Ford Escort with heater core leaking

All I can say about this is beware!

I have a 1996 Mercury Cougar which started to have coolant odors, then leaks inside the passenger area, under the dash, first on the driver’s side, and eventually on the passenger side.

I have had my heater core replaced 5 times!

Mechanics do NOT want to replace heater cores. It means WORK! Which, in my experienced opinion, is not something most mechanics (or people in general) want to do.

I sincerely feel on one occasion to the dealership to have the repair, they did not replace the heater core, but only charge me $1,000 to do it. Fortunately, each subsequent trip was covered by the 12 month warranty. The only real issue was relying on others to bring me to work.

My car still smells like coolant. The last repair was about 2 months ago. This last time I wrote a detailed letter when I dropped my car off, asking them to clean the coolant out from behind the dash when they reassembled my car.

One time when they replaced it they left puddles of coolant inside my car on the floor mats.

I love my car, I have always kept it in repair and properly maintained.

Replacing a heater core is a difficult, time consuming job on many cars. I had to have a heater core replaced on a 1971 Ford Maverick and part of the dashboard had to be removed and the air conditioning had to be discharged to remove the evaporator coil to get to the heater core, then everything had to be reassembled. I thought that the mechanic that did my work undercharged me for all the labor he put into this job.

On the other hand, the heater core on my 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass is under the hood and was simple enough that even I was able to do the job, and I have the mechanical skills of a caveman.

Most mechanics that I know work very hard. My experience with mechanics at dealerships is that they usually work on later model cars and don’t see heater cores very often. A radiator and air conditioning shop may be a better place for this kind of problem.

Call back Megan from Austin! Instead of fixing her leaky heater core, since she lives in Austin where the weather is warm or warmer, she could just cap off the heater hoses. Since she’s driving an old Escort and living off an Art History major, she needs to know about the cheap way out!

You likely never had the heater core changed. Thats just what they told you. I personally would get a lawyer to have a chat with them. Your time plus the initial cost of the first job is worth the satisfaction. They left pools of coolant? really? Then have a lawyer talk to them since coolant is a regulated waste product. They really cannot leave it in puddles since it is toxic.