Originally Posted by D.T.
1. Get some radiator stop leak and put in radiator.
2. Bypass heater core with a fitting and bundle up for a while.
3. Drive to work and keep cleaning the fog off windshield and keep and eye on coolant.
4. Buy a heater core and try to DIY (need to tear dash apart outside
DO NOT use stop leak, it will clog radiator passages and you do not want
that to happen. Stop leak is a mistake, period. I've been working on vehicles
for over 40 years and I have used stop leak and seen the results when other
people use it. It is a bad idea to use it, period. Stop leak never really works
and it screws up things in the cooing system which were in fine shape
before the stop leak was dumped into the system. I am sure some people will
disagree with me on this, and frankly they will be wrong.
Do whatever it takes to either fix it yourself or pay to have it fixed. You need
to have a windshield defroster which works, and whether you are willing to
drive half blind with a fogged up windshield or not, the rest of the people with
whom you share the road do not deserve to be endangered because you are
driving a vehicle which has compromised visibility. It is a question of
responsibility toward the rest of the folks on the road. You don't want
someone in a car to take you out when you're riding your bike, right ? Well,
the rest of the drivers don't want to share the road with someone who can't
see well because the windows in their vehicle are fogged or iced up.
There is also a good chance that if you are driving with a non-operational
defroster and you are in an accident and the insurance investigator
determines your vehicle was being operated in an unsafe condition that
the insurance company will make an effort to refuse to indemnify you.
That could ruin the rest of your life by saddling you with personal debt
if you are found liable.
Perhaps you can do a deal with an experienced mechanic to get some help
with the job outside of the shop where he works so you don't pay the shop labor rate.
If nothing else, you really need to find a work space which can be heated, because the
job is too involved to do when it is below freezing. But it is best to pay someone who has
been there and done that before, because you need it done right the first time and there
is no substitute for experience on a job like this.