative post. If you see a zero reading, that's good because it means there is no stray electrical current flowing through the coolant. But if you see a reading of 0.300 volts (300 millivolts) or higher, you've got electrolysis and potential trouble.




checking ph


Snap-on cooling system pressure tester to make sure everything is holding tight


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Old 01-25-2013, 06:51 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by doxiedog View Post
I have run my heaters once,
for 5 min. in the summertime.
Just to change the fluid in the core.
Never had one fail on me.
The cost is zero.
There is fluid circulating through your heater core all the time, it just blows hot air out when the door opens inside the duct.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:05 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by AviatorTroy View Post
There is fluid circulating through your heater core all the time, it just blows hot air out when the door opens inside the duct.
unless there's a valve on the heater water line... then it only blows hot air when the core is hot. No hot water flowing, no air gets hot as it goes through the core.

You might be right about the GM system of making hot air, but such is not the case on my old Benz or any of my previous toyotas.
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