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Old 12-08-2002, 07:16 PM
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coolant loss at base of windshield 1984 380SE

Ladies and Gents,

I have a 1984 380SE (which I love) which has recently developed a coolant leak at the base of the windshield. Doesn't start until the car is warmed up and the bellows do their thing. Didn't leak hardly at all this summer, now it flows and causes steam (smells like coolant) to flow through the interior vents. Air conditioning worked fine this summer. I know there is an aux water pump and looks like some type of manifold or valving there, but not what else.

Dealer says it is the heater core and will be $2500-3000 (lot's of labor) Any ideas before I spend this amount, it may be cheaper to find another car? They did sya it might be the aux water pump, but doubted it. There is no visible coolant in the interior (other than the steam smell)

dave dabay

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Old 12-08-2002, 08:02 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
It isn't that hard to take off the cover and check to see what is really leaking. Do this first.

Make them pressure check the cooling system. Most likely is a hose or aux pump. I have seen VERY FEW heater cores fail on the 126.
Donnie Drummonds
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Old 12-08-2002, 09:00 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
One thought, that I am sure Donnie had as well, is that I believe this model has the heated sections at the base of the windshield.
These are rubber or plastic containers, which are provided with hot coolant, that keep the areas the wiper blades rest upon free of ice and snow. They can leak. It's pretty rare, but I've seen it.
The windshield need to be removed to replace them.

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Old 12-15-2002, 04:19 PM
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solution to coolant leak

Thank you guys for the solution help. It turns out that the leak was at a small gate valve like unit that allows water into the bladders. It came apart at the seams and was leaking there. Pressure from the two hoses on either side seem to have regulated the leak, somewhat.

I now need to learn the part number and name to get a replacement. For the moment I have bypassed it with a small piece of tubing.

Again thanks for the prompt help.


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