2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser replace heater core

  • 2.4L
  • 2WD
  • 100,000 MILES
I would like instruction on taking the dash an how to replace the heater core. I'm a single mom an cant afford to take it to get done
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have the same problem?
Monday, December 14th, 2015 AT 4:51 PM

1 Reply

This is WAY beyond what an experienced do-it-yourselfer can handle. You need to get a copy of the manufacturer's service manual and read through the numerous pages of instructions before even considering doing this yourself. Don't waste your money on Haynes or Chiltons manuals. They won't cover jobs like this. You can also go to the top of this page, point to "Repair and Service", then click on "Manuals" to go to a page where you can buy a subscription for just your car. That will cover everything in the Chrysler manual plus a lot of additional information.

At a minimum, you'll need an AC refrigerant recovery machine to drain the air conditioning system and to recharge it later. If you take it to a shop to have the system recharged, and you unknowingly have a leak, you'll be expected to take the car home, fix the leak, then take it back and pay to have the job done a second time. When a mechanic does the job and ends up with a leak, it is up to him to fix it and charge the system a second time at no additional cost to you, and no additional labor paid to him by the shop. The additional costs are covered by the profit they make on the parts, just like at any other store.

You have to know the precautions when working with air bags since they will need to be disconnected, and the steering column will have to be lowered. Once the heater box is removed to a workbench, you'll have to separate it to get the heater core out without damaging the mode door actuators.

An experienced mechanic is going to need at least an entire day to complete this job. If dollars are an issue but time isn't, consider looking for an area community college with an Automotive program, and having the students do the job. It will take a few weeks since they are only in the shop for a few hours per day. Also, they will only do this job during the one or two times per year when they are teaching Air Conditioning. The instructor involved with that can tell you when they teach that, and if they take in live work from the community. At my school, we charged ten dollars per hour for what the job was listed to take, and a very small mark-up on the parts to form a "breakage" fund, in case we damaged something. The students were very conscientious and well-supervised, but as I mentioned, it will take a while to get the car back.
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Monday, December 14th, 2015 AT 5:17 PM

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