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Heater Control Valve Bypass Hose Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your heater control valve bypass hose replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your heater control valve bypass hose replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does a heater control valve bypass hose replacement cost?

The average total cost for a heater control valve bypass hose replacement is $105-$145. The exact price will depend on your vehicle’s year and model.
The parts cost will include a new heater control valve bypass hose but may extend to a replacement control valve, heater core, and heater hose as well. As for the labor costs, it takes around 1-1.5 hours for a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle, determine whether a repair is necessary, and then perform the heater control valve bypass hose replacement. 
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do you need for a heater control valve replacement?

It takes both a working heating and cooling system to keep your car cabin at the perfect temperature. Behind the dashboard, there are checks and valves to keep these two climate control systems from clashing. 
If you ask a mechanic to take a look, they might find you need:
  1. A new
    heater control valve
    ($2-$405): The heart of your car’s heating system is the heater core, which must be fed with hot coolant to supply hot air. When you switch your climate controls to “AC”, the heater control valve stops the flow of hot liquid to the heater core. A broken control valve usually sticks in the “ON” or “OFF” position or starts leaking. Recommended brands are Four Seasons, Motorcraft, and ACDelco.
  2. A replacement heater control valve bypass hose ($1-$925): If you live in a warm location and don’t need a heater, you might opt to install a control valve bypass hose. As the name suggests, the bypass hose snakes around the control valve and keeps coolant flowing through the heater core and engine at all times. Other coolant hoses are regulated by the thermostat, but not the bypass hose. Three brands we recommend are Gates, Dayco, and ACDelco.
  3. A new
    heater core
    ($30-$725): The heater core repurposes the heat generated by the engine to make the car cabin nice and toasty. In doing so, it cools down the coolant, which races back to the engine to continue cooling your car so it doesn’t overheat. Some car owners cut a faulty heater core out of the equation by installing a bypass hose so they don’t have to deal with leaks. Recommended brands are Spectra Premium, TYC, and APDI.
  4. A replacement car heater hose ($1-$925): Heater hoses transport coolant or antifreeze throughout your car’s heater system. Besides blockages, the most common cause of hose failure is a leak or degraded seal. Brands we recommend are Gates, Dayco, and ACDelco.
Keep in mind A heater control valve replacement requires only a single part, but you might also require a new heater control valve or hose to get things working again.
You can buy replacement heater control valve bypass hose parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts cost more than aftermarket parts, but they often include better warranties. For example, a new genuine Toyota heater control valve bypass hose includes a 24-month/25,000-mile warranty if it’s installed by a certified Toyota mechanic. That being said, some aftermarket performance parts manufacturers offer just as much, if not more, quality as OEM parts.
You can buy replacement auto parts at automotive body shops, parts shops like Advance Auto parts, AutoZone and NAPA Auto Parts, dealerships, or online stores like Autozone or RockAuto. If you prefer OEM parts, you can also try your vehicle manufacturer’s official website. Chevrolet, Honda, and just about every other car maker sells OEM parts online. Check your owner’s manual for any crucial specifications so you don’t buy the wrong part.

Where can I get my heater control valve bypass hose replaced?

High repair costs make you feel like you're being cheated, but dirt cheap repair services are of suspect quality. Jerry's
GarageGuard™
helps you find a mechanic that’s just right.
Using the app, you can find fair price estimates* for car repairs in your area, including diagnostic fees, real hourly rates, and user reviews confirming the quality of the work. Also, Jerry's GarageGuard™ features only vetted auto repair shops—more than 2,500 nationwide!
To compare companies like the ones below, download Jerry's GarageGuard™ app today. It’s like a coupon for auto repairs that never expires!
142 Reviews
National Transmission Co, Inc
address
4420 Griggs Rd, Houston, TX
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$0
188 Reviews
Tires Unlimited / Stress-Free Auto Care - San Jose
address
3744 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$225
191 Reviews
Duval County Transmission and Auto Care
address
8333 103rd St, Jacksonville, FL
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$60
182 Reviews
Motorly
address
(Mobile auto service), Port Murray, NJ
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$115
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic do a heater control valve bypass hose replacement?

