Windows Defrost

Tiny
OLERIM20
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 140,000 MILES
I have a 1997 Ford Tauras. 140,000 miles It has always seemed to have bad defrost capabilities in the winter partially with very foggy side windows, due to the driver door not being completely snug I believe (door is loud when going 70) like some bad weatherstripping. But it has been like that for years and the side windows have been a LITTLE foggy for years. Last week one morning there was water moisture and frost on the inside of the windshield. Now when the temperature is around 14 degrees (like tonight). I drove 60 miles one way and by the time I reached 40 miles of the trip I finally got to the point of not having to whipe moisture / fog off the inside of the windshield as I went down the freeway at 70 mph. The defrost was on full bore the whole time and the other side windows (four door car) and back wear completely foggy the whole time. There is heat coming out of the defrost as it was pretty warm drive, but not completely sweating in the car for the 1 hour of driving. Is enough heat coming out? Any ideas where to start with this problem?
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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 AT 5:09 AM

13 Replies

Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Ever have to add coolant to the system?
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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 AT 5:33 AM
Tiny
OLERIM20
  • MEMBER
Yes, at the begginging of last summer May 2010 we noticed we needed to add coolant and did so. To the point we were going to get ride of the car. We added straight water over most the summer until Fall (were in Minnesota). Then I went in for diagnostic on the collant leak. Told the overflow tank had a crack in it (plastic seam seperated). So I replaced the overflow tank and the coolant only leaks about half as it used to now. Before winter the coolant has never been flushed (likely ever in this car, as it's my fiance's and we still have different ideas of car upkeep :) ) Before winter I tested the antifreeze at least 6 times and it tested -25 to - 30 after I changed the overflow tank and drove while (I added mostly straight antifreeze when changed the tank and we only add 50/50 mix now as needed). We tried to diagnose the leak rest of the antifreeze leak but have been unsuccesfull as the hoses all seam fine according to a friend who is a mechanic at small shop. We are planning on getting ride of the car this spring, but right now I want to see about the windows defrosting or if the issues are related?
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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
You dont notice any smell of antifreeze inside the car? It does act like a pin hole leak in the heater core. The fix it now cheap is to put a tee in the input hose to core under hood and add stop leak there.
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Thursday, January 13th, 2011 AT 5:33 AM
Tiny
OLERIM20
  • MEMBER
Actually I have notice the smell of antifreeze sometimes in the car. I do not drive it routinely. So, is the possible pin hole leak in the heater core the likely other loose of antifreeze besides the overflow tank I replaced already?

Also, why would this pinhold leak cause the foggy of the inside the windows so bad?

I will have to consult a mechanic it find the input hose to the heater core, unless you can easily describe it. If the hose is plastic or rubber can I just cut the hose and use a union to splice it. (Why the tee?)

Is there any more detail you could give me about adding the stop leak. Do you recommend a certain manf. Stopleak for this scenario?
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Thursday, January 13th, 2011 AT 9:38 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
I like the powdered dry aluminum stuff. But not many places sell it anymore. And the hose is rubber and yes you can union it. Although maybe just disconnect and add your own piece of hose to hold up and fill with the stop leak mixture. Then union the 2 together and run car till heater is warm. Then stop and wait till engine is cool and remove your hose and replace original to core inlet. The reason window fogs is because steam from pinhole fogs cold windows. Like breathing on the window in your house. And yes, this is a loss of cooling system fluid. You may have other 1's though.
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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 7:18 AM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
Check under the floor mats and rugs. See if they are moist or wet. When you clean the inside of the windows are they hard to clean after you clean them is there still a sticky film. And if you are losing antifreeze. They will be on the passengers side Sometimes they can get a hairline crack create a leak. If you don't have anti freeze or heater leak then the inside of the vehicle has a high humidity. Could be from snow or rain that had gotten into your car. If that is the case it will take a long time to dry if left covered. When you check the rugs also include the rear seat for excessive moisture. The system should be flushed on a regularly. Over time a automobile can build up junk and can clog up your radiator or heater core. This could cause overheating. I flush my vehicles each year just before the winter to make sure I have no problems where I would get stuck in a snow storm from the car overheating or not getting heat from a clogged heater core. Check the floors first to see if they are wet. If so you can tell by feeling them if it is water or antifreeze
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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
OLERIM20
  • MEMBER
To: M_H_Ritzel
The answer from FIXITMR seems to make sense to me and I believe I will try that unless there is some big reason not to.

