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Posted: 11/2/2009 3:02:17 AM EST
So, I"m not driving the vehicle that much anymore..........it basicallly sits in my pole barn, not doing very much. 120,000 miles on the car with a 3.8 liter engine. Clean vehicle and the maint. has always been kept up on it. Anti-freeze changed on it a couple years ago. Totally flushed out the dexcool stuff and put regular anti-freeze in it.

Anyway, I'm out straightening up the pole barn and get in the car to start it and move it, when I notice the drivers side floor mat is wet. Feel up around the hump in the middle of the floorboard under the dash and that's damp. Heater core replacement time? How big of a job is this on this thing?



vmax84
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 4:27:14 AM EST
How nice, just in time for winter.

Not sure on how difficult it is. However, DexCool is the antifreeze that prevents corrosion of aluminum heat exchangers. Getting rid of DexCool is a mistake.

Just an FYI, even DexCool and it's equivalents need to be tested for PH every year. Otherwise internal corrosion will occur.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:06:24 AM EST
Originally Posted By cujet:
How nice, just in time for winter.

Not sure on how difficult it is. However, DexCool is the antifreeze that prevents corrosion of aluminum heat exchangers. Getting rid of DexCool is a mistake.

Just an FYI, even DexCool and it's equivalents need to be tested for PH every year. Otherwise internal corrosion will occur.


Now I always heard Dexcool was teh debil and the best thing in life was to get rid of it. I don't need the car at this point, since I drive my Corolla, but next summer it makes for a nice summer cruiser. But I still don't want that carpet wet, either.

vmax84

Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:51:04 AM EST
Regular antifreeze will kill the heater core on GM cars as well as a entire host of other parts. Its one of the biggest no-nos.

It does sound like the heater core, not sure how hard it is to change in that car.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 1:45:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By RhinelandArms:
Regular antifreeze will kill the heater core on GM cars as well as a entire host of other parts. Its one of the biggest no-nos.

It does sound like the heater core, not sure how hard it is to change in that car.


I'm going to continue with my denial on this.........

I thought the only thing you didn't want to do was mix dexcool and regular anti-freeze together. I flushed the crap out of the cooling system a couple years ago when I got rid of the dex-cool and put regular anti-freeze in it. Why would regular anti-freeze be bad for this system? The 3.8 engine has been around since the dinosaurs.

vmax84

Link Posted: 11/2/2009 1:54:37 PM EST
Smell (or even taste a small amount) the liquid on the floor. If its sweet its coolant, and probably a heater core problem. Also, when you run the vehicle, does the passenger side of the windshield fog up bad? If so, very likely its the heater core. If you were running the A/C lately (or a lot this past summer), it could be the drain tube is blocked. That would probably just result in only water leaking in that area.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 2:05:14 PM EST
I'll have to check this once i get back into town Friday..............right now, I'm 350 miles away from the car.

vmax84
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 2:12:20 PM EST
Ooops, misread your original post. The damp area was on the driver's side, not passenger side. Changes things a little bit. May not be HVAC related. Did it rain recently, any chance it got wet in the barn?
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 2:17:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By JustinOK34:
Ooops, misread your original post. The damp area was on the driver's side, not passenger side. Changes things a little bit. May not be HVAC related. Did it rain recently, any chance it got wet in the barn?


The car sits in my pole barn which is about 5 years old now. Very tight building with a concrete floor. 32'x48' building..............works as a nice dog house for me.

Also, the car has basically just sat in there for the past 3 or 4 months, out of the weather, so it's not a rain problem.

vmax84

Link Posted: 11/2/2009 4:41:06 PM EST
I'm not sure about that specific car, but usually, heater cores are a bitch to change out. They are however, easy to bypass. Find the inlet and outlet and attach one hose to both ends. Then do the same thing with the engine block.

Should have stuck with the dexcool. Thanks for the warning.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:33:53 PM EST
The heater core on your vehicle is right in the middle of the dash board. The supply and return lines are on the drivers side. According to the book you have to remove the center console.

1 Open the cup holder
2 Open the center console
3 remove two screws holding the trim plate cup holder assyembly
4 carefully remove the trim plate which is held in place with a few tension retainers
5 disconnect traction control switch
6 4 bolts hold down the shift indicator plate
7 6 bolts hold the center console down
8 remove dash insulator panels
9 remove the heater core outlet
10 remove the heater core cover
11 remove the heater core hoses
12 remove the heater core clamp
13 remove the heater core line retainer
14 remove the heater core

Good Luck!
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