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Discussion Starter #1
My 2012 Limited has sprung a leak to the extent that the drives side front and rear footwells have pooled with coolant.

My passenger side air vents were also blowing cold air.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Unfortunately, my local dealerships have quite poor customer service and I would rather not give any more money to Chrysler. I'll be posting some key points in my effort to remove the heater core myself.

Materials:
Heater core - $282
Coolant: $42



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If you could get hold of a shop manual it would simplify the job greatly. If there is such a thing available.

I replaced a heater core a long time ago in one of my cars and having the shop manual helped a lot. Good luck with your endeavors .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the encouragement.

At the time of my post yesterday I had already removed the center console, heater controls and lower panel below the steering wheel.

I was able to take off some plastic parts on the heater/air conditioning unit and now I can see the heater core and pull it out slightly.

The most difficult part of the job so far is removing the heater hoses. It seems I will have to cut and replace them as they are bound tightly to the old heater core.

Just to get to the hoses on the 3.6 I recommend taking off the large plastic elbow that connects to the throttle body. It's a tight squeeze.


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Discussion Starter #6
Hoses are off and I hoped that the heater core lines would simply slide through the firewall but no luck.

At this point, I'm back to square one - removing the entire dashboard.


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I have a 2012 and bought the service manual because I plan on keeping the car for a long time. I have checked out the relevant info and my advice to the OP is to bite the bullet and take it to a shop because it looks like a difficult job. The service manual says you have to remove the HVAC box from the dash to replace the heater core. The steps involved are beyond the typical home mechanic. For one thing, you need to evacuate the A/C system. Here is some of the info from the service manual....


  1. Disconnect and isolate the negative battery cable.
  2. Recover the refrigerant from the refrigerant system (Refer to 24 - Heating and Air Conditioning/Plumbing - Standard Procedure) .
  3. Partially drain the engine cooling system (Refer to 07 - Cooling - Standard Procedure) .
  4. Remove the top nut (2) that secures the heat shield (3) to the stud (1) located on the dash panel.


    NOTE:
    Two slots are provided at the bottom of the heat shield to aid in heat shield removal. Complete removal of the two bottom heat shield retaining nuts is not required.
  5. Reach behind the engine and remove the two bottom nuts the that secure the heat shield to the studs located on the dash panel and remove the heat shield. Rotate and tilt the heat shield as required.


  6. Remove the bolt (1) that secures the A/C liquid and suction line assembly (2) to the A/C evaporator (3).
  7. Disconnect the A/C liquid and suction line assembly from the A/C evaporator and remove and discard the dual-plane seals.
  8. Install plugs in, or tape over the opened refrigerant line fittings and the evaporator ports.
  9. Disconnect the heater hoses (4) from the heater core tubes. Install plugs in, or tape over the opened heater core tubes to prevent coolant spillage during housing removal.




    NOTE:
    Make sure to remove the five bolts that secure the HVAC housing to the instrument panel support prior to removing the instrument panel from the vehicle.
  10. Remove the instrument panel (Refer to 23 - Body/Instrument Panel/PANEL, Instrument - Removal) .
  11. Remove the rear floor ducts (Refer to 24 - Heating and Air Conditioning/Distribution/DUCT, Floor Distribution - Removal) .
  12. Remove the condensation drain tube (Refer to 24 - Heating and Air Conditioning/Plumbing/TUBE, Condensation Drain - Removal) .
  13. Remove the nut (1) that secures the passenger side of the HVAC housing (2) to the dash panel (3).


    NOTE:
    Use care to ensure that the interior is covered in case of loss of residual fluids from the heater and evaporator cores.
  14. Pull the HVAC housing rearward and remove the HVAC housing assembly from the passenger compartment.
 

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I know this is off topic but have you ever known anyone to have problems with the projector sheilds getting stuck when you are switch from high back to load beams
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Dale. I bought a Haynes service manual for the car to help me along.

I have 4-5 bolts remaining to remove according to the instructions and I'll have the dashboard removed.

It's -20 where I am so I've been taking a bit longer than expected.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also, I'm going to try to avoid removing any harnesses and ac lines. I know that there are instructions to remove these types of parts but all I need is two inches of wiggle room to remove the heater core.

