Well first of all put your car up on ramos and find out where your heater core lines go into the fire wall. More than likely its in the middle of the firewall which means its in the middle of the dash and you will have to remove the complete dashboard to get to it. I have the same thing with my 1993 Chevrolet Beretta. The heater core went out in it and in order to get to it the dashboard has to be completely unbolted not necessarily pulled out of car. You will have to unbolt the steering column to do this and let it drop till it stops on its own. I know the book time for a mechanic to do the job is like 14 or 1`5 hrs at about 50 bucks an hour for a $23 part. Do the math if you are mechanically inclined at all do the work your self and really you should not have to damage anything to do the job. Just rememebr how many bolts you take out and where they go. The worst part of the job is actually getting the cover off to the heater core. Mine was a pain there are so many bolts holding it up and just when you think they are all out the cover is still stuck on there and you find another bolt hidden. Goodluck in your adventure becase that is what it will be.
Keith(JcWhitney Tech Dept)www.JCW.com
A chilton guide, covered clean workspace, and patience are indespensible. Changing the heater core requires draining the coolant, removing the entire dashboard and disconnecting the heater core from the hoses outside the fire wall.
A heater core costs around $20 but the average shop will charge up to $1000 in labor to change it for you.
So good luck, be patient, and make sure the hoses are fit very securely to the heater core before attempting to put the car back together. Not doing so will result a lot coolant spilling on to your carpet and a smelly car for weeks afterword. Not that that happened to me or anything.
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