Question about 2002 Dodge Neon

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Can a back yard mechanic replace the heater core

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  • jose vargas
    jose vargas May 11, 2010

    yes a back yard mechanic can fix it.

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You need to remove the dash and heater box...this requires removal of the freon...but otherwise it can be done in the back yard

Posted on Oct 13, 2008

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How to install a new heater ore for a 2002 saturn sl


It's a long 7-10 hour job.

Have to remove the dashboard

then remove hoses to heater core
then remove wires going to heater core circuit board
then remove heater core
replace it and put everything back together without messing anything under your dashboard.

Mechanics charge between $700 to $1000 to replace one.

If the core is not leaking (wet passenger side floor) you may want to try a reverse flush before touching anything, remove the 2 hoses in the engine compartment at the firewall leading to the heater core and with a garden hose flood the heater core connector until it the water is clear then do the other connector.

If that don't work and your not sure you can do the replacement correctly don't do it.

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if they have replaced it 3 times and still can't get the leak stopped
A. It not the heater core something else is leaking

B. there using a used heater core (which is my opinion is plain . . stupid)
C. the mechanic has no idea what he doing
First thing they should have done when car was brought in the 1st time was check for other leaks if it is the heater core still leaking the mechanic is installing it wrong or not geting hoses tight. the actual changing of the heater core takes only about 10 minutes and actually a easy process that anyone could do. What takes the most time is getting to the heater core because the majorly of the time the whole dash has to come out which takes hours

I would take your car somewhere else and have it fixed right and have them bill the dealership for the repairs

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Sounds like the heating core you may have to take it to a mechanic who knows how to service a Cadillac or your next bet would be to take it to a dealership. Spendy, but I would rather have a certified mechanic check on the caddy then a back yard mechanic

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If the problem is infact the heater core, it could be very costly to put a new one in, I suggest looking at junk/scrap yards for a used one for your car.

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ON THE FIREWALL WHERE THE HEATER CORE NIPPLES COME OUT AND CONNECT TO A HOSE WELL CAN I REPLACE ONE OF THOSE NIPPLES


It depends on your "back yard mechanic" skills.
It's not the usual repair.Most people would put in a new heater core with new nipples already there.

If you take the old heater core out and get a piece of tubing the correct diameter, then solder it on. I would reinforce the solder joint with JB weld

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Replacing the heater core,cannot remove dash


The best thing to do for this is get a haynes repair guide. I had to replace heater core on my 1996 Jetta and that was a big help. It had step by step directions of taking out the dash. I took pictures as i went to help me remember how things went back together. And a bit of advise.....when you get stuck and fustrated STOP for the day get a good nights sleep and start again...dont rush or you'll break somthing. This was a estimate i got for $1300 and i did it for $35 for the new heater core and another $15 in parts that i got from a wrecking yard because i was trying to rush and broke!

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How to install heater core.


Book time is 1.8 hrs. If he is charging for flushing the cooling system then 3 hrs is not too far off.

Warranty is usually void if the system isn't flushed.

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you dont tell me alot, but i would suspect an blown head gasket get a pressure test.adrian;;;

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If your radiator is not clogged, your thermostat is working, and you have a new heater core, it sounds like when your mechanic was installing your heater core, that he possibly pulled a vacuum line loose or forgot to hook one back up. On most all late model vehicles, heater controls are vacuum operated. One line to move the selector flap from vent to floor to defrost, etc., and one line to move the heat flap from hot to cold. Most vehicle manufacturers changed from mechanical controls to vacuum operated controls to try to simpify the system and have less parts to have to replace. However the set-back with this is that when a vacuum line comes loose, it can be harder to locate your problem whereas a mechanical issue would obviously be right behind the controls inside the dash. If your problem is vacuum related, you can most likely assume that the problem will be somewhere under the dash, as that is where those particular vacuum lines should be routed, and also is what the mechanic had to disassemble when replacing your heater core.

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