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Old 09-15-2016, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Coolant Leak

**Not related to prior temperature issues**

Problem(*):
1) Hot puddle on passenger floorboard - Check
2) Low coolant level alarm on dash - Check

Cause:
Heater core leak - Most likely
Heater core hose leak - Possibly likely

Pre-repair Band-aid:

How effective is a "Radiator Stop-Leak" solution on a leaky heater core? What are the detrimental effects of using a "Radiator Stop-Leak" solution in a GM coolant system?

I already have issues with temperature creep at idle, when its >90F outside. I just had (about a month ago), the coolant system flushed.

The only reason I am considering a band-aid repair at the moment is because the repairs are going to run ~$1400.00 (at a local GM dealership, with ~1000.00 of that being labor). I understand the hefty labor costs due to the work required to get to the heater core, but I'm not sure if I quite want to fork out $1400 tomorrow, unless absolutely necessary.

Any help on the matter is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:37 PM   #2
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I would never use stop leak in a radiator. It can plug coolant passages and decreases overall cooling efficiency. If I had to replace the heater core and couldn't afford it, I would connect the inlet hose to the outlet hose, bypass the heater core, and buy a 12V heater so I don't freeze in winter.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:41 PM   #3
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I agree with Roy.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:43 PM   #4
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I have a fair amount of data on this very subject.

We had a 1993 Ford Taurus GL, 3.8, that blew the heater core. 1 treatment of the copper Bars Stop leak, and it sealed it up. The issue never returned in the remaining 2 years the vehicle was in service.

My 1993 Park Avenue also blew a heater core. I had it replaced. The replacement failed within 6 months. An Aluminum Bars Stop leak treatment followed by a copper Bars Stop leak treatment held that together for another year until it failed again, and was replaced by a third heater core. The third heater core failed 1 year later. Bars Copper stop leak was attempted again, however it failed within a month. I was not open to the idea of paying another $300 for another heater core replacement, so I bypassed the heater core a few months ago. Since then I have noticed odd behavior from the cooling system, including a 210* operating temperature with the A/C running wide open. All other vehicles are usually running at thermostat temps, especially with the amount of fan that is on the nose of that car.

Today on the lunch run, the car literally boiled over when I parked. It was only 80-85*. I started the car back up and let it idle with the A/C off. I don't know how hot it actually was, but it was hot enough for the high speed fans to run for a solid 3 minutes (225+), but not enough to trip the idiot light (255*).

I realize this is a lot of words, but I offer this: Stop leak is a crap shoot at best whether or not it will actually address the leak. Which stop leak you use is a whole different crap shoot, as some work better than others in different situations. In the process, it clogs things up, whether or not it actually addresses the leak. If you wish to delay the repair, just bypass the heater core and do without it for the time being. No more leak, no more worries.
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:01 PM   #5
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Youtube video says that the WHOLE dash has to be undone and the a/c through the firewall as well. OMG not a pretty sight. Dealerships are for last resorts. Thanks GM.
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