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I have a 1993 DodgeB250 Van, V6. I was driving for about 1.5 hours straight and right when I was about to get home I started smelling coolant. I then noticed the engine temp gauge slowly creeping up. I pulled over and let the vehicle cool off for a while. A lot of smoke was coming form under the engine and coolant was all over the place under the hood. I then drove down the road a little ways, about 1 mile and then pulled over again. This is where my vehicle sits now until I can get a ride back to it. This time smoke was even coming into the cabin a little bit. The van was driving fine through the drive. It started making some weird little noise as I was pulling up to the final spot. Hopefully it is okay. I was wondering what steps I should take it diagnosing and fixing the problem. Is it also true I should now change the transmission fluids and filter. I heard that could be compromised by an overheated engine? THANKS! I appreciate any help!
To start you where smart for leaving the van alone to cool off... This way you avoid a serious burn.
When you check the vehicle out I would do a quick look over of the radiator hoses and fan even look for a loose fan belt. Try to shake the fan a little bit to see if it is loose. If your water pump went, your fan may have cut through the hose (since the fan in most cars is mount directly onto the waterpump), this would cause all the smoke and coolant all over. Its also possible that a hose simply came off of a connection, or the radiator developed a leak.
Just a few areas to look at. Let us know what you find.
I'm looking for advice on whether to repair or not. My elderly mother has a 2003 Hyndai Elantra with 100k miles on it. We bought it from a shady car dealership (mistake we've had to learn a hard lesson from) last year. Since then, the radiator has burst (fixed radiator cap as well), then a few months later the upper radiator hose burst. Both times the mechanic checked for head gasket leaks and said he found nothing.
Today, the bypass hose burst open. It's $160 to fix, including coolant flush. At this point, she simply needs a car to get her to and from doctors and senior activities -- she is extremely low income and can't afford a new car. I'm struggling with what to do. Why would all of these things go wrong if not for a faulty engine? The mechanic says it could just be bad hoses because it's a 12 year old car ... is this possible? The car does not overheat until these things end up going bad. It does tend up heat up quickly, but it doesn't go above where it should be ever.
Any advice is much appreciated -- I know the smart answer is to junk the car and replace, but since she cannot do that, I'm at a loss as to if fixing this is a bad idea.
Yes, hoses have a life span and 10 years is about it. They may look good on the outside, but are not looking good inside. The bypass hose on those get hard as a rock with age and use. Radiators cracking and leaking is common. The expansion and contraction of the plastic side tanks eventually causes them to crack. Especially up near the upper rad hose connection.
I'm just surprised they didn't recommend to replace all the hoses when one blew out, especially on a Hyundai.
Thank you! I meant to add, the car has lost heating only once and today, before the hose burst, the car stalled during idle.
Are there any other tests that could prove a head gasket faulty? It seems like I have to get the hose fixed to rule out any additional problems at this point, but last time the combustion test showed no leaks.
Thanks again for any help!
There are a few different ways to test for a head gasket but unfortunately, many of them are a bit unreliable and inconclusive. The one way I found to be very reliable and accurate is to use an exhaust analyzer to sniff the hydrocarbons at the filler cap with the engine at operating temp.
Tough call and as DS said why weren't all hoses done when first one blew out? That with radiator the cap probably couldn't release pressure first and possible oil from transmission weakened rubber hoses but should have all been noted.
Head gasket diag could be tough too as HT said.
I hear you, money short and perhaps you are paying for this up to needing the head gasket job, any other hoses or items not up to date.
Think of it like this: If you give up on it you know you'll get almost nothing for it so you are now faced with plain cost of transportation to fix this or get another something - right? You already know or should more about this car and think I'd fix this one rather than take on another and new unknown problems all over again,
Tom, first of all, thanks for your great advice, I've read alot of threads and have found them to be very informative and useful. My question is about replacing the heater core on a 99 Blazer. Do I have to take he dash apart or can I just get to it from the firewall? I've done everything I can think of except checking the actuator as my heat problem. Flushed, replaced all hoses except top radiator hose, thermostat, etc. the works! Also, how can I access the actuator "door" to see if it is stuck somehow? Also, do I have to use "Dex-cool" antifreeze? I bought some Prestone that claims it can be used in any vehicle, even Chevy/GM. I appreciate any advice you can give me on this headache I'm about to delve into. You're the man!
