How to Replace the Heater Core in a Saturn

by Jin Machina
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car heater vent image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com

The heater core in your Saturn converts cool air into warm air by utilizing already heated coolant. The heater core has fins for air to pass through. It also has water tubes to let warm coolant cycle in and out. This process causes the air to heat as it blows into the passenger compartment. When replacing your Saturn's heater core with a new one, look for the correct specifications in depth, height, width, and diameters to the inlet and outlet ducts.

Removing The Heater Core

Step 1

Disconnect the negative cable from the Saturn's battery.

Step 2

Drain the coolant mix out of the cooling system. If the coolant mix is still good, save it for when it is time to refill the system. Otherwise dispose of it properly.

Step 3

Remove the heater hose coming out of the thermostat housing behind the engine block on the 4-cylinder engine. This hose is connected to the heater core pump on V-6 engines. Drain any additional coolant mix.

Step 4

Remove both heater hoses from the firewall-heater/air conditioner housing by squeezing the tabs on the locking couplers and pulling.

Step 5

Take out the right console extension inside the passenger compartment by sliding it back.

Step 6

Use your flathead screwdriver to pry the tabs on the heater pipe clamps. Remove the clamps from the couplers, then remove the pipes from the heater core.

Step 7

Unscrew the heater core strap-mounting screw. Move the strap to the side.

Firmly grasp the heater core and pull it out of its housing.

Installing The New Heater Core

Step 1

Install the new heater core into the housing.

Step 2

Position the heater core strap and tighten the mounting screw.

Step 3

Place the new rubber O-rings on the pipes. Fit the pipes back into the core's appropriate inlet and outlet tubes. Install the clamps on the couplers.

Step 4

Slide back the right console extension.

Step 5

Install both heater hoses back onto the firewall-heater/air conditioner housing.

Step 6

Refit the heater hose back onto the thermostat housing behind the engine block for 4-cylinder engines. For V-6 engines, refit the heater hose back onto the heater core pump.

Step 7

Refill the coolant system with the coolant mix.

Step 8

Re-connect the negative cable on the battery.

Turn on your car and test the heater.

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