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Heater Core Brand

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 20 Oct 2014, 10:21 pm
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Location: Bay Area, CA
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Default Heater Core Brand

Hi All,
This is my second post here, new member. I introduced myself in the new member forum, but for those of us who do not regularly surf that forum, and believe me I do understand, I will give a brief introduction here. The name obviously gives away my age LOL! And I loved the show and it was unique, so I took it. I am the owner of a 98 Dodge Durango, two Saturns, and the main reason for being here, a Silver 2002 PT Cruiser that I purchased used for my wife. She really loves the car, as I do also. It's just a base model but we love it. I am a member of many forums and try to assist when I can. People like yourselves, have a wealth of knowledge, I just hope I can contribute when the time comes.
So now to move to my thread topic, as you can probably surmise, my heater core let go, and as with all Chrysler vehicles they hung the heater core from a string and decided to build the car around it, LOL! I will be doing this job myself, I know, I know, but I work on commercial aircraft for a living, a job like this is no different than what I get paid to do already. My question is not how hard it is, that I already know, but for those of us who have accomplished this job, what brand did you go with? Did you stick with OEM, of aftermarket? if after market, what brand? I really do not want to do this job again for practice 6 months down the road because of a faulty product. I've read a lot of reviews, and lets just say I'm not going with Spectra-Premium, but I couldn't find reviews on a lot of other brands that RockAuto and the Summits of the world are offering. I'm leaning towards Four-Seasons, simply because they are a subsidiary of Standard Motor Parts based out of LIC NY, I would hope the quality is there. If I have to go OEM I will, if that's what the recommendations are. As always I will be replacing the Evap and Drier while the system is open. Thanks for any and all advice!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 20 Oct 2014, 10:29 pm
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,369
Default Re: Heater Core Brand

I've never had problems with aftermarket heater cores as long as the cooling system was flushed and good antifreeze used and changed when required.

The "Pro" brand from RockAuto looks pretty good. Here's a link:

More Information for PRO 9010042

Also, here's a 5% discount code for RockAuto:


PS: If the heater core is bad, the radiator may not be in very good shape either. Just a thought.

Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 20 Oct 2014 at 10:33 pm.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 20 Oct 2014, 11:07 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 28
Default Re: Heater Core Brand

Thanks Handy, I saw that but still couldn't find any reviews for that or the company, I will be getting the drier/receiver & Evap from them, I will see if anyone has any recommendations also and then figure what I am going to do. Thanks for the promo code also!
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 20 Oct 2014, 11:21 pm
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Location: oak creek, wi
Posts: 1,149
Default Re: Heater Core Brand

on my 2002, I had the spectra-premium heater core and evap core done with no problems. I think I paid something like $104 for both from amazon. this was done about a year ago. still no problems.
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Old 21 Oct 2014, 10:20 am
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Olalla, WA
Posts: 50
Default Re: Heater Core Brand

Hi Archie, Meathead here

My comment won't be helpful but I just wanted to comment about reviews of products. I'm getting more and more cautious of believing the reviews. It seems that a lot of the poor reviews come from folks that likely fowled up the item themselves and some of the glowing reviews might come from hacks of the company that sold the product.

Hope I'm wrong.....
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Old 21 Oct 2014, 10:55 am
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Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 28
Default Re: Heater Core Brand

Thanks Guys/Gals (can't tell by the screen names, and I don't want to assume we're all Meatheads! LOL!!!) I know what you mean about the reviews, so I guess it's 6 & 1/2 of the other. On another note, just got through taking a "walk around" the forum and this is a great place to find loads of info, and to be honest, compared to a couple of other forums I belong to for my other Dodge it's a breath of fresh air, and I'll leave it at that
As I was looking at my post, I see that I didn't even list what kind of Cruiser I have, I apologize, well, It's a silver/Gray I guess Cruiser with the Flames on the side, base model, with the 2.4L engine, has about 60K on the odometer with velour seats. Nothing special on the inside, stock radio, but drives really nice. No mods to the engine or the exterior since it's my wife's and she likes it just the way it is. I may in the future put in fog lamps but for now I'm just going to let her enjoy it.

Last edited by ArchieBunker; 22 Oct 2014 at 10:47 pm. Reason: More Info
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 23 Oct 2014, 02:01 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core Brand

I cant help out on aftermarket brand, also have to be careful that no matter what you buy is a rebox.

I have 2000 durango and an 02 Jeep, they are know for the same issue, but I havent had a problem yet, I tend to change the coolant in my cars often.

If your concerned by another mopar unit, and also buy the cabin air fitler kit, it will keep all the pine needles and helicoptors out of the air box an prevent the heater core from rotting, know a couple pals who are mopar techs with years of experience, they tell me change the coolant and keep the needles out.

Good luck and have a "BEER' beer when you finish !

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Old 23 Oct 2014, 02:12 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core Brand

I use various brands for myself and customers and never had a repeated bad one. When you change enough of them we all have had at least one leak even checking them out prior to installing them. I may have had 2 in 25-30 years that leaked under warranty of perhaps about changing around 15-20? IDK never kept record of such things? I called a couple friends before responding that own shops to ask them and got pretty much the same answer.

IMO I don't really think it is a concern and as someone mentioned you are going to hear the bad review over the positive ones with a part like this anyway.

I mean how many time you hear someone saying... "wow what a great experience I had changing my heater core and what a great performing heater core I installed"!
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Last edited by NitroPT; 23 Oct 2014 at 02:15 pm.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 24 Oct 2014, 10:42 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Bay Area, CA
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Default Re: Heater Core Brand

I do appreciate you asking around, and while I do agree with you, the main reason I figure I'd ask is because I just replaced my heater core in my Saturn 9 months ago and I get to do the job all over again now, this one was made by Delphi who I thought was a good brand, obviously not. So now I get to two, just before winter starts to set in, oh goody!! But once again I do appreciate you taking the time to ask around!
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Old 24 Oct 2014, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Heater Core Brand

I'd bet Valeo makes the core.
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