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Old 27-06-2007   #1
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Where does the water leak from if heater matrix has a leak?

I bought a bravo yesterday and have been noticing a few probs with it. The heater refuses to blow out hot air, from what i have read this points to either a head gasket problem or a heater matrix problem. I have tried bleeding the air from the pipes behind the engine but that didn't seem to help.

There are rubber mats in the foot wells and upon lifting the passenger side rubber mat i found the carpet under it to be soaking wet, I thought that the wet carpet might be an indication that the problem with the heater being cold is caused by the heater matrix but as i have only had the car 1 day i am not sure if somthing has been spilt by the previous owner to make the carpet wet. I have had a feel around the underneath of the glove box and cannot find any wet bits, and the carpet seems wetter at the back of the footwell near to the seat and not so wet (although still wet) at the very front of the footwell closest to the front of the car. Does this make sense for a leaky matrix or does it sound more like a drink has been splilt by whoever had the car before. The liquid on the floor just smells like plain water. And where abouts under the dash would the water run down from to get to the carpet from the heater matrix, should the plastic of the dash also be wet if its the matrix.

Sorry for all the stupid questions i would just like to get the problems sorted with my car without having to take it t the garage. I have read that replacing the heater matrix is not a hard job to do its just a pain in the ar*e, so i think if that is the problem i would like to try and fix it my self, is there some good info anywherethat any of you know of that explains the process of removing the dash and replacing it again.

Thank-you very much.
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Old 28-06-2007   #2
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Re: Where does the water leak from if heater matrix has a leak?

it does sound very much like you have a leaking heater matrix. a leak will almost always end up in the passenger footwell. usually you dont find damp anywhere else because the leak runs down between the firewall and bulkhead, then straight and under the carpet.

to replace the heater matrix you need to reomve the dash. you're correct the job is not technically difficult, but its going to be a headache.

dont be tempted to try some leak fixing additives, they're always a bad idea.

for some guideance on doping this use a haynes manual, or try the fiat manuals here: http://babarmalik.com/ledmods.htm
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Old 04-07-2007   #3
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Re: Where does the water leak from if heater matrix has a leak?

For the record, the dash does not need to come out to replace the heater matrix. It will be a total nightmare to do but it is possible.

I witnessed a Fiat mechanic swap my leaking matrix on my old 1.8 Bravo without removing the dash.
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Old 04-07-2007   #4
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Re: Where does the water leak from if heater matrix has a leak?

The heater matrix is situated under the dash in the centre. If you remove the lower trim under the dash attached to the centre-console you'll see the bottom of the heater box clearly. If it's leaking there will be signs of fluid running out the base of the box and normally onto the airbag ECU .

If it's only clear, odourless water it suggests you may have water ingress from another source- door seal/ sunroof drains/ etc.

With the engine running, are both heater hoses in the bay hot? If they are, and the car shows no sign of overheating, it's possible there is no leak, and it's just the heater control linkage cable has broken whilst the temp knob was set to the cold position. If so, fit new cable- job done! (apart from the water ingress! )

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Old 10-07-2007   #5
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Re: Where does the water leak from if heater matrix has a leak?

I know Jug said not to try leaking treatments but i did with mine and i have never had any more problems with it. I got 2 packets of radiator cement, put it in and hoped for the best. Mind you it was the last option before having a new matrix fitted and it worked for me. Then paid 50 for a full valet and they cleaned all inside soaked up all the water from the footwell and dried it nicely.
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