Question about 1997 Pontiac Grand Am

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Heater core? My girlfriend has been running water through her cooling system for almost a year instead of Dex-cool. Now she is leaking water underneath the vehicle and the passenger side floor is soaked through! I think the heater core is to blame but, do not see fluid dripping from under the dash area when vehicle is running. And the floor seems to get wet even when car is not running. Will the heater core leak when the car is off? And, is it possible that the fluid is running down the firewall out of view? Is a leaking heater core the ONLY way the floor could get wet from coolant? The heater core seems like it is going to be difficult to get to and i want some advise before i begin. I'd appreciate any help you can provide. Thank you. -J. Watts

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Ok most cars you wont see a physical drip because the box is sealed to the firewall it will run out the drain hole the same as the ac if bad enough they will leak down the insulation right to the floor board running pure water will cause rust but rarly causes the heater core to blow what you arre looking for is the problem that started it all why she was adding water to begin with you didnt mention the type of car and motor so i really cant get into diagnostic procedures you can bypass the heater core on most cars if it is using that much water you propably have a blown head gasket that will make the heater core blow let me know the type of car and I will help you diagnose it further

Posted on Jun 24, 2008

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2 Answers

Whats normally wrong when you get no heat on a 2000 Pontiac grand am v6 3400


Water level too low in the radiator.
Air in the cooling system.
Blocked heater core.
Stuck or disconnected shut-off valves.
Sticking thermostat.

Sep 28, 2015 | 2000 Pontiac Grand Am SE

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I have a 2000 Jimmy. It appears to have black gunk in the engine coolant area (oil?). I am not sure what to do. Advise please.


Is your oil level low? Do you have an oil cooler going to the radiator? If there is then its possble the cooler is leaking inside the radiator.

Does the cooling system still use Dex-Cool? The S trucks are one of the models that seem to have problems with the Dex-Cool. People would usually see a dark brown mud basically in their cooling system.
If it still uses Dex-Cool then I would sugest draining and flushing the cooling system (including a good flushing of the heater core. Remove the hoses and force water through with a garden hose) and refilling with another coolant/antifreeze.

Aug 28, 2011 | 2000 GMC Jimmy

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Heater blows but no heat


check for a bad blend door or actuator in heater. if bad it will not direct the heat were its called for. good-day !

Aug 24, 2011 | 1997 GMC Jimmy

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I flushed my antifreeze in my 2002 Ford Explorer and filled with regular antifreeze. It was still low so I added DEXCOOL antifreeze that I have for my Chevy...Since then, my windows are either not...


sometimes when you flush the system especially if you use a flush chemical and have a weak seam on the radiator, heater core, water pump, etc. any part of the cooling system it will cause a leak I have had it happen to me before, it sounds like the heater core is leaking which unfortunately is expensive to replace

Jan 21, 2011 | 2002 Ford Explorer

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Found rust like material in water system change radiator and water pump thermostat .flushed system numerious times car still runs hot and water is still a rusty mess.


You may have to flush the system again. Did you use a commercial flush such as Prestone Super Flush? Plain water won't remove the rust and sludge. The Dex-cool antifreeze that GM recommends for their cars is bad about forming a gummy sludge in the cooling system. It clogs radiators and heater cores. I would suggest another flush with the Prestone product. Follow the directions closely for best results. One thing that will help is. after you drain the radiator, refill with clear water and let the engine run until the coolant is circulating good, then drain it again. Do this three or four times. This will ensure that all the antifreeze has been removed from the engine block. When you refill the radiator, use a green antifreeze that is compatible with aluminum radiators and aluminum engine parts. Do not use Dex-cool. Dex-cool can also cause the intake gaskets to fail. Make sure the new thermostat is at least a 195degree unit and that it is installed correctly. you would be surprised how many thermostats get installed upside down. After refilling the radiator, leave the radiator cap off and let the engine run until the coolant is flowing. Keep adding antifreeze each time the coolant is pulled down into the radiator. Use full strength antifreeze because the water that is retained in the block will dilute it. A 50/50 mixture won't protect below freezing.

