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coolant smell in cab

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Old 03-19-2011, 12:46 PM
daddogg daddogg is offline
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coolant smell in cab

Hi guys. I am in San Diego, my son and his 2001 f150 gas v8 are in Colorado. When I am there I help him work on his vehicles, but this is an attempt to guide him long distance. There is a coolant smell in the cab. The first thing I think of is a leaking heater core, ant told him to check for wetness on the floor. While I am waiting for him to come back about that I am asking you guys if there are other possibilities for the symptom? dd
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:46 PM
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9 times out of 10 your diagnostic is right on. Most likely the heater core.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:07 PM
brokenleg brokenleg is offline
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Heater core time.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:35 PM
Dave G. Dave G. is offline
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Probably every situation is different, but my '99 4.6 has had the Prestone aroma for almost 3 years. No visible leak, coolant level hasn't dropped, heater works fine. It only takes a couple of drops for the blower to pick up the smell and fill the cab. If you have a day to kill just change it and the hoses.

Dave
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:04 PM
daddogg daddogg is offline
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thanks for comming in on this, looks like I'll have a fun visit next time I go to Colorado. How tough is it to do the heater core on that 2001 f150? I'm guessing the new core will be 50 to 100$ ?? any special tools needed? I'll tell him to mate the in and out hoses at the firewall for the time being to be able to drive without losing coolant dd
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:42 PM
Dave G. Dave G. is offline
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That truck should have quick connect hose ends. If so, the hoses would be problematic to join together and bypass the core. If there is no visible leaking into the cab, and the coolant level isn't dropping that you can see (or him), I'd leave it be until you can work on it. A little early in the spring to disconnect it. The a/c lines may be in the way. If so, the refrigerant would have to be removed before disconnecting the lines.

Dave
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:43 PM
Dave G. Dave G. is offline
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That truck should have quick connect hose ends. If so, the hoses would be problematic to join together and bypass the core. If there is no visible leaking into the cab, and the coolant level isn't dropping that you can see (or him), I'd leave it be until you can work on it. A little early in the spring to disconnect it. The a/c lines may be in the way. If so, the refrigerant would have to be removed before disconnecting the lines.

Dave
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:35 PM
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heater core

I had this problem, yes, heater core. It's about $800 to fix, dash has to come off. Since it's not cold now, he can cut the line in the engine to stop flow to heater core. This stops the leak, but you'll have no cabin heat. I can get away with this in Arizona.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:08 PM
seleberry seleberry is offline
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heater core..??

2001 F-150. Heater works fine, defroster doesn't work well, although lots of air blows thru windshield vents. A/C works fine. No leaks inside or out.

COOLANT smell is killing me. Is this the heater core?

Chilton makes the work sound tedious but not terribly tough (besides the A/C discharging). But other articles saying steering column, steering wheel, has to come off.

Any ideas/advice/thoughts?

Thanks,
SB
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:16 AM
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Johnny Langton Johnny Langton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seleberry View Post
2001 F-150. Heater works fine, defroster doesn't work well, although lots of air blows thru windshield vents. A/C works fine. No leaks inside or out.

COOLANT smell is killing me. Is this the heater core?

Chilton makes the work sound tedious but not terribly tough (besides the A/C discharging). But other articles saying steering column, steering wheel, has to come off.

Any ideas/advice/thoughts?

Thanks,
SB
I'd say yes, it is the heater core.
No need to discharge the A/C, the dash comes completely out, and this also means that you're dropping and removing the steering column as a complete unit-steering wheel and all. I've done a few of them, and I can do the complete job in approx 5 hours now. The first one took me nearly 12 hrs.
JL
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:05 AM
seleberry seleberry is offline
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Thanks JL. Exactly what I was wondering
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:05 PM
paker paker is offline
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Youtube has a shortcut video. Basically, accessing the heater core by cutting the plastic panel behind the glove box. See if it applies to your year.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:46 PM
seleberry seleberry is offline
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Thanks. I'll check it out
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