Beware of Prestone plastic Tee connector! - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Beware of Prestone plastic Tee connector!

A few years ago I changed the radiator fluid in my Intrepid and put in the long-life stuff. I also installed a plastic Prestone Tee connector in one of the heater hoses at the firewall so that I could flush my system out by attaching a garden hose (I know - don't use tap water!). At the time I thought the Tee connector was a good idea - wrong! On the interstate this morning while going 70 MPH I noticed a sudden plume of white smoke from the back of my car. Looked like one of those stunt planes at the airshow that puts out a huge trail of smoke while doing acrobatics. I pulled over and found this:

Both ends of the plastic had cracked and literally fallen apart. I was able to take the stupid "T" out and plug one end of the hose with a hex bolt in my trunk. That enabled me to limp home and fix the problem permanently. So, be wary of these Prestone plastic parts - they apparently are not the type of plastic that can stand up to the repeated hot temperatures of the cooling system.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 02:22 PM
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Wow, that sucks. Glad your car's alright...

Thanks for the heads-up.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 03:12 PM
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They are not ment to be left in for that long. Replace them ever other year or so.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 09:18 PM
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Thats exactly what happened to me in my '95 Grand Marquis about a week after I bought it. I was driving to a friends house, when all of a sudden I get tall smoke coming from the hood and my temp gauge shot to the red zone. Popped the hood and noticed the T thing had come out, bought a new one and I was all good.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 01:30 AM
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Yes pretty thin plastic as I have seen...I wouldn't trust them and do the hard way I suppose...Sorry about the problems but better than what could have happened...
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 01:53 PM
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I have a friend who's '86 Ramcharger caught fire (although minor) when one of these same flushing T's melted and allowed hot coolant to short spark plug wires....

I used one of these same pieces in my daily-driver '90 Spirit 2.5L this summer to flush the cooling system in preparation for block seal (didn't quite fix the head gasket problem which was corrected later).

What I'm wondering is if we should find some straight-through connector made from either better plastic or some sort of metal that we could clamp in between the two lines without fear of damage. If we did that, then when a flush was needed, the flushing T could be replaced for use and then removed afterwords.

Also, I wonder if there would be any recourse with Prestone or any other manufacturer of these parts if they do go wrong, or perhaps requesting that a beter part be provided.

Any thoughts?
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