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I woke up the other morning and started my car to drive to work. I turned on the defogger because the windshield was slighly fogged. The longer it ran, the foggier it got. I switched it to vent and my fears were confirmed, the smell was nothing short of coolant. To those of you who dont know what I'm talking about, it means the heater core has gone bad and is now leaking coolant under the dash. The problem will only get worse, as it has over the past week. Yesterday, I took a piece of pipe off a salvaged (wrecked) 1988 Ford F-150 and used it to "tie-off" the heater core, in other words I looped the two hoses around into each other so the heater core is just by passed but the coolant still flows. Now, during normal operation, my temp needle points to the "N" in NORMAL instead of the "O". Kinda weird but whatever keeps it from overheating and blowing a head gasket.

I thought I'd take this oppertunity to clear up a few myths I've heard some people say about heater cores:

1. If the heater isnt on, the heater core isnt being used. In other words, if it goes out, just turn off the heat and you're fine.
WRONG! There is always coolant flowing through the heater core when the engine is running, heater on or not. The temp selector on your dash doesnt turn the heater core "on" or "off", it just redirects the air flow accordingly.

2. A heater core going out means the car was built poorly.
WRONG! Heater core's just rot out after a while. There is little you can do. It happends to Hondas, Fords, GM, etc.

3. Heater cores in Taurus' are pretty easy to get to, just like a Tempo.
WRONG! Its 8.5 hours by the book to do a heater core in a 1986 Ford Taurus (mine needed it but I never did it, just told the new owners when I sold it why the car had no heat). Its 2.0 hours to do one in a 1992 Ford Tempo V6. An estimate from the local Ford dealer to do my heater core (93 Taurus) was $920.

If anyone has any more questions, I'll be happy to answer them or perhaps if I cant (or am unable to due to my limited time on the 'net) someone else here can.

My plan is to hopefully have enough money to replace the heater core by this fall.
 
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