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How long can i wait?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by BGehl, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    I am smelling radiator fluid in the cab, i dont see anything leaking under the truck i cant see anything that appears wrong, just the smell.

    I have read that it could be the heater coil or any number of hoses.

    I don't do my own repairs, so i basically am wondering how long i might have before this becomes a serious problem. and any guesses on the cost if it is the coil? what about just the hose?

  2. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    I would take a good look under the hood and check the connections at the heater core. Then look for coolant on the passenger floor. You are going to have to make the call on how long you have by the amount of coolant you loose. What Ford do you have and I can give you an idea on the cost for the part through aftermarket.
  3. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    it is a 99, f250. i did check the passenger floor, and it is dry. I will look again for any leaks elsewhere . . . .

    Thanks for the help.
  4. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    when I have had them symptoms, it was the heater coil.
  5. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    by the way, is there anything else that this could be? or is it pretty likely that it is just a heater coil or something related to it. . . .
  6. PowersTree

    PowersTree Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    Just cause this just happened to us.

    We had a coolant smell, but no obvious leaks. Lost a gallon every two weeks.

    Stuck thermostat. Truck didn't overheat per se on the dash, but it must have been vaporizing the coolant somehow. Changed the thermostat, problem solved. May be worth looking into if you can't find any leaks.
  7. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    i just talked with a local shop who said it would be about $400 to replace the core. does that sound right?
  8. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    it is a $30 part for the core
  9. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    Part: NHC 6601780
    Product Line: NAPA Heater Cores

    List Price : 65.16
    Your Cost : 39.10

  10. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    The heater is located behind the clove box. Looks like about an hour or so. I have service details if you need them.
  11. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    The picture is just a generic photo. The one in your truck is aluminum.
  12. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    hmmmm. . . . it is tempting. but i have to admit i am a little intimidated by it. I have read in some places you have to take the whole dashboard off. Is that this case for a 99 f250 superdury?

    can you send me the service manuals and maybe i will read it over.

    Do i have to bleed the system after i install the new core?

    I guess the biggest thing is that i am not even sure it is the heater core, though today when i was driving it was blowing a visible vapor into the truck and totally fogging up the window. That points to the core right?
  13. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    yes that would be the heater core
    check around for a better rate on the repair
  14. bucky6981

    bucky6981 Member
    Messages: 70

    I dont really wanna be a Debbie Downer here, but if its that bad that it fogs the truck then you do actually have a serious problem... Engine coolant is toxic if inhaled! oh and yeah its most likely the heater core.
  15. oppi2010

    oppi2010 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    i did that heater core this summer and it only took an hour find a different shop or try to do it your self there easy to do
  16. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    Basically you drop open the glove box. Remove an vacuum actuator and an electric actuator and the heater core cover and remove the core.
  17. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    WOW I'm I missing something here, Is it actually leaking coolant on the floor board or not? If you have coolant on the floor board the yes replace the heater core, as far as the windows steaming up yes it could be the H/C but not always, if there is no coolant on the passengers floor board, then I would have it pressure tested with coolant dye check ALL hose clamps FIRST, this could save you a boat load of money but most importantly help diagnose the concern properly. Good luck -Joe-
  18. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    Thanks guys.

    Today i left the truck run for a while and after about 15 minutes the was a leak. About a silver dollar sized pool the seem centrally located under the engine. And i did take out the glove box and poked around in there. No coolant anywhere. So i think Joe might be right it might be somewhere else.

    How does a loose or leaky hose cause vapor/condensation in the cab?

    I took it to a guy this afternoon so we will have to see what he comes up with.
  19. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    The vapor/condensation is from a heater core with a leak. This leak (moisture) is inside the heater box. Now add heat and it turns to steam (like a clothes iron) and it is directed to the windshield. It is like spraying a steam iron on your windshield.
  20. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    go to the hardware store, get you a short piece of metal pipe about the same size of the heater hoses to the heater core, take both off and put the pipe in the middle, you have just now solved your heater core leaking problem...

    do not blame me if you get frostbite when driving....

    actually this is a cheap way to check to see if the HC is bad or not, you do however need to take an air hose and blow out the fluid in the heater core, as it will still leak some..

    But most every time you have one fogging up the windshield, its a heater core...