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Old 11-03-2010, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do you tell if your heater core is leaking?

I have a 93 ford taurus 3.8L V6 automatic GL. I have an antifreeze leak and as far as I can tell I think it is leaking from the heater core. I have checked every thing else. I would like to know if the heater core is leaking then does it have to be leaking from inside the car onto the carpet or can the leak be from under the hood on the outside? My antifreeze leak is hitting the top of my catalytic converter. Can the leak occur on the outside of the car or is it always on the inside of the car to be a heater core leak?
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The only way for a HC to leak on the out side is if its leaking around where the hoses connect to the core on the firewall. If you did nothing to disturb these connections then you probably dont have a leaking HC. Maybe you have a leaking hose or loose hose attachments?.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure the 2nd gen has similar hoses to the 3rd gen. If I'm correct, they might have rotted out by now. Mine would steam and eventually blew out at a stop light a few KM from home. It leaked and steamed out of there for months before though, so if you see any rust spots on those pipes, or if the rust looks wet that might be your issue. Other than that, check your timing cover around the back, it might be leaking down the side of the engine from the timing cover, if it's hitting a converter. If you had a leaky heater core, you would probably smell it when the heat is on.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wet or damp pass. floorboard, sickening sweet maple syrup or molasses smell with heater on, fog on windshield defroster wont remove, coolant level dropping a little and/or some coolant dripping from the evaporator drain on the firewall.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It can be leaking and running out the condensate drain that dumps from the inside ductwork to the outside. It's right under one of the heater core connections under the hood. Having owned a 3.8 once, I'll ask are you, are you sure it's not a head gasket going?
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another poss., 1 or both htr. core hoses or nipples leaking underhood.
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