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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2003 Taurus and recently I have been smelling a burning rubber or burning oil smell when the heater is on. I took it to the dealership where I usually have my maintenance done and they said that my heater core was leaking and that it would cost 900 to 1000 dollars to repair. I however don't think that it is this because I haven't seen any leaks in the passenger floorboard or underneath the car and the smell that comes through the vents doesn't smell sweet like antifreeze. Since I have had the car I have put a little over 1000 dollars into repairs so now everything except this runs great. So I guess my question is what do you think is causing the smell and if it is the heater core is it worth paying that much to fix it since I have already put over 1000 dollars in it or would I be better off just finding a different vehicle?

Also I bought the car used in 09 with it having only 1 previous owner and it currently has a little over 88000 miles on it. I would really like to keep it but I am just afraid that I will put more money into it than it is worth since every time I turn around something seems to be going wrong. The only reason I am currently considering trading it is because the heater core is so far the most expensive repair and from my understanding in order to get to it involves taking out the dash. Also I realize that if I got the heater core replaced I would basically have put more money into the car than its worth at trade in value.
 

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Cake monster
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I have a 2003 Taurus and recently I have been smelling a burning rubber or burning oil smell when the heater is on. I took it to the dealership where I usually have my maintenance done and they said that my heater core was leaking and that it would cost 900 to 1000 dollars to repair. I however don't think that it is this because I haven't seen any leaks in the passenger floorboard or underneath the car and the smell that comes through the vents doesn't smell sweet like antifreeze. Since I have had the car I have put a little over 1000 dollars into repairs so now everything except this runs great. So I guess my question is what do you think is causing the smell and if it is the heater core is it worth paying that much to fix it since I have already put over 1000 dollars in it or would I be better off just finding a different vehicle?

Also I bought the car used in 09 with it having only 1 previous owner and it currently has a little over 88000 miles on it. I would really like to keep it but I am just afraid that I will put more money into it than it is worth since every time I turn around something seems to be going wrong. The only reason I am currently considering trading it is because the heater core is so far the most expensive repair and from my understanding in order to get to it involes taking out the dash. Also I realize that if I got the heater core replaced I would basically have put more money into the car than its worth at trade in value.

P.S. The dealership where I get my car fixed is basically the only place in the small town I live in that I would trust to do this kind of work and I sadly have no knowledge of car mechanics so me replacing the heater core if that is the problem is not possible.
I'm not sure what your issue is. However I think that 4th gen/3rd gen cars are the easiest ever to service the heater core on (could be wrong on the 4th gen?). Maybe $700+ on a different car where a dash has to come out, A/C discharge, etc... Not this one. I would tell them to go blow.
 

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Check the topic finder, there's a way to replace the heater core without pulling the dash out. Shop labor calls for 8 hrs of labor, which is based on pulling out the whole dash (of which they don't). Shops love to screw Taurus owners on heater core labor. Whatever you decide, don't put stop leak in the cooling system, it will cause more problems.
 

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Check the topic finder, there's a way to replace the heater core without pulling the dash out. Shop labor calls for 8 hrs of labor, which is based on pulling out the whole dash (of which they don't). Shops love to screw Taurus owners on heater core labor. Whatever you decide, don't put stop leak in the cooling system, it will cause more problems.
A new heater core is about $70. The first time I changed one (using the well documented shortcut) it took me about 1.5 hrs. Now it takes me about 45 minutes to do one. Taurus/Sable heater core replacements are a favorite money maker of repair shops everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help guys I really appreciate it. Anyway, I went to a different auto shop and the problem was that the last time I had my oil changed they didn't tighten everything up. So I was slowly leaking oil and it was going back onto the exhaust. The lesson learned here is always do research on a mechanics diagnosis especially when its something that expensive. Had I listened to them I would have wasted 1000 dollars so yeah always get a second and maybe a third opinion.
 

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How in the world does a dealer diagnose an oil smell as a heater core...
 
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