You do not have to use Dex-Cool and I actually won't use it again in anything. If you read the container it's just EG = ethylene/glycol but just came with a lie that it would outlast the others. Quality of additives is the whole enchilada. The Prestone colorless is at least not going to mess up the different colors which are just dyes anyway.
1999 Blazer Heater Core: Ouch! That is the full size pup like Suburbans - right? If so that's a huge job - whole dash off and hit back if you want to do that and I'll try to scope out some advice from folks who have done several for A/C work and replaced the heater core as it was there in the process so most would toss it.
Hit back with what you want to do with this. I forgot the original complaint with this??
Thank you for the reply. Yeah, I'm going to have to replace the heater core. If I had the money, I would pay someone else to do it but....I was wondering where the actuator door is to check if it is stuck somehow. Thanks again!
There are more than just one door to divert air flow. What was the original problem or existing problem? Heater core itself should be fine unless it's leaking coolant or plugged solid and can't be flushed out,
I'm not getting any heat in the cabin. I've replaced the heater hoses, thermostat, lower radiator hose, and drive belt. Still no heat! I assumed it was the heater core, which I've flushed out. what are the locations of the air diverter's?
All these doors either are moved by actuators electrically or by a vacuum diaphragm at the direction of the control panel. As you know it selects hot or cold, which ducts to vent thru and fresh or recirculated air. The amount of heat will be blended as to your liking. I haven't heard of many problems with the doors themselves.
You heater core itself if not leaking and could let water flush thru is not the problem and that's good news for now.
I don't have a blow-up diagram of this whole distribution box or the wiring to and from controls to help us with this. Does this behave as far as A/C and directing the air flow as requested, vents, high and low, defrost vents and floor etc? Even on just asking for "vent" air it probably would let heat thru if you selected vent and the warmest setting. Like many people you probably shut the temp to full cold for the whole off A/C season so the blend door for the heater core has been shut for a while and may just be stuck there. They are just funky choke plates kind of. It's possible to get at this one or others thru the glove box or getting creative with what can get out of the way.
Does it feel like the control knob for temp really changes anything or do you hear anything? Problem could be there?? I think that same knob would give you less cool for A/C request and you would notice that and rule that out if that works that way. Too cold where I am right now to test out anything with A/C as far as how cool it can get.
Test out what you can and let's see if we can pin this down. Again - is this the full size Blazer or the S-10 size? The name got used for both and I don't know which year means which??
It would be nice to get this fixed while in place as I'm almost sure you have to evacuate/disconnect the A/C system to remove the distribution box and then you'd have to know how to deal with that,
It is the S-10 model, the smaller of the 2. The vents all seem to work with the change of the knob from top to bottom. I was on a trip about 60 miles away and had heat all the way there and then on the way home about 4 hours later it was blowing cold air. I had been having electrical problems before and changed the alternator which straightened out the electrical problems but still no heat. Could the low volts during that period cause a relay or electrical powered switch to not work properly now? I will check my manual after work to see of any vacuum or electrical switches to or from the heater. I've checked all fuses and relays and they seem fine visually. The heater core is not leaking at all and when I flushed it a small amount of coolant came out and then clean water. I flushed it from both ways to be sure. Thanks for all your help.
Check out this link below! This uses a heater control valve and that's the likely problem and could be a piece of cake!!!! I just searched that out for parts to see if I could find a diagram and stumbled on that! This means the temp is controlled by the flow of water which is adjust by this item. Part might be fine and just getting wrong info. This probably has nothing to do with tearing up the distribution box at all! I'm going to go back there and see if that shows more on that thing. In the mean time check the wiring going to it and connections. The mechanical force should be vacuum not cable and I'll be the default position when no vacuum is available is to shut it off, thus no heat!
Right on, Tom! Thanks a million! I'll check it out.
Just to check back and tell you guys my solution: I picked the brain of our local mechanic and he explained I didn't have the aforementioned heater control valve and that it was only equipped in higher end GM vehicles. After several troubleshooting tries, I filled the radiator and overflow reservoir and finally got some heat albeit lukewarm and intermittent. I decided the water pump was at fault and noticed after using a mirror I was getting a small amount of leakage from the weep hole at the bottom of the pump. I ordered a new pump today and will let you know how things go after install. Thanks!
