Help for Linda, Who Smells like the Radiator Fluid in Non-existent Cars

Originally Posted by: carcynic on 11 January 13 @ 11:25 PM EST

Many Years Ago, a Google+ user, Linda, posted the following:

I’ve read of a lot of tips for plugging a hole in a radiator.
1: Which tip is the best?
2: Can you use the same tips for a crack in the heater?
I’m tired of smelling like coolant and my windows fogging up
(I’ve got a 1995 Citroën Xsara)

OK, Linda really needs some help here. Read on, and we’ll sort through her problems.
To be honest, Linda didn’t actually post this to the CarCynic, It was a public post, but Google+ did not allow a “Page” to respond to public posts from someone who has not added them, so I’ll answer it here.

First, studious readers will see that Linda has a non-existent car. The Xsara was introduced in 1997, so she either has a 1995 something else (A Citroën Xantia, perhaps) or a 1997-2006 Citroën Xsara. If the latter is the case, Linda, your car is at least 2 years newer than you thought, so please send me the difference when you sell it.

As far as your Windows giving you problems, lots of people have problems with Windows (usually freezing, not fogging, but hey, it’s close). Perhaps our sister site, can help with that. (OK, that was a really shameless and desperate grab for page hits. I apologize and promise not to do it again until the next opportunity presents itself.)

As far as smelling like coolant, I can’t really help with B.O., but I wonder if the car smells at all? (Just joking. Linda seems like a really cool person, and she has a really cool website.)

Lastly, and a bit more seriously, we’ll deal with Linda’s leaking radiator and/or heater core.

The CarCynic never recommends radiator stop leak products. Some of them actually do work, but I always wonder where the rest of the product goes? Modern engines have some pretty small coolant passages in them, and any blockage could cause $erious problems. I know that the products say they won’t solidify until they encounter air, but what happens when the coolant drains back from the head, or the next time you do a drain, flush, and refill? (Which we all do — Right on schedule, right?)

There’s only 2 ways to fix a radiator or heater core, and of these 2 ways, only the second really works:
1. Solder it.
2. Replace it.

Now, a good local radiator shop can often save you lots of money buy re-building or repairing a radiator, heater core, intercooler, oil cooler, etc. They can even build custom replacements that are better than OEM quality.

Originally Posted by: carcynic on 11 January 13 @ 11:25 PM EST