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Discussion Starter #1
I need advice on what to look for as to what is causing this window fogging problem that has cropped up. It will not fog when the temp is above 65 degrees however when it gets chilly out, and you run the heat, my windows fog from the inside so then I have to use defroster mode all the time to keep it from steaming up. UGH!! Any suggestions on how to stop this problem?

BTW my car is a 1988 daytona, nothing special 2.5 liter engine. Had this car since it was new. I plan on keeping it for many years longer as I see it as a small nest egg. And I like it too as they are sporty little cars. ;) I plan on taking it off the road here till next May to save money on insurance costs and leave it sit in the garage (only to drive it to the end of the lane and back a few times a week to keep it running. our lane is 2700 feet long).

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Either you have a water leak to the interior, or your A/C is stuck in recirculate mode, or, most likely, your heater core has sprung a leak
 

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Pinhole leak in the heater core. Track the level of the radiator and the overflow tank very, very carefully and see how much and how often you need to add coolant.

Is there a very faint odor of molasses when this occurs?
 

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Ditto.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bob Lincoln said:
Pinhole leak in the heater core. Track the level of the radiator and the overflow tank very, very carefully and see how much and how often you need to add coolant.

Is there a very faint odor of molasses when this occurs?
Yes, there is an ODOR. And it seems to be getting worse.

BTW, if there is a leak in the heater core, how does one find it and fix this? Thanks.
 

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Only way is to replace the heater core. It's $50 to $80 for the part, but easily 8 hours of labor for an experienced person. The A/C must be discharged to move the evaporator out of the way, the dash and airbox must be removed. It's a full weekend project for the do-it-yourselfer. But it's better than spending over $1,000 at a repair shop.

I have window fogging and a faint coolant odor, also, from my 93 Daytona. I'm watching the coolant level closely, it hasn't changed in over 2 weeks. But I expect it to fail before winter is over. Luckily I have a truck I can drive if it does.
 

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And...today the defroster cleared the windshield, and I felt the A/C compressor cycling, which I didn't detect all last week. That might have been the issue. Still doesn't explain the antifreeze smell, though. But no change in level, in over 800 miles of driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bob Lincoln said:
Only way is to replace the heater core. It's $50 to $80 for the part, but easily 8 hours of labor for an experienced person. The A/C must be discharged to move the evaporator out of the way, the dash and airbox must be removed. It's a full weekend project for the do-it-yourselfer. But it's better than spending over $1,000 at a repair shop.

I have window fogging and a faint coolant odor, also, from my 93 Daytona. I'm watching the coolant level closely, it hasn't changed in over 2 weeks. But I expect it to fail before winter is over. Luckily I have a truck I can drive if it does.
Unfortunately my coolant levels did drop some since the last time I checked. And I get tired of the odor. Ugh. I am going to call for an estimate at the local shop and see what they say.

The defrost does clear off the windows, but to have to keep using that all the time keeps the a/c unit working, correct?
 

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Yes, but in most climates, defrost is used in winter. The A/C compressor is wired to it on purpose, to make sure it gets exercised in the cold months to keep the seals from drying out and leaking refrigerant. So it's a good thing to run it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Scstables said:
Unfortunately my coolant levels did drop some since the last time I checked. And I get tired of the odor. Ugh. I am going to call for an estimate at the local shop and see what they say.

The defrost does clear off the windows, but to have to keep using that all the time keeps the a/c unit working, correct?
BTW, I called the local shop which usually do work on my Daytona (lol they always remember me cause I am the only one with a daytona!!). They quoted me $425.00 to do the job. I think that is not too bad. They also told me not to be driving it too far for now. Once we get paid (someone my husband did a job for has not paid us yet) then I can get it in to be fixed.
 

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That's an excellent price. If you trust them, then that's far better than attempting it yourself.
 

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I agree completely that 425.00 is a great price. I've replaced a heater core before, and it is not fun. Pay the money, and you'll be glad you did!
 

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My overflow jugged dropped about 1" in 1,000 miles. Very faint smell of antifreeze when I first start the car, but strangely, goes away when I put on heat or defrost. And it seems that the fogging in my car mostly clears when the A/C compressor engages, which hasn't always happened as it should. Still think I have a very small pinhole. If I can make it through the winter, I'll be changing it next spring.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
That's an excellent price. If you trust them, then that's far better than attempting it yourself.
Yes, that is a great price!