Tom, its me again!Hope you have a great new year. I'm still having problems getting full heat in my 99 Blazer. I've checked everything I can imagine and replaced virtually all heating elements except the heater core which flushed out just fine. I removed the coolant reservoir the other day and cleaned it out really well. I found a blockage in the reservoir and thought for sure I found the problem but still only lukewarm heat and sometimes cold. One thing I have noticed is that the ac compressor cycles on sometimes when no call for ac is present. Why? I've also noticed a change in air flow when switching from defrost, front vents, and floor. The floor dramatically drops air flow. Thanks for any help!
This is getting to be enough to read and follow! Ok: A/C can kick compressor on on defrost or perhaps a mix setting - it does that just to circulate oils to preserve the compressor in off season - doesn't make cold and must shut down when cold or it would kill the compressor. If worried about that just uplug it and tie it off safely for winter. Again - it can't make cold in weather below about 40-50F as the refrigerant wouldn't evaporate at all and it's not designed to be a freezer so forget that for now.
You said you had good water flow when flushing out core? If so then there should be enough left to core to blow decent heat. It could be covered in dirt/dust who knows in there and that could be a problem. I think this is a diverter door problem and you don't want that but let's see if we can smart it out.
If you have a cabin air filter replace it. I don't think this does but do check on that.
Feel the heater hoses with engine warmed up and heater on. Smaller should be hot to the touch and the larger (return) should feel cooler but not ice cold. If both are cold I have to think of something. If both are piping hot then no heat is exchanging at heater core which could be a diverter door/flap not allowing air to flow thru it.
Back to dirt in there possibilities: Has this been exposed to excessive dust, pollen, pine needles etc.? The air flow has me thinking about this. There are some trick without taking the whole vehicle apart if that's the problem.
May want to start a new thread with the "state of the state" now as when these get this long they are hard to follow and know what's already been ruled out. Stay warm,
Hey guys! I have just come across this same problem. I have replaced my radiator, thermostat, all hoses and the heater core, and I still do not have heat. My car has the exact same symptoms that sonordrumr has.
Once in a while I will feel heat, but for a very short time, then its right back to cool air. I have had many opinions and noone can seem to figure this out...
Any help is greatly appreciated... it's -6 here in Chicago, and this is my only means of transportation, and no heat hurts :(.
This thread started in 2007!
Please start a new one with your specific vehile and let's go from there,
This thread started in 2007!
Please start a new one with your specific vehile and let's go from there,
HELP i have no heat or ac. Themo repalced, flush rad,switched hose Chevy Balzer 2000
What part of start another thread didn't you understand?
Only GOD knows HT??
just wanted to jump in with my 2 cents
the a/c compressor will cycle on in the defrost setting to dehumidify the air inside the cabin.
helps on cold days to defrost windows better too.
ever ridden in a car with no a/c or a/c not working, on a rainy day/night....takes forever to clear all the glass
I'm not the smartest person with cars so please bare with me. I have a 2000 Ford Mustang 3.8L 162k miles. Everything under the hood Is stock besides the radiator, radiator hoses, alternator, sparkplugs and sparkplug wires. About a month ago I had a head gasket leak which was very small but did enough damage to turn my oil completely white and force me to pull my car on the side of the road from smoke. The car would barely start and if it did, it would shut off in 2 seconds. But thank God a local mechanic came to my aid and managed to get my car to the shop down the road. He sealed the gaskets with some kind of high dollar sealant material and it has worked so far cause I check my oil
regularly and it is the color its suppose to be. No white whats so ever. Bit in the past 2 weeks there's been a weird noise coming from under my hood. It doesn't make any sense to me and I hope someone will know whats going on. If I leave my car sitting over night it cranks up normally but there is a very loud knocking noise coming from right under the oil cap/coil pack/spark plug area. Its very quick but whenever I start driving it eventually goes.away whenever I get.into 2nd or 3rd gear and doesn't not come back. Even if I leave my car sitting for a while during the day and there is just a little bit of heat still on the engine it will not make the noise when I crank up. Only on cold starts. But it recently I the past couple days hasn't done it at all. Even when it sits over night. I've read that it would be a spark plug, exhaust leak or a lifter. My first though would be a lifter but I don't understand it because it doesn't constantly make the noise and does not mess up the driving of the car. It runs great. But if anyone knows what this problem could be, please help! Any advice will be greatly appreciated
I had a head gasket leak which was very small but did enough damage to turn my oil completely white and force me to pull my car on the side of the road from smoke. The car would barely start and if it did, it would shut off in 2 seconds. But thank God a local mechanic came to my aid and managed to get my car to the shop down the road. He sealed the gaskets with some kind of high dollar sealant material and it has worked so far cause I check my oil
Let me recap here.......
