Finally fixed my @#$%^&* HEATER!! I hope!
Yes, I had the same lack of heat problems that others suffer, today I hope I put an end to it. OH--- the car is a 99 Taurus. So far, I have reversed flushed the heater core about 6 times over the last year. After every time I get great heat, lasts for about a week then the dreaded cold air starts all over again.
Today, I purged the entire system. What got me started was the brown goook in the radiator reservoir. The goook comes from the casting process (so I am told). It is remnents of the casting sand that didn't get cleaned out when the engines were manufactured. Stuff is as close to baby poop as one can imagine.
OK, this is how I did it in case others want replicate my work with their cars. First, I crawled under the front bumper and removed the plastic shield under the radiator. This was necessary because one cannot get at the radiator drain with the plastic shield in place. The drain is located on the driver's side at the radiator bottom. I drained the radiator.
Next, connected my garden hose and stuck it into the radiator reservoir to keep it filled while the bottom of the radiator purged the junk in the system. The engine ran during this time. The stuff coming out did not look that bad............. don't be misled! After getting all the antifreeze out and any junk that wanted to flow, I closed the drain, poured in a container of Prestone Radiator Flush.
I ran the engine for about 20 minutes with this stuff in it. Let it cool down, opened the radiator drain and the stuff looked brown! again connected the hose, restarted the engine and let the stuff continue draining for at least 1/2 hour. I did not stop until the color of the stuff coming out the drain was clear or at least almost clear. Closed the drain, filled the radiator with water, ran the engine to temperature and ..........NO HEAT! Shut the thing down again, let cool to avoid burning myself. Next I removed the hose from the engine (drivers side) that goes to the heater core. This is the heater feed hose. Removed the return on the passenger's side, the return goes back to the water pump.
Next I have a short hose with a femal connector on one end to screw into my garden hose. The other end is just cut off. I think this is a 5/8" hose. I connected that to the pipe I removed the heater return hose from. Next went to the basement and turned the water on to the hose. This procedure forces water backwards through the heater core. Let this reverse flushing run for a couple of minutes, shut things down, reconnect the heater hoses, filled the radiator reservoir with water, started the engine, let it come up to temperature, turned the heater on and WOW!!!! The car has never had so much heat! OH-- I redrained the radiator to add antifreeze and then buttoned up everything I removed to get at the drain.
OK,OK--- maybe my problem will return. If it does, I intend to re-flush the radiator and again reverse flush the heater core. Because I got so much brown goop out of the radiator, I have a feeling this time will be the last time I lack decent heat.
I took the time to detail everything here because I know there are others who are facing similar problems. I hope sharing my experience will provide insight for them to fix their heating problems,