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Heater Control Valve Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your heater control valve replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your heater control valve 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 replacement cost?

The average cost for a heater control valve replacement is $450-$500. The exact price will depend on your vehicle’s year and model.
The parts cost will include a new heater control valve but may extend to a replacement heater core and heater hose as well. As for the labor costs, it takes around 1.5-2 hours for a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle, determine whether a repair is necessary, and then perform the heater control valve 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 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. 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. We recommend brands like Four Seasons, Motorcraft, and ACDelco.
  2. 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 prevent it from overheating. We recommend brands like Spectra Premium, TYC, and APDI.
  3. Replacement car heater hose ($1-$925): Heater hoses transport coolant throughout your car’s engine cooling and cabin heating system. Besides blockages, the most common cause of hose failure is a leak or degraded seal. Recommended brands are Gates, Dayco, and ACDelco.
Keep in mind A heater control valve replacement requires only a single part, but you might need a new heater core or hose to put things back in order.
You can buy replacement heater control valve 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. Keep in mind that the best options for your replacement parts will vary depending on your’s 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 includes a 24-month/25,000-mile warranty if it’s installed by a certified Toyota mechanic. That being said, some aftermarket performance parts are at least as good as OEM parts.
You can buy replacement parts at automotive body shops, parts shops like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, 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. Honda, Nissan, GMC, 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 ca I get my heater control valve replaced?

High repair costs make you feel like you’ve been cheated, but dirt-cheap repair services are of dubious quality. Like the thermostat in your car’s cabin, there’s a sweet spot between the two extremes that feels just right, and you can find it with Jerry's
GarageGuard™
!
The Jerry's GarageGuard™ app lets you search fair price estimates* for car repairs in your area. A complete cost breakdown (including diagnostics fees and real hourly rates) helps you budget, while verified user reviews confirm the quality of the services. Well, that and the fact that GarageGuard™ only features vetted car repair shops—over 2,500 across the country!
If you’re tired of making big decisions with too little information, download the GarageGuard™ app today to browse auto repair quotes from vetted shops like the ones below.
166 Reviews
Goodyear Auto Service - Hoover Commons
address
1623 Montgomery Hwy, Hoover, AL
Heater Control Valve Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$132
(Parts - $102, Labor - $30)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$65
199 Reviews
Economy Oil Change
address
315 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT
Heater Control Valve Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$110
(Parts - $102, Labor - $8)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$0
102 Reviews
Craftsman Auto Care - Chantilly
address
14510 Lee Rd, Chantilly, VA
Heater Control Valve Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$142
(Parts - $102, Labor - $40)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$170
182 Reviews
United Alignment Tire Center
address
11251 Burbank Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Heater Control Valve Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$123
(Parts - $102, Labor - $21)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
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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 replacement?

If you decide to visit a garage for a heater control valve replacement, the mechanic will:
  1. Disconnect the car battery and raise the car on jack stands
  2. Drain the coolant (or antifreeze) from the car’s heating system
  3. Remove and cap the radiator and heater hoses
  4. Locate the heater control valve and remove the glovebox or dash to access it
  5. Inspect the heater control valve and hoses for leaks, corrosion, or contamination
  6. Replace the valve and hoses as needed
  7. Replace the glove box and dash
  8. Flush the heating system, refill the coolant or antifreeze tank, and bleed the hoses of air
  9. Reconnect the heater hoses
  10. Test the car heater to make sure it works

Can you drive with a bad heater control valve?

Working climate controls aren’t essential for driving, but there are other reasons to fix a bad heater control valve immediately. If the valve is broken, you could risk:
  • Visibility issues: Without a working heating system, you won’t be able to defrost the windshield or windows, which could be dangerous in wintery conditions.
  • Coolant or antifreeze leaks: If the valve has sprung a leak, it could drip coolant or antifreeze on other parts behind the dash, which could lead to some pricey repairs.
  • Damage to the heater core: The heater core is designed to work with hot antifreeze or coolant. If it doesn’t receive any liquid, it could stress and then blow.
  • An overheating engine: If you keep losing coolant, your car will lose the ability to cool its engine, which could cause major damage.

What is a heater control valve replacement?

The heater control valve allows your car's heating and cooling systems to stay in sync. During the replacement, your mechanic will check the heater control valve for leaks, contamination, or corrosion; replace it, and then inspect the other heater hoses.

When should I replace my heater control valve?

If the heater control valve is damaged, you'll have trouble heating the cabin. Here's what to look for:
  • Coolant leaks: A failing valve might send coolant dripping through the dash and onto the car floor. Your car will probably post a coolant-level warning light on the dash.
  • An overheating engine: If coolant continues to leak, your car will lose the ability to cool the engine, causing it to overheat.
  • Cold air blowing from the car heater: If the control valve is stuck in the “OFF” position, hot coolant can’t flow to the heater core to produce warm air, causing cold air to blow from the vents.
  • Your heater won’t adjust: Without being able to regulate the flow of coolant to the heater core, you won’t be able to adjust how much heat the cabin receives.
Key Takeaway Heating issues and coolant leaks can signal a faulty heater control valve.

What’s the life expectancy of a control valve?

Although heater control valves are designed to last for the entire lifespan of a vehicle, this doesn't always work out. The heating components of your car can be shortened by external factors, such as temperature extremes, unexpected damage, and contamination, as well as internal factors, such as wear and age. If you're concerned about how long the replacement valve may last, look for one with a long warranty.

Can I replace a heater control valve myself?

The heater control valve replacement is not a DIY project for beginners. In addition to basic equipment, you'll need to be comfortable working with heating systems and dismantling a dashboard. Wear protective equipment; antifreeze and coolant can be extremely harmful if inhaled and irritating to the skin and lungs.

FAQs

Heater control valves can fail due to aging, deterioration, lack of maintenance, and contamination of the heating system, among other things. You can't prevent aging and deterioration; if you live in a cold climate and use your heating system frequently, your parts will wear faster. 
You can, however, keep dust, buildup, and moisture out of the system by regularly flushing and inspecting your coolant hoses. And don’t forget to change your HVAC filter!
It's unlikely a broken heater control valve will affect your air conditioner. The heating and air conditioning systems of your car are separate, self-contained loops. No matter what happens to the control valve, it won't affect your air conditioner, which runs on refrigerant.
The location of the heater control valve depends on the vehicle. Most of the time, it's assumed to hide behind the glovebox and dashboard on the passenger side. A repair manual for your specific vehicle model will help you determine where it is.

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.