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Old 09-25-2010, 02:27 PM   #1
aalegrete
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

Looked around on site and although I couldn't find specific info on 2001 L300, it seems that most Saturn models using quick-connect hose fittings have O-rings. When I called Saturn to get some, they indicate there is no O-ring replacement and that I'd have to spend $250 for a new heater core. Is this correct or is there an O-ring I can replace? If there is, does anyone have the part number and make? Thanks

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Old 09-25-2010, 02:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

Welcome to Saturnfans!

Whoever told you that O-rings don't exist for our hose connections at the heater core is lying. Possibly due to Saturn's demise and scare tactics to generate revenue at this poorly run dealership. Another poster here just joining had found the post about our O-rings but is having difficulty releasing the quick connect couplers.

Search past threads for the O-rings as they can be matched with Grainger's, a distributor for many things. For heater O-rings, only the dimensions are needed as these are plain ones. Saturn replacement price, the last time someone posted, was somewhere around $4 a piece. Price gouging and lying is "just business, nothing personal".

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Old 09-25-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

Thanks fdryer. What I found after looking was the following..

Grainger P/N 1CGN7 or AS568A-210
and
#15 O-Ring purchased at the local hardware store. 1" OD x 3/4" ID x 1/8".

The only issue now is to determine if these will work for my 2001 L300? Every L-Series post with O-ring I searched for was for a different vehicle than mine. The closest was a 2000 or 2002 L200. Are all of these heater core pipes and hoses the same size as mine?

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Old 09-25-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

I don't think heater cores will change sizes from one year to the next for the L-series. I've been wrong before so finding out won't cost much if you're draining to change coolant at this time.

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Old 10-07-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by aalegrete View Post
Thanks fdryer. What I found after looking was the following..

Grainger P/N 1CGN7 or AS568A-210
and
#15 O-Ring purchased at the local hardware store. 1" OD x 3/4" ID x 1/8".

The only issue now is to determine if these will work for my 2001 L300? Every L-Series post with O-ring I searched for was for a different vehicle than mine. The closest was a 2000 or 2002 L200. Are all of these heater core pipes and hoses the same size as mine?
Any news on whether or not these parts worked? I need to replace those o-rings on my L-300 and would like to know if those parts worked. Thanks

The o-ring at the heater core / coolant line junction leaks when the ambient temperature drops below 50F degrees. I did not loose any coolant over the summer but now that the temps are falling the coolant loss has started. After reading the posts here I am 99.9% confident that the cause of the coolant loss is the o-ring issue.

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Old 11-04-2011, 05:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

I called about O rings for my car today and I was told that they (GM) didn't sell the O rings separately and that I would have to buy a new heater core. He then said that there is also a heater core pipe kit and that would be how I could also get the O rings.

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Old 11-04-2011, 08:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

Search through past posts about our heater cores leaking. There are two areas; at the firewall with worn hoses that use quick connects (no O-rings) and the pipes from the firewall to the heater core, inside the car that do use O-rings. Two areas of possible leak sites; one needs new hoses, either OEM (expensive) or just plain hoses with worm clamps and the the pipes inside the car that leaks and needs new O-rings.

The O-ring/pipe size doesn't change from year to year. It would be impractical. I'd use the local hardware store O-ring/Grainger #15, whichever is cheaper.

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Old 12-25-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

I'm now getting this leaking issue and have come to the conclusion that it is the heater core inside the car on the passenger side. The only question I have is how complicated is the replacement job? Do I need to drain any fluid from the car before I pull these hoses? Do I need to lift the car for any reason?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old 12-26-2011, 01:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

If you are certain that a heater core leak is occurring, remove the right side console panel to have access to the heater core plumbing. Search the past threads for pictures other members posted. You'll see what's involved. And coolant will have to be drained in order to disconnect the plumbing to minimize coolant draining into the car interior.

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

If your passenger side carpet is wet with coolant, chances are that it is only the O-rings that are leaking. You do not need to drain the system. You just need to have a shallow rectangular pan ready to catch the small amount of coolant that comes out when you disconnect the heater pipes. Changing the heater core isn't a whole lot more work, as you only need to remove one screw and a retainer clamp to slide it out once the pipes are off. Given the $2 for the O-rings and the half hour it takes to change them you would be better off getting to it than questioning the advice you have.

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Old 12-31-2011, 10:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

So it was an easy DIY thanks to you guys. Appreciate the help but have another question related to this issue. So the O-rings are replaced and approximately 1.5 quarts of Dex coolant came out. How do I get that put back in?

I looked at the manual on refilling coolant into the engine and it talked about turning up the heat to the max and running the engine until the thermostat turns on the fan which starts pulling the coolant through the engine. However, after attempting that, it's not pulling in any new coolant from the reservoir. I watch the thermostat so I don't over heat the car and it appears to maintain at the midway mark but not sure what to do to get the coolant flowing again. So I'm not sure what is next.

