I stopped by the Chevy dealer to talk to one of the Goodwrench about
getting my uncles motorcycle up and running, anyway there is a fairly
new Malibu on the floor by his bay. The console, steering column and the
entire dashboard and everthing up to the firewall is lying all around
the car on the ground. It all has to come out to remove & replace the
heater core. 6 hours labor, and this is the third heater core that they
Great design GM Engineers.
4 months ago, replaced a heater core in a 94' Chevy Blazer S-10 Tahoe. Not
a pretty sight. There wasn't much left on the firewall interior. And, was
using the mfrs manual for reference. Its a matter of getting away from
using KISS method and slapping all the comforts of home in the vehicle in my
Replacement of a heater core in a less than one year old vehicle is not only
suspicious, but extremely out of the ordinary.
This is fairly typical of modern cars, however. I can tell you from
personal experience that this is how it is on a VW as well. I am not
sure why they like to make the newer vehicles so service-unfriendly; I
guess I am just spoiled by my older cars. On my '55 Studebaker you can
R&R the heater core by simply removing the front seat cushion and a
little air deflector plate, there's nothing else in the way.
(your friendly local retro-grouch)
You should have asked here first. There is an easier way than the
factory method to replace the core in an S-10. Dash wise you only need
to remove the bolts on the right side. Loosen the left and push the dash
up a bit and pull it toward you. I have done the cores on the S series
in less than 2 hours.
Take a look at
for some other help.
Have done same on older vehicles, and a more recent VW at the time I
anticipated doing the job. For more info, I got the factory manual. Of
which just facilitated making it more complicated than it actually was. It
took me 6 days. First day and a half was disassembly. The factory manual
took it down this far, I did leave the instrument cluster in place as found
removal unneeded despite the manual. Saw other shortcuts after doing the
job. Didn't spend more than a few hours a day to cut the frustration
factor, have secondary transportation.
Did an evaporator on a 2000 Dodge pick up on Monday, 7 hours plus
the evacuation and recharge. $$$
C, K, S-chassis Chevy trucks, same thing. $$$
Ford Escort, Crown Vic and Taurii, same thing. $$$
Just about any minivan, same thing. $$$
On the current version of ChryCo minivans, you have to peel most
of the whole front fascia off to get to the AC drier. $$$
Third heater core on that particular Malibu, or third failure
that they've seen on that model?
Remember the old late 70s to mid 80s 'B' bodies? You could
change a heater core in about 20 minutes.
"Mike Hunter" wrote:
That was before CAFE and the need to downsize vehicles
That's right. Automakers faced with legislated requirements
to increase gas mileage changed to leaner fuel mixtures and
better combustion efficiency. But they knew that the single
most important factor in gas mileage was vehicle weight.
They made their greatest improvements in gas mileage by
simply making vehicles smaller.
But a car with compressed length, width, and height would
have its driveshaft passing by a driver's armpit, so the front
wheel drive configuration became necessary: a transmission
and differential wrapped around a sideways-mounted engine,
jammed into the already tiny engine compartment.
Consumers didn't object to the almost impossible-to-service
arrangement because the salesmen said it was a benefit: it
would make it so much easier to drive out of a snowbank.
Not really. Lean mixtures lend themselves to higher NOx
production. Lean was a 70s solution to "oh shit, there's a
learning curve ahead." Lean pretty much died in 1980-81 with
closed loop fuel control.
Smaller vehicles should need smaller HVAC systems.
Smaller HVAC= pop the glove box out, remove an access panel,
remove [smaller] heater core
Since there is no drive shaft/transmission tunnel, that should
increase the under dash room available for the HVAC system.
Yes, the "good old days". I don't "do" heater cores
anymore in the shop that I work at. It's all farmed out
to the "electrical/A/c" guys. Every now and then I do
one or two if they are too busy, but I'm never that thrilled
about being on my back under the dash for that long.
Mind you....you can turn the radio up and kindof
"disappear" under the dash for an hour or two.
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