Heater by­pass not the cause of rough run­ning

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - PREOWNED - Ray Magliozzi and Doug Ber­man

Dear Car Talk:

My heater core started leak­ing, so I plugged the hoses go­ing to the heater. I live in Hawaii, so I don’t need the heater. Af­ter a few months, I no­ticed that the plugs I had in­stalled had started to crack. They’re not the same-qual­ity rub­ber as the hoses. So, I re­placed the plugs with a hose that just con­nects the coolant line go­ing to the heater core with the coolant line com­ing from the heater core. Then I started to no­tice that the car runs rough in traf­fic. Did I do this wrong?

— Charles

“Don’t need heat.” Sure, rub it in, Charles!

You did it ex­actly right. You ba­si­cally take the two hoses off the heater core, you stick them to­gether and you’re done. That way, the coolant will con­tinue to cir­cu­late, even though it no longer goes through the heater core.

And by­pass­ing the heater core should have no ef­fect at all on the per­for­mance of the en­gine, Charles. So there’s some­thing else wrong that’s caus­ing your rough en­gine op­er­a­tion in traf­fic.

What else did you “fix” re­cently, Charles? I’d start there.


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