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Unread 11-02-2010, 07:11 AM   #1
4x4xjCREW
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want to flush heater core,thinking muriatic acid, other ideas?

i want to flush my heater core it seems clogged, does any one know if the heater core is made from copper or aluminum?

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Unread 11-02-2010, 07:19 AM   #2
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I'm not sure but I would be a little nervous that "pure" muriatic acid might be too strong. Not sure about diluted, but some dilution would be necessary I would think.

I've heard of people containing the heater core and filling it with vinegar or CLR though.

And somewhere there is a thread that contains the name of a stronger commercial product that supposedly works well. I will see if I can find it when I have time.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:08 AM   #3
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why not just hit it with some compressed air. that will blow out any clog.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 10:40 AM   #4
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Have you tried just flushing it both ways with a water hose?
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Unread 11-02-2010, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin108 View Post
Have you tried just flushing it both ways with a water hose?
this ^ worked perfect for me on two jeeps. try it first, its free and easy.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 12:51 PM   #6
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If you are going to flush with corrosive chemicals, I would NOT use muriatic acid. I would use VINEGAR (acetic acid). It's far less "aggressive".

It would be pretty bad to see your heater core have a hole eaten through it, and have muriatic acid running out of the heater box onto the carpet and floor pan.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
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why not just hit it with some compressed air. that will blow out any clog.
and compressed air might blow out the heater core or the radiator.

Any radiator flush product from the auto parts store would be a better idea than acid or compressed air.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
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Yea I think it would make much more sense to use something designed to flush rads and heater cores than take the chance. Go stronger or longer on the off the shelf stuff before trying something that may cost you many hours to fix if it goes wrong.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 06:44 PM   #9
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I used compressed air on mine and it worked just fine. But to each his own. Either way acid is a bad idea.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 06:56 AM   #10
4x4xjCREW
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Yeah, ill see what i can get off the shelf at the local auto parts, then maybe compressed air, it just sucks im freezing cuz i have no heat and i really dont feel like removing my dashh, but thanks for all the help guys!
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Unread 11-03-2010, 07:02 AM   #11
4x4xjCREW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Jeff View Post
If you are going to flush with corrosive chemicals, I would NOT use muriatic acid. I would use VINEGAR (acetic acid). It's far less "aggressive".

It would be pretty bad to see your heater core have a hole eaten through it, and have muriatic acid running out of the heater box onto the carpet and floor pan.
muriatic acid wont harm anything, unless its aluminum, if its made out of copper then the acid is harmless, does anyone know if the heater core is made out of copper or aluminum????
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Unread 11-03-2010, 08:51 AM   #12
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I think that most of them nowadays are aluminum, but it is possible that both copper cores and aluminum cores are available. I've seen that with some other vehicles.

You could search an online parts store and see if it lists the construction material, but that still wouldn't confirm whether the one in your vehicle is copper or aluminum.

If you aren't sure, I would opt for something less aggressive like vinegar.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 10:24 AM   #13
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A couple other things - are you sure your coolant is full and have you verified the one hot/one cold hose coming from the heater core?
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Unread 11-03-2010, 12:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4xjCREW View Post
muriatic acid wont harm anything, unless its aluminum, if its made out of copper then the acid is harmless, does anyone know if the heater core is made out of copper or aluminum????
WRONG. Muriatic acid is more correctly called "hydrochloric acid" and it will MOST CERTAINLY eat brass, copper, steel, aluminum and ANY OTHER METAL, given contact for sufficient time!!!

Hey go ahead, knock your socks off, and do some hillbilly cleaning procedure on your heater core. Just don't come back here reporting heater core leaks when the danged thing gets a hole eaten it and it blows out under pressure.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 01:54 PM   #15
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CLR is the only thing I'd use for a heater core short of just replacing the thing.

C = calcium
L = lime
R = rust.

Unless you have something else in your cooling system, it's all you need.

Here's the MSDS for "muratic" acid: http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/h3880.htm
...and the MSDS for CLR: http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/rmt/MSD...%20-%20CLR.pdf
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