Five Signs Your Car’s Heater Core Is Going Bad

You don’t want your car’s heater core to die before winter. The core is what warms the air when you turn up the temperature. It also keeps the defroster’s air warm so it can keep your windshield and your visibility clear; well, as clear as possible depending on the weather conditions outside. Stringer Auto Repair can inspect your core to make sure it’s okay. Here are five signs it isn’t.

Fog Inside Your Car

Two things could be going on if you have fog inside your car. First, the heater core could be malfunctioning and, as such, the defrosters aren’t working. Second, the core could be blowing fog/smoke into your vehicle’s cabin. Both are bad signs and need to be checked into right away.

Sweet Smells in the Car

The sweet smell in your car might not be your perfume or the donuts you’re taking to work. It could be the heater core. If the heater core is leaking, it will blow the odor of engine coolant through the vents. Coolant smells sweet, almost musty. Many people say it smells like candy, fruit, or maple syrup.

Constant Engine Coolant Loss

Speaking of coolant, another sign your core is going bad is coolant loss. This usually happens because there is a coolant leak in the heater core. You may top off your coolant only to find it low again the next day. Low coolant can overheat and damage the engine, so it’s important to fix the leak ASAP.

Cold Air in the Cabin

The heater core has tubes that circulate hot engine coolant through them before the coolant is returned to the radiator. Air blows over the hot coolant to warm it before it’s blown through your vehicle’s vents. If the air is cold instead of hot, your core might be leaking all of the hot coolant out of the tubes.

Cold Cabin/Hot Engine

Finally, the last sign your heater core is going bad is a combination of the previous two signs. If you’ve got cold air blowing through the vents but your engine is overheating, you’ve got a coolant problem that can likely be traced back to the core. It’s probably leaking and starving the engine or coolant.

Call Stringer Auto Repair in Johnstown, OH, if think your heater core might be dying. We’ll inspect the core and your cooling system, find any problems, and fix them.

Photo by Photo by Coffeekai from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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