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Heater Core?

 
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 08:12 am
rsrocket1's Avatar
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Default Heater Core?

Update #1 here

Update #2: Sunday Aug 14, 8PM => here


2009 PT Base model
93,000 miles
My son just got home and said there's a funny smell in the car. I drove around with him, it's the antifreeze smell. He said there is an "oily residue" on the air vents. We drove around with the A/C on and when I turned the heat knob up, a burst of vapor and sweet smell came out of the vent.

Looks like the residue on the vents is coolant, not oil.

Dipstick Oil looks good, no coolant mixed in there. The car looses about a quart of oil in 3,000 miles. Coolant in reservoir was filled to the high level mark in April and is now at the low level mark. I'll drive it to/from work today to check it out a bit more but it certainly seems like a heater core problem.

Anything else I should test to make sure it's a blown heater core?

I really don't want to spend 10-12 hours evacuating the A/C, removing the dash/steering wheel/airbags to get to the heater core. Has anyone else gone through the firewall to replace the core?



I know it seems a bit shadetree, but it certainly seems to be a lot easier so long as it doesn't mess something else up. I have a reciprocal saw, Dremmel and a rotary cutter. What would be the best for this job?

Last edited by rsrocket1; 14 Aug 2016 at 10:58 pm.
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Heater Core?

You might check the drain and make sure it's not clogged. Wet carpet is another sign of leaking heater core. Is the carpet wet under the dash or on the floor board? Residue in the vents is NOT a good sign. It sure sounds like it's leaking.
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 01:06 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core?

I don't feel like that is a good idea. When he said "If you can hear me over the chickens", I was out. I was curious enough to watch all of it and see the outcome. It looks like duct tape and silicone, I know, he added flashing and aluminum tape, is the ultimate fix anything combo and as a bonus you don't have to take off the battery cable, (you noticed that he pulled the computer) or "devacuate" your air conditioner!
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 01:39 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core?

Has the coolant been changed in your PT Cruiser? If so what kind did you replace it with?

Check the PT Cruiser electrolysis system to verify that is not the problem.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 09 Aug 2016 at 03:16 pm.
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 01:44 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VsandFords View Post
I don't feel like that is a good idea. When he said "If you can hear me over the chickens", I was out. I was curious enough to watch all of it and see the outcome. It looks like duct tape and silicone, I know, he added flashing and aluminum tape, is the ultimate fix anything combo and as a bonus you don't have to take off the battery cable, (you noticed that he pulled the computer) or "devacuate" your air conditioner!
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 01:48 pm
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Smile Re: Heater Core?

I posted a link to that very same video in reply to another thread here, as a tongue-in-cheek joke. Don't even consider doing this. Not only will it wreck any value your car has/ will have, it will likely make your insurance null and void if any kind of engineers report or assessment is done on it following an accident. Quite apart from the funny aspect of watching that guy, you will struggle to seal it and keep it sealed after you cut it open, it might take a few months, but it will leak eventually. My advise is to get someone to help you do the job properly, or take it into your local trusted mechanic. Trust me, this is not the job you want to do half baked
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 02:07 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core?

I can do the dash quicker than he did this butcher job. That said. You jus asking for a quick end to a drivable car. Do it right or post pone it with this. Don't go cheep here either. The make several kinds. This one works and won't cause you any problems. Bar,s Leak Block Seal Permaniy HEAD GASKET FIX. It's about $25 and you just poor into a cold system. (May need to drain some to get it in). Do not put it into the over flow. This will work. You just leave it in. if it's not 20 some Dallas you picked up the wrong one. And I can't seek to reliability of them.
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 06:04 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core?

I don't know how cold it gets in Sacramento in the winters, but if you don't need the heater, just remove both heater hoses and splice them together. They make kits you can purchase at any auto parts store, but I'd prefer to use a brass, barbed fitting from Lowes or Home depot. 3/4" about 3" long. Then, just a couple of hose clamps. This way you've just bypassed the heater core and don't have to worry about removing the dash until absolutely necessary.
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 06:22 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core?

dont listen to them. cut the firewall. write a how to. help us fellow pt'ers. i went throught the dash with a grinder and sawzall. can't find the thread but it didn't turn out so great. i mean i did good, the damn heater box just broke.
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Old 09 Aug 2016, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
Has the coolant been changed in your PT Cruiser? If so what kind did you replace it with?

Check the PT Cruiser electrolysis system to verify that is not the problem.
Zerex G-05 after a 1 day flush with Blue Devil and lots of water through the system.

Driving it around today, I see a faint mist rising from the vents with the fan off and looking into the sun. The mist coming out isn't too bad, but there is a small trail of liquid on the driver's side floor mat originating from near the center console near the gas pedal. The console behind and below the HVAC switches is damp and slick (not water).

I'll look at the service manual to verify all ground straps are still attached.

I'm going to try the Moroso Ceramic engine seal which requires another flush, a couple of days of driving with just water and the sealant and a 12 hour sit in the sun which should be easy this weekend where the temps should get close to 100F.

Will report back when I'm done.
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Last edited by rsrocket1; 09 Aug 2016 at 10:39 pm.
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