Heater Core Replacement Cost for Ford F-150: Essential Tips!

A functioning heater is essential for any vehicle, especially during the winter. If your Ford F-150 has difficulty producing heat, it may be time to replace the heater core.

Here’s an overview of what to expect in terms of heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 trucks, from the cost of the part itself to the labor cost and other necessary costs associated with the replacement.

heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 generic image of two hands warming up

The Ford F-150 heater core replacement can cost up to $1,400 if you have a professional do it for you, with the labor cost estimated to be between $600 and $900 and the parts ranging from $500 to $600. If you do it yourself, you can probably save around $600, but it is not easy to install.

Replacing the heater core in a Ford F-150 can be daunting, especially if you’re doing it yourself. Not only is it labor intensive, but the cost of the parts can be quite expensive.

Let’s look at all the details so you know what to expect when you want to replace the heater core in your Ford F-150.

What Is The Heater Core Replacement Cost For Ford F-150 Trucks?

The cost of a heater core for a truck varies depending on the make, model, and year of the truck, as well as the type of core. Generally, the cost should range from $100 to over $500.

generic image of a Ford F-150 for "Heater Core Replacement Cost For Ford F-150"
2017 Ford F-150 King Ranch

Ford F-150 Heater Core Replacement Cost at the Mechanic

The cost of a heater core replacement can vary depending on the make and model of the car, the mechanic you choose to do the work, and where you live. Based on these factors, the average cost for a Ford F-150 heater core replacement is between $1,200 and $1,300. 

The labor cost for the repair is estimated to be anywhere from $600 to $900, not including taxes, fees, or any additional repairs depending on the model year and location. Remember that the parts needed for the repair are estimated to range from $500 to $600.

Ford F-150 Heater Core Replacement Cost to DIY

You can cut down on the replacement cost of your heater core by doing the job yourself. When fixing the heater core on your own, you’ll need to purchase a few parts, including the new heater core, heater core O-rings, coolant, and some tools such as a screwdriver set and pliers.

The average cost to DIY can range from $400 to $600. While fixing the heater core yourself will save you some bucks, it can be a challenging task due to the location of the heater core.

If you have limited experience in the auto DIY sector, your best bet would be to take your car into the shop and let a professional handle it.

This is where the heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 trucks outweighs the benefits of DIY.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Heater Core?

Since your car’s heater core is tucked away behind the dashboard, it can be difficult to examine and diagnose any issues with it. Fortunately, certain tell-tale signs indicate a malfunction in the heater core.

They include:

  • Strange smell- An odd “melon” smell may come from the car’s vents when the heater is running, likely caused by the engine coolant entering the vehicle’s cabin.
  • No hot air- If you’ve set the heater to its highest temperature, yet it’s only blowing out lukewarm air, this could indicate that the heater core is faulty, probably due to a clog in the unit.
  • Steam or fog on the windows- If you notice steam or fog on your car windows, it’s possible that the heater core is damaged. When you turn on the heat, steam can come out from the vents and condense on the windows, causing them to become foggy and difficult to see through.
  • Coolant leak- Examine the floor mats and the carpet around the dashboard for any signs of coolant leakage or accumulation. This often indicates a faulty heater core. Additionally, you may find that your vehicle requires more coolant than usual.

Can You Replace a Heater Core Yourself?

Ford 150 Heater Core in a box

You can replace a heater core yourself. In fact, it’s a common question when people ask what is the heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 trucks.

Here’s how to do it in easy-to-follow steps:

Step 1

You’ll first have to confirm that the heater core has a problem. Smell the inside of the cabin and the carpet under the dashboard to determine if the heater core is having trouble heating your cabin due to the coolant leaking causing.

A large enough amount of coolant leaking could create a puddle on the carpet or an odd smell in the air. Although this is usually the best way to detect the issue, you can also visually inspect the part for any signs of trouble.

Step 2

The heater core is typically found at the back of the dashboard, often beneath the middle section of the passenger side. To access it, disconnect the battery and take out the steering wheel and any panels like the kick panel, fuse box, and speakers.

After that, remove the radio, glove box, and other parts, such as the gauges and controls blocking the heater core.

Step 3

Once you’ve taken off the individual parts, remove the entire dashboard. While detaching it, ensure the air conditioning system remains intact to prevent Freon from escaping into the car’s interior.

Step 4

Disconnect the two heater hoses, then remove any air ducts and remaining components that could block the heater core.

Step 5

At this point, you should be able to access the heater core easily. Take off the heater core housing to get a hold of the heater core part.

Step 6

Remove the heater core part, replace it, and reassemble everything to get your car in working condition once again.

How Many Hours Does It Take to Replace a Heater Core?

Ford F - 150

Replacing the heater core on a vehicle is a laborious maintenance task that can take anywhere from three to eight hours to complete. It’s why the answer to what is the heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 trucks is sometimes high.

This is due to the heater core’s position, usually located under or behind the dashboard, and requires considerable time to take apart and put everything back together.

Closing Thoughts On The heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 Trucks

When looking at what is the heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 trucks, it’s always important to note that not all DIYs are worth it. While it’s possible to replace the heater core, sometimes, it’s not worth it.

You can expect the heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 trucks to be from $400 all the way up to $1200, depending on your model. Whether you’re doing it yourself is also important.

In the end, the heater core replacement cost for Ford F-150 trucks depends on the age of your truck, and whether you take it to a mechanic.

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