A leaking heater core in a Dodge Ram--or any vehicle--can be a sizeable repair job, complete with a sizeable repair bill. Unfortunately, the nature of automotive repairs usually means things do not break when it is convenient for you to fix them. However, ignoring a coolant leak of any kind can rapidly turn your inconvenient need for repair into a necessary engine replacement. There are two types of quick fixes, but both will require you to follow up and fix it properly as soon as possible.
The quickest, easiest fix using a radiator leak stopper like Bar’s Stop Leak. Simply pour the bottle of Stop Leak into the coolant when the system is cold and run the engine for a few minutes. The Stop Leak will flow through the coolant system and gum up any small holes it encounters along the way.
The downside is that the Stop Leak will also gum up any small passageways in your cooling system, including your engine’s water jacket. Stop Leak is also ineffective at fixing leaks in rubber seals. If you have to use the Stop Leak, repair the leak properly as soon as possible, and have the cooling system flushed out thoroughly when you do.
Another quick fix is to remove the heater hoses from the heater core and run them together with a hose fitting, such as a flush tee. The hoses are normally easy to access under the hood and run into the firewall from the engine side. While this will bypass the heater core, and the leak, it will also prevent you from using the heat in the Ram’s cabin. If you perform this procedure in the winter, you will certainly want to get it fixed properly immediately thereafter. If you do this in the summer, make sure not to forget the heater core before winter rolls around.
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