If your bypass tube is located in a hard-to-reach area, or you’d prefer to leave it to the professionals, here’s what a garage will do:
  1. Preparation: The mechanic will wait for the engine to cool, jack up the car, and place a drain pan underneath the radiator. They’ll drain the coolant from the system until the bypass hose is no longer full.
  2. Disassembly: The mechanic will open the engine compartment to locate the thermostat housing, which conceals the bypass hose.
  3. Removal: Using a screwdriver, the mechanic will loosen and then remove the hose. 
  4. Replacement: The mechanic will install the new coolant bypass hose and tighten the clamps, inspecting other components as they go.
  5. Reassembly: The mechanic will put everything back as it was and fill the coolant tank with fresh coolant. They’ll start the engine and check your car for any leaks.

Can you drive with a broken coolant bypass hose?

It’s unsafe to drive with a broken coolant hose. The bypass hose is designed to keep coolant flowing to your engine no matter what. If it’s broken, there’s nothing to stop the coolant flow from leaking onto your engine’s cylinder heads, the alternator, or other parts. Plus, zero coolant could lead to
engine damage from overheating
!

What is a heater control valve bypass hose replacement?

A heater control valve bypass hose replacement involves removing the leaking line and replacing it with a new one.
A heater control valve bypass hose is an aftermarket part that some car owners choose to install for generally one of two reasons: either the heater core is leaking coolant, and the owner doesn’t want to pay for repairs, or they live in an environment that is warm all year and have no need for the heater. 
Most experts do not recommend bypassing the heater control valve, as doing so will prevent you from using the car’s heater and defroster in winter. However, if you purchased a used vehicle with a bypass hose, you’ll need to maintain it like any other part. 

What are the symptoms of a bypass hose leak?

It can be difficult to determine whether your vehicle's bypass coolant hose is broken without seeing any obvious signs of damage. Here are some signs to watch for:
  1. Low coolant level warning light: Your car will warn you if coolant levels fall below normal. If you add more coolant and the light comes on again soon after, there's probably a leak.
  2. Coolant leaks: Leaking coolant smells sweet and puddles on the ground or in the engine compartment.
  3. Overheating engine and check engine light: If your engine overheats due to a lack of coolant, the check engine light will warn you about it.  
Key Takeaway A leaky bypass hose could cause your car to develop a sudden thirst for coolant and an overheating engine.

What’s the average life of a coolant bypass hose?

Coolant bypass hoses typically last between four and five years. However, where you live, how often you use the heating system, and how often you perform vehicle maintenance can impact this lifespan. For a longer hose service life, make sure to use the right coolant and change the coolant and HVAC filters regularly!

Can I replace a bypass hose myself?

If the bypass hose is located in an easy-to-reach area, like behind the glove box or near the passenger firewall, a replacement is a relatively easy DIY job. In order to replace the bypass hose, you'll need a new hose, screwdriver, utility knife, pan, and fresh coolant. Make sure you get detailed instructions for your vehicle model (the bypass valve for a Honda Civic doesn’t look like the one for a Buick Enclave). Also, wear protective gear—coolant can irritate the skin and lungs and be toxic if ingested.

FAQs

A bypass hose allows coolant to bypass the heater core and return to the engine. It's an aftermarket modification that's mostly found in hot climates since it eliminates the possibility of heating your car. It has the same function and construction as a regular coolant hose.
Wear, heat damage, loose hose clamps, contaminants, and electrochemical damage (ECD) are the most common causes of coolant hose failures. Rubber coolant hoses (and plastic connectors, to a lesser extent) swell in heat and contract in cold. As a result of this movement, the hose wears thin over time, and heat damage severely weakens it.
A coolant hose's connection to the engine and other parts is severely stressed during this motion, so if the clamps aren't installed properly and tightly, it can wiggle and wear unevenly. Coolant contaminated with ozone or dirt will only make things worse. Finally, there’s ECD. As coolant circulates through the engine's metal parts, electrical charges build up within it, eventually causing internal damage to the coolant hoses.
Long-life coolant and antifreeze lasts longer than the usual stuff, but they don’t really last 10 years. You should replace these fluids every five years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Ask a professional to flush the coolant system completely once in a while; draining it in your driveway by yourself only takes care of 66% of the stuff in your car, leaving the rest trapped in the engine and coolant hoses.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.