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Rear heating lines rusting away

I have a 2002 Kia Sedona mini van and one of the issues with this van is that the metal cooling lines that run from the engine area back to the back of the van heating core rust away and have to be replaced. Can you just cut those away and put like a u joint on it so that the anti freeze doesn’t go back there and thus reducing the huge cost of replacing those lines? Yes I know that means no heat in the back of the van but I don’t use the heat back there now and haven’t through this past horrible winter. I am just trying to reduce the cost I am looking at for this repair that I know I am going to have to address in the coming months.

Yes, you can bypass the rear heater core. I suspect that you don’t even need a U shaped pipe to do it. (BTW, “U-Joint” has a very different meaning in automotive circles.)

You could surely do as you propose, the only issue I could see would be the chance of introducing air into the system, requiring a system bleed.

Yes, but I would think that the odds of that are no greater than if he replaced the pipes to the heater core. It sounds like he needs to do one or the other.

I won’t be doing the work, I will find a trained mechanic to do it, I was just wondering if it could be done. Since I don’t use the back heat at all, I just don’t see the need to spend the money if I can bypass it and not ruin the engine.

You don’t even have to bypass it. Any decent mechanic can cut out the bad stuff and figure out how to securely run replacement heater hose. Of course, U-ing it off is also an option which can also just be done with a length of standard heater hose.

I agree,with just a bit of material you can repair and still have heat.I simply answered what was asked, not going the extra mile I guess.

can heater hose handle the “heat” that comes from underneath the car being near the muffalor pipes and such?

Well, this is the reason to have an actual mechanic (or someone w/ plenty of experience) do it. One will have to pay attention to how the hoses get routed and, if necessary make some provision for shielding. Avoiding the hot stuff is probably less of a problem than the road debris issue. But these things are normally not hard to overcome.

I do have a minivan that is no longer a daily driver- more like my pickup truck - and the rear heater core has been cut out of the loop for exactly the reason you describe. So if you truly don’t need the rear heat, there is less that can go wrong by not running lines back there. But what happens the next time its 5 degrees and you have take grandma to church (or, you know, whatever)?

Dont you just LOVE it when car mfg co’s use steel pipe to route coolant…so that they can rust out…why didnt they use plastic? OR MY GOD>…COPPER? I know…cost. But hell if they used plastic pipe it would last forever…I see this rotting out all the time and yes you can route around it…

Also you can do this bypass under the hood…thats where those under the car lines originate…just put a u-turn in the piping…OR clamp off the lines going to the back.

Aluminum would also work out nicely, but there is the cost factor there as well. The manufacturers have started using a lot more aluminum for air conditioning systems, presumably for longevity. Of course, if you have worked on cars for a living for any length of time, you know people get more bent out of shape over their air conditioning not working than they do over mechanical or safety problems. You know the scenario: “Sir, your brakes are completely shot. $500 to fix them.” “Nah, that’ too much money. Just fix the A/C for now.” “But sir, the A/C will cost $800 to fix!” “I know, but we’re going on vacation next week, so we need that A/C fixed now.”

There is no seats back there so no where for grandma to sit. back row seats removed, middle row seats close enough front heat keeps people warm.

My cars have plastic cooling system parts. It seems that they last only about five years before they crack and have to be replaced. I’m sure that plastic can be done correctly so that this wouldn’t happen, but be warned that it can be done badly too.
Aluminum seems like a good idea if it is thick enough and coated.