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Old 11-03-2005, 06:40 AM   #1
myproblem
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heater core replacement

Hi
Does anyone out there know a good way to remove a heater core from a 92 GEO Prizm. I know that most of the dash has to be removed. After that is removed is there any complication?
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Old 11-27-2005, 10:26 PM   #2
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Re: heater core replacement

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Originally Posted by myproblem
Hi
Does anyone out there know a good way to remove a heater core from a 92 GEO Prizm. I know that most of the dash has to be removed. After that is removed is there any complication?
i have the same problem with my 95 olds acheiva. i bought a little electric on the dash defroster.it works great for now. but even here in new orleans we need a heater in the winter. i,m just delaying the inevitiable.
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:27 AM   #3
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Re: heater core replacement

I have done everything I can think of to get my heater to put out heat but everything has failed. I checked the core and the water flows through freely. The valve opens and closes like it susposed to. If any one can come up with anything that I haven't done already. I ran a good cleaner through for about 6 hours. I checked to see if the water goes through the core freely and it does. The heat guage goes up to where it susposed to go. I am going to try a 192 degree thermostat and see if that will work. The only down side with that is over heating the heads and causeing warpage.
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Old 11-28-2005, 04:18 PM   #4
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Re: Re: heater core replacement

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Originally Posted by myproblem
I have done everything I can think of to get my heater to put out heat but everything has failed. I checked the core and the water flows through freely. The valve opens and closes like it susposed to. If any one can come up with anything that I haven't done already. I ran a good cleaner through for about 6 hours. I checked to see if the water goes through the core freely and it does. The heat guage goes up to where it susposed to go. I am going to try a 192 degree thermostat and see if that will work. The only down side with that is over heating the heads and causeing warpage.
while you have the heater on and not the fan and you,re driving do you feel a little hot air passing thru the vents? also try this = push the temp lever to full red(hot side). then with no heater and no fan turned on,etc and you,re driving do you feel a little heat passing thru the vents ? bottom line = if hot coolant is passing thru the core you should have heat. sounds silly,but is your vent fan working in at least one position? in another car i once had some papers fall from the back of glove compartment. it blocked the air flow in the duct work for the vent system.
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Old 11-28-2005, 04:58 PM   #5
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Re: heater core replacement

My heater is blowing and sometimes it will actually
get a little warm if you drive it long enough. the water flows through the core freely. I am going to a high heat thermostat hoping it don't do damage to the engine. I have owned cars for nearly 50 years and haven't come cross this problem. I have open ears from any source that can help. Thanks
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:38 AM   #6
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Re: Re: heater core replacement

Before you change the thermostat check the one you have. The heater output symptoms you describe may indicate that your existing thermostat is faulty. Get a repair manual to expound on the troubleshooting considerations that you are delving into. The book will also give you some detail on disassembly of your car to remove your heater core as you initially queried at the start of this thread. Personally, I recommend the Haynes repair manual which is very descriptive and inexpensive. I use several different manuals, there’s no point jumping into this without some reputable references.

Additionally, a hotter thermostat will mean that your engine will always run hotter, and remember, it’s heat among other things that kills engines. Don’t change to a hotter thermostat unless you’re willing to accept the other trade-offs. Your car was designed to run as built for good reasons; generally for better efficiencies and economy of operation. Good luck!!
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:57 PM   #7
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Re: heater core replacement

I have a haynes maual it is very helpful. My son put a 170 degree thermostat and I put a 180 degree and the guage went up just a very tiny bit. I wouldn't want the guage up over half way.
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:09 AM   #8
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Re: Re: heater core replacement

Yes, it is very helpful having a gauge instead of an ’idiot light”, however, the OEM gauges are not highly accurate and should only be used as a general indicator and reference for variation from the usual. By the way, what was you gauge doing before this problem and now. If it did change to a cooler indication then you have a primary coolant flow problem, otherwise if it did not change then you have a localized problem in your cabin heater coil. If the temperature gauge has not fluctuated then changing the engine thermostat was the wrong correction. If the 170° thermostat worked before, a correctly working 170° thermostat should work now. In any case the only reason that you would possible change the thermostat would be for engine performance considerations and not the problem that you are addressing. In this case, you are treating a symptom and not the problem.

The most likely problem that you have here is an obstruction of the cabin heater coil coolant flow if the engine coolant flow is correct. If it is not and you have changed the engine thermostat assuring that it is not faulty, then you may have an obstruction in the engine itself.

