I think my heater core is bad. How can I replace it? - Toyota Prius Forum : Prius Online Toyota Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 11:18 AM
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Default I think my heater core is bad. How can I replace it?

I hve been seeing fluid leaks on my passenger floor mats. Tonight I will be putting in some sealant and hoping for the best, but I suspect I may have to replace the core.

The core is only available from the dealership for a whopping $305 US, so I want to install it myself. I can't find any instructions for this anywhere. Do any of you have any wisdom to share on the matter?
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 11:48 AM
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It's always nice to know the model year of your vehicle, mileage and any procedures you've used to diagose the problem. Location is also helpful for some issues (prob. not this one).

Evan Fusco, MD
'04 BC/Seaside
Nixa, MO http://greenhybrid.com/compare/milea.../signature.png
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 11:49 AM
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Are you sure it is coolant and not condensation? It could be a plugged drain. What model year Prius do you have? How many miles?
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 11:54 AM
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D'OH! It is a 2002 Prius, with about 60K miles. I started to notice the wet spot a few weeks ago after a rain, so I thought it was a leak in the undercarriage. When I had my oil changed, I asked them to have a look at it, and after a taste test on the fluid (!) they decided it was probably the core going bad. As of right now, I am still getting heat and defrost, but it's warm out and I'm not sure of how much.

The leak is on the passanger side, just about dead center.

Also, if anyone could recommend a good manual, it would probably be a big help.
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 12:41 PM
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a post of mine regarding a drive just prior to the Independence Day weekend:

I had another common issue [on my US 2001], with my AC drain being plugged.

I had about 2 hours worth of driving errands to do on my moving morning, followed by a 3.5 hour drive to my car's new home in NY (broken in 1/2 for a lunch break). I had the AC on the entire time of the drive in my 2001. As we're getting out of the car in NY, we notice that there's this large puddle in the passenger footwell. My family member's purse (and contents), her shoes, my stored rag, and the carpeted floor mat are all soaked, as is the car's carpeting...

She took me over to her trusty mechanic at the local Sunoco station (who's seen most family member's cars at some point due to breakdowns), and he surprisingly was able to fit me in between jobs on Friday June 30 (Independence Day holiday busy-ness and scheduled for 2 weeks out and all). About a 20min wait for an open bay, and a tad over 5min for them to drive my car in, lift it, and blow out the accumulated gunk in the AC drain with their pressurized air hose, and bring my car back out to me. :) $10 for cleaning (a number we pulled out of the air and seemed good for both of us), and so far the AC seems fine (still cold and no more puddles). Nice mechanic.

-- Michelle Vadeboncoeur, mrv@kluge.net
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2004 Black BC
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 01:12 PM
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Most likely it is a condensate drain clog.
Typically a coolant leak would have a sweet smell. At least the green stuff did, I don't know if the new stuff they use now has a similar smell or not. Or any smell for that matter.
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 08:17 AM
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I'm going to get the radiator flushed just in case. In the meantime, I have some clear plastic bubblewrap on the floormats to try and collect up some of whatever drops down, so that I can at least make out the color.
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 08:24 AM
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Radiator flushed? The stuff is good for 100K miles! But then you contaminated it all with a sealant. Have fun, as the storage tank has to be flushed too.
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#9 (permalink) Old 10-06-2006, 07:20 AM
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Default Progress on heater core problem! It isn't the heater core!

The problem manifested again today. I was parked on an uphill incline and got nearly a liter of water in the passenger side. It had rained hard the previous evening.

The fluid is water, and it is not dripping down. I now know this because I had a layer of plastic on top of the carpet and it was dry on top. I scooped some up to look at it and it was clear (if you ignore the flotsam and jetsam of the carpet). Not pink coolent, not blue wiper fluid, not oil, not gas, not Xmission fluid. Which is good.

I suspect that there is some compartment in front of the dashboard that has become clogged, and the water is seeping back into the compartment. What say you guys?
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