How to Replace the Heater Core in a Cadillac Escalade

by Editorial TeamUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Clean, covered container for coolant

  • Wrench set

  • Screwdriver

How to Replace the Heater Core in a Cadillac Escalade. The Cadillac Escalade heater core is easy to replace. Unfortunately, getting to it in the first place can be quite a challenge. Make sure you have a full afternoon to follow these steps.

Open the coolant drain in the bottom of your Cadillac Escalade's radiator and drain the antifreeze mixture into a clean container for reuse. Make sure the container has a tight-fitting cover; close it and set it aside for reuse.

Disconnect the negative battery cable and isolate them. Then remove or disconnect the heater hoses from the heater core, the instrumental panel storage compartment, the center floor air-distribution duct and the hinge pillar trim kick panels. You will also need to disconnect any electrical connectors that may get in your way in this and following steps.

Unscrew and remove the blower motor cover, then remove the mounting screws holding the blower motor in place and remove the blower motor too. Disconnect and remove the steering wheel and column. Undo the instrument panel fasteners and pull the instrument panel back far enough to access the heater assembly.

Remove the screw located on the interior side near the evaporator pipe if it's present. Stabilize the heater assembly against the firewall as you carry this step out, then, working from the engine compartment, remove the four heater assembly-to-chassis screws and the two heater assembly-to-chassis nuts. Remove the seven screws holding the heater cover in place and take the cover out, then remove the heater core from the assembly.

Connect the new heater core to the heater assembly, then replace the cover and screw it into place (seven screws.) Reinstall the four heater assembly-to-chassis screws and the two heater assembly-to-chassis nuts. Proper torque for the screws is 17 inch-lbs, for the nuts 25 inch pounds. Also replace the screw on the interior side near the evaporator pipe, and torque to 97 inch pounds if it was removed.

Reinstall the instrument panel and fasteners, then the steering column and steering wheel. Working in the engine compartment, screw the blower motor and its cover back into place. Back inside the vehicle body; reinstall the hinge pillar trim kick panels and the center floor air-distribution duct. Reconnect any electrical connectors that were disconnected to clear obstructions in the previous steps.

Replace the instrument panel storage compartment, reconnect the heater hoses to the heater core, and reconnect the negative battery cable. Refill the engine cooling system and run the engine up to normal operating temperature. Check for antifreeze leaks and check to be certain the climate control systems are putting out heat when the engine is at normal operating temperature.


You may need an assistant for the steps where you are directly handling the heater core and assembly. Shorter mechanics may also need a step stool to let them reach into the elevated Cadillac Escalade engine compartment.

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