Check:
  • Coolant flow – check visually in the radiator and/or checking return flow thru the radiator return hose squeezing the hose to detect flow and visually see reduced flow thru the radiator cap. Also, does the dash temp gauge stabilize normally?
  • Engine flow problems – thermostat (checked), engine/radiator restriction (flush), poor flow otherwise – check pump operation; and of course make sure that you have adequate coolant (normally within ½ inch of the filler cap)
  • Cabin heater problems – check obstruction to flow: trash in core and/or hoses (flush), check your dash controlled flow valve.
Good luck,
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Old 12-03-2005, 10:58 AM   #9
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Re: heater core replacement

I will make an attempt to tell you everything I have done. I changed the thermostat from 170 to 180 degree. I took the female end of a water hose which was 5/8" and slipped it on the outlet side of
the core and screwed a water hose on it and slipped a clear piece of hose on the inlet side of the core and turned the water on and back flushed it and the water flowed freely with plenty of pressure. I also disconnected the outlet hose from the inlet tube going to the
pump and water flowed through the outlet hose with the motor running. The water coming out of the outlet hose was a little hotter than you would normaly wash your hands in. I think the water after the motor has warmed up should be pretty hot. Boiling is 212 degrees and 180 should be still hotter than anyone would want to put their hands in. My son came up with the idea that the inside of the core might be coated enough to keep the water from heating the outside of the core. There don't seem to be any restriction in the water flow through the whole system. Please let me know what you think about what I have already done. I had a leak and drove the car long enough to run the water down enough for the motor to get above half way I didn't drive it long enough to hurt the engine this tells me the guage does work.
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Old 12-03-2005, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: Re: heater core replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by myproblem
I will make an attempt to tell you everything I have done. I changed the thermostat from 170 to 180 degree. I took the female end of a water hose which was 5/8" and slipped it on the outlet side of
the core and screwed a water hose on it and slipped a clear piece of hose on the inlet side of the core and turned the water on and back flushed it and the water flowed freely with plenty of pressure. I also disconnected the outlet hose from the inlet tube going to the
pump and water flowed through the outlet hose with the motor running. The water coming out of the outlet hose was a little hotter than you would normaly wash your hands in. I think the water after the motor has warmed up should be pretty hot. Boiling is 212 degrees and 180 should be still hotter than anyone would want to put their hands in. My son came up with the idea that the inside of the core might be coated enough to keep the water from heating the outside of the core. There don't seem to be any restriction in the water flow through the whole system. Please let me know what you think about what I have already done. I had a leak and drove the car long enough to run the water down enough for the motor to get above half way I didn't drive it long enough to hurt the engine this tells me the guage does work.
sounds good to me. i ain,t no mechanic but i have owned 20 cars in the last 20 years and i saw all kinds of problems. your problem i did not exactly see. have you talked to a radiator shop just for advice ?your son idea sounds feasible.i can,t think of anything to help you.i,ll ask around. good luck.
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Old 12-03-2005, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: heater core replacement

Thanks! The radiator shop don't want to tell me anything. If you come up with anything I would greatly appreciate it. I will think about getting a new core and try that, Thanks
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:42 PM   #12
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Re: Re: heater core replacement

myproblem, You indicate that you have checked the primary water circuit (engine) and you suggest that the water was not as hot as you would have expected being “a little hotter than you would normally wash your hands in”. If you had good flow from a water faucet this is perfectly normal. If you understand that the water only gets to 200°+ after it cycles several times then you’ll realize why it was not as hot as one might otherwise expect. A single cycle will not bring it to this temperature unless the water flow is very slow and then you can damage your engine. The procedure that you describe did not test the cabin heater core unless I missed something in your explanation. You need to take the heater hoses loose and flush it separately. Be careful not to fix a water faucet hose directly to your heater core because the 30 or 40 pounds of water pressure can blow out the core. It’s not that strong; radiator caps quite often only pressurize to 10 or 15 pounds. Just hold the garden hose to the heater hose with your hands.

As the car runs now, and after it has warmed up, what is the thermostat reading?

One word of caution: Don't just pop in a new part until you positively determine that it's faulty. You would not want a mechanic doing that to you, don't do it to yourself, it gets expensive.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:25 PM   #13
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Re: heater core replacement

I have already done what you told me not to do. I guess I was lucky or maybe I wasn't. If the core had exploded I would buy another and maybe that would cure my problem. Your hot water heater in your home I believe is around 180 degrees the water coming out of the heater wasn't near that hot which tells me the water isn't get hot enough. Water coming out of a faucet is a lot hotter than what is coming out of the heater core. If I am not mistaking the water in both situations should be about the same. I don't know how much the water cools down going through the radiator. when I checked the water to see how hot it was I was checking it when it comes out of the heater core. I realize the water has already gone through the radiator. The water goes from the radiator to a junction block on the motor and branchs to the inlet tube also to the heater core so it want be as hot as it would be coming right out of the engine.
The bottom line is the heater core doesn't get hot enough. Thanks
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:32 AM   #14
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Re: heater core replacement

Yes you are right the water in both situations should remain the same ,well i think if the bottom line of the heater core is not getting hot then you need to consult this with a mechanic before it could lead you with any other issues please get this checked in order to be on the safer side .
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