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2000 Toyota Camry heater core removal

How difficult is it to remove and install a heater core on a 2000 Toyota Camry with 4 cyc ? The garage wants $325 to do the job. Thanks.

Sounds reasonable. The core itself will typically run about $200.|L4+2.2+Liter++GAS&pt=Heater+Cores

I agree with mountainbike. It’s actually a bargain when you compare it to most other vehicles.

Some Toyota’s require that the dashboard be completely disassembled and removed as well as removal of the AC evaporator. If this is one of them, $325 could be a bargain.

I paid ~$350 to have the heater core replaced on my 1983 Mustang back in 85. $325 sounds good to me.

Ed B.

If this price includes parts and labor, it sounds like a real bargain.

I know that this may be like comparing apples to oranges, but…back around 1991, I paid ~$600 for this same job on my '86 Taurus. Not only were Tauruses (Tauri?) of that vintage prone to heater core leakage, but they also required complete removal of the dashboard in order to access the failure-prone heater core. Sort of a double-whammy.

If you can get away with paying much less for this job a couple of decades later, I suspect that the heater core must be much easier to access on a 2000 Camry, as compared to a Taurus of the '80s.

I thought the easiest way on a Taurus was to cut the car in half and weld it up again? In the old days, you could replace a $20 heater core from under the hood in about an hour for a novice. Not so today though. It took me about 4 hours for my Riviera and I thought that was good compared to other cars.

Come’on. Here’s an easy way to replace the heater core on a Taurus. Unfortunately, on a Camry, the entire dash, steering wheel/column has to come out. Along with recapturing the refrigerant from the AC system.

Not a DIY job.


The heater core trick may work on the late model Taurus but won’t on the earlier versions. The earlier ones are a nightmare.

The quote given the OP sounds extremely reasonable; maybe too reasonable. They should make double sure that the garage is on the right page as to labor time and so on instead of getting part way in and then getting a call about unforseen circumstances.

I’ve done this job on a 1997 Camry and I’m pretty sure the 2000 is the same or similar. While there was some effort involved, it was relatively simple. It can be reached from under the driver’s side dash without any major component removal, just a plastic cover plate. However, I would recommend removing the driver’s seat to give plenty of working room. $325 parts and labor sounds reasonable to me.

2000 Camry doesn’t require dash removal. Couple hours labor, hundred bucks for a heater core, $22 for a gallon of coolant, $325 sounds pretty reasonable.

Here’s a couple heater cores for less than $50 at Rockauto,carcode,1364633,parttype,6864

They can indeed be a nightmare…I remember reading a shop manual for an older Thunderbird…Step one, remove windshield. Step two, remove entire dashboard, Step three, take to a specialist who does this work all day long…

I guess I’m talking to the professionals here, and not the DIY’ers, but I take issue with the advice in the video posted above. He talks about doing the heater cores in about an hour and a half and it involves cutting out and discarding an under-dash brace. Why? With a little experience the job can be done the proper way, in under 2 hours and it doesn’t involve hacking up and throwing away a part of the car.

The bracket doesn’t bolt to anything in the car, it is completely non structural. I will be the first to admit that I am no pro but that tip makes the job doable for me rather than taking it to a pro.

I guess I understand why you don’t like it. I have never heard of anyone billing that job as only two hours.

ALLDATA shows a couple of hours labor time not including any labor operations related to the A/C.
However, ALLDATA shows a heater core at near 450 dollars. Ouch. AD must have fished that one from a dealer price list or something.

Of course AD is notoriously inaccurate too; hence the nickname SOMEDATA. :slight_smile:

@oldtimer11, I don’t care what the bracket does or doesn’t bolt to, I’m not grinding it off and throwing it away. The car comes in and leaves in the same condition. For a DIY job it’s fine, since it’s your car and your risk, but for a professional to recommend it in te interest in saving 15 minutes, well, I’ve stated my thoughts.

@ok4450, aftermarket list for the heater core varies from $104 to $475. I don’t know who comes up with these prices…

I read the repair manual for Camry 2000. It does not mention anything about removing the dashboard. Thanks for the information from AlanY and Asemaster. It will be a messy job for a DIY like me.

You’re welcome, ypli. It’s not so bad. Have some rags handy to absorb the coolant spill when you disconnect the heater core tubes. That connection is inside the passenger compartment. The heater core sits right in the middle under the dash but you access it from the driver’s side. After it’s disconnected it slides right out towards you.

Let me comment a bit on heater core prices. IMHO the cheaper heater cores are not made as well as the more expensive ones. The inlet and outlet tubes might not be lined up as straight as they could be. That’s not to say they are no good or that you must buy the most expensive ones. Just keep in mind that the heater core tubes might need to be bent a bit so you can line up and securely connect them to the existing tubes leading to the engine compartment. As you will see, they have to slide into each other fully so you can secure the clamps for a leak proof installation. At least that was the case in the 1997 Camry. Good luck.