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How Much Will It Cost to Fix a Car Heater Core?

  • Car Services
  • Nova Kainen
  • 6 minutes

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Have you ever encountered a situation wherein all your windows became foggy or your car cabin turned cold even when the engine was hot? A working car heater core is crucial for your car, especially in the colder months. A prompt repair is required if the heater core suddenly stops working as it should. This article explains how much it costs to replace a heater core.

how much to replace a heater core  

How long will it take to replace a car heater core?

To get the job done quicker, fixing the leaking heater core is good rather than replacing it with a new one. Sealing the leak, if small, can solve the issue quickly. It takes an average of 7-8 hours to fix the issue.  

Why does a heater core stop working?

The major reason for the failure in the heater core is the filters that get clogged with dust and dirt. This can lead to furnace problems and high operating costs. The furnace works less efficiently due to the soot buildup on the heat exchanger. You can perform a heater core flush at home.  

How much does it cost to replace a car heater core?

Based on whether you fix the car heater core yourself or with the help of a professional, the cost to fix it varies. Suppose you fix it by hiring a professional, the total cost range between $800 and $1,000. For fixing the issue by yourself, the cost ranges from $100 to $300. When you DIY, the added advantage is that you can save a lot of money, but it can be challenging. The location of the heater core is what makes the job challenging. It is located under the dashboard or within the engine bay.   

How can I know if my heater core is blown?

Below are the signs that help you identify that your car’s heater core is damaged. ¬†

Presence of fog inside your car

You might encounter a situation where your car windows become foggy for no specific reason. This is caused due to an issue with the heater core. It happens when the warm coolant that leaked into the vehicle’s cabin evaporates and gets in contact with the cooler air inside the vehicle. ¬†

how much to replace a heater core

Photo by Ben Moreland on Unsplash

The sweet smell from the car

The sweet smell of the radiator fluid is another sign of an issue with the heater core. This smell is due to the leakage of coolant into the car. If the sweet smell can be felt outside the car, you should check the vehicle underneath to find the quantity of spilled into the ground.  

Cold air blown into the cabin

Damage or puncture to the heater core causes the coolant to not travel through the heater core properly. Hence the warm air escapes too quickly, thus releasing cold air into the cabin. 

Greater usage of coolant

A defective heater core causes an increased need for coolant without any visible reasons. If the leak is not visible, check whether the passenger side floor is wet to confirm the issue.  

Cold cabin with a hot engine

When you experience overheating inside the vehicle, confirm whether there is a heater core failure. If there is a leak in the coolant, the engine will turn hot, but the cabin will be cold. Overheating can be due to reasons other than the heater core failure.  

How does the car heater work?

Like a radiator, the heater core is responsible for rerouting the coolant through a network of tubes and other components. The air conditioner and defroster are connected to the heater core as well. Therefore, there is a wide range of possible signs that your heater core is malfunctioning.  

The coolant in your car’s engine soaks up the heat while the engine is preheating and distributes it to the remainder of the cooling system. The temperature of the coolant is then lowered, maintaining a steady temperature inside the cabin.¬†¬†

The heated coolant will flow to the heater core through a valve that opens after you turn on the car’s heater. Because the coolant gets heated to high temperatures, this method is highly efficient at transferring heat to the heater core. Then you can swiftly accomplish tasks like defrosting your windshield. ¬†

What are the common car’s heating system issues?

To fix the car heater issue quickly, you must know the reason for the issue. The issue can arise due to any of the following defects: 

(i) Damaged thermostat adversely affects the engine’s cooling unit.¬†

(ii) Lower coolant levels limit the heat flow to the heater core. 

(iii) Clogged heater core can adversely affect the car’s heating system.¬†

(iv) Bad wiring will not allow the heating system to work as desired. 

(v) Malfunctioned heater fan will prevent the heat from being blown into the car’s interior.¬†

When should you replace the car’s coolant?

Maintaining an adequate amount of coolant and checking for leaks in the heating lines are essential. It’s important to have the coolant drained and refilled regularly to ensure the engine receives the correct amount of cooling and heating. We recommend changing the car’s coolant every 25,000 miles while doing it more regularly isn’t detrimental to the vehicle.¬†

Based on its construction, the heater core should generally outlast the vehicle, but most only endure about ten to fifteen years. Make sure you replace the heater core according to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow the steps outlined in the manual.¬†

Bottom line

Do not ignore any unusual signs you see in your car, even if they do not cause any direct dangers. Your slight ignorance can lead to great dangers. The next time you get a sweet smell from your car, or when your car windows get foggy, or when cold air blows into the cabin even when the engine is hot, you should be quick to find that it is due to the failure of the heating core.  

Way.com generates competitive quotes from the top service providers. Heater core replacement is covered by auto insurance, so get ready to save more and cut costs by getting car insurance from Way.com.

how much to replace a heater core


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