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Old 01-04-2013, 06:18 AM   #1
dallastowboy22
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1997 SL1
Dazed Heater Core or Water Pump?

ok i have a 97 SL1 ...been a great car... very reliable for 7 years now... but recently i have had a coolant issue with it. 2 months ago i noticed that the coolant light would start blinking and i could find no leak... now im no mechanic but i have been patching my cars and trucks back together since i was 15 years old in 1985.
but could not find a leak.. put water in it every couple days.. the a/c stopped cooling.. the compressor still turned on but no cold air all of a sudden. then a hair line crack appeared in the top of the radiator tank. when i would hit the throttle it would shoot a fine little mist spray out of the crack. so i tried JB WELD on the plastic tank. amazingly enough that appeared to seal that crack. but now a real leak is started basicly pouring out water about as fast as i put it in. its leaking from the passenger side in the area of water pump, reservoir tank.. but now in january and i noticed that the heater does not work. it blows just fine. but never gets even slightly warm. does a leaking/ bad water pump make the heater not work?? or could it be a bad heater core or hose? there is no water inside the car... but im just wondering if anyone has had a similar problem... i just have to take the wheel off and find the leak.. im pretty sure it needs a new WP but could a bad thermostat or bad or clogged heater core have caused this? ...

...
dallastowboy

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
93sl1blue
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Default Re: Heater Core or Water Pump?

Yes the thermostat will cause a no/low heat issue. what you describe sounds like it is stuck open.

FWIW, you never get good heat if it doesn't hold any water/coolant. You need to fix all the water leaks. which brings me to, how are you driving it if it doesn't hold water?

as far as coolant loss, fix the leaks and recheck all levels. I think the radiator was 95% of the initial coolant loss. There have been issues with them cracking but on the drivers side - right below the upper hose connection where the trans cool lines attach. It starts slow and then gets worse which is probably why you never saw a puddle under the car but were missing coolant. it dried before it hit the ground!

A new water pump is a must it sounds like. Not sure about the heater core because of the thermostat being in question.

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Heater Core or Water Pump?

Until you fix the water pump you can't worry about anything else. With the WP not creating any flow, there's nothing for the heater core to use to transfer heat...

'91-'99ish the A/C won't work no matter what you do if outside temp is below about 45f.

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Heater Core or Water Pump?

If you want the car to run right then replace the radiator (not patch it) and thermostat. When the radiator work begins, examine the water pump for leaks and replace it if necessary.

The more plain water is used the more likely the cooling system will corrode further. Anti-freeze prevents corrosion and over heating. The heater core may corrode if plain water is continually used so the sooner the radiator/t-stat/water pump repairs are done along with a full flush, the sooner the system is filled with anti-freeze.

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Old 01-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #5
richet
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1997 SC2
Default Re: Heater Core or Water Pump?

I just replaced a water pump a week ago, 140,000 miles. It had been spraying for a while but turned into a faucet all off a sudden. What usually goes is the bearing seal although I have seen gaskets fail. If it is the gasket you should do the pump also. No point going through the hassle twice. Richpin has a nice video of the work.

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Old 01-04-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
richet
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Default Re: Heater Core or Water Pump?

I should also say I had a heat problem a couple of years ago. I had replaced the thermostat but then the problem occurred again. I disconnected the two lines going into the heater core from underneath the car and flushed and backflushed the core 3 or 4 times. You would be surprised how much junk can collect in there. Boom, instant heat.

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