I'm sorry. I originally posted a request for help with a 1999 Mercury Sable heater problem. I guess our car is a '98, not '99. In any case, my husband has been through the ringer on this repair. He has replaced the gasket and thermostat. He has used a cleaner (Prestone Super Cleaner) that you leave in for 8 hours. He has backflushed the heater core several times, and has replaced the gasket and thermostat. Ford Motor Repair Shop replaced the heater core just 2 years ago this month to the tune of $900. I guess one hose is hot and one is cold. Help! If this thing continues to plug up, what do we do next?
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Well there's only part that has to do with the cooling system and serp belt - the water pump!! Maybe it's starting to seize or has too much play. Either way, when you change the water pump, replace the thermostat and flush the system very thoroughly, those 98-99's are notorious for rust build up. Make sure to pull the heater hoses off and flush the heater core too. After all said is done, purge the coolant and make sure there is heat from the blower. If not you're going to have to replace the heater core because that gets clogged sometimes when flushing.