Heater Core Leak. Please help... - Jeep Garage - Jeep Forum

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Old 10-19-2015, 11:20 PM
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Unhappy Heater Core Leak. Please help...

Hello,

I've smelled coolant in the cab from time to time ever since I bought a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee (9 months ago) . I finally looked at the passenger floorboard and found evidence of a very small leak presumably coming from the heater core. I've been adding coolant to the reservoir...about a quart every few months.

My question is:
1) Can this small leak be fixed with a coolant additive?
2) What is a recommended additive to use and which ones to stay away from? (there are a half dozen all claiming to be the best answer to coolant leaks).
3) If I do have to replace the heater core, what is the best way for a semi-skilled mechanic (me) to so this?

Thanks very much for any responses.

-Daniel

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Old 10-19-2015, 11:46 PM
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Re: Heater Core Leak. Please help...

Donīt know which additive to use to stop the leak, iīm not much in favor to use them. Eventhough they can stop a leak, they can also block passages where you donīt want them to do so. For me it would be a solution to get me home, but than i would flush it out as soon as possible.
To replace the heater core, the HVAC housing must come out and being split. To do that, the whole dash has to come out. If you want to do it yourself, than plan a weekend for it.
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Old 10-19-2015, 11:57 PM
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Re: Heater Core Leak. Please help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by livebait View Post
Hello,

I've smelled coolant in the cab from time to time ever since I bought a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee (9 months ago) . I finally looked at the passenger floorboard and found evidence of a very small leak presumably coming from the heater core. I've been adding coolant to the reservoir...about a quart every few months.

My question is:
1) Can this small leak be fixed with a coolant additive?
2) What is a recommended additive to use and which ones to stay away from? (there are a half dozen all claiming to be the best answer to coolant leaks).
3) If I do have to replace the heater core, what is the best way for a semi-skilled mechanic (me) to so this?

Thanks very much for any responses.

-Daniel
You will not permanently stop a HC leak without further clogging the system which will hasten its overall natural demise whether or not you succeed in slowing (maaaybe temp stop) the leak.

Ya gotta pull the dash, steering column and trans tunnel to replace that $175ish? oem core with a much "thinner", shorter life foreign knock off core....sucks but no goods are made anymore....the oem's are good for 90k ish (its an average guys ) but these new aftermarkets mayve 60kish so you gotta decide now how much you like this rig and commit fully either way....while you have the dash out ya gotta consider proactive blend/recirc doors/actuators as you are basically touching them anyway and they are high failure units in dual zone climate systems (maybe you don't have DZC)...whiiile u have the dash out and are splitting the airbox why not replace the ac evap core...pandora's box, I know

All the above have beautifully detailed step by step instructions with pics at:

WJJeeps.com - HVAC sub assembly replacement

A dealer would charge $800-1600 just labor depending on how far you went but just a heater core replacement is likely $800ish plus parts, could be off tho.

EDIT: DO NOT forget that the first step is to visit a shop to have the ac system drawn down so you can safely crack open the system when you breach it at the firewall pass thru block. It'll also save you a few dollars on refrigerant recovery.

Good luck...
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:42 PM
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Re: Heater Core Leak. Please help...

I've used Bars leaks before and it seemed to do the trick when my heater core was leaking.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:53 PM
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Re: Heater Core Leak. Please help...

You never mentioned what you have the 4.7 or the 4.0 I6.

If it's leaking you can simply take the lines off the firewall and loop them. Much easier to do on the I6.

use a piece of pipe and some hose clamps.

I do not recommend using Stop leaks. They tend to clog up everything else. specially if your radiator already has deposits more than likely does through electrolysis.
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