Halloween is coming up quickly and the weather is cooling down. You can breathe a sigh of relief from the summer heat, but what about when it gets cold? Is your vehicle’s heater core ready to push hot air through the vents? Let’s talk about this unsung hero and how United Auto Care can make certain you have plenty of warm air inside the car when the temperatures drop outside of the car.
What Is the Heater Core?
Oddly named, the heater core is part of your vehicle’s cooling system. It’s basically a mini-radiator that uses hot coolant to its advantage. Coolant circulates through your vehicle’s engine to absorb heat; this is what keeps the engine cool but makes the coolant hot. The heater core has tubes through which the hot coolant circulates. When you turn up the heat inside your vehicle’s cabin, air is blown over the heater core to warm it before it’s pushed through the vents. The heater core also helps the defroster defrost.
What Can Go Wrong?
Most standard vehicles have one heater core. If you drive an automobile with dual climate control, you have two heater cores. If you have separate climate controls in your back seat, you have three heater cores, so what can go wrong? Corrosion can damage the heater core and cause coolant leaks. Leaking coolant can overheat the engine. An overheating engine damages it, so how do you know if you’ve got trouble brewing in your heater core, i.e. a leak? Pay attention for the following:
- You smell something sweet coming out of your vents, i.e. radiator fluid
- Your windows get foggy and you cannot defrost them no matter how hard you try
- You’ve got cold air blowing into the cabin even though the heater is set
- You’re going through coolant like crazy but can’t find a leak
- You’re cold inside the car even though the engine is overheating
All of these things point to a heater core problem. You might notice that your heater doesn’t feel as warm as it used to, or your defrosters don’t work as well at first, only to end up with cooler and cooler air blowing through the vents as time goes on. You might also see that your engine is running hot even though it’s cold outside. Any of these things should be investigated right away because, again, if your engine does begin to overheat, you risk damaging it severely.
Don’t worry. Contact United Auto Care in Flowery Branch, GA. We’ll inspect the heater core and recommend any necessary services or repairs.