1999 Dodge Caravan heater hose leak

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Heater problem
1999 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic

hi. I have dual air and heat. I think one of my rear heater hoses is bad. Leaks alot. Being under the car im baffled by how I get at it. Up in the sidewall of engine. Thanks

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Thursday, March 12th, 2009 AT 2:28 PM

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The hoses at the rear use quick connectors similar to an air hose. Push the plastic ring into the connector body to expand the retaining ring, then pull the hose off and take a bath in coolant! A needle nose pliers makes a nice handle to push the ring in.

This will make life better for you: The original hoses have a rubber o-ring seal that shrinks in cold weather and leaks. Chrysler offered a super-ceded part with two rubber o-rings, ... That shrink and leak! It's the only repair authorized for repairs under warranty, but out of warranty, if you want to make a permanent and more effective repair, cut the old hose off and replace it with regular bulk heater hose. I think you need 3/4" diameter hose, but I can't remember for sure. Attach it to the old hose with nylon tie straps, and watch that it's not kinked from making such a sharp bend by the rear heater core.

When you cut the hose on the front, don't cut the metal pipe. Use a hacksaw or air cutoff tool to cut the aluminum crimp off the hose, then cut the plastic hose off the pipe. This will leave the barbs on the pipe so the new hose won't slide off.

Bleeding the system is easier if you replace both hoses at the same time. Since the inlet and outlet of the heater core are on the bottom, the coolant will drain out and make an air pocket that is hard to bleed out. I had the best luck by refilling the radiator, then pressurizing the system by either warming the engine or using a hand pump pressure tester. While under pressure, pinch off one of the hoses going to the rear unit, then loosen the rear clamp on the same hose. Coolant will be forced through the heater core to the loose clamp. You might have to do this multiple times. Sometimes it works faster if you don't fill the radiator completely at first. Coolant doesn't compress under pressure, but air does. As you bleed off pressure at the rear clamp, the pressurized air in the radiator will expand pushing out a greater volume of air in the rear.

If you don't have the patience to bleed the rear heater, it won't produce heat but everything else will be fine. Eventually it will bleed on its own but it will take some time at highway speeds.

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Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 AT 9:34 PM

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