heater core location/replacement walk through - Club Crosstrek | Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default heater core location/replacement walk through

20 deg weather really helped to show me just how much of an issue this still is for my crosstrek.

I know its' on the passengers side. is what I'm looking at as soon as I look underneath the passenger dash the heater core? I'm trying to narrow down if it's a loose fitting or something. nothing dripping on the mat, so if there is, it's burning off before it hits.

and is there a walkthrough somewhere for replacing if that's the route I need to go? how challenging of a job is it?

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Old 11-29-2016, 01:58 AM   #2
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Why do you think something is wrong with your heater core? What year is your vehicle, and how many miles do you have on it? From experience with other cars, they are very difficult to access, and usually require removal of the dash, or a large portion of it. I don't know why they are not in the engine bay.


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Old 11-29-2016, 10:53 AM   #3
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I echo the same sentiments as Butch Coolidge. What has led you to believe there's an issue with the heater core?
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:18 PM   #4
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after my hour commute, smell of coolant coming from passenger side.

yesterday, it was 20deg out in the morning. when I got to work, my hands smelled like coolant and I smelled it in the cabin during my drive.
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:09 PM   #5
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That is not uncommon, from what I have read from other members, and what I have experienced myself. I have a 16 with about 6k. The "super coolant " is supposed to last 7 years before needing a flush? I don't know if that is gospel. I bought a bottle from Subaru, to top off if needed. I think it was about $28.00? I check my levels often, as I check the oil level. At least this is a quick visual. I have only added a tiny amount, as it was ever so slightly below the full mark when cold. I haven't seen it go lower since, and literally could have done nothing. If you have concerns, I would sooner check with Subaru. You didn't mention year or mileage. Not to cause concern, but I think it's more likely that anyone would have a bad head gasket, before a bad heater core. If your coolant level is good, or at least not excessively low and you have good heat, you probably have nothing to worry about. I would keep a bottle of coolant in the garage, just as you would have oil to top off if needed though. Please update us on your situation.


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Old 11-29-2016, 07:25 PM   #6
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'13 with 70k. oil levels are good as is coolant levels. just checked.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:35 AM   #7
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Glad to hear that the ride is holding up. If you touched something under the dash, and smell coolant on your hands, I would check with someone about it. Sounds like something that could be handled, but not a DIY fix? Good luck with the situation.


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Old 12-13-2016, 01:07 AM   #8
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Just looked at the service manual about getting to the heater core...as with other cars I have had, they don't make it easier anymore...
Looks like you disconnect the heater hoses and A/C lines from under the hood, then....
"8) Remove the instrument panel assembly. <Ref. to EI-80, REMOVAL, Instrument Panel Assembly.>" This part is always fun...

then disassy heater/cooling assy to get to heater core...

Years ago had a 82 Mustang, remove glove compartment, remove cover, disconnect heater hoses, remove heater core...completed in under 20 min...not sure why most vehicles went with having to discombublate the entire dash...I am sure a dealer would charge $700 just for labor....
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:17 AM   #9
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Unfortunately, I'm under the impression newer vehicles deliberately have the process to service components longer in order to charge the consumer more labor hours for services. That, and today's vehicles are far more complicated than previous generations of vehicles.
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