The car does not have any issue with overheating. There is simply water moisture on the front floor only, due to snow and being frozen in the winter (minnesota).

You mentioned a hairline crack. Are you referring to the radiator, if so I had that checked and the radiator is not leaking. (I had that problem on my truck and replaced it) Where you talking about the radiator for the hairline crack?
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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 5:22 PM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
The answer from fixitmr is right if you have a coolant leak. If the water is just from snow melting in the car making the rugs wet. If that is the case the rugs would need to be dried up. I have had it happen to me before. What I did was remove the floor mats and put old bathroom towels on the rugs. The towels would absorb the water a little at a time. I would change them once in a while until the rugs were fairly dry. The hairline crack I mentioned is when a rubber hose gets brittle over the years and starts to leak. A hose is the most common coolant leak. I try not to use stopleak unless there is an emergency situation. But that is just my opinion.
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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 7:11 PM
Tiny
OLERIM20
  • MEMBER
NEW WAY TO REPLACE HEATER CORE IN TAURUS WITHOUT DASH REMOVAL ARTICLE

Than you for your help.
I believe I will try the heater core total replacement as luckily this article is showing how to do it without removing the dash. I woulk like to avoid it as I have done a few dash removals for blower motors and stereos.

Can you please review the article to make sure nothing sounds really off or a red flag to you. I believe with this article I can tackle this project, but I would like to hear your thoughts on the article being recordable, which I just found online in a search when I was looking for a picture of the heater core hoses.

Also, I have replaced an condesor and total A/C system on my truck before which requires adding some oil, etc. To my knowledge when replacing the heater core no oils or fluids will be needed for the heater core replacement. Is this correct?

Thanks for your help.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 5:33 PM
Tiny
OLERIM20
  • MEMBER
If the floors are not sopping wet and this continues is there any reason to not believe this is the heater core with pinhole or crack as the issue for the window fogging?

NEW WAY TO REPLACE HEATER CORE WITHOUT DASH REMOVAL ARTICLE

I did a search online and found and article from MACS, which seems reliable to me. It shows how to replace a heater core on my car without the dash removal which would be very nice! As I have removed dashes before and would rather not if not needed.

Can you please review this article to and let me know if anything does not seem correct about it or a big red flag. As I will be using this to guide me through it.

There is a mechanic who found a way to do it without dash removal, in 1996-1999 Taurus / Sables.

Do these instructions look sound?

Also, I have replaced a total A/C system on my truck which requires oil/fluid add to the system. Am I correct that when replacing a heater core no fluid adds will be needed, but on the part replacement?

Thank you for your help !
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 5:54 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
You only have to add antifreeze. Sounds like a good shortcut, i'd try it! Thanks for the info.
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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 AT 3:30 AM
Tiny
OLERIM20
  • MEMBER
The instructions in the article worked great, I just added taking off the interior windshield side trims and floor trims by door. I helped in pulling back the dash with only one person. However, the new heater core installed and seems to get work fine, but side windows and top of front windshield show water vapor on inside still after I ran the car a long time. I am thinking that the there may be antifreeze / steam residue on the windows and I am going to try and clean them tommorrow thoroughly. Or I was wondering if antifreeze may be in the vents slightly pooled up somewhere until it all blows out after running a long time, cause the car should produce dry heat now which will take vapor away if pooled in the vents.

Any Thoughts or ideas along these lines why side and top of front windshield ramain foggy?
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Thursday, January 20th, 2011 AT 4:24 AM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
I am glad it worked out for you. If it was anti freeze it will take a while to get to clear up. The moisture is because the interior of your car is high. It will take a little while to dry. Once things dry up it should be ok. If you have floor mats take them out as long as you have some clear weather. That way the moisture in the rugs will dry out quicker.
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Friday, January 21st, 2011 AT 6:28 PM

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