Cold Frontier

Hello car talk community. I am getting myself prepared to takle changing out the heater core in my Nissan Frontier,and was hoping someone in the community could give me a lil insite to the part itself. A lot of the online parts supply are showing most of the core not coming with the inlet/outlet pipes or tubes attached to the core it self. Does anyone know why? Or why the difference in cost from an OEM part to an aftermarket is a couple of hundred dollars? Thanks

A lot of online parts places just show a generic part, not the actual part.


Seach the subject on YouTube. Not only will you see how to do the job, you will see the actual replacement parts, not just generic pictures.


That is pretty much normal pricing. Also if you have the time take the heater core out and take it with you to a local parts house and then you can see if they match .

Aftermarket parts (cheap ones) are lower quality that original equipment. Don’t last as long. Often do not fit as well. Are designed to be installed in vehicles that are going to be driven 6 months and sold.

The logic is; If the original lasted 150K miles and 12 years, why should the replacement last another 150K when the rest of the car won’t?

My logic is, if replacing the part is a LOT of labor, or you intend to keep the truck for a while, don’t cheap out on replacement parts.


Hi scottadams650_166242:

A lot of the online parts supply are showing most of the core not coming with the inlet/outlet pipes or tubes attached to the core it self. Does anyone know why?

It could be your inlet & outlet pipes are in good condition and do not need to be replaced. You may not know until you get the old unit out.

It looks like replacing the heater core in your vehicle is labor intensive.
Along the lines of Mustangman’s comment, if it’s a lot of labor, you don’t want to have to go back in there because you had an inferior replacement part.


Yeah I guess I agree. When I replaced the one in my Riviera, I used a NAPA part and that seemed fine. It was only a four hour job though for a DIYer. If you have to go to a lot of work to do it, might as well make sure and get OEM. Only you can decide but first look at the Youtube.

what year of the Frontier?

if coolant pipes around firewall are similar to the same era Pathfinder, I would strongly recommends replacing the aluminum+plastic cobweb of coolant pipes mounted on the firewall, as plastic on it becomes brittle closer to 10 years of age and the moment you touch these - they crumble

the rubber hoses were good on my Pathfinder which was 13 of age when I had to deal with it, did not need to replace.

note that a cobweb of coolant pipes on the passenger side has a nipple with rubber stopper attached to it with a clamp - this is to bleed the air from the system… the moment you touch that, you may find that plastic it is attached to is crumbling… ask me how I know…

1 Like

He wrote in September 2021 that he purchased a 00 Frontier . I guess writing 2000 was too much trouble . Even if asking for help later people should not assume that they will remember what vehicle they had.

I would recommend that you buy the OEM heater core if it is still available, and if not, then a brand-name aftermarket replacement. And of course, I would replace all of the heater hoses, crossover pipe(s), etc. Aftermarket is fine for hoses, just buy a reputable brand such as Gates or Dayco.

1 Like

I’m curious as to why you are changing the heater core. Is it leaking? If it is, are you sure it is the core and not one of those plastic adapters? If the core is leaking, you should only see the coolant either coming out the AC drain or on the floor of your truck.

If you think it is clogged, are you sure the thermostat is working and all the blend doors are working. If you have maintained the cooling system in accordance with the maintenance schedule, the core should not get blocked. You should get a CEL if the thermostat isn’t working so I would sure make sure all the blend door motors are working before I’d change out a heater core.

On sedans that’s a huge job. Not sure how challenging it will be for your truck though. On my truck it would be a considerable job, 3-4 hours, but not an overwhelming one @ 10-12 hours.

1 Like

Hi Keith, the trucks heater core had already been bypassed when I bought it so im not really sure if its actually leaking.I appreciate you taking the time to save me a day removing the dash etc as well as some money.Thanks