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I have a 2000 F150 5.4L extended cab that has been really good to me over the past 10 years, however, I started smelling something strange when I turned on the air conditioner this morning. I took it in to three places to get it fixed and each place said it was the heater core and it needed replacing. Price: lowest $950 and highest $1275. Is there a manual that will show me step-by-step how to do it myself? I'm retired and don't mind doing it myself, but the way the mechanics make it sound you need an automotive engineering degree to remove the dash and get to the core. I'm pretty hand with tools, but in this case I need a little better instruction besides, "Take out the dash and you can replace the core!"
go to youre local auto parts dealer and pick up a haynes or chiltons manual for your truck. unfortunately heater cores involve removing the whole heater plenum box. and if you have a/c it will be double the fun. it's not a fun or easy job but if your patient and determined it can be done in a day. search around this site and you will find lots of information on the job. best of luck.
What was the smell? Is there any anti-freeze in your truck compartment?
Are you sure a good spray of that AC cleaner won't solve the problem?
Does your heater work? Are you losing coolant?
Man, I would not do the heater core thing until I was really sure.
And based on what little I know, it doesn't look sure to me.
Go to Advance or Auto Zone and get some auto AC spray that kills mold and bacteria in your AC system. It's not that expensive and you probably need to do it any way. You put it on oustide air and spray the stuff into the air vent on the outside above the hood and it kills bacteria and mold. I did it when my AC started smelling funky and it works great.
Thanks, I'll look around and do some hunting on the site. I'll also check into a manual as well. My experience with some manuals has not been good for jobs like this. I'll give it a shot. Sure beats spending $1000 bucks on labor
It smells like antifreeze. The windows fog up when I turn on the air conditioner, defroster or heater/defroster. I could not find any residue on the carpets in the cab and my radiator fluid was down about three quarts when I started checking it out. I looked under the car, in the engine compartment and under the dash for leaks and couldn't find any. Each place I took the car to the last coupled of days said it was the heater core. I could try the AC spray. It is cheap enough and a lot less time consuming than taking out the dash.
from the sounds of your description your heater core is on its way out. mine went out on me about 4 years ago, i changed it myself in a day and all the info i got was from this site and my hanyes manual. the worst part about it going was i waited till the antifreeze was on the carpet and it smells, it was also october a bad time to be without heat in canada.
Yep heater core is bad. Mine went out 2 Septembers ago , well i took it to the Dealer to get it changed costed be $550...... 13 months later it went back out , took it to the dealer they said well its only got a year warrenty , so i was only one month outta the warrenty. It costed me $880 13 months later ..... thats a crock of ****
mine went out in my silver truck...sometimes your lucky...some trucks you can do without takin the dash out...my uncles-n-laws work for ford(i asked em when i had the truck) and they said depending on it you can either A. get lucky and not have to remove the dash or B. take the dash off to replace it
After you have done a few it gets easier. A good manual is a must if you want to work on your own truck. I have the Helm Inc ones. Best tools I ever bought. I have dash removal files somewhere. I can look for them.