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I have a 2006 trailblazer and when a/c is on coolant smell comes in. I had a friend ck my car & he said it is the heater coil and they would have to pull the front dash out to get to it. said coolant is leaking onto passenger side carpet. Is this a re-call issue? If not-why isn't it? This is VERY BAD on your lungs. I live in an area that temp gets to 110 sometimes. My friend said this is very expensive to fix-around $1000. plus. What can I do?
 

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Janice

No, it is not a recall issue. Those are reserved for design errors that involve safety. The smell of coolant is not that kind of safety issue, IMHO. I have not seen any medical evidence that this problem is "VERY BAD" on your lungs--you are not inhaling Dexcool, just smelling it. But even if there was medical evidence, the problem you are experiencing is not the result of a design error.

It is rare, but not unheard of, for heater cores to fail. Heater cores have failed in every coolant cooled car on the road. It is not unheard of across millions of vehicles.

I have a friend who bought a new 09 Denali and had to take it back three or four times for a similar complaint. They finally fixed it. But yours is the only other complaint about this problem I have heard.

Things break. Things go bad. The rule is, "If something can break, it will." For somebody. Parts are sometimes defective from the factory. They are sometimes installed improperly. Ya just gotta grit your teeth and bear it. When you make millions of something, a few are going to have problems. The law of averages is inexorable.

So you have really only one choice--fix it. If it is not under warranty, or the extended warranty (you did buy one, didn't you?) you can lessen the hit on your pocket book by judiciously choosing where you will have it fixed, but remember that the dealership is the place most likely to have a mechanic who has done the job before. I wouldn't want to entrust the job to someone who hasn't graduated high school and hasn't done the job before.

Just my thoughts.
 

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I agree with all said about GM's responsibility. It doesn't extend forever, and on every parts of the vehicle.

Temporarily, you should find someone to reroute some hoses to bypass the heater core. That will stop the leaking, allow you to get the carpet and underpadding cleaned, and use the AC for the hot months.

While you save up the big $$ it will cost to remove almost the entire dashboard to replace the deeply-hidden heater core. Or take some classes in mechanics to do it yourself, or cultivate a competent friend who will do 40 hours worth of work for free or for trade for something you can do/build/fix/repair/make for them in barter.
 

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markarock,
thank you for your comment. I can't say I agree with all that you said though.
Any time you smell or breath- you breath it into your lungs. You telling me to suck it up didn't really help much. And as far as going to a dealership- well if
you think they don't hire people that barely passed high school-Good Luck on
your dealership. I have had dealerships purposely screw up my car so I would have to bring it back, and ofcourse that problem wouldn't be covered by the warrenty and have proven that one in court before! Don't have much faith in them. Thank You just the same.
Janice




The Roadie,
Thank you for your help, but don't they have to pull the dash to re-route the hoses? I called a place today and they said they would do the whole job for
800.00 which included changing all the hoses. I will call him Monday and see what he says about your idea.
Thanks for at least giving me some solutions for now,
Janice
 

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it should be coverd under wranty. unless its out but things break and you cant hold gm responsible for it. the heater core is basically a small radiator. stuff breaks. u can always bypass the coolant lines to keep it from leaking. :m2:
 

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What they need to do is connect a couple of hoses in the engine compartment to PREVENT coolant from going into the dash area.

On the vapor issue, I have to agree there's a risk. All industrial items like this have a published MSDS, Material Safety Data Sheet, by law. One example for DEXCOOL is this one:

http://www.havoline.com/images/products/pdfs/anti_exlife.pdf
Good call on the MSDS Roadie (the Engineer in you is coming out again). The only caveat I would throw in is that the MSDS addresses the material at its full strength. In most cases, coolant in vehicles is diluted 50%. Not to take away from the importance of proper care and handling, but I wouldn't want to panic the uninformed.
 

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:iagree: Either way, it's not a thing you want to breath and some folks just don't have the resources to quick-fix this problem. But I would bypass the heater core at least for the remainder of the summer! Good luck on your fix and remember it does happen, it just isn't no good time for it to happen to us!:grouphug:
 

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Quoting selectively is one way to win an argument.

Let's look at the facts.

1. Janice claimed that "said coolant is leaking onto passenger side carpet".

2. She most certainly did NOT say that it was blowing out of the air vents when she used the A/C.

3. Therefore, she is SMELLING the coolant, not inhaling it.

4. Therefore she is SMELLING the coolant, not drinking it.

5. By definition, if the coolant is dripping onto the carpet, it is below its boiling point.

6. The MSDS says: "This product contains ethylene glycol (EG). The toxicity of EG via inhalation or skin contact is expected to be slight at room temperature."

7. The MSDS also says: "The estimated oral lethal dose is about 100 cc (3.3 oz.) for an adult human."

8. Again, she is only SMELLING it, not drinking it or inhaling it.

9. If merely SMELLING Dexcool were dangerous, the MSDS would say so, and mechanics who change coolant would be required to wear NIOSH approved respirators, as painters are.

10. There would ALSO be prominent warnings on every jug of Dexcool, saying WARNING: Avoid prolonged SMELLING of Dexcool.

11. The absence of any such warning, industry practices, and common sense, tell me that the mere SMELLING of Dexcool is not harmful to one's health.

12. Based on the MSDS, even INHALING Dexcool carries only a "slight" risk.

13. I would not inhale Dexcool that was being spit out of my AC vents, and I doubt anybody else would either, but the MSDS says you shouldn't freak out if it should happen.

14. By anybody's definition, that means that Janice's assertion that "This [i.e. smelling Dexcool that has dripped onto the floor--or even inhaling some that was spit out the AC vents] is VERY BAD for your health" is simply FALSE.

14. I cannot imagine ANY car manufacturer anywhere in the world who would cool an automobile engine with a product that was dangerous or lethal to inhale droplets of in small amounts. The product would be banned by governments, and lawyers around the world would quickly get rich. And the auto company and the coolant manufacturer would quickly be bankrupt.

15. I agree with the poster who suggests we shouldn't unduly panic the uninformed.

YMMV.
 

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Even if he had inhaled it, it wouldn't have hurt him. It's only VERY BAD in the eyes of The Law, everywhere except in California that is; there it is Strong Medicine. :)
 
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