: Heater Core?

11-13-08, 03:20 PM
Not too long ago I noticed coolant smell in the car after driving 15-20 min.
The carpet on the passenger side is a bit wet also. Is this 100% symptom of a bad Heater core?
I just want to make sure I donít start taking everything out to change the core and find the problem somewhere else.
Iíve read itís a 4-5h pain to change it.

Thank you!

11-13-08, 03:32 PM
Are you losing coolant?

Peel the carpet back and pull the passenger side console carpeted panel. Wet and squishy down in there ?? Is the moisture plain water, or can you taste/smell coolant (Water = plugged a/c or sunroof drain. Coolant = heater core) ? When the car is cold, do you get condensation on the lower windhield, inside ?

Bet on the heater core.

11-13-08, 04:47 PM
If I loose coolant is just a small amount because in one week I can’t really tell the difference on the coolant level.

The moisture is not plain water and it does smell coolant inside. Sometimes I get condensation on the lower windshield right on the middle (center).
I wonder if it’s the heater core for sure or it might be something else. I noticed the smell right after I changed the intake gaskets and I added a bit coolant to get to the level (in the process of changing the gaskets I lost some coolant).
First I thought its just because I spelled a bit coolant on the antifreeze reservoir and I waited couple of days, but the smell never disappeared. Can it be just because I started using the heater (it got cold) and it’s a coincident with the gasket job?

11-13-08, 05:18 PM
If you smell coolant in the cabin and the floor is wet, you can bet the core is leaking and needs to be changed.

11-13-08, 05:28 PM
Do you know if its the same procedure as for a 96 deville?
Open the glove box versus open the whole dash bord?
I foud very detailed instructions posted by krimson_cardnal for a 96 deville.
Would that work for me too?
thanks for the quick reply.

11-13-08, 05:33 PM
If the blower motor is still on the firewall like the '96, then I'd say yes. I say that because at some point it was moved inside and that changed a lot of things, but I don't think it was done by '98, though I'm not positive.

Harry Yarnell
11-13-08, 07:11 PM
The '98 is the same as the '96.

11-15-08, 11:47 AM
help, help
i'm trying to change the heater core, everything was going nice and easy until i got to the point of taking out the inlet and outlet hoses. How can i take them out?
is there a special tool for those clippers? i've been trying to find a way to release them for one hour. it drives me nuts!
Please help, the smallest pliers i have looks to big for the little room between the fender and the clipers.

11-15-08, 01:11 PM
these are the cliperes and hoses i'm talking about.
Any sugestion how to take them out?

11-15-08, 01:16 PM
i missed to attach the picture

11-15-08, 02:31 PM
A channel lock pliers will work on thos hose clamps if you have enough room to get on them. If not, something like this might be needed.

11-15-08, 11:43 PM
Thank you Ranger,
that looks like the perfect tool for this kind of job, but i couldn't find it anywhere in the store. I broke my hands a bit this time, but i replaced the core... after 4-5h
Next time when i work on cooling system i should have the Clamp pliers you listed above.

11-16-08, 01:58 PM
There are very few tools I don't have, but that is one of them. So far I have gotten by without it, but I suspect one of these days the need will arise.

11-24-08, 01:52 AM
Just did mine too. Re-installing the plastic cover under the dash was the hardest part.

I just used clamps that tightened with a screw driver - 79 cents each.

Didn't drain the antifreeze, just put clamps on the heater hoses that pinched them shut (time-saver).

My core was ok, it was actually leaking from a crack in the plastic end cap by the inlet tube.

Anyone know how fast airborne antifreeze will kill you? I'm guessing this stuff is NOT good for you to breathe.

11-24-08, 10:16 AM
If smelling anti freeze was deadly, I'd be history by now.

11-26-08, 12:15 PM
If smelling anti freeze was deadly, I'd be history by now.

Maybe like aspestos it takes several years to finally show up as a health problem. And maybe the old green stuff was ok, but what about all the new variations?

11-26-08, 01:54 PM
Drinking it is deadly, but I have NEVER heard of any cautions about smelling it. I would not be concerned.

11-30-08, 09:29 AM
If youíre smelling it, then youíre breathing it and itís getting into your lungs and body - and it IS a poison. Itís not a good idea to load your wife and kids up in the car during the winter with the windows rolled up and the heat on (with a hole in your heater core), and then drive seven hours to grandmaís house. Not all things that are bad for you have a bad odor (i.e. carbon monoxide). This will probably never make the headlines, but common sense would tell you not to breathe an airborne poison.