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Leaking heater core - how bad is it?

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Old 12-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #1
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Leaking heater core - how bad is it?

My heater core is leaking and when i have it cranked it drips a small amount of coolant onto the passenger side flooring. It smells like dusty syrup when the heater is on, which I have been told is from the coolant getting into the ducting. It is very expensive for a new OEM heater core, and even more expensive for the labor to have it replaced. My question is how bad is this for my health, and is this doing more damage to my truck? The heater still works good enough to get by with, but I want to make sure I'm not causing myself or my passengers any health hazards.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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i had this 1980 Camaro... and the guy that had it before me had bypassed the heater core, it had leaked on the passagne side and it had actually rusted a hole on the passanger side before he bypassed it... the car ran like shit

can you just bypass it?
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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I've been told you can just by pass it, but then I have no heater at all.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #4
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You live in california... you don't need heat
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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Haha, that is true 90% of the time, but when I go up to the mountains to go snowboarding or get out of the water after a cold winter surf, it sure is nice to have some heat to thaw out to.

I'm mainly concerned about if this leak is affecting my health at all.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:20 PM   #6
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Coolent is poision. Youre breathing it in. Will it hurt you on the short term. Probably not. Long term? I dont know. Just bypass the heater core or pull on from the scrap yard. Or maybe if youre lucky, it might be only be a loose connection.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:31 AM   #7
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Thanks
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:22 AM   #8
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I would suggest in repairing the leak. get a replacement and fix it right. As you mentioned, you want to have the heater sometimes. Putting it off DOES put you and yours at a health risk. Coolant is a chemical, and chemicals are not always good for you. Not sure about short term or long term, but either way, why take the risk?
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:43 AM   #9
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Get the book. and do it yourself. It's not that hard, just time consuming.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:10 AM   #10
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do you know if anyone has posted a tutorial on here or anywhere else for changing out the heater core?
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:19 AM   #11
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Aside from possible respiratory issues from breathing in the vapors of it... Eventually you're going to lose enough coolant to start overheating, unless you check the level regularly... And wherever the coolant is going to is going to start rusting and rotting..... Don't be dumb or overly cheap and lazy, bypass it temporarily if you have to, until you can get a new or used one and install it yourself.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:20 AM   #12
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I drove a 93 Chevy pickup for 7 months. Bought it for 300 bucks and sold it for 350. It leaked a ridiculous amount of coolant on the passenger side floor. I made sure to drive with the windows down all the time. The stuff smelled, and sometimes seemed like a vapor/gas was emitting from it. I def wouldn't drive with that going on for a while. However I was also smoking cigs at the time, so I probably wasn't that worried about my health at the time. Good luck
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