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Unread 01-07-2015, 04:14 PM   #1
Workman13
Registered User
1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Gardner, KS
Posts: 159
Need heater core help! Please help!

I have a 97 Jeep cherokee 4.0. I believe my heater core was going out but not sure. I talked to a couple mechanics who believe there could be another issue. I have recently changed the thermostat and water pump. When first turning the heat on it has a sweet smell like antifreeze. after a minute or two it goes away. The heat never gets very warm though. I checked the passengers floor board and it is damp but does not smell like antifreeze. I have checked the coolant level to insure it is good for cold temps.
Any ideas on if the issue is the heater core or something else? I dont want to spend the money fixing it if that is not the issue.

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Unread 01-07-2015, 05:49 PM   #2
DiggsBakes
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Monument, Colorado
Posts: 44
Sounds like my WJ when the core went on it. Do the windows fog while defrost on?

How's the engine temp?
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Unread 01-07-2015, 06:00 PM   #3
brute66
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: seattle
Posts: 23
Your heater core may have a very small crack that closes as it warms up. If you're not getting enough heat out of it, that could be another indication it's time to replace the core.
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Unread 01-07-2015, 08:32 PM   #4
Workman13
Registered User
1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Gardner, KS
Posts: 159
The windows don't fog up yet. The engine temp stays around 210 maybe a tad under it. I plan pulling the carpet back and stuff this weekend and get a good look at it to see if I can find a leak.
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Unread 01-08-2015, 11:00 AM   #5
AZ Jeff
Web Wheeler
2014 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Tan Valley Arizona, AZ
Posts: 7,560
Your description of the smell of coolant when the heater is first turned on is the PRIME symptom of a core with a slow leak. It needs to be fixed for reasons other than just the annoying smell. Here is why:

An XJ's cooling system is it's Achille's Heel. It MUST be in virtually PERFECT condition to prevent overheating in warm weather. A heater core with a "pinhole" type leak will not allow the cooling system to hold pressure. If it won't hold pressure, it's a candidate for overheating in warmer weather.

I recommend you fix this ASAP.
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1992 XJ -- stock (RIP)
2000 XJ -- lots of basic mods. Sold to fellow forum member. I miss it.
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