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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Posting all my pictures from replacing the AC evaporator core in a 2012 with a few cautionary notes in case it might help someone in the future.
  • Dealership quoted me $2500 to do this job. So, I bought the part online for $120 and did the replacement myself. I also did return to the dealership and have them refill the refrigerant which cost me $350. I was OK with this since it still saved a chunk of change.
  • Borrow or buy an electronic copy of the service manual. You should look for this document, 2012 Chevrolet Volt Opel Ampera Service Manual.pdf
  • Make sure you disconnect the 12v battery long before you start taking things apart.
  • Electrical connectors… Each connector is unique and difficult. So, the difficult part of removing them is determining how each connector is removed. This ate up a lot of time when removing them, however it was easy reinstalling since each one snapped into place.
  • The wiring harness can stay in place when removing the tie bar. You can see it still attached in one of the pictures. Also, the electrical modules can remain in tacked. I suggest someone assist in lifting the tie bar out of the car.
  • Heater hoses on the firewall were also difficult to remove because of access. They are snap on quick connectors and are the same as on a Cruze. Find a YouTube video on removing them on a Cruze like I did. A slight twist and pull will get them off once the retainer clip is removed. Make sure you have a bucket under the car to catch the coolant. A small amount will drain out. I estimate about a pint. What makes it a little more difficult on a Volt rather than a Cruze is that the Volt has the 3-way valve right in the way. So, detach it from the firewall so you can push it out of the way. Also, the engine cover must be removed to gain access to the hoses.
  • Once heater hoses are removed, take a short piece of tubing (2ft or so) like a water hose, and place it against the aluminum tube of the heater core and blow out as much of the coolant as possible so you don’t drip any in the passenger compartment.
  • Steering wheel… When removing the steering column, make sure the wheels are pointed straight ahead. When reinstalling the steering column, you may end up turning the wheel one or two full turns. This will give you a power steering error when you drive it. One way to avoid this is to simply tie the steering wheel into place before removing it. This way you avoid the problem altogether.
  • The bolts and screws come out much easier if you have a battery powered impact. A very small one is best for tight spaces since it doesn’t require much torque.
  • The bottoms of the rear seats must be removed to get the console out. They simple pull up to remove.
  • It took me about 18 to 24 hours of work over a 3-week period. I only worked on it a few hours each day and many days not at all.
    Good Luck!









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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
More pics.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Couple more
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Thanks for the tips and photos, 2VoltFamily. I can see why they charge what they do, but you da man!
 

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Amazing patience and attention to detail to get this job done. Yet again, I ask why the GM engineers have to make things like this so difficult to begin with. But one question: what was the failure mode on the original evaporator? Poor welds? Fatigue cracks from vibration? Corrosion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Amazing patience and attention to detail to get this job done. Yet again, I ask why the GM engineers have to make things like this so difficult to begin with. But one question: what was the failure mode on the original evaporator? Poor welds? Fatigue cracks from vibration? Corrosion?
It looked to be the crimps on the tubes.
 

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Thanks for all the helpful pictures, I just did the same tear apart process this weekend and found that I could leave the assembled steering column attached to the tie bar and just moved it onto the reclined seats with towels wrapped around the sharp edges. I also did not disconnect the heater core, I managed to replace the evaporator without draining any antifreeze. I am always looking for shortcuts.
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