Thanks again

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Old 12-31-2011, 11:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

Saturn doesn't have any shut off valve for the heater core so coolant always circulates non stop. Shutting off heat consists of moving the blend door to stop air flow through the heater core and mixing with the air intake ventilation. Saturns also use an automatic purge system and simply refilling the coolant reservoir should be enough and a follow up the next day to top off. The self purging system usually moves all air from the system into the coolant container without idling the car and waiting for the t-stat to open. Since the heater core is always open then coolant is always circulating. Always circulating unless someone used sealer in the past or the cooling system was never flushed periodically to replace old with new. In these cases the heater core can clog and block coolant flow. The usual remedy is reverse flushing the heater core and two lines.

While it may be easy to suggest simply replacing the O-rings to solve a leaking heater core, it may not be obvious that the cooling system needs a complete flush with fresh water and in some cases a reverse flushing of the heater core to flush out what ever caused the clogged core/lines.

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Old 01-01-2012, 12:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

do i dare ask what the steps are for reverse flushing the system or is that something i would need done by a professional?

happy new years

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Old 01-01-2012, 03:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

There is no rocket science to reverse flushing a heater core.

1-Drain coolant from the engine for reuse or in preparation for new coolant.
2-Disconnect the two heater core hoses from the engine so the hoses and heater core are ready for force feeding garden hose water.
3-Butt connect a garden hose to one hose and wrap tightly with a rag and run water through until it comes out the other hose clear. Use about half water pressure, just enough to make water flow through with a good stream coming out the other end.
4-Switch the garden hose over to the other hose for 'reverse' flushing and run water through until clear water runs out the first hose.

If done correctly and water flows out then the hoses and heater core are free flowing. Any clog will usually blow out almost immediately with garden hose pressure. The garden hose connections don't have to be tight as much as preventing leaks while forcing water through the hose/heater core/hose. By switching the flow into the other hose just ensures water flow both ways to force any blockage to quickly flush out. Using water pressure is more than enough to flush out virtually any blockage. Performing this flush will demonstrate how coolant flows easily through an unblocked heater core while ensuring the person performing the flush experiences the process.

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Old 01-01-2012, 07:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

In the process of doing this now but wanted to make sure I had the right heater core hoses on the engine side. I see 4 coming out of the dash. 2 silver ones that make a hard left (facing the front of the car) and 2 more that go into the engine. I pulled those but found no evidence of coolant so I was just double checking to shove water into these tubes.

Thanks again for your help

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Old 01-01-2012, 08:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

The bottom two quick couplers are the heater core connections.
Attached Images
File Type: gif heater core connections.gif (30.0 KB, 144 views)

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Old 01-01-2012, 09:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

Ok, well the job is done. And to throw up a disclaimer, this is the first coolant drain I've ever done. (and I had to buy jack stands for this )

Dumped in the new coolant with the 50/50 Water / Dex-cool coolant mixture. It accepted about 3 quarts and the heater is working again. However, I'm still not sure the car accepted enough coolant.

And yes (after I poured it in and cleaned everything up), I realized that the Dex-cool coolant from GM is a 50/50 mix already and I wasn't supposed to add water to the mixture according to the container.

I even think I might have slightly smudged up the foam behind the heater core.

I appreciate all your help. I'll have to figure out what I've ruined down the road after the mess ups listed above.

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

I just had the leaking heater core o-ring problem yesterday,and what I tried first was using a new 1''x3/4 x1/8 regular o-ring it helped but still had a small seep,than I wrapped a couple wraps of teflon tape on the end of the hose where the o-ring and plastic ring seat,then reinstalled the originals and so far no leaks.I only had the lower one leaking at this time.

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Old 01-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

I am about to purchase a replacement o-ring myself. Is the 1"OD, 3/4", 1/8" thickness the correct o-ring or is there a slightly different size that works better?

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Old 01-26-2012, 01:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2001 L300 Heater Core/Hose Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDaddyGuns View Post
Any news on whether or not these parts worked? I need to replace those o-rings on my L-300 and would like to know if those parts worked. Thanks

The o-ring at the heater core / coolant line junction leaks when the ambient temperature drops below 50F degrees. I did not loose any coolant over the summer but now that the temps are falling the coolant loss has started. After reading the posts here I am 99.9% confident that the cause of the coolant loss is the o-ring issue.
Yes they do, I had a leak and bought the #15 o-ring from home depot and it worked great..... The hardest thing for me was getting the hose back into the core, it seems to have to go in at the exact angle. I was having trouble getting the hose back in there and thought that the o-ring was too thick but once I wiggled it around some and it aligned correctly it slid in quit easily. I also moved the clip holding the core in place so that I could move the core around some as I tried to get the hose back in......Would recommend using a pan to catch fluid in as some leaks out in the floor while you have the hose unhooked. I would also suggest you remove the pressure cap to ensure there is no pressure in the system and ensure the engine has cooled.

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