Question about 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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Replacing a heater core myself

I have replaced a few heater cores in my time, but Detroit is steadily trying to get rid of the backyard mechanic like myself. I'm already in to it, but do you have any procedures/tricks to make this easier on me. Thanks for any help, Rich

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It a depends how far you are into it. But this may help
you dont have to remove the steering wheel and column trim, you can just un bolt the column (four bolts) and lower it so it rests on the seat. Some vehicles you dont have to remove the freon / hole a/c module if equipped.
You can pull the instrument panel/carrier far enough away from the core support to slip the heater core out the top of hvac box. Be sure to properly flush your cooling system and replace with dex-cool otherwise you might be dueing the repair again. good luck hope that helps you out

Posted on Nov 30, 2008

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Heater blows cold air


make sure you have enough anti-freeze if you dont have enough it wont push through the motor to your heater core make sure the radiator is full and your resivor is full if its not that you need a new thermostat because your thermostat is stuck wide open these are cheap usually between 5-15 dollars and they are easy to replace just about any backyard mechanic can replace one sounds like you got a cheap easy fix be careful cause alot of shops and dealerships will over charge you this is a cheap part and only takes a few minutes to replace

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Smell antifreeze in my 2011 Hyundai Elantra


The only component inside the car that carries antifreeze is the heater core. I have not heard of any such problems with the year car you have. Take it to any radiator shop (or trusted repair shop) and ask them to pressurize the cooling system. If it doesn't hold pressure, you have a leak somewhere that should be apparent with pressure on the cooling system. It could be as simple as a loose clamp. If it were the heater core, you could feel the carpet where it touches the firewall. If it's wet and sweet smelling, you need a new heater core installed. Replacing the heater core requires quite a bit of disassembly and not something I would recommend for a typical backyard mechanic. Good luck.

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I HAVE A 98 LINC TOWNCAR AND THE HEATER CORE NEEDS TO BE REPLACED.. FORD IS GOING TO CHARGE ME $1200 ... A LOCAL REPAIR SHOP WILL CHARGE $600 .. I HAVE ABOUT $120 TO MY NAME.. CAN SOMEONE HELP ME SO THAT...


If it is necessary to remove the heater assembly, the cooling system must be drained before removing the heater core.
When a heater core leaks, a new heater core is installed or the old one repaired.
Heater Housing
  • The heater housing is usually under the dash and must be removed to gain access to the heater core.
  • Procedures for replacing the heater core vary with the year, make, and model of car. It threfore necessary to consult the manufacturer's repair manuals for the proper procedure for replacement.
f74-01.gif The heater housing is disassembled to get to the heater core. Heater Core
  • Remove the access panels(s) or the split heater/air conditioning case to gain acess to the heater core.
  • Remove the heater coolant hoses.
  • Remove the cable and/or vacuum control lines (if equipped).
  • Remove the heater core securing brackets and/or clamps.
  • Lift the core from the case. Do not use force. Take care not to damage the fins of the heater core when removing.
  • To reinstall the heater core, reverse the removal steps.
When the heater core leaks and must be repaired or replaced, it is a very difficult and time-consuming job primarily because of the core's location deep within the firewall of the car. For this reason always leak test a replacement heater core before installation.

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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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Remove glove box to get better access. It takes a few minutes to unhook the vent tubes and heater mechanisms, but you will finally get to the point of opening the black plastic housing. 
There you will see the core. Remove the one bracket that is still holding the core and the two hoses from the engine side of the firewall. A little maneuvering and the core should come free. 
Note: A faulty thermostat can  cause  overpressure and apparently the heater core gives up first. 
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1 Answer

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If it's your heater core, unless you're a mechanic you probably should get professional help. The heater core is located on the firewall and many parts need to be replaced to get to it. Do you see water on the floor inside the vehicle, Many times a heater core will leak inside.

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I experienced the same head ache. First attempt was to replace the thrmostat and after taking it apart I realized that there was nothing wrong with it. I then removed the plastic cover/panel located under the dash board on the passenger's side. (only a few 4-5 smalls screws) Removal will enable you to see the on/off switch/gate moving/rotating as you turn the knob to hot or cold positions, on the control panel. If that switch/gate seems to work ok, then the trouble is within the heater core. Many mechanincs suggested that I replace the heater core. A very expensive proposition.
I checked the heater core supply/intake hose and found it hot to the touch, while the return hose was nearly cold. It was definitely a heater core blockage. I removed both ends (supply and return) hose connections/clamps. They are located near the fire wall in the engine compartment. A special tool is very helpful to remove those clamps easily and to replace them as well. It can be done the old fashion way but this tool was a life saver and reduced work time to just minutes. (Tool is $70.00 bucks at auto parts store,so I borrowed mine from a mechanic/friend)
I then hooked up a garden hose to the return end of the heater core and reversed the flow of coolant/water through the heater core. My truck is a Sierra 2000 and I refuse to see how a heater core could get clogged up with clear coolant alone. To my surprise a flat piece of rubber about the size of a quarter blew out of it and the flow of water became unobstructed. I reconected the ends of the hoses to the heater core, replaced the lost antifreeze & everything returned back to normal. No money spent for something most mechanics suggested I replace control valves/switches ($280.00) replace heater core ($500.00) etc etc. I am glad I was curageous enough to tackle this myself and save a few pennies. Good luck, and I hope this will work for you.

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2 Answers

How to replace heater core


This is a BIG job that will take more space to describe than this space allows. The short version is open both front doors, remove everthing that doesn't look like a heater core, replace whats left with a new heater core.
Seriously this is a job that will take 8 hours or so the first time. The dash must come out, the a/c must be drained, then the climate unit comes out and gets split open. Use a quality new core as many of the aftermarket ones fail quickly. A methodical backyarder could pull this off but I would recommend a pro for this one.

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AUTOZONE.COM has excellent info for your vehicle. They have an online repair guide.

This link may get you to the guide for your car, please try.

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