Question about 1996 Pontiac Grand Am

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My 96 grand Am leaking bad

All of a sudden while driving it looked like smoke coming through my heater vents, under the hood i saw antifreeze pouring out of a little L shaped hose next to the firewall,,,lower engine area.Icant find out where the hose hooks to.can anyone help? Thanks

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Those are 2 hoses an inlet and outlet for your heater.take a look inside the car at the carpet and see if there is anti freeze.the heater core can leak,and then run down the hose,but you may be lucky and just the hose is no good.they are quite stiff to take off,you have to twist them as well as pull.go slowly,damage to the heater core can result otherwise.the heater core is mounted on the firewall and the entire dash must be removed to replace it.if you do cahnge it,make sure there is a ground strap added from the heater pipes to ground.it prevents electrolysis from the dissimilar metals.

Posted on May 14, 2009

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The L shaped hose is your drain spout for your heater core you need to replace your heater core you dont need to take the whole dash off just the center console
It is really not that hard. It took me just under three hours. Drain the coolant,jack up the car (use jack stands) Remove the two heater hoses at the fire wall, be sure and remove the rubber turn down drain adapter that is to the right of the heater hoses. Remove the left and right under dash panels, I can not remmeber how many screw ther are but there are a few, be sure and find and remove all of them. You should not have to pry very hard to remove the case. Hold the heater core in the upper case up in it's place and wiggle the lower case out. It is kind of a tight fit but not that hard to get out. Once the lower case is out remove the heater core by pulling it to the rear to clear the fire wall and remove the assembly. Replace in reverse order. Hope this helps.


Just changed the heater core and followed the previous answer directions, worked good just wanted to add a few things to anyone else. Make sure that you get all the screws out of the bottom case portion there are two screws that are in an indentation that you wont see. You can feel them though with your fingers. You will also have to remove a small electrical component and its bracket on the passenger side. When removing the lower case you have to pry the portion against the fire wall down in order to allow two tabs that extend up behind the upper portion. Or you can pry hard enough away from the firewall and break the tab off as I did. One other thing is the drain boot that you need to remove is next to the ac lines that extend through the fire wall. There are two screws that are next to the heater hoses on the engine side of the fire wall you do not have to remove these.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009

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That goes to your heater core, you should be able to just replace the L shaped piece

Posted on May 12, 2009

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2 Answers

Weird burning smell maybe antifreeze coming from air vents, smoke from driver's side (under dash) after 30 minute drive


This is strongly indicative of either a failed cabin heater core or to the coolant lines servicing it, causing a leak. The smoke would therefore be steam. There is no other possible way for antifreeze to get into the vents.

If the smoke really is smoke though and the smell is burning plastic then disconnect the battery negative terminal and get an auto-electrician in to check the situation, as you're at risk of a fire.

To fix the heater is a really labour intensive and fiddly job as virtually the whole dash and crash pad has to come out. If it's an electrical issue then there may be a relatively simple fix, or if the heater blower motor needs replacement then it's almost as major as for replacing the heater core. If you're looking at a professional repair of that magnitude it will likely not make economic sense: depending on the climate they live in some owners just have the heater core permanently disconnected by fitting a bypass to the supply pipes under the hood.

The good news is that there is a Haynes manual for your model which will be of immense help if you wish to save hundreds of pounds/dollars via DIY and there is an active and very useful Saab Owners' Club.

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I was driving a 1997 Buick Skylark Custom 3.1 less than 5K when white antifreeze smoke started filling inside the cabin of my car. It appeared to be coming from inside the dashboard and the windows were...


The "smoke" you saw was your coolant. The vehicle uses engine coolant piped into the cabin of the car and through a little radiator under the dash for the heater. The blower in your car forces air over this radiator and this heated air is what you feel at the vents.
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You could try running some radiator stop leak(I've used Wynn's before) through the system and see if it helps. If the leak is on the radiator it might just work. On the pipes it will not be successful. Buy a bottle at your local spare shop/Autozone. Put it in the cooling system(do not open a cooling system with the vehicle hot!) and let the vehicle idle for a while. (Read instructions on the bottle) If it does not work, have the heater radiator removed and repaired.

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the core fails due to not replacing the antifreeze coolant before it goes acidic ... (not doing service here)

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