99 taurus heater

I unfortunately have a 99 Taurus with a partially plugged heater core. It lets just a little bit of lukewarm air through. Is there a way to unclog it without removing it? The cooling system has had some sort of
muddy looking substance in it since it was bought new...what is the purpose of this? Is it some sort of stop-leak or something? Also, what all would I have to do to switch it back to the regular green anti-freeze? Is this a common problem with the Taurus? A lady I work with has a 99 Sable, roughly the same mileage, (79000), and hers has a similar problem. The door is operating fine, the thermostat is new, so all it can be is the heater core, right?
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J Grant wrote:

the removal and replacement of the heater core...... new heater core probably cost very little from autozone or advance auto parts.. go to their web site and give them a try.... the core should come right out without messing with the removal of the whole dash like the earlier fords...... i think you just remove a small plastic piece on top of the heater core and then remove it....
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I wish it was that easy. According to the Haynes manual, you basically have to rip out the dash to replace it.
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J Grant opined in

google groups
heater core dremel
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Thanks for the replies everyone! I wound up flushing the entire cooling system, and just for kicks, I disconnected the hoses from the heater core, and flushed it out seperately with hot water from a gardenhose. At first it barely dribbled out, eventually got full flow. It looked like some sort of sludge from that damn Dex-cool antifreeze. I replaced it with the tried and true green kind. I guess time will tell if it works out okay.
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J Grant opined in

Good WORK!
And kudos for posting back, not everyone understnds the value of followup.
Makes the group more valuable for everyone else
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

Agreed... what makes this group the most valuable is when the original problem is described and then the ultimate fix is posted. The interim ideas offered aren't wasted though... they're just more possibilities to consider.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@XXXXcarolina.rr.com
  Click to see the full signature.
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I'm hoping that if anyone else has a Taurus heater problem, what I did would work for them too. I was definately not wanting to have to go through the hell to replace the core. Being how this is the wifes car, every little squeak and rattle would have been MY FAULT! lol
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In (J Grant) posted on Thu, 11 Nov 2004 20:54:50 -0500:

I thought coolant circulated through the heater core all the time. Seems like if it was clogged up, then the car would have eventually overheated due to constricted coolant flow.
While I have mine in the shop for them to figure out why I suddenly lost overdrive, I'm having them check to see why the heater isn't working, too.
Damaeus
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Well it DOES circulate all the time, the hot side comes off on the engine side of the thermostat.
But that doesnt mean anything particularly in regard to the radiator as they are "parallel circuits".
YOu're right in that a sludgy heater core would signal possible problems later ... I'd bet the radiator needs attention too. However there's a good chance that the rad has larger passages than the heater core.
Damaeus opined

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I'm hoping that all the flushing took care of the radiator as well. I ran it for quite some time with Prestone radiator super cleaner in it, and let it flush for a long time. I also got that orange crap out of my 2000 Cavalier. It looks to be a major pita to change the heater core in it, too. I sure do love my old Ford trucks...they are both 1978's, and the cores can be changed in well less than an hour in them.
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J Grant opined in

Heh.. check back in a year or so, okay?
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It looks like I get to do it all over again! GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!! The wife came home last night, said it was blowing cold again...I have heard of a bypass tube.....reckon if I got rid of that it would help? Damn dex-cool!!!!!!!
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J Grant opined in

I doubt it, but....
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In (J Grant) posted on Mon, 15 Nov 2004 15:54:34 -0500:

I had mine in to have some work done to see why overdrive was out and had them check to see why my heater wasn't working. Clogged heater core here, too. It's going to cost $427 to have it replaced. He's giving me a deal on the labor by cutting off 3.5 hours.
Damaeus
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I've decided to bite the bullet and get rid of this Taurus. As of Saturday, I'll be trading it in on an '05 Impala SS. Maybe the wife will let me borrow it sometime! After seeing all the Taurus problems,all over the internet, I just do not want to go through a lot of junk all the time. I do not mind working on the old stuff, but the new ones can be a headache for me. The wife traded in a perfectly good Cavalier for this Taurus, and it gave her 172,000 miles of, for the most part, troublefree service.
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In (J Grant) posted on Wed, 17 Nov 2004 15:23:02 -0500:

Well, my plan is to keep my Sable running, even to the point of replacing the engine. I was tempted to buy a new Ford F-150, but I almost have the Sable paid off. I want at least a couple of years of life without a car payment. And I want to see if its actually cheaper to just keep replacing the engine and transmission when needed. I'm up to 169,000 miles now and I have had a lot of work done on it. It still runs as smooth as silky panties.
I did buy this thing used and actually, I would like to start with a brand-spanking new one so I can be sure it's taken care of properly for maximum longevity. I don't know how my current car was treated for the first 88,000 miles of its life. But it appears that I'll be putting about 50,000 miles per year on it. If the engine and transmission hold out for 300,000 miles, that'll be great. Maybe replace those once, then replace the whole car the next time around. :-) It'd be great to look down and see 600,000 miles on the odometer. :-)
Damaeus
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