Dec 27, 2010 | 2003 Buick Rendezvous

1 Answer

My truck only overheats when the a/c is on


Start with the simple and replace the thermostat and also replace the coolant. The Dex-cool is only good for 150,00 miles or up to 5 years and any thing longer then that, the coolant crystallizes causing a flow restriction throughout your cooling system.
There is a TSB for thew servicing of coolant that needs to be done before replacing the Dex-cool. The cooling system needs to be flushed out to get the crystal deposit out of the system if there is any.
Gm uses Preston radiator flush to clean out the radiator and heater core of any deposit that will restrict the coolant from flowing throughout the system. Once the system has been flushed out, replace the thermostat and replace the Dex-cool with a 50/50 mix of water and Dex-cool for the best result in cooling. Too much water and the coolant will boil over and too much Dex- cool will jell up causing poor circulation.
Thank you for using fixya and good luck

May 31, 2010 | 1998 GMC Jimmy

2 Answers

What are some things that would cause no heat


switch malfunction,blower not working,heating element burnt out.

Dec 07, 2009 | 2001 Chevrolet Blazer

3 Answers

CHEVI LUMINA 2001 HEATER failing...might have slow dex-cool leak


The heater in your car depends upon a flow of hot coolant going through the heater core in order to get hot air into the car. If the heater core is partially plugged, it will restrict the flow.

If you have a head gasket that is putting exhaust into the cooling system, it will eventually get into the heater core. When this happens there is no coolant in the heater core to make the air warm.

If the water pump vanes have corroded away the result will be very poor coolant circulation causing the heater to not blow hot air.

If your car is equipped with a heater control valve that is not functioning properly, the coolant flow will be restricted.

One or a combination of these factors is likely the culprit in your case.

Flush the heater core 2-3 times, and if the obstruction does not clear, a new heater core is required.

However in your case, a cracked head is suspected - this will give out a plume of white smoke on startup - There is no smell, carpet dampness, or abundant moisture in the cabin? (this warns of a leaking heater core)

The coolant is leaking through a gasket or crack, and entering the combustion chamber. You dont see a leak on the ground because it is being burned up with the fuel.

Good Luck, and thanks for using FixYa - A FixYa rating is appreciated!!

Jan 26, 2009 | 2001 Chevrolet Lumina

1 Answer

Re: Dex-Cool in 1999 Lumina


The major reason for using dex-cool is that antifreeze is often neglected as a service item. If neglected, it becomes acidic over time which is particularly important with the use of aluminium in most major components which are served by antifreeze. Acid causes etching and premature failure of gaskets and permanent damage to blocks, heads and especially the radiator and heater core, which are not vert thick to begin with.
Since "normal" antifreeze acidifies faster than does dex-cool, mixing both together causes a change in breakdown rate...the more "normal" coolant added, the faster it breaks down.
Both coolants do not react chemically with each other and therefore retain the same ability to prevent boil over and freezing.
In reality, normal coolant can be used with little or no effect on components, provided that you change it every year. (that's where the EPA gets involved) They do not want people dumping this stuff into the ground, so they push for extended service intervals. Since dex cool has a longer service life, that's what they want you to use.
As far as how you chasnge the coolant, it is always a good idea to flush system during a change, regardless of antifreeze type. This removes solid particles which can plug radiator core. Radiators are much smaller than their older counterparts. Loss of even a small portion of cooling area can cause overheating. Engine running temps are also higher than older vehicles (heat=power output). Therefore most systems have a much smaller margin of error than before. What I find though is that regular flushing can also be bad for the system as the chems eat away at metal components in order to clean. I recommend regualr or dex cool antifreeze systems be flushed with water only, once a year, but retaining what you removed and filtering it through a coffee filter, using it during the year to "top off" the system. To retain effectiveness of coolant, use a hydrometer to check concentration, adding new coolant to bring reading to proper protection level.Then, every three years, do a complete chem flush and change entire batch. This keeps your system clean and the epa happy!

Dec 17, 2008 | 1999 Chevrolet Lumina

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