Your engine suffered a major internal failure that filled the crankcase with coolant. You continued to drive it until it wouldn't run any more, then you got a so called, mechanic to get it to run more to drive it to his so called shop. You buy so so called "Mechanic in a Can" and you think you have resolved your problems.
Man, are you wrong. Coolant is not a lubricant. Running an engine with coolant mixed with the oil, for even a minute of two, will do permanent engine damage. There is no junk in a can anywhere that is going to undo that or even resolve the head gasket problem. Your car needs a new engine at this point and you are just on borrowed time.
I agree with HT. Engine is toast and you should start looking for a replacement engine or another vehicle.
Shane: Now that makes 3 including me - engine sustained too much damage and is done now despite still running it's any time now will repeat or really act up badly again. Magic in a can isn't a cure just sometimes buys some time which is unknown but only for last ditch attempts when YOU AREN'T going to fix the problem. I think it was too late when you first noticed unfortunately.
Barely matters but what you are no doubt noticing now is oil pressure is NOT getting around because of worn engine parts on a 162K engine already is enough for many.
It got a bit colder and that alone will bring out the faults faster which is somewhat why it can go away after warming up some.
Consider it a lost engine but if you still want to try for a little more time to find an engine a couple approaches may work or make it worse than it is now.
1. Change oil again now and go with like a 0-40 viscosity oil might get more oil faster thru a partly plugged up oil pump pick up screen or make it wildly worse right away.
2. OK - If that's worse more mechanic in a can. Drain out 1/2 quart and use the old fashioned (any brand) but STP which is thick as an oil additive can be and still pour out of a can brings viscosity (thickness) up. Same, will make it much worse or better quickly noticed.
3. Last try IMO is just change oil again totally with the regular suggested oil and hope you are at least back to before doing anything and wasting some oils and filters each time.
It happened. It was fake repaired with whatever mechanic put in it and apparently changed the oil then too. Head gaskets don't heal that way and most don't even slow down real head gasket problems which isn't the point as the damage is done.
NOW - When open again plain call your local salvage yards for an inventory of exact engine, tested and known mileage in stock. Have your VIN# ready to make an EXACT match no games. Ask that place what shops will even consider doing an engine swap with their engines and a short warranty that it's good. Most would give you another engine but not the labor again.
IMO - all new probably not worth it at all. If the car is otherwise exceptional I'd fix it with used and if other issues known now in general swap out for another car if used have it fully checked out ahead of purchase by a REAL shop.
The first mechanic got it going - fine - but if you weren't told that was a fake fix with about no chance of solving or curing this engine I wouldn't go there again.
I've done a couple of those fake patch fixes both with no assurance the vehicle would move another mile and both were headed out for a new car the next day - that's it for that crap,
Thanks y'all. I told ya I wasn't the smartest guy. But I've already got a truck so I'm not worried about that part. And it wasn't an on going thing whenever the head gasket blew. It was a split second thing out of no where. But there honestly aint a mechanic around here that I trust but at the moment I had no other options.
It's not so much if you are so car smart you have to know who is in your area. It costs a fortune for training then tons more for tools and equipment so people think the repair biz is just a rip off too much.
Your problem with gasket or whatever caused it was probably giving off tell-tale signs of trouble long before and I can't know that either.
Find the right place and tech or techs. Avoid (IMO) the super fast, bargain places for real anything for the most part. Plain oil changing puts your whole engine at risk every time so a bargain from a place or person with little or no experience isn't a bargain at all for even that much.
