Oldsmobile Aurora Heater Core Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

Heater Core Replacement
The average cost for an Oldsmobile Aurora heater core replacement is between $445 and $776. Labor costs are estimated between $308 and $444 while parts are priced between $137 and $332. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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Heater Core Replacement

What is a heater core?

The heater core looks like a very small radiator, and functions just the same. It is mounted under the dashboard. It provides the heat needed for the blower motor to warm the cabin.

How does the heater core work?

As the engine water pump circulates engine coolant through the heater core, it heats the heater core to engine temperature. When heat is desired, the blower motor blows air across the heater core, and sends heat from the engine into the cabin. On newer vehicles, when heat is not desired, the blend door actuators change the flow of air away from, or partially away from the heater core to reduce the amount of heat allowed into the cabin. Older vehicles used a more simple component called the heater control valve. This valve stops the flow of engine coolant into the heater core, and the core is cooled sufficiently to stop production of heat in the cabin.

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What are the symptoms related to a bad heater core?

A failing heater core may cause a vehicle to smell of engine coolant inside the cabin. The majority of the smell will come from the vents while the heater is turned on, and from the floor under the dashboard. Also, the engine may being to run increasingly warmer until the vehicle is repaired. The worst case scenario is engine overheating, and possible engine head gasket failure. If the heater core is simply clogged, the heater in the vehicle will blow slightly warm air, even on the hottest setting.

Can I drive with a heater core problem?

If the heater core is leaking, it is not advised to drive the vehicle as overheating can result from any coolant leak. In this situation, towing the vehicle to a repair facility is the best course of action. When the heater core is simply clogged, it will not affect drivability in any way, but passenger comfort may be negatively affected.

How often do heater cores need to be replaced?

Heater core issues are most commonly associated with lack of engine cooling system maintenance, as corrosion inside the heater core is the cause of most failures. As engine coolant sits in the engine, anti-corrosive agents help prevent corrosion and rust. through these protective chemicals are present, corrosion and rust will occur over time. The majority of vehicles will never need a heater core replacement, but without the factory scheduled coolant flushes the heater core may not make it to 100,000 miles.

How are heater core issues diagnosed?

Heater core diagnosis is as easy as smelling inside the vehicle, and feeling the carpet under the dashboard. The heater core may leak enough coolant onto the carpet to saturate the carpet and underlayment. Puddling may occur in the floorplan. If the heater core has not leaked onto the carpet, but the strong smell of coolant is in the vehicle, the heater core is still suspected. The smell of coolant from the heater vents may be cause for confirmation if the smell of coolant is not outside the vehicle.

Heater Core Replacement Cost Estimates

The average cost for a Heater Core Replacement is between $445 and $776 but can vary from car to car.

How is a heater core replaced?

Replacing the heater core in some models can be done by removing the HVAC duct case, which is situated under the dashboard. Many components must be removed in order to separate the ducting from the vehicle, as it often sprawls across the majority of the dashboard. In many cases, the dashboard must be removed from the vehicle to access the heater core. Once engine coolant lines are removed, and the heater core is accessed, the new heater core will be placed in the HVAC ducting case, and mounted back into the vehicle. Once all reconstruction is complete, the heater core is connected to heater core hoses, and the engine coolant is topped off and bled of air.

RepairPal Recommendations for heater core issues

Following the factory scheduled maintenance intervals can help prevent this, as they are planned to protect the customer from major repairs, such as this. The engine coolant used in the vehicle should be the type recommended by the manufacturer.

What to look out for when dealing with heater core issues

Heater core replacement in some vehicles is considered difficult, but in many others, it is considered a major repair. Quality replacement heater cores have excellent anticorrosive protectants applied inside and outside, and should not need another replacement if the cooling system is maintained.

Can I replace the heater core myself?

This is not recommended as a DIY repair. The amount of deconstruction involved will leave many DIYers with a stack of parts, and a car they cannot reassemble. Removal of the dashboard involves airbags, which are extremely dangerous to service without proper training. Professional technicians understand the protocol for servicing airbags, other SRS system components, HVAC components, and the many subsystem components assembled in the dashboard. A professional with this knowledge is needed for this repair.