Purchased late 2012 new from dealer. My son reported "hot oily amber drips" on his bare rt. foot while driving home from the beach. I investigated and it very much appeared to be coolant leaking from heater core area just above gas pedal.

I removed and coupled together the heater hoses on the firewall in the engine compartment and it appears to have stopped (confirming, in my mind, that the heater core is ca-putz). Incidentally, my daughter (primary vehicle driver) reported that the heater/defrost had not been working (blower works, AC works, no heat) for last 6 months (naturally, she did not tell me this until the activity surrounding the coolant leak commenced). My questions are:

  • the Jeep is only 3 1/2 yrs. old, 33,000 miles. This seems way too soon for the heater core to fail. It is out of warranty but shouldn't the dealer make it right?
  • Does anyone else have experience with heater core failure on late model Jeeps?
  • Is my heater core bypass job going to cause any problems?

1 Answer 1


In theory your fix should not harm anything. You won't have any heat in the vehicle, but basic mechanical principle should lead to No it won't hurt anything. Jeep and just Chrysler in general have issues with HVAC quite frequently. As far as how quickly it failed, 4 years isn't unreasonable, but does seem odd.

Chrysler ordered a change out of coolant types in their vehicles because the engineers deemed it the reason for all the issues with HVAC on their cars. If you Google chrysler switches to OAT It will show you the details. They claim longer service intervals, but any seasoned tech can tell you that was just to cover their butts. As far as the dealership goes. I would just pursue it and see if you can get anywhere. You can't really lose anything by at least trying to argue with them. These are known issues especially in Jeeps. If they've been putting their standard synthetic coolant in it this whole time. It's their fault.

  • Considering the mileage, I'd suggest this course of action as well. I see that Jeep/Chrysler's warranty is 3yr/36k miles under the generic warranty. Since you haven't gone past the 36k mark and the vehicle has been seeing issues for the past 6 months (at least), they may go ahead and fix it. It may come down to it they give a reduced labor rate or a parts included for free, or some such. Something is better than nothing and asking doesn't hurt a thing. Commented May 22, 2016 at 19:29

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