Leaking heater core

I have been reading some post on this site and decided i have a leaking heater core. My question is, can i use bars leak or some other product to fix the problem? It seems to be a small leak because i can just barely smell antifreeze and only a tiny amount spilled on the floor. It’s an old pickup and i don’t want to put to much time into it.

Thanks! Safe travels

Sure you can use a leak fixer, but I would not. Some times the leak fixer fixed things that should not be fixed and causes more problems than it fixes. It also often fails to fix the leak or does not last all that long.

Since you don't want to put much money into it and are not likely going to fix it right, even though a heater core on a pick up is often easy and cheap to fix, go ahead.

Mr. Meehan is correct about the heater core replacement being much easier on most pickup trucks, as compared to the same repair job on a car. Easier translates into much lower labor costs, so I would suggest that you have the heater core replaced.

As an alternative, you can bypass the heater core by disconnecting the heater hose at the point where it enters the firewall and looping it back to the engine. In other words, the water supply from the engine will make a quick return to the engine without running through the heater core. Instead of having one hose running from the engine to the heater core, and another hose from the heater core back to the engine, you will just have the one hose looping from the engine back to the engine. Shorten the hose so that it does not “kink”.

Of course, this solution is only good for the warmer months, but it does buy you some time before you need to replace the heater core.

Thanks a lot guys! If it’s easy and cheap to fix i’ll do that. I appreciate the help!

Well…I didn’t say that it would be cheap. However, it should be far cheaper than the same repair job on a car. On many cars, the cost (mostly labor) can be in the range of $600.–$700.

Exactly how much it would cost on a pickup I cannot say. Why don’t you call around for some estimates?