Anti-Freeze smell from Heater Core inside

Old 12-17-07, 12:56 PM
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Anti-Freeze smell from Heater Core inside

Hi Everyone,

My name is Jaz and I hang out at the flooring/ceramic tile forum, so keep that in mind for possible future advice I might be able to offer.

Our '02 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited,(duel temp zones) developed an antifreeze smell last spring. No sign of any fluid anywhere, just a slight smell. Had a shop recommended by the inlaws do the work. Replaced heater core, replaced or repaired A/C evaporator at the same time while dash was out. They also did some other unrelated work, like brakes and tune up, etc.

When work was finished we still had an anti-freeze smell, I thought it would go away soon. After the entire summer, the smell was still there and actually worse than in the first place. Asked the shop what was going on, reply was that they fixed the "leak" and the 'smell" is not something they have responsibility for. They claim that when there is a leak, the fluid gets in to some foam panels that coat the control doors. They claim that although we brought it in for the 'smell', (since there was no visible fluid) that the leak is fixed and they aren't doing anything else to get rid of it. They did try some spray stuff from the dealer a while ago though. It did nothing.

Of course I disagree with this reply. Then about 3 weeks ago when the weather got colder, and the first time someone sat in the passenger's seat, we noticed there was only cold air coming from the right side vents. Floor, dash and windshield. I took the car back assuming he may have messed that up too. Although I'm willing to believe that it's not related and it just failed. Did I mention that the dash speakers were blown when we got the car back the first time?

What do you guys think? Is it normal for these foam panels to get saturated? Is it possible or likely he didn't remove the 'box' properly, didn't wash it properly or something else? He told me that when the 'box' is removed, it causes fluid to spill inside and so he used a bunch of rags to catch it. Is that the right way to remove it? Shouldn't the heater hoses first be detached from the engine block allowing some of the fluid to drain out? That way the 'box' and or heater core won't spill the excess anti freeze and ruin the foam?

He nows says he will replace the door motor, try to wash to box and charge only for the motor and gives us a 'deal' by charging "ONLY" 4 hours labor. He was supposed to remove and re-install the dash at N/C, clean the box better and only charge for extras he didn't charge for in the first repair. Does this sound right to you guys?

I don't expect any single one of you guys to answer all the questions alone. Please answer what you have time for.

Jaz...........Merry Christmas to all!
Old 12-17-07, 03:35 PM
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I think I would run the heater directed to the floor full blast with the a/c compressor engaged for an hour or so to see if the combination of the heater drying and the a/c removing moisture will not get rid of the smell before spending money that may be un-necessary. Have a good one. Geo
Old 03-16-09, 09:00 AM
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I had a leak in my heater core too where fluid was leaking onto the carpet. It has been more than a year and it still stinks. If anyone knows of a chemical that eliminates that stink I would like to know. I don't want to drive around smelling antifreeze for the next ten years
Old 03-19-09, 10:30 AM
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Clean it all with starter fluid
Old 03-19-09, 10:36 AM
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Starter fluid? Ether? Don't think I'd do that..just wonder how it would affect the fibers and backing? As well as a fire hazard if you

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