1998 Mercury Sable

Heater problem
1998 Mercury Sable 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 176000 miles

My heater is blowing cold air. It does blow some warm air when I first turn it on. I have been told that it is the heater core and very costly to replace. I have found internet reports that I can get to the heater core by taking out the ash tray and removing some sort of plate that is located there. Please help. Winter is coming fast here in ohio.
August 25, 2008.

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