Heater Core Replacement


Not getting enough heat? Not getting any heat? It could be your heater core. Here are some simple instructions on how to replace this vital winter comfort component.

Warning: Most cars, trucks, SUVs and vans today are equipped with Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS), also known as "airbags." Disarm the airbag system before working in the area of any airbag component. Disarming will help avert the possibility of an accidental deployment of the airbag, which could cause personal injury. Do not use a memory-saving device to preserve the memory in the vehicle's on-board computer module.

Caution: coolant/anti-freeze is a poisonous substance. Do not allow this liquid to come in contact with your skin, mouth, eyes or any other body opening. Follow medical procedures on container if this should occur. Take any used anti-freeze/coolant to a regulated disposal site.

Note: The following are general instructions. Always refer to a repair manual written specifically for your car, truck, van or SUV when performing any type of maintenance work.

Make sure the engine is completely cool before beginning this procedure.

Disconnect the negative battery terminal (see manual).

Drain the cooling system according to instructions in your manual.

Disconnect the heater hose at the heater core pump or the thermostat housing, depending on model. Drain the excess coolant from the heater core into an approved container.

Disconnect the heater hoses from the heater housing outlet and inlet pipes at the vehicle's firewall.

Access the heater core area in the vehicle's passenger compartment. After placing rags underneath the heater core pipes to catch any excess coolant that may spill, remove the heater core pipes from the heater core.

Detach the heater core housing by unfastening the bolts that attach the housing to the vehicle.

Pull the heater core out of the housing.

Installation is generally the reverse of removal. Remember to reconnect the heater core outlet and inlet hoses at the firewall.

Refill the cooling system after installing the new heater core (see manual).

Reconnect the battery (see manual).