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Old 11-18-2003, 01:50 PM
mike65's Avatar
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Location: Ireland
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Question Should I bypass heater core?

My 190e heater matrix or core as you tend to say over there, is "borked" its not leaking much but its on its way out.

Now I know its a huge job to replace, what with the whole dashboard and heater workings needing to be removed. One cheaper solution that was suggested, if I did'nt mind wearing a coat and gloves for winter, was to simply bypass the core. Sounds easy enough, has anyone ever done that and did thier tootsies get cold?


ps winters tend to be mild and damp here - not too cold.


1990 Euro 190e 2.0l Petrol Now Sold Maybe a w116 280se next
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Old 11-18-2003, 02:05 PM
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I'm willing to bet you get conditions where your windshield will fog up w/o a defroster. In Southern California we do.

'91 MB 190E 2.3
'08 RAV4 Ltd 3.5
'83 Lazy Daze m'home 5.7
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:50 PM
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I did so on a non MB and when it was cool, humid or rainy the windows would fog up in a matter of minutes. My only remedy (and not a good one at that) was to crack the windows. A real PIA, but finally I pulled the dash and replaced the core.

I can only imagine how bad it would be on the emerald isle, probably bordering on dagerous if you decide to by-pass.
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:35 PM
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The 190e had its heater by-passed. It is not too hard to do. You remove the cover over the wiper assembly, disconnect the hoses going into the heater core at the firewall and route a new hose along under the wiper.

Regarding cool; well yes. Regarding damp; just make sure the fresh air in some amount continues to travel through the cabon of the car.

On other and unsual approach is to disconnect the tubes at the heater core and try replacing just the O-rings. Often though it is the core itself. Or, you could run a tube through the fire wall and across under the dash and backout again. Yes, it is crude, but you would have some heat or always have heat.

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:36 PM
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Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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I agree. Defrosting/defogging capability will be non-existant, and the car won't be very safe in the winter. Even opening the window might not be enough if you're carrying more than yourself.

Heater core replacements were common on cars I owned like my old Camaro, and it was a half hour job. Parts were cheap, access was easy, and things were pretty straightforward. Bloody Germans sometimes just make things too complicated for their own good.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:45 PM
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Location: Ireland
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Thanks for the imput, fogging is already as issue and yep I'm driving with the windows open and an old pillow case to wipe the glass over every now and again! I did a quick google and got this on the first return page

Sounds like the biz to me! I wonder will the fuse take the strain of 15 amps


1990 Euro 190e 2.0l Petrol Now Sold Maybe a w116 280se next

Last edited by mike65; 11-18-2003 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 11-20-2003, 12:05 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Check heater valve first

Before you decide to go about the business of tearing your whole dash apart or paying someone a large sum of money to do the same, check whether or not it is your heater valve that needs replaced.
I thought my heater core went bad a couple of weeks ago and was planning on replacing it too. I was continually filling my radiator on my 190e until the problem became so bad that I could not drive the car. It was that day, with steam pouring out from under the hood that I was able to spot the problem. The leak was coming from just inside the fire wall.
The heater valve is a small vaccum driven valve located inside the firewall that connects to the hose that leads to the heater core. Apparently, the shaft that turns this valve broke, allowing coolant to leak from the unit.
The heater valve is fairly easy to replace and very inexpensive ($15.00-$25.00) If you are lucky, this may be the only thing you need to do in order to restore the heat inside your car!!!!

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