Dodge W100 Heater Core
Troubleshooting Dodge W100 Heater Core Problems
There are many reasons for the heating system in the Dodge W100 Power Wagon to malfunction, but in almost all instances the problem can be traced back to the heater core. Similar in function to the car radiator, the heater core heats the cabin by transferring the heat from the radiator coolant to the cabin air. Dodge W100 heater cores rarely break down, but when they do it can be quite a pain to replace as it will entail removing the car dashboard. So if you notice that the heater in your W100 is not working properly, follow these troubleshooting tips to determine the exact source of the problem.
Leaking coolant and antifreeze
Look for signs of coolant and antifreeze inside the cabin. If you notice puddles in the passenger-side foot well or there is a sweet smell permeating in the cabin when the heater is running (some people describe antifreeze smell as similar to maple syrup), it means that the coolant and antifreeze is not reaching the heater core and is leaking out.
Low coolant levels
Check if the radiator's coolant reservoir has still enough coolant and antifreeze and refill it immediately if the level is low. Even if the heater core is working properly, it will start to malfunction once it is not receiving an adequate amount of coolant.
Smoking heater core
With the heater turned on, check the vents and defroster ducts for puffs of white smoke. Also, check if the windshield is fogging up while the heater runs and after shutting it off. Smoking heater cores are a sign that there is not enough coolant/antifreeze reaching it and that the core is starting to overheat.
Check the hoses
With the engine still warm, touch the two hoses running from the engine block to the heater core. If one of the hose is colder than the other, coolant is not circulating properly to and from the heater core. In addition, check the condition of the thermostat and see if it is still functioning properly. If the thermostat is working at the correct engine temperature and there's enough coolant in the radiator, it means that the heater core is not working.