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The heater core in my Oasis has bitten the dust, apparently. I'm not getting any detectable coolant leakage or loss either inside or out. However, whenever I turn the heat on in the slightest, I can smell coolant and I have to run the A/C to keep the windows from fogging up on the inside. If you park it overnight with the heat control even slightly on, the next day you can see interior condensation on the windows. So, I'm afraid I'm stuck.

I looked at the service manual to see what a heater core replacement involves and it appears you have to remove everything but the back bumper to get to it. I also priced the heater core; the retail price on the core is over $280 and the online price runs $200+. It's a bigger job than I feel like tackling since you have to evacuate the A/C system and remove the dashboard to get to it. I called the Honda dealer (since the local Isuzu dealer is long gone) and they quoted me a price of $1080 to fix it. I haven't called any independent shops yet, but given the labor involved it's going to be pricey, I expect.

My question is, should I replace the evaporator and the receiver/dryer while the system is discharged and the dashboard is apart, even though the A/C is working fine? The van only has 45k miles on it and is otherwise in great shape. My plan is to keep it for another five years or so, if possible. As has been discussed in other threads, there's really nothing on the market that's a good replacement to the 1st gen Ody - the new ones are just too big for my liking. (However, the upcoming Ford C-Max Grand looks promising, but I digress.)

My brother had a '92 Accord that he eventually got rid of because the evaporator pooped out and it was going to be too expensive to fix. His mechanic told him to take it to the dealer because "life is too short to work on Honda air conditioners."

My fear is that I'll spend a bunch of money on the heater core, then be back in the same boat if the evaporator goes. Here in the sweaty South, I can just about live without heat but I refuse to take summer without A/C.

Andy
 

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If they A/C components are doing fine, simply clean them up while you have the system apart, and re-install them. I don't have any problems with mine (at 178,000 miles).
 

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you do not need to removethe ac system or dis charge it.
only remove the dash and the main center support beam. you will only be taking out the big black box in the middle, of the dash . heater core is located in the bottom of the black box , you will see all the bolts that hold it in side the car but there is one more that hides on you , its in the motor bay above the two hoses that send coolent to the heater core .


btw drive to houston ill do it for you for 100 just labor you get parts and can just hang out lol would take a few hrs
 

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overboostin said:
you do not need to removethe ac system or dis charge it.
only remove the dash and the main center support beam. you will only be taking out the big black box in the middle, of the dash . heater core is located in the bottom of the black box , you will see all the bolts that hold it in side the car but there is one more that hides on you , its in the motor bay above the two hoses that send coolent to the heater core .


btw drive to houston ill do it for you for 100 just labor you get parts and can just hang out lol would take a few hrs
Why can't you live in Wisconsin? I want to hang out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
overboostin said:
you do not need to removethe ac system or dis charge it.
only remove the dash and the main center support beam. you will only be taking out the big black box in the middle, of the dash . heater core is located in the bottom of the black box , you will see all the bolts that hold it in side the car but there is one more that hides on you , its in the motor bay above the two hoses that send coolent to the heater core .


btw drive to houston ill do it for you for 100 just labor you get parts and can just hang out lol would take a few hrs

LOL. Thanks overboostin! I wish I was closer to Houston; I'd take you up on your offer to hang out too. If the A/C doesn't need to be discharged, then I sure wouldn't mess with it while it's working fine.

I'll definitely plan to check around and see if someone can fix it for a more reasonable price. I've done some wrench-twisting on other cars in the past, but I basically suck at it. The only thing I've done to this one is change the wheels and radio - not exactly brain surgery.
 

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btw drive to houston ill do it for you for 100 just labor you get parts and can just hang out lol would take a few hrs [/B]


I know where I will be going if that happens to mine! BTW Overboostin, thanks again for all the help with my AC system. I ended up replacing the Condensor and Drier and my buddy evacuated it and recharged for me. I just had to take him to lunch. AC is working great now and only cost me about $200.
 

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Does anyone know where I can source one? I need a heater core for mine. I would like to pay as little as possible
I was surprised that RockAuto and other national aftermarket parts stores did not list a heater core for a 1996 Odyssey. I found an OEM one from BKHondaParts.com for $231.25 - here is the link:

79110-SX0-A01 | CORE, HEATER 1996 Honda ODYSSEY

I hope you can find one cheaper than that. If you do, let us know. Good luck !!
 

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I was surprised that RockAuto and other national aftermarket parts stores did not list a heater core for a 1996 Odyssey. I found an OEM one from BKHondaParts.com for $231.25 - here is the link:

79110-SX0-A01 | CORE, HEATER 1996 Honda ODYSSEY

I hope you can find one cheaper than that. If you do, let us know. Good luck !!
Well i found a used one from Automotix.

1996 Honda Odyssey Heater Core 1996 Honda Odyssey (San Francisco, California, 676-58285, Very Good, $85.00 )

As for the heater core, I replaced myself in three days roughly. It was a PITA and definitely something you should do only if you plan on keeping the car for a while. It is really extensive but will be much easier if you ever have to do it a second time.. You have to disconnect the battery,disable the SRS, remove the intake manifold chamber and air duct. Removal of the intake chamber and duct allows you access to the heater hoses and heater unit bolts on the firewall. Then you go inside the cabin, remove the lower dash, center console, glove boxes, radio, heater control, and instrument panel.

