Leaking Heater Core



My 1963 Chevy Nova is almost restored. New carpet was just installed. I replaced the heater core once and it leaked on the old carpet after 4 years of use. Is there any place that will repair old cores? Can’t have a supposedly new core leaking on new carpet.


There was a time when virtually every town had a shop dedicated to radiator repairs, and yes they would often do heater core repairs as well.

Over time the cost of replacement radiators has come down, so much so that in many cases it is much cheaper to buy new than to repair.

In doing a few quick internet searches for your car, it revealed heater cores were available in both aluminum and brass/copper, and could be had for as little as $30 and as much as $150.

There are times when no one makes a replacement heater core, in those events I would seek out a radiator repair shop that still makes radiator repairs, and they will have the skills and equipment to make the repair.

I recently had a radiator repaired, and while it took a few phone calls to find the right people to work on it, the reward was having a first rate job personally backed up by the shop owner with a promise and a handshake.

Because your car is so popular I would strongly recommend purchasing a complete new heater core. As repairs to your existing one will likely exceed the purchase price of a new one.

Wrench Safe,

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17 Responses to “Leaking Heater Core”


    The heater core started leaking in my '70 GTO and the local GTO restorer stated he never replaces the heater core because the new ones all leak after a couple of years. I live in the south so there are only a couple months when it is too cold to drive without a heater.

  2. Schilling Harry

    There’s a radiator repair shop in Cape Girardeau, MO . B&S Radiator, their motto “the best place in town to take a leak”

  3. Bernard Clark

    Is there any one south of Richmond that would help restore my 71chevelle?

  4. Tommy lindsey

    Looking for someone to rebuild my heater core. 1999 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel. The ones you buy from parts house or online aren’t worth a spit,if you know what I mean.

  5. Robert Gallagher

    You probably received a cheap heater core from china, their Radiators are bad also, and so are the electronic ignition boxes modules for fords, some only lasting a few hours. Try to get a good quality unit, otherwise you will be changing this every few years. Otherwise go to a good radiator shop and ask them to make one for you.

  6. radiorich

    Replace with a new one then use a 9 lb. radiator cap.

  7. jane

    I agree, repair of the original is a much better option 99% of the time--they were built better & fit perfect -a lot of the aftermarket stuff is built Really cheap & doesn't fit proper-

  8. Philip Wetmore

    I have a 1960 Valiant with a leaking heater core. I have searched and searched to find a new/replacement, but I have had no luck. I do have a parts car and am hoping the core is good on that one. I do know that the core is bypassed so I am not sure that core will be any better than my leaking one in my driver. I hate to put some sort of "stop leak" in the radiator and hope it stops the leak in the heater.. and not plug up the cooling system.

  9. Aaron

    <strong> I have a 58’ Impala which after 10 mins or so begins to blow steam on the windshield. Where is a good place to start? Can I fix it without replacing it?

  10. Scot

    The guy at the radiator shop says you need to leak check a new heater core before you install it because of the high failure rate.