Steam coming out of hood and radiator not getting warm

When car is stopped after driving for awhile, steam comes pouring out of hood on passenger side near windshield. Opened the hood and steam was coming from firewall area, not from radiator.
Mechanic replaced thermostat etc. for heater core but stll have steam problem. Temperature gauge reads normal and heater doesn’t work. It tastes like antifreeze is getting into passenger compartment and it fogs up the windshield.
Radiator cap is not even warm. Sounds like antifreeze is not flowing through the radiator. Any suggestions on how to fix this? Mechanic is closed for Thanksgiving holidays. Thanks.

I’d Say That You Need A New Heater Core So Badly That You Can Taste It, Literally.

A tenporary repair would be to connect the heater hoses together thus bypassing the heater core. Of course, you won’t have heat in the car, but this will give you transportation until after the holidays when you can get a real fix.

Once The Heater Core Is Replaced, I’d Pressure Test The Cooling System To Be Sure There Wasn’t An Additional Leak.

The leak is letting coolant escape and causing air to enter the normally “closed loop” cooling system and is probably forming an air pocet around the thermostat and it’s not heating and opening as it should. Therefore, coolant is unable to circulate through the radiator and overheating can occur.

Don’t keep running the vehicle this way or you’ll likely cause more damage, some of which could become very costly. Get it checked out.

Pull up any mats on the front floor and press your hand into the carpet and see if it’s wet with coolant down there.


It might just be the heater hose where it connects to the heater core. This would be especially true if there is any kind of oil leak onto the hose.

As for the radiator cap not getting hot, that is not the best thing to check, feel the upper radiator hose, if it is hot, then the cooling system is working OK.

BTW, if you do the check for wet carpets, and they are dry, that does not mean that the heater core is not leaking because the coolant will drain out the AC drain in most vehicles. But from your description, I think it is the hose, not the core. The fumes rise up and get sucked back into the cabin from the outside air intake located under the cowl.

Year, make, model, mileage, as always, would be nice…

Did your “mechanic” pressure-test your cooling system?? This is auto-repair 101…Basic stuff…

Your bad thermostat has now made the entire cooling system suspect…SOund like you now have lots of air in the system and may have compromised the heater core or the heater core connections due to the steam pressure created by a faulty thermostat in the very beginning… Lots of work ahead w the cooling system and I hope you dont need a new Core…they are such a pain in the ass…

Caddyman: "Year, make, model, mileage, as always, would be nice… "

Tag says it’s A Ford Explorer Sport Trac, but you’re right, I would like the model-year and it’s always helpful to know approximate mileage.

Seems to me that I remember Ford made several model-years and several models with heater cores that went to hexx in a handbasket, right ?