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99 Blazer heater core


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trish0313
New User

Nov 27, 2012, 8:18 AM

Post #1 of 7 (1736 views)
99 Blazer heater core Sign In

WE have a 99 Blazer (smaller model). Yesterday the smell of antifreeze started coming up thru the vents and little puffs of "smoke" would come into the cabin unless you left the temperature on cool and full blast. Heat will come out of the vents though, there is no leaking on the passenger floorboards, no antifreeze seems to be leakign from the vehicle. This morning my husband drove to work and the whole car filled with "smoke" so he pulled over and made something work bc he was able to get the rest of the way to work. He is machanically inclined and with it being Christmas we really cannot afford to replace the heater core, however this is our only vehicle at this time. Are there any short term solutions just till we get past the holidays and can afford to fix this?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 27, 2012, 8:33 AM

Post #2 of 7 (1727 views)
Re: 99 Blazer heater core Sign In

You can temporarily bypass the heater core by disconnecting the 2 heater hoses and connecting them together but obviously, you won't have any heat or defrost.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



trish0313
New User

Nov 27, 2012, 8:37 AM

Post #3 of 7 (1719 views)
Re: 99 Blazer heater core Sign In

Thank you so much for your reply! Normally we would have no issue getting it replaced professionally but we just had to replace the fuel pump,max air sensor? and some other issues all at the same time last week and that cost us $800.00! I am not sure how much getting it fixed would cost but someone told me it is in the neighborhood of a $1000 and that is out of the question right now..unless absolutley unavoidable lol. We have 5 children so having all this happen at the holidays really makes things difficult! Again, thank you for the advice and I will tell him as soon as he makes his way home from work :-)

In Reply To


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 27, 2012, 9:05 AM

Post #4 of 7 (1707 views)
Re: 99 Blazer heater core Sign In

There aren't a lot of good choices for delaying the fix. I'll list some ideas all AYOR for delaying the repair:

1. Take heater hoses off of the core at firewall and made a "U" turn for the coolant flow. That would or should not harm the engine itself with the downside of not having heat or defrost/defog being a possible serious problem. If cold enough to ice up your windshield you are screwed to drive the thing no matter how much you bundle up for the cold inside.

1a. You could carry non alcohol deicers + defoggers for glass - messy and iffy at best.

2. More risk: Take radiator cap off and cut a wedge in bottom rubber seal that is sprung such that you till have a closed system now without any pressure. Risk is that pressure raises the boiling point of coolant by ~3 degrees per Lb of pressure which can be needed even in cold weather driving to prevent boiling. Engine is designed to normally operate close to boiling point now. If even unseen air bubbles from boiling inside cooling system you are risking damage. It also might not stop leaking at heater core either.

3. Yuk - try the most harmless sealer you can find. Not just a sawdust concoction. NAPA sells one made by Macs named "Radiator sealer and Block Repair" (bullcrap) but if leak is tiny and slow using just 1/4 or less or what it says to use may limp it by with a lower pressure radiator cap available -- 7lb part # 703-1444. That gives you ~ 21F more degrees of boiling point and about 1/2 the original rated pressure. If not other stresses that could buy some time still AYOR, watch gauges like a hawk + shut down if anything isn't right. That crap will flush out later with the real fix.

By far the best thing is to fix it now and figure out your budget, use another vehicle if possible at all till fixed.

There is no great time for surprise expenses. This one could be tons more expensive if not dealt with now.

At least find out how much this job would cost for you locally. Parts are not that costly but it's not a friendly repair for most of them. Add in any hoses, new antifreeze and a flush job to the job. Good luck.

Last professional advice is fix it now,

T


trish0313
New User

Nov 27, 2012, 3:20 PM

Post #5 of 7 (1676 views)
Re: 99 Blazer heater core Sign In

Tom...good advice. My husband was able to bypass the heater core by doing something with the hoses and he drove it around the block a few times and it was running okay enough for him to get home from work..and then the water pump blew. So we called the mechanic and he said there had probably been a "hiss" for a few weeks and the heater core had been running poorly and we hadn't noticed and that once it was bypassed the water pump wasn't used to the increase in pressure and so...another problem. We are taking your advice now and having the mechanic fix it all tomorrow. Not what we were hoping for by any means but, seeing as it is our only vehicle at the time, fixing it has to be cheaper than buying a new one. We live in Michigan, so no heat/defrost would definitely be an issue for us. Again, I appreciate everyones very helpful replies. Hopefully it won't cost too terribly much..mechanic said about 250 (just a guess) for the water pump and putting it in and then add on the heater core..which as Tom said i believe, the majority of that cost is in the labor not the actual parts. It is an old car and has 200,000 miles on it so I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that these are the biggest repairs we've ever had to do on it.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 27, 2012, 4:17 PM

Post #6 of 7 (1673 views)
Re: 99 Blazer heater core Sign In

Yep, that heater core as a major job.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 27, 2012, 4:27 PM

Post #7 of 7 (1670 views)
Re: 99 Blazer heater core Sign In

Water pump just happened. By passing heater core didn't do that alone. Michigan and MA - same stinky Winters. These jobs stink for even DIY with all the equipment without heated space to do it.

Why do we put up with it? Here's a real pic of one of my own cars a few years back. Wanna work on that if you can tell a car is under that? Smile,



Tom






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