Mechanics

NOISE UNDER DASH

1998 Saturn SL2 • 4 cylinder FWD Manual • 80,000 miles

First of all I would like Saturntech9 to answer this question. He helped me out before on an engine noise problem. I have a troubleshooting question for you this time. Last couple of weeks after I start my saturn, for about a minute I hear this gurgling sound coming from front passenger section under the dash. I know the heater core is under there. But does that mean it is going bad or is it something else having to do with that system. There is a very lite(and I do mean very lite) antifreeze odor but no liquid is on the floor or anywhere else. Do you have any Ideas. Is there nothing wrong. Whatever you have would be good. It just started doing it. Thanks. If Saturntech9 answers this I will chat with you later.
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JM
August 3, 2011.



As far as this noise goes does it sound like its behind the pasenger side air bag?If so you could have a bad recirculation door a broken shaft.I have seen this before with a broken shaft the recirculation actuator keeps running instead of shuting off when its supposed too when it gets to the full open or closed position. Try this when the noise stops turn the blower fan on low and switch the recirculation button form closed to open etc and wait a min or so between each position change. See if you can hear that noise. As far as the coolant smell can you only smell the coolant inside the car?I have replaced very few heater cores on that and I mean very few but anything is possible. Let me know what you find.

Saturntech9
Aug 3, 2011.
Nice talking to you again. Wish I were not though. That means there is something broken again. Have not done the brakes yet. The brakes on my Expedition went out. Had to do those first. Timing chain is doing great. Sounds wonderful again. I will check out what you just told me to do. The antifreeze smell is only on the inside of the car and it is really faint. The noise definately sounds like it is coming from behind the passenger air bag. Like I said it gurgles for about a minute. Then nothing. So I will do your check and get back to you. Thanks man.

Tiny
JM
Aug 3, 2011.
Glad to hear you got the time chain all squared away was being to wonder how it turned out since you never got back to me to let me know how it came out. As far as the noise let me know what you find when you do what I asked. As far as the smell goes your going to have to do some looking the only thing that is going to cause that smell inside the car would be the heater core.

Saturntech9
Aug 3, 2011.
I have new info. I jumped the gun a little. I went out tonight and really paid attention this go around. Last night a little wiff of antifreeze. Tonight, nothing smell wise. When you start the car it happens instantly and bubble/gurgles for from 5 to 10 seconds and it is done. It is the weirdest thing. It is behind the airbag area in the dash. I am pretty good at fixing things but this one has me stumped. I did what you told me to do and nothing. I guess the reason I contacted you besides the fact that you have good info. Is that I am worried that this is a sign that the heater core was going out. From what you said before they don't go out very often. Trust me I am not looking for more work to do and I really hate heater cores. So I guess read this and tell me what you think. Thank you sir. Talk to you later.

Tiny
JM
Aug 4, 2011.
So when you hear this gurgling is the a/c on when you start the car?

Saturntech9
Aug 4, 2011.
Nope, I really don't use it much.

Tiny
JM
Aug 4, 2011.
This does this when the engine is hot or cold?The heater core is there in the middle of the dash behind the a/c controls.

Saturntech9
Aug 4, 2011.
Hot or cold doesn't matter. Let me shove my head up there and start it and double check exactly where the sound is at. I will check it tonight and update you. I am starting to think that this is a symptom of the heater core crapping out. But I am not the expert. Get back to you later tonight. Thanks.

Tiny
JM
Aug 4, 2011.
Alright keep me posted and we will go from there.

Saturntech9
Aug 4, 2011.
This is the weirdest thing. Today when I went to my Speedway(which is about a mile away)it did it like 5 times. It sounds like it is swishing around and there was a faint odor today. I turned on the heat and nothing different. I don't think we are going to get this done. I have 2 questions. 1) Do you think this is a symptom of the core going out. This noise doesn't really bother me I am just afraid it is going to explode on me when I am 50 miles away from home. 2) Do you think flushing the system would help? I will be outside doing brakes and cutting grass all day. So I won't be able to get back to you until this evening. Let me know what you think. Thanks again as always.

Tiny
JM
Aug 5, 2011.
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