How to Install a Heater Core on a PT Cruiser

Written by chris moore
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How to Install a Heater Core on a PT Cruiser
(Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The heater core is essential to ensuring your engine coolant flows through the system and is properly heated to generate the heater's warm air. Installing a heater core in most vehicles is a complex process. and it can be more complex with a PT Cruiser than with other vehicles since the Cruiser is a subcompact model. The core is part of the ventilation assembly that is mounted to the firewall behind the dashboard.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Heater core
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Engine coolant
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Insert the heater core into the heater core case within the ventilation housing. Close up the case with its upper and lower screws using your screwdriver.

  2. 2

    Install the HVAC unit within its mount behind the dash in the passenger compartment. Connect the assembly screws at the case bottom and the right side retaining screw at the top, then apply the mounting nuts within the engine compartment using your wrench.

  3. 3

    Connect the defroster duct to the rectangle hole in the top left corner of the assembly; the duct will point upward. Connect the drain tube to the assembly's lower half within the engine compartment using its hose clamp and pliers.

  4. 4

    Connect the refrigerant line connector block to the engine-side firewall to the left of the HVAC assembly using its mounting screws. Connect the air conditioning lines to the AC evaporator.

  5. 5

    Install the dash board to the car using its retaining bolts and nut with your wrench and then connect all of the dash's trim panels, including the centre and cluster bezels, the heater/AC housing, the glove box, the knee bolster and the top cover.

  6. 6

    Install the steering column assembly in position below the instrument cluster, connect its four retaining nuts and then connect the column pinch bolt with your wrench. Connect the electrical connectors for the ignition switch, turn signal and airbag, then install the steering column covers with their screws.

  7. 7

    Mount the coolant reservoir to the firewall using its mounting fasteners and your wrench/screwdriver and connect its hose to the thermostat housing cover. Connect the heater hoses to the heater pipes at the engine and at the firewall using the pliers on the clamps.

  8. 8

    Fill the Cruiser's cooling system with a fresh mix of water and antifreeze at the radiator's fill neck.

  9. 9

    Take the Cruiser to the dealer service shop or another place with a licensed air conditioning technician who can evacuate and then charge the air conditioning system.

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