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Starting issues, repeated leaks in heater core valve


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Aug 2, 2016
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Update: My video and post refer to the leak as a possible cause for my starting issues. I just realized the starter and the leaking valve are on opposite sides.

Trouble still there, likely the starter then, and the leak as a separate issue... Why does that valve keep going bad?

I had trouble starting the truck this morning. It took a while, and then it started right away. I suspected a bad starter, as I drove off, I noticed steam coming off the engine. I pulled over and found that my heater core valve was leaking. It is probably the third time in three years that I've replaced it. Last year, I used my garden hose to "flush" the heater core, and it came back pretty clean. Nothing much came out of it. I replaced the valve with a new one and when it got warmer, I was afraid the valve would break again and leave me stranded, so I eventually just disconnected the heater from the actuator.
About two weeks ago I connected the heater actuator. This morning I noticed the valve leaking (see video link).

I have made a video if it helps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vVp-GcdyYI

1.- Are the leak and the starter problems related?
2.- Why does my valve keep going bad? Dirty Core? How can I clean it? (hose didn't seem to get much out)

Any help is appreciated.
2003 Ford Ranger 2WD 2.3L MFI DOHC 183K m. Standard T.​
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