Driving your pick-up in the winter without a working heater can be uncomfortable and dangerous. You have to bundle up to keep warm and every breath you exhale can fog up the windshield to the point you can't see out of it. The problem in some situations is a bad heater core. Here is how you can replace the heater core on a pick-up truck.

What You Will Need:

  • New Heater Core
  • Hose Clamps
  • Anti-Freeze Coolant
  • Bucket or Catch Basin
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers (Flathead and Philips)
  • Socket Set
  • Weather Stripping

Disconnect the Battery

You will be taking part of your dashboard apart including the passenger-side airbag. Disconnecting the battery prevents the airbag from deploying while you are taking it out. You should wait a couple of minutes after disconnecting the battery to allow the energy to drain from the back-up batteries in the airbags.

Drain Anti-Freeze

Place a bucket or drain basin underneath the radiator drain valve. Remove the radiator cap (Caution: Make sure the engine is cold) and open the drain valve to empty out the anti-freeze.

Disconnect Heater

Take your pliers and release the two hoses running to and from the heater core.

Remove Dashboard

Remove the trim on top of the dashboard so you can access and remove the mounting screws for the dashboard. You also need to remove the mounting bolts on the bottom and sides of the dashboard and around the steering wheel and console. Lift the dashboard out and set it aside (Note: you may have to remove the steering column to get enough room to get the dashboard out). The heater core will be exposed from the inside once the dashboard is removed.

Remove Heater Core

You will have to remove the blend door on the front of the heater core and disconnect the clips on the other side of the firewall. The heater core should just slide out.

Install New Heater Core

The new heater core should just slide into place. The one note of caution is that the new heater core may not come with insulation around the outer edges. The insulation prevents the cold air from blowing around the heater core and into your vehicle. You can use basic one-inch adhesive foam weather stripping from your local hardware store. Put everything back together in the order in which you took them apart.

Not having heat in your pick-up truck during the winter can render you vehicle useless. If you want to make sure you have a vehicle to rely on, you'll need to replace the heater core either on your own or with the help of a mechanic like Service Pro Auto & Truck Repair.