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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I have been getting a nice syrupy smell when I put my defrosters on and I realized it must be a coolant leak. My only problem is I don't know where its leaking from. Any ideas on what to do?
 

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u need to get a coolant pressure tester and pump the pressure up to the pressure ur cooling system is at max and it will simulate the pressure to without the motor running. then u will need to search for the leak!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know there isn't a leak in the truck, atleast yet. So when I pump the pressure in, is the leak just going show from that cause of all the pressue? Sorry I am dumb to this.. If its the heatcore, how hard is it to replace and cost?
 

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yes basically it is so u can look for the leak without having the motor running (dangerous looking for a leak near a water pump with the mech. fan running) are you getting any fluids in the floorboard of the cab?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nope no fluids on the inside. My sisters bf actually told me it was a leak cause he is a mechanic and he smelt it when I was bringing them to the airport. Before he left he checked under the dash and felt nothing and saw nothing of a leak on the inside, and I haven't either.
 

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Looks like the dash has to come out to get to that heater core!
 

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The heater core is incased in plastic covers so you may not see leaks on the carpet.
Yeah, they don't usually just dump the coolant into the passenger floorboard like they did in the "old days", but they do usually have a vent somewhere to dump the leaking coolant. If the vent outlet isn't readily visible somewhere, maybe stop by a Dodge dealer and have a mechanic tell you where the vent line exits so that you can see if any coolant residue is showing up there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I a hoping to be able and do the pressue test tomorrow, I am borrowing one from a friend. Then if I need to I will shoot to a dealership and see if they can show me the vent you guys are talking about.
 

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I may be late to the game but the vent you are looking for is on the passenger side of the truck, under the hood on the firewall. Looks like a small solid hose poking out. Its the same place your a/c condensation leaks from as the a/c condenser and heater core live in the same HVAC box. How did the pressure test come out? Are you losing any coolant? Does the "syrupy" smell coming from the defroster smell like the same stuff that in your radiator?

I was losing a small amount of coolant, and couldnt figure out where it was going. I never got as far as doing a pressure test though, as the first cold snap of 2011 where the heater was needed revealed much the same smell you are experiencing. When you have a heater core leak in a truck like ours there are only 2 things you can do to fix, this:



Or this:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I did the pressue test and it showed that there is a leak, small on but there is a leak. The pressure went down by really slow. Couldn't find a leak though. I actually didn't smell the fluid in radiator I'll do that tomarrow. I did check the resevior on the coolant, and it is below the cold line pretty good, can this cause anything?

One of my hoses was pretty soft as well, so I was thinking of changing all hoses first, do another pressure test to see if that did it, and if not maybe yank the truck apart :(
 

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Can you see any coolant leaks coming from the engine, waterpump, hoses etc? If so that may be where your coolant is going. Anti freeze has sort of a syrupy smell, and there is only one way to get that smell in the cab with the use of defrost or heat only, and thats a leak in the HVAC box, the heater core is the only thing in there that anti freeze running through it. As stated before, your floor no longer gets wet unless the thing grenedes in there as any extra will siphon off out of the a/c drain.

In my particular truck the floor immediately under the box didnt get wet, but when I pulled the carpet back to pull the dash out, the carpet padding was wet mid way to the seat.

If you end up doing your core, or anything else that will cause a loss of coolant, I suggest you change everything that will cause a coolant loss as the G-05 anti freeze our trucks take isnt exactly cheap at $17 a gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yea I am probably going change heatcore, just gotta wait on the money, I don't know how much it'll cost me for a shop to do it :/
 

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I dont know where you are located, but in my area the average quote was around $800. Its not really a bad job to do yourself. I read some threads about removing the dash after the fact that would have saved me a lot of time had I read them before hand. I will PM you with this information later, its not really as bad as it looks. Even if you decide not to do it yourself or it ends up being some other problem, this is still good information to have.

To do this yourself, some things you may want to keep in mind before hand:

- You will have to evacuate the a/c system to be able to pull that black box completely out of the truck to access the heater core. Having the proper quick disconnect tool at hand to disconnect the a/c lines will save you the frustration of going to the parts store mid job. I caused myself a blood pressure spike because I thought I would be able to get at it without removing the box, boy was I wrong.

- Regarding the a/c lines, once you have everything back together, before you recharge the a/c with 134a, make sure (chec- triple check) that the lines are secured back together. I just pushed them together and forgot about it without making sure they "clicked" together and 4 days later one of them blew off. So I had to re vacuum the system and recharge. It was like throwing $60 out of the window.

- While you are already in this far, consider installing a heater treater kit or replacing your blend doors. These are known to fail on these trucks and the only way to fix them is to take everything apart again.

- If your dash is sun damaged (cracked etc), find a replacement panel that goes near the windshield before you start, because it will shatter on you when you try to unsnap it. The shops wont include this in their original estimate but this piece is about $200 new. If you have the luxury of searching on ebay or in a junk yard to find one in a good condition it will help. In the end I ordered a new panel and bought a color matched cover for both the main dash and that panel.

- The job may get irritating, and piss you off. But when its all put back together and you dont have half of what you would have paid a shop for the repair in it, the sense of satisfaction is overwhelming, as is the fact that you now know your truck better then most people ever get to know their cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yea if you could PM me the info that would be great. Also if you can think of anything else I should do while its all apart that be awesome.

I am going have to look for a new dash mine is cracked, so I will be looking now at some junk yards.
 

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bigdaddy: I agree with ya on that one. It's frustrating enough getting the dash apart to get the heater core out. don't make it worse by not replacing the blend door and having to do it all over again.

Simple trick I did was to pull bolts, then when I moved whatever I was removing out of the way I put those bolts back in part way. Kept me from going "Where did this bolt come from..."

Pulling the dash is not hard, just tedious. Oh and save yourself a bit of headache and go ahead and remove the driver seat so you can get the steering wheel further out of the way.
 
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