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Old 11-19-2011, 04:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Question Smoke coming out of my vents

Now that i've got my high idle fixed, its time to work on other things. I noticed a couple weeks ago that i have smoke coming out of my air vents. It kinda smells like radiator fluid. Any ideas?

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Old 11-19-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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sounds like your heater core is shot, does it only happen when the heat is on?

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Old 11-19-2011, 04:59 PM   #3
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Yup it's a heater core keep an eye on the coolant level. It's an all day job if you know what you're doing
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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Replacing the heater core isn't for the faint of heart! You have to be prepared to remove the steering column and dash to access it. It's a repair I would go to a reputable shop to have done, since mine is a daily driver in the winter.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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Well it doesn't just happen when the heater is on, it happens when the system is off.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:14 PM   #6
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The heater core is essentially the exact same thing as a radiator, only much much smaller. It takes hot engine coolant, and circulates it in a small radiator. The blower motor is connected to a fan blade, which blows cabin air thru the heater core (small radiator) and into the cabin of the vehicle. When the heater core develops a small leak, the 'steam' looks like smoke, and enters the cabin. It will have a sweet smell. IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THE HEATER IS ON OR OFF, THE LEAK IS STILL PRESENT. So it's something that needs to be either taken care of, or bypassed.

If you wish to simply 'bypass' the system, unhook the two heater hoses which enter the firewall from the engine bay, as these are the supply and return hoses to the heater core. Use a simple piece of pipe, or, a 'flush kit' connector to connect the two hoses together. This eliminates the heater core, and removes the leak from the cooling system until such time as you can properly repair the system. However, you're going to get cold.

The heater core is encased in the heater box, which encompasses virtually the entire ventilation system. It's a huge Pain In The Arse to remove, as will require major dash removal. Make sure to order the replacement heater core in advance of dissassembly.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:03 PM   #7
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I replaced my core 7 months ago, it wasn't too bad, and I consider myself an average mechanic. There are good write ups out there. It took me about 8 hours. Take a lot of pictures Be warned you need to evac your AC and recharge it when you are done.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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Anyone ever used a Murray heater core from O'reilly? Are they any good? I can't find anything bad about em online but I can only find a couple of good reviews.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
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I got my heater core from O'riley, I don't remember the brand but it was the only one the carried.

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air vent , radiator , smoke

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