Bob Lincoln said:
My overflow jugged dropped about 1" in 1,000 miles. Very faint smell of antifreeze when I first start the car, but strangely, goes away when I put on heat or defrost. And it seems that the fogging in my car mostly clears when the A/C compressor engages, which hasn't always happened as it should. Still think I have a very small pinhole. If I can make it through the winter, I'll be changing it next spring.
I know it's been a while, but the symptoms you describe is what my '92 Acclaim did about 6-8 months before the heater core failed at 302,500 miles. Stopped at the local grocery store on my way to work one morning and noticed a steady stream of antifreeze dripping to the ground from the drain. Drove back home and T'd the heater hose lines together and drove it with no heat for 6 weeks in the dead of winter - this was January 2003. My "fix" was finding a '90 Acclaim for $300 (looked horrible from peeling paint issue, but was mechanically sound) - just happen to find it perusing the local dealer lot - it was in the back waiting to be hauled to a scrapper.

I had checked with a local shop about the repair and he estimated $800 minimum. I had neither the time or expertise to tackle the job.
 

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I have also found loosened heater core hose clamps at the firewall that allowed coolant to seep into the vehicle and appear as a core leak. This may or may not be your problem but if you can get a 1/2 turn or so on the heater hose clamp screws, you might be in luck.
 

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When I did the head gasket last March, I installed a new water pump, thermostat, all new hoses. I tightened them down again over the summer, but most didn't need it, and one or two barely tightened more. I can check again. Nothing on the ground. Today the A/C compressor didn't appear to come on (it should be fully charged, and it did work last week), so I had two portholes in the windshield, and the back window never cleared fully, even with two electric defrost cycles.I've also had intermittent electrical failures that may or may not be related - turn signal not working in high humidity, turn signal not canceling, voltmeter not working part of the trip. Odometer was slightly fogged up the other day.
 

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Update:

Car has been consuming about 4-8 oz of coolant every week (400 miles). Nothing visible on the ground. Very little to no fogging, but very faint hot rubber/antifreeze odor still present sometimes. Engine temperature has been normal warm-to-one third mark.

On Friday, car temperature was going up to half to two-thirds in traffic. Radiator was still only down a few ounces, fan worked fine. I drove it home and parked it, thinking that the heater core still has a pinhole and it's ingesting air daily, and the running hot was from trapped air. Heater worked normally all the time.

Went outside today to bypass the suspected bad heater core in my car, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the odor and leak are apparently from the overflow jug, where I found it dripping only when running and pressurized. There is a tiny hole or crack at the mounting bolt flange for the jug, dripping once every few seconds. I had a spare jug in the basement from my last car, so I fixed it for free. That jug had epoxy at the same location, so I had fixed a leak there one on my 92 Daytona. The next few days will tell if I was right. It will be nice to be able to drive my car with heat for the rest of the winter. I drove the car 10 miles this afternoon, with good jug and with heater core hooked up. Ran mostly at the one-third mark, occasionally dipping to the warm mark. After it cooled, radiator and jug were still full. Drove it another 20+ miles tonight, same performance. Will check fluid level and drive it 80-mile round trip to work tomorrow.

Since the odor presented last summer, and has never gotten worse, I think now that the heater core never had a leak, or it would have failed by now, or gotten far worse. I think that I was smelling coolant leaking at the jug, and the vapors came in the cowl. I never saw any on the ground because it only leaked while running and pressurized. Does anyone concur that a pinhole leak at the jug could have created the odor inside, and a slight film on the windshield? Time will tell if it was just the jug, or the heater core also.
 

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Yeah, it doesn't take much a pinhole leak for the vapors to get sucked in through the cowl. Oftentimes it smells worse than the leak actually is.

Not sure about if enough vapor would get in to result in a light film on the glass. I guess it could, but one would think the leak was worse than what it was. I've had slight coolant leaks in the engine compartment - yes, I could smell it, but I don't ever recall the windshield fogging or a film developing in the interior. At least not until the heater core actually leaked.
 

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Well, it's inconclusive.

After a 400-mile week, the coolant has not dropped at all in either the radiator or jug. Occasionally I think I get a very, very faint whiff of hot rubber like coolant. All is dry around and under the car. NO fogging at all. But the temperature gauge in traffic occasionally goes to the halfway mark. Since I did the head gasket last March, the temperature has always stayed between warm and 1/3 - always. There could be a trapped air bubble, despite the usual bleeding. The heat is a little less than normal, but then again, this is the coldest weather we've had in a few years, and the car loses heat fast.

So I think I'm OK, but I'm giving it more time before pronouncing it all clear.
 
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