Then you have to drop the steering column,remove the dashboard, remove the hanger beam and disconnect all associated wiring. Doing all that will allow you access to the heater unit. Once you undo the mounting bolts and disconnect the heater valve cable you can remove it. You have to carefully wiggle it to the left and pry it out. I would recommend loosening all of the evaporator mounting bolts to make it easier. Otherwise you have to discharge the AC system and remove the evaporator.
 

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Since my '98 Ody heater core has also bit the dust, I'll add some of my pics here so that they're all in one place. Like the helpful hints written previously, you do not have to evacuate/discharge the AC system. I removed the several fasteners from the evaporator box to allow a bit more wiggle room to remove the air control box with the heater core inside. Also, removing the intake manifold really makes it easier to access the heater core hoses in the engine compartment. I was almost able to disconnect the core hoses from underneath but failed because the hoses were stuck to the pipes. Approaching from the engine side after the manifold was removed, I had bent the left-side pipe trying to disconnect the hose. If I had to do this again, I would buy the two rubber hoses, cut the old ones off and be done with this phase.
The air control box had quite a bit of antifreeze sloshing around the bottom which confirmed my initial thoughts when I saw the leaky mist from the defrost and air ducts. After I removed the heater core I washed out the box without further disassembly. Hot water and dish soap removed practically all of the slick antifreeze and I hope that the foam on the routing louvers will last a bit longer. As it is, 22-year old foam rather crumbles when you handle it too much. I'm going to check on replacement louvers, but there might be availability issues. Anyway, it's back to the internet to find a replacement core. Here are some pics:

153640
air_control_box2.JPG
air_control_box4.JPG
air_control_box5.JPG


In the following pic, yellow arrows indicate the heater cores pipes and the blue arrows indicate the mounting nuts you'll want to remove.

153644
153645


The culprit:
153646
153649
153648


Hope these pics help someone out there. Many thanks to the other authors; I didn't have to go to the dealer to have this work done :cool:
Cheers,
Eric
 

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Since my '98 Ody heater core has also bit the dust, I'll add some of my pics here so that they're all in one place. Like the helpful hints written previously, you do not have to evacuate/discharge the AC system. I removed the several fasteners from the evaporator box to allow a bit more wiggle room to remove the air control box with the heater core inside. Also, removing the intake manifold really makes it easier to access the heater core hoses in the engine compartment. I was almost able to disconnect the core hoses from underneath but failed because the hoses were stuck to the pipes. Approaching from the engine side after the manifold was removed, I had bent the left-side pipe trying to disconnect the hose. If I had to do this again, I would buy the two rubber hoses, cut the old ones off and be done with this phase.
The air control box had quite a bit of antifreeze sloshing around the bottom which confirmed my initial thoughts when I saw the leaky mist from the defrost and air ducts. After I removed the heater core I washed out the box without further disassembly. Hot water and dish soap removed practically all of the slick antifreeze and I hope that the foam on the routing louvers will last a bit longer. As it is, 22-year old foam rather crumbles when you handle it too much. I'm going to check on replacement louvers, but there might be availability issues. Anyway, it's back to the internet to find a replacement core. Here are some pics:

View attachment 153640 View attachment 153641 View attachment 153642 View attachment 153643

In the following pic, yellow arrows indicate the heater cores pipes and the blue arrows indicate the mounting nuts you'll want to remove.

View attachment 153644 View attachment 153645

The culprit:
View attachment 153646 View attachment 153649 View attachment 153648

Hope these pics help someone out there. Many thanks to the other authors; I didn't have to go to the dealer to have this work done :cool:
Cheers,
Eric
Wow, good job! Hope I don't ever have to do this. Did you own your car long? Did you maintain the antifreeze?
 

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Wow, good job! Hope I don't ever have to do this. Did you own your car long? Did you maintain the antifreeze?
Heya Bork,
Thanks man. We've had the '98 for about 7 years. Yes, antifreeze was maintained along with the other schedule maintenance items. So far online the cost for a new part is around $260 average...haven't found any better yet. I'm also looking at having a radiator shop repair the heater core. (I had excellent results with a radiator shop fix for the heater core on my '89 Toyota 4x4.)
Cheers,
-Eric
 

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Parts information: order placed on 1/8/2020, order arrived via FEDEX 1/21/2020 (non-expedited/signature required)
Best Price Honda Parts (978) 851-4356

The part was an exact-match replacement for the core that I removed from our Ody. Additionally, the Best Price representatives gave me the best customer service experience I've received to date. I'll not hesitate to order other parts from them in the future.
Cheers,
Eric

Part Number​
Part Name​
Price​
Quantity​
Total​
79110-SX0-A01​
Core, Heater​
$262.95​
1​
$262.95​

Subtotal: $262.95​
Estimated Standard Shipping: $31.71​
Total: $294.66​
 
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