The Heater Has Stopped Working in My Car

If the heater has stopped working in your car, truck, or C/SUV, it’s possible that the heater core has gone bad. Stringer Auto Repair is going to list the signs of a malfunctioning heater core below. We can replace the core if it needs it, so don’t worry. Just call our shop for an appointment today.

Cold Instead of Hot Air

One of the most common signs of a faulty core is cold air blowing through the vents. This is an indication that the core is clogged and blocking hot engine coolant from warming the air or leaking the coolant out of the system. No matter how high you set your heater, you will not get hot air because the core is malfunctioning. Replacing the heater core will resolve the problem and restore the hot airflow.

Coolant Odors in the Air

If you can smell coolant in the air blowing through the vents, the heater core is leaking. The engine coolant has a musty odor that smells kind of like maple syrup. It’s a sweet odor. You may also feel moisture in the air, more of which we’ll talk about next. It’s important to have the heating system inspected right away if you can smell strange odors coming out of the passenger cabin vents.

Constant Window Fogging

If there is moisture in the air blowing into the passenger cabin, your windows may fog and no amount of defrosting will clear them. This is because the heater core also helps the defroster defog the windows when you turn it on. When the moist air meets the dry air in the cabin, the windows will fog up and remain foggy until you turn off the heater and crack the windows to air out the passenger cabin.

Leaking Engine Coolant

Another sign that the core has a leak is a soggy floorboard underneath the passenger-side dashboard. This is the location of the core. As the engine coolant leaks out of the heater core hoses, it will drip onto the floorboard and leave a soppy mess. Again, replacing the leaking core will resolve the problem.

Constant Overheating

Finally, whether leaking or clogged a bad heater core will cause your engine to overheat. If it is leaking, the engine coolant level is reduced by the coolant loss. If it is clogged, the engine coolant stops at the clog and cannot be circulated through the engine. Both conditions will overheat the engine.

Call Stringer Auto Repair in Johnstown, OH, today to schedule an appointment for your automobile if you have problems with the heater.


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