A Faulty Heater Core Will Make the Passenger Cabin Cold

When you turn on your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s heater, you expect the passenger cabin to get nice and warm. If the heater core is going bad, the passenger cabin may stay cold. Ideal Automotive is going to explain more about this below. In order for you to get heat in your vehicle cabin, you need to have a functioning heater core that isn’t clogged or leaking.

Cold or Lukewarm Air

The heater core runs hot coolant through it to warm the air that blows through the vents. If the heater core is leaking or clogged, the air will not flow over the hot engine coolant to warm up. Consequently, you will end up with cold or lukewarm air in the passenger cabin that doesn’t help when it’s freezing outside. It’s not uncommon for an older heater core to get clogged or start to leak.

Moist, Foggy Interior

If the core is leaking, you may end up with excess moisture and fog in your vehicle’s cabin. This will cause the windows to fog up and the defroster will be unable to clear them. This is because there is engine coolant in the air that is blowing into the cabin. The moisture of the coolant accompanied by the cold air in the cabin create the perfect conditions for fog.

Maple Syrup Odors

If the air blowing into the cabin smells like maple syrup or another sweet and musty odor, you are actually smelling air that is filled with coolant. This is definitely a sign that the heater core is leaking. If you drive an automobile that is 10 years old or older, this is the average lifespan of the heater core. They generally last between 10 and 15 years.

Leaking Coolant

We’ve already talked about the coolant leaking out of the heater core and causing foggy windows and musty odors. Depending on the severity of the leak, you may end up with a wet floorboard inside your vehicle’s cabin. The floorboard that will be drenched with coolant is the passenger side board.

Overheating Engine

Finally, whether you are dealing with a leak or a clog, a malfunctioning core is going to make your engine overheat. Leaks reduce the coolant level in the cooling system. Clogs prevent the coolant from making its way back to the radiator.

Ideal Automotive in Blaine, MN, would be happy to inspect your heater core to see if it needs to be replaced. Give us a call to set up a service appointment.

Photo by Stason4ic from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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