Automotive Repair Blog: Tips, Facts, and Fixes

What Does The Heater Core Do?

The heater core is a necessary part of your vehicle's cooling system, and you're definitely going to want it to work for the winter. It essentially is your radiator's partner, and it works to move coolant. Without the heater core, your car will not be able to supply you with heat when it is cold. Besides heating, the heater core helps to defrost your windows. 

How Exactly Does the Heater Core Work?

As you may know, your car's engine heats up a lot when it's running. The coolant disperses the excess heat and moves the air away from the engine and through the radiator. However, the process is altered when you turn on the heat in the winter. Instead, the air gets moved to the heater core to be filtered and warmed up to make you more comfortable.

The coolant you add to your cooling system allows this process to happen seamlessly. Over time though, the coolant will age and thus can corrode these parts. If dirty or contaminated coolant is left in your car too long, it can cause a leak within the system. 

Signs of a Heater Core (Coolant) Leak

  • Your vehicle smells like syrup/sweet
  • Your windows get cloudy very easily
  • Your vehicle is blowing cold air when you turn on the heat
  • You find coolant puddles in or around your vehicle
  • The engine is hot or the temperature gauge reads hot, indicating your car is overheating

The heater core is usually a part of your car that doesn't require much maintenance as long as you care for your coolant. You should follow your manufacturer's recommendations when it comes to changing/flushing your coolant. If you require any fluid maintenance for your vehicle, please bring your vehicle to Pro Auto Care for service soon!