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Lincoln Town car heater core repeated failures

My 2002 town car has developed an appetite for heater cores. It’s on it’s third one in 18 months. I seems to eat aftermarket or dealer parts just as quickly. My owner’s manual says I can use either coolant and I have changed it each time. My buddy suggests that something might be making the coolant acidic. Please help. My mechanic has announced this is the last core he is going to change.

in what manner are they each ‘‘bad’’ ?
I’ve see far too many heater cores break at the in/out tube welds due to the person wiggling or twisting the hoses too much during installation.

Has he not considered electrolysis? That can lead to repeated core failures.

Rather than type an explanation the link below may help understand it.

Do you know how the cores are failing? Leaking at the seams or welds? Leaking at the core? Plugging up?

The tube of the cores are failing inside/between the fins. I can’t see the hole but it isn’t at the bends or connections. I’ll have to check for electrolysis. Thanks for the link.

The next time the heater core is replaced, have your mechanic add the stop leak pellets just like they do at the factory of every Ford vehicle.

Or any other make of vehicle.


One off-beat idea, perhaps your car’s head gasket has sprung a little leak. That would make the coolant acidic, and could increase the cooling system pressure to boot. Usually that would show up as a leaking radiator first, but maybe you got a super strong radiator so it shows up in the heater core instead. Easy enough to check anyway. There’s test kits available in auto parts stores that will tell you if the cooling system is acidic or not.

I should point out I’ve never heard of a leaky head gasket causing this symptom. But such a thing seems possible at least .

Car Talk Lackey
Many good suggestions!


@cyberbabe This site seems to have diminishing traffic and some of the regulars that were here seem to have left. I am trying to figure out how your constant posting of other sites for answers is supposed to help. It is almost as if saying we can’t help you but go to this place instead.

@Volvo_v70, not to divert too far from the subject, what you’re seeing is something we’re piloting - the posts you’re seeing from our Car Talk Housekeeping lackeys are intended to be supplemental to the discussion. The balance of frequency and type of content provided is admittedly a work in progress, and we accept your opinion that you don’t find it helpful. We are aiming to give the people who post here a welcoming and useful experience. This is why the cyberbabe posts aren’t giving advice, only links. We are certainly not telling people to go elsewhere, implicitly or explicitly.

I’ve purchased the stop leak pellets and forwarded the link about electrolysis to my mechanic. Thank you all for your input and ideas!

Has the radiator cap been checked? Excess pressure could be causing the problem.