Find the right place as said,
Yeah that's true. The guy I took it to is honestly the most trustworthy one within 50miles imo. Hes a one man show cause he can't find anyone who is decent. And truthfully the car didn't show ny signs of engine wear in the time I drove it. The guy before me dogged the hell out of it and I took it easy so I reckon it was just slowly falling apart without my knowledge.
Being honest and being knowledgeable are 2 different qualities and you really need to find a mechanic with both. An honest guy is worthless if he doesn't know what he's doing and a skilled mechanic is worthless if he will rip you off.
Try to stay away from the chain type locations as they have a large turnover and always have somebody at higher levels pushing for more sales. Find an Independent with the right qualities, then stick wit him and don't let price be your guide.
You're right man. I really didn't explain myself too good to start off. The stang was my first car and I've had it for about 3 1/2 years. I bought it for $2800 with 120k. It kind of had a idling problem to start with but the mechanic handled that. And as for the mechanic I didn't explain that well either. He is an independent business guy and his family has been in the business for over 80 years. Hes a very straight forward guy. He DID NOT promise that it fixed the problem but he did say that it would last me a little time to find another viehicle which I already have. He flushed the system out right after he did that sealant stuff. And why he did has held up for the time being. And a lot of mechanic won't leave work to help someone that's a couple miles down the road. He pinpointed the problem right away when he got there and checked every and somehow managed to get my car to crank. But I'm not arguing.g with y'all. I'm still asking if y'all know what that ticking noise. Oils be. The car runs good overall at the moment. Its just the sound that's unknown. And I believe you when. You say that these chain businesses jip people. Could it be a lifter? Because my work hours are totally different then his and it won't make the sound if I drive it to the shop cause of the engine being warm. And I don't wanna bother him after he gets off work
You know, he did probably made the right decision because he knew the motor wasn't going to last even if the head gasket job was done. Plus there was no way of predicting when and if something was going to go out on it. So instead of spending lots of money on a lost cause he gave you the "hail mary" option of head gasket sealant to get you by till you found another engine or car. Like HT stated, once you get coolant in the crankcase, good bye bearings. Would be an interesting experiment to see how long it stays running till it really gives up the ghost.
Just your question "Could it be a lifter" -- on that maybe yes but the reason it needed one if only one was heat, lack of lubrication or more. Seems if that (those more of a tick than a knock) a new one will just lack lube again. Chain reaction, the lack of proper lube to ALL parts isn't even with this if running at all something is still working. The work to redo the whole thing outweighs the value now.
Family biz for generations on end. All for it myself. Doesn't matter what type of biz you still have to adjust to the times if only money exchange. Gee - imagine that pretzel cart that won't take payment from my iPhone thing or something now!
The car biz like all have to keep up with changes like any. Training takes more than just the next model year's book at the ready.
Worked for one of those for a while myself and long ago now. Had in stock in a gas station type shop about all common belts, hoses, bulbs and could fix most tires or had spares, batteries and so on at the ready. Can't fit all those parts now in an airline hangar so forget that. Was nice while that life style lasted. No money no problem. We/+owner knew you and you'd be back and did.
With car anything I find owners of many times the most expensive thing(s) they own they don't know crap about them or how to even care for them and don't want to. Biz and makers react by making vehicles that need little along the way up to about disposable vehicles. One good problem and it exceeds the reasonable cost to fix.
Add for vehicles that you also need a place that can handle all the hazmats, meet fire codes and so on it's just insanely costly so losing out to the quicky nifty places where you get a free cup of coffee and on your way in 15 min, had Wi-Fi available or lose biz - whole game never ends like that. We all lose,
Thank you man. That first paragraph answered everything I wanted to k.own. yes the car just randomly started over heating before all that happened. And basically what your saying is that its not worth fixing. That's all I wanted to hear in a professionally stated comment. I didn't ask about "what do you think the mechanic should've done" but thank you Tom for you opinion. That's all I wanted to hear
I know. He wanted to take the engine apart but I told him not to because I'm not paying more on an engine repair then I payed for the car.and plus I didn't want him spending any.unheeded Money/hours on it