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4 Signs Your Car Heater Core Needs Repair

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Your vehicle's heating system plays a crucial role in keeping you and your passengers warm when it's freezing outside. In addition, it helps defog your windows and windshield for clear visibility when driving. Generally, many systems in your car are made up of several components. And when it comes to your heating system, the heater core is the most vital component. It's a radiator-like device that relies on the heat from your engine's cooling system to heat up your vehicle's cabin. However, like many vehicle components, your heater core may become faulty down the line. Therefore, it's crucial to know when this happens to make the necessary repairs early. With that in mind, here are some of the top indicators that your vehicle's heater core is on its way out.

Strange Sweet Smell

Odd smells and odours inside your vehicle are often a sign of a problem somewhere. When it comes to a faulty heater core, you will notice a strange sweet or fruity smell, and it's often a sign that your heater core has a coolant leak. Generally, as your heater core leaks, the engine coolant odour is blown through the vents, leaving the fruity, almost musty smell inside your vehicle's passenger compartment.

Foggy Windows

Another common sign to watch out for when your heater core starts failing are foggy windows. Part of your vehicle's heating system's function is to defog your windows. Therefore, if they are getting fogged up, particularly on the inside, it's often an indicator of an underlying issue. For instance, your defrosters could be functioning improperly because of the malfunctioning heater core. In addition, your heater core itself could be blowing the leaking coolant inside your vehicle's passenger compartment, resulting in fogging as the warm coolant condenses over the colder windows.

Cold Air Blowing from Your Vents

If cold air is coming from the vents when you want heat instead, it's generally because of a faulty heating system. Cracks and holes in your heater core will cause heat to escape, and you will end up with colder air inside your vehicle's cabin. However, other issues besides a faulty heater core may also be the reason behind the cold air. For instance, bad blend doors or control valves can also cause cold air.

Your Heater Isn't Working (But Your Engine Isn't Overheating)

Most heater core problems are generally a result of leaking coolant. Since your engine relies on coolant for its cooling, you are likely to experience an overheating engine too. However, if your engine's cooling system is fine, the heater core will most likely be the culprit behind the faulty heating system. Generally, clogs inside your heater core and faulty heater control valves are some of the top issues that may need to be checked in such cases.

Talk to an auto heating repair shop to get to the bottom of your heating issue.