How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Semi-Truck Heater?

The heater in your truck is one of the essential components for driver comfort and safety. Truck drivers spend a significant portion of their time behind the wheel, and while driving during the winter or in colder climates, like Minnesota, without heat, the resulting temperatures can be uncomfortable in the best case, and dangerous or even deadly in the worst cases.

It’s not only essential for the driver, but for the truck as well. The heater helps to keep the cab warm enough to properly operate, as well as helping to keep the windshield defrosted and fog-free. Letting heating problems go unfixed for too long can even begin to affect the engine. Here’s what it may cost you to fix the heater in your semi-truck.


Cost to Fix a Semi-Truck Heater

The cost to fix the heater in your semi will depend considerably on what component is broken. In a best-case scenario, you may simply have a thermostat problem, which can be fixed with an affordable part and relatively minimal labor costs. If the situation is dire, you may require a blower motor, a resistor or even a heater core replacement.

The most expensive fix is likely going to be a heater core replacement, which not only requires a part that can cost several hundred dollars, but also a significant amount of labor to replace due to the nature of the job and the location of the component in the truck.

A new heater core will generally cost between $100 and $500, depending on the make and model of your truck. The labor charge to replace the part can add another $500 to $900. This can mean a total of anywhere between $600 and over $1,000 to have your heater core replaced, with progressively more minor repairs costing less.


 Blaine Brothers semi truck repair shops in Minnesota and Wisconsin help you get back on the road.


Common Truck Heater Repairs

There are many different parts that make up the entirety of your truck’s heating system, so there are many potential points of failure. Here are some of the more common repairs that are needed for semi-truck heating systems.


A thermostat is one of the most commonly broken components of a heating system. If the thermostat breaks while open, it will still allow coolant to cycle through the engine, which will keep the engine below the standard operating temperature. Stuck closed, it can prevent the engine from cooling itself, and thus result in highly damaging heat building up in the engine.

Coolant/Antifreeze Level

Another highly common issue is when the heater performance is affected by a coolant level that is too low. The coolant is what absorbs the heat from the engine and brings that heat to the heater core, where it can be transferred outside the system. If there isn’t enough coolant, not only will you not be able to heat your cab, but you may also begin to experience engine temperature issues, like being unable to keep the temperature at a normal operating level.

Heater Fan

The heater fan is the part of your heater that blows air across the heater core and into the cab. This removes the heat from the coolant being pumped through the core, and it moves that heat into the cab in the form of hot air. If your heater fan shorts out, or the bearings deteriorate it may stop working entirely and need to be replaced.

Blower Motor Resistor

One of the more affordable fixes is a blown resistor on the blower motor. This can happen for a number of reasons including age and electrical surges. When the blower motor resistor goes out, it can manifest in difficulty regulating fan operation and, more notably, speed.

Dirty or Clogged Heater Core

The primary medium of heat removal from the engine is coolant, and pumping that heated coolant through the heater core is what makes hot air for the cab. If the heater core is dirtied or completely clogged, however, it can result in a greatly diminished heating ability, including no heat at all.

Leaky or Damaged Radiator

A common reason that many truck drivers find out they don’t have heat but are surprised to hear, is that they have a radiator that has been damaged or is otherwise leaking antifreeze or coolant. In some cases, this is missed as a diagnosis because even though there may be enough coolant to keep the engine operational, there may not be enough coolant to make it to the heater core to produce heat.

Electrical Issues

Some of the most potentially-expensive causes of heater issues in a truck are miscellaneous electrical issues. This can be anything from a broken wire to a corroded ground point or even rodent damage. The biggest expense with electrical issues is a diagnosis and tracing the problem to its source.

Broken Controls

Sometimes, even though we may feel like there is some incredibly expensive component that needs to be replaced, it’s as simple as an old switch with worn contacts. Working with a local semi-truck heater expert is the best way to ensure you aren’t spending money to chase a diagnosis and that the service you get is what fixes your issues.


Signs Your Vehicle’s Heater Needs Maintenance

The biggest sign that your truck’s heater needs some maintenance or repairs is that your cab stays cool or even downright cold despite having the heat set to high.

Fixing vs. Replacing

When to Fix a Semi-Truck Heater

The best indication that fixing one or more problems with your heating system is a better option than replacement, is that the cost of the repair would be more manageable than that of replacement. This is generally the case with more minor repairs, where there may only be a total cost of around $100.

When to Replace a Semi-Truck Heater

The most common reason to replace a semi-truck heater is that the core has gone bad. If this is the case you will need a full heater core replacement. This is an extensive job since the heater core is often on the firewall or beneath the dashboard somewhere.

Another reason to replace a heater is if it’s more than 10 years old and your heating system needs other extensive repairs. Since your truck will be partially disassembled for this, it’s prime time to have a heater core replacement performed before you may actually require one.


 Blaine Brothers carries a variety of truck parts, including blower motor and heater cores. Shop today!


Be Proactive with Preventative Maintenance

Being proactive with your truck’s climate control system means having some occasional preventative maintenance done. This requires addressing some common issues yourself, and bringing your vehicle to a trusted, local shop periodically to have them perform a full maintenance checklist.

Some of the maintenance you can perform yourself is regular care that you really should be doing anyway. This includes things like periodically checking the coolant level to ensure that there is enough but not too much. Too little coolant means your heater core isn’t able to get rid of the heat that it has absorbed from the engine.


Blaine Brothers: Winter Semi Truck Heater Repair in Minnesota

If you’ve noticed a decrease in your truck’s heating power, or if your heat hasn’t worked in some time, it may be time to get it looked at by a professional, especially if you spend a lot of time driving in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Even if your heat seems to be working well right now, having preventative maintenance can extend the life of your current components and help with early diagnosis of problems. Bring your truck to Blaine Brothers for heater repair services today, or reach out to us with any questions!

Blaine, MN


10011 Xylite Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55449

Scanlon, MN


1325 Hwy 45
Scanlon, MN 55720

Clearwater, MN


750 Heaton BLVD
Clearwater, MN 55320

Baldwin, WI


2500 Alreich Ave
Baldwin, WI 54002

Capacity Trucks


10070 Davenport St. NE
Blaine, MN 55449



9515 150th Avenue NE
Columbus, MN 55025