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Old 01-30-2009, 08:13 AM
 
6,354 posts, read 10,274,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGowdog View Post

Why in the world weren't these things just designed to be replaced from the firewall?
Because then you'd have heat in the engine compartment, and not the cabin .

On my car it's very easy, a quick 45 mins tops, just behind one access panel. On my wife's car you have to take apart the dash. That's a good days' work.

Most people don't keep cars after 10 years so I would say that is why they are designed the way they are. I've noticed once my cars hit 10 years old they really start going downhill and require a lot of upkeep. Some I do and some I ignore depending on the issue.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:34 PM
 
Location: The 719
8,181 posts, read 13,302,072 times
Reputation: 9611
I would guess that most vehicles I drive are older than you. Some things never wear out. Some things need fixed or refurbished.

If you want to throw your car away after 5 to 10 years and go buy a brand spanking new one, you'd be Detroits' wet dream. How's that working?

I disagree about the firewall. All you need to heat the cabin is a source of heat (heater core... like a small radiator) and air flow blowing that hot air into the cabin (like a fan). That or lower the heater core to where it could bloody well be replaced without taking the whole dash apart.

Last edited by McGowdog; 01-30-2009 at 03:44 PM..
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,800 posts, read 22,801,765 times
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As to why heater cores are not designend to be easily replacable, short answer, the marketplace does not demand it.

It would be easy enough to make it a cassette that can be removed from the firewall, or maybe from the passenger's side footwell.

Some manufacturers give some thought to servicability and some don't. VW did, I don't know about current models but certainly the old 'rocco is mostly well-laid-out for most service work. For example, the water pump is outside the timing belt and lower, so a leaking water pump does not wet the belt, and you can change one without disturbing the other. On the Camry (3S-FE) the water pump is inside, and driven by the cam belt, the motor mount on that side of the engine is also inside the cam belt. It's not awful, but doing just the water pump on the Camry does not make any sense, you would do the timing belt too, likewise if the cam belt has served it's time, makes sense to do the water pump regardless if it shows any sign of starting to leak or no.

That said, the Camry timing belt and water pumps are longer-lived than the VW items.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,167 posts, read 18,555,303 times
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replacing is not so ez... dealer is too high, a local shop will be 1/2 but not cheap.

usually entire dash and airbag assemblies must be removed

It's probably a flow issue within the heater core (as per Sunsprit), and it is probably bypassing the heat exchanger and flowing through the manifold within the heater core, (in and out w/o lingering to warm it up) BTDT

set up an external pump and run it with the acid for a long time (4 hrs minimum) The risk is creating a leaky core once it is cleaned, but then you can seal it the same way (with the pump and hot water)

a new heater core would be nice, but unlikely affordable to have installed. You can do it yourself for ~ $50 and lots of hassle, just be careful with the airbags. (follow procedures)
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:51 PM
 
30 posts, read 69,257 times
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way to hi..a hearter core cost 62$ p tax for that model and labor,I.ve done a few so the longest time it has taken is 6 hrs @ 40$ the more you do the less time it takes..but the labor rate might go to 50$ an hr...even if it took a less experienced tech 10 hrs. that would be $562 + tax..keep shoping around
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:51 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,357 posts, read 57,087,822 times
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I don't know where you live that you can find auto repair labor at $40 and $50 an hour... around here the going rate is about $90/hr.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:25 PM
 
Location: San Diego
41 posts, read 88,738 times
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check repairpal dot com.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:43 AM
 
6,347 posts, read 7,226,602 times
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There's a whole bunch of guessing going on here about the problem and cost to fix. Taurus and Sable's are well known for having heater core problems and no amount of flushing will help. If the problem has been properly diagnosed to be a clogged core, replace it and be done with it. Also, you should check the operation of the blend door actuator. That's what makes the "flaps flap" as one poster put it. You should also check with the dealer ( parts dept.) as some models have a TSB on the heater hose assembly. Just give them your VIN and they will check it for you. It has been updated with a different size restrictor in one of the hoses. As for the cost, my shop is at $94.50 per hour so do the math. Oh, and everyone should listen to Sunspirit. He definitely knows what he's talking about. There is a difference between backyard and professional.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: The 719
8,181 posts, read 13,302,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimme3steps View Post
Oh, and everyone should listen to Sunspirit. He definitely knows what he's talking about. There is a difference between backyard and professional.
I've been impressed with his postings of mechanical stuff as well.

Wheelsup: I hear what you're sayin' about the placement of the heater core. It's not a catastrophic event to have it leak in the cabin. When it happens, I can pull over, get to the trunk, and grab a screwdriver and have the hoses rerouted by the time they've cooled down enough. At least it gets me home. Looking at modern day cars, there's no room to put much against the firewall, is there?

This is why I love my 63' Chrysler. Not to drive everyday, but as a hobby.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,800 posts, read 22,801,765 times
Reputation: 4770
Only 2 problems with "just replace the heater core and go on":

1 The OP stated they don't have much job/financial security, the job is expensive.

2 I have seen heater core replacements done with excellent craftsmanship, where the dash got put back together exactly as it came from the factory, everything worked right, no additional rattles, etc. I have also seen the job botched. This is a time-consuming job, aggravating, and you need to make sure you get a tech who is a mechanic to the core, who has a lot of his (her) ego tied up in the ability to fix what mere mortals can't fix. You don't always get this caliber of tech at every dealer.

With spring coming on, I'd suggest the OP just "man up" and wear a sweater, maybe change the coolant in the car, and plan on doing a comprehensive fix later when maybe the economy is not so shaky.
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