With someone helping to hold the dashboard in place I expect to be able to gain this space to swap the core and being reinstalling all panels.
 

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My passenger side heat does not work..... I called the National Highway Traffic Safety number 888-327-4236 to report I cant defrost my passenger windshield and they said if enough people call the can do a recall on that heater coil (that's what my mechanic said was the problem)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My passenger side heat does not work..... I called the National Highway Traffic Safety number 888-327-4236 to report I cant defrost my passenger windshield and they said if enough people call the can do a recall on that heater coil (that's what my mechanic said was the problem)
It would be great to see a recall for these issues. Any idea on how many people are needed to call in and how many have already done so?

I'm not sure how long heater cores typically last and how much culpability there is on Chrysler. My heater core is in need of replacement after almost 5 years.

I have little faith in receiving any type of assistance from Chrysler or nhts with this car.

I bought the car used in 2014 and three months in I had a random complete failure of the transmission. The warranty covered the replacement of the trans. A few months after that the starter went. That cost about $700. I've only had minor issues with the car otherwise but Chrysler's service in my area has been horrendous. I plan to never buy Chrysler again.
 

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FWIW here is a pic from the service manual. It says you remove the heater core out of the driver's side of the hvac box.




  1. Remove the foam seal (1) from the flange (2) located on the front of the HVAC housing (7).
  2. Remove the screw (8) that secures the flange to the front of the HVAC housing and remove the flange.
  3. Remove the screws (3) that secure the heater core tube retaining brackets (6) to the side of the air distribution housing (4).
  4. On RHD models, remove the air distribution housing from the HVAC housing (Refer to 24 - Heating and Air Conditioning/Distribution/HOUSING, HVAC - Removal)
  5. Carefully pull the heater core (5) out of the driver side of the air distribution housing.
 

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I think perhaps after you remove the core you should have it pressure tested at a rad shop before installing the new one. Just in case the leak may be somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for this!

I'm almost finished I think. The dashboard is hitched on something and I'm not sure what at this point. It slides out only 6 inches and stops on something.

The current heater core looks like its the culprit considering the buildup that I can see on it. Once everything is back together I'll check for leaks and go the pressure test route if there is any more leakage.

When I pulled off the heater hoses, there was the white-ish buildup seen inside of the core lines. The radiator seems ok for now but it will likely get swapped soon as well.
 

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How are you making out jxbane?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How are you making out jxbane?
Hey there. I've had a great time working on the car but some good and bad circumstances have prevented me from working on the car.

I've had a lot of job interviews since last week and this week which had taken most of my time. Also, we've gotten a lot of snow and then a bunch of rain which also reduced how much time I can work on the car.

At this point, all trim peices have been removed and other than the dash not being fully removed, I think the HC replacement portion of the job is about 80-95 percent done. As I was quoted $1450 in labour for the full job, I'm hoping that my work will bring that labour cost down to between $300-700.

I've also been doing some interior detailing of the areas that are now exposed. The car should look brand new when everything goes back in.
 

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Thanks for the update. I had a 93 Plymouth Sundance Duster and to replace the heater core the entire dashboard needed to be removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What's up guys - one of the final updates on this job:

I had a Chrysler dealership swap out the core after I had removed all interior trim and bolts holding the dashboard and steering column.

I was still quoted 5.5 hours of labour - which I feel is a bit too high considering they were to return the car as-is - but I just wanted the work finished.

Side note: anyone else notice that mechanics get a bit testy if you happen to be less than oblivious about cars?

I had the car towed back home yesterday afternoon and today I have put everything except the glove-box back into the car. No leaks found while refilling the coolant. After a road test I'll know how well everything is working.

--Here's the $$$ info that I think is most important--

I was quoted 10 hours labour for the entire job including removing and re-installing interior trim + dashboard. Labour at the dealerships in my city is $120/hr+13% tax. I saved a bit over $610 CAD by doing the interior work myself. The heater core I had purchased for $240+tax.

I would not recommend doing this in the winter or at least without a heated garage.
 
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