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How to Replace the Heater Core in a Nissan Maxima

by Contributor; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Replacement heater core

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

How to Replace the Heater Core in a Nissan Maxima. The newer your Nissan Maxima, the more difficult it is to reach the heater core to replace it. In models made around the turn of the century, the core is located behind the steering column, meaning you mainly need to remove that. On more recent cars, the whole dashboard needs removal.

Older Models

Shut off power to the Maxima, especially the air bag system. Disconnect the negative battery terminal and wait at least 3 minutes for the air bag to lose energy.

Drain the engine coolant from the cooling system. Use a clean container if you plan on reusing the coolant.

Disconnect the heater hoses from the heater unit inside the engine compartment. Remove the blower and cooling unit from the interior and then the steering member assembly. Remove the heater unit and the core from the unit.

Install the new core into the heater unit and reconnect the unit in the car. Connect the steering member, cooling unit and heater hoses.

Refill the cooling system and connect the battery cable.

Newer Models

Unplug the negative battery terminal. Wait 3 minutes for the air bag system to lose power. Drain the engine coolant into a clean container.

Disengage the air bags from both sides of the car. Remove driver's bag by removing the steering wheel's lower and side lids and the Torx bolts from the wheel sides. Disconnect the passenger bag electrical connector from inside the glove box.

Disassemble the instrument panel. Remove all components and screws from the panel, then have an assistant help lift and remove the panel itself.

Disconnect the following heater, defroster and ventilation ducts on the rear and sides. Remove the heater housing and the heater core from the housing.

Reinstall the heater housing with the new core installed. Replace all ducts, the instrument panel and the air bags.

Fill the cooling system and reconnect the battery cable. Let the Maxima's engine run to its regular operating temperature. Look over the climate control operation and check for any leaks in the system.

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