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Re: need to flush the heatercore
Your heater core has gone out, thats why there is no heat and thats from leakage of antifreeze. Usually when you can smell burnt antifreeze it usually points to a blown head gasket or cracked head, smell your exhaust and if you smell antifreeze theres your culprit
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This I understand, a burnt smell coming through your vents, but how do you know it is the engine overheating? You said you have no gauge warning. Is your antifreeze disappearing? In other words are you having to refill the antifreeze? Is the van stopping and steaming? Stalling? The reason I ask is if you are not loosing antifreeze something else could be going on. Antifreeze does not smell "burnt." Antifreeze smells sweet like cinnamon. Give me some more details like what going on other than the smell and how is this effecting the driving of the car?
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these trucks are famous for plugged heatercores,what you do is,remove both hoses to heatercore at firewall, mark there location, next cut two peices of heater hose, about 12 inches long, slide on the heatercore where the hoses where, then use a water hose and flush in both directions a few times, then you should have heat, also if its been a while i would also have the cooling system flushed out, hope this helps. good luck.
Seeral things possible, if your water is rust colored it is way past needed changing causing it to overheat as the coolant is designed to keep the car from overheating in summer and freezing in winter. Another thing is if you have recently added fluid and put Dex cool (is orange) in a vehicle thats not designed to run it you can also get overheating and have heard stories of it plugging up lines in vehicles. Try smelling it (pull the radiator cap/overflow bottle ) "DO NOT DO THIS WHEN THE CAR IS HOT" Does it smell burned or have a sweet pleasant smell. If burnt smell its been in too long and needs to be flushed and refilled. If sweet smell may be Dex cool and make sure your car can run on it (call auto parts store Auto Zone etc..) if not designed to run on it you still need to flush and refill with correct antifreeze 50/50 mix should be green. 3 is all checks out look at your Tstat it could be sticking and if sticking (not opening all the way) will cause your overheating issue. Could also be water pump and bad head gasket at worse case scenario. have it checked by a reputable radiator/repair shop
Are your antifreeze 50/50 mix. Too much antifreeze ratio will cause over heating, the antifreeze will start to gel when it get's hot causing poor circulation. Water is the best liquid for heat transfer but it will also boil over and steam out the radiator cap, that is why antifreeze is added to keep this from happening. Looks like you have covered most of the base on your cooling system, Did you do a complete cooling system flush to get some of the corrosion out and it's been know for the orange antifreeze when gelled will clog up the cooling system. Make surer you have 50/50 mix and if you not sure you can buy a antifreeze meter at any large parts store like Auto Zone. Keep me posted, be glad to help.
Check the hoses going to inlet and outlet to heater core. You may have accidentaly hooked them up backwards since you said you flushed the heater core out. Also did the barsleak have the aluminum filings in it?