Can You Drive With A Bad Heater Core? What Are The Symptoms?

A heater core is a small radiator-like device that works with the heater and the defroster to allow them to function properly. The heater core’s responsibility remains to disperse the heat to the cabin of a car so the passengers can feel the warmth when it is chilling cold outside. Many times, a leak happens to the heater core that affects its functionality. Many drivers arise with the query that can you drive with a bad heater core. Well, here in the article we are going to discuss the same and how can you identify a malfunctioning heater core.

Can You Drive With a Bad Heater Core?

A heater often builds a leak, and this is where the malfunctioning happens. You can still drive on with the condition; however, you should not, for a long time. The heater core uses the engine’s coolant, and a faulty heater core affects the cooling effect which then raises the temperature. Not curing the issue and continue to drive the vehicle this way can lead to further engine damage.

Damage in an engine can also be a result of a leaky hose, radiator, head gasket, water pump, and several other tools other than the heart core. So if you feel the cabin’s temperature unbalanced, you can have a check on all these aspects after you find no leaks in the heater core.

These Signs Depict a Malfunctioning Heater Core

1. It Seems Foggy Inside

It is the very first sign that you can easily notice. When the cabin seems foggy, it means your heater core needs some work. By foggy cabin, it says you can notice every window covered with mist-like thing and not just the windshield. The driving can be continued though if you ask ‘can you drive with a bad heater core.’

2. The Sweet Smell

Does it smell something sweet inside your car? If yes, you need to check the heater core for any defects. Sometimes the car does not get foggy, but it develops a strange smell like fruits. The smell is there because of the radiator fluid that leaks because of the core. To maintain your car in case of other issues, visit the Maintenance Tips section and get enlightened.

3. The Overheating Engine

Truth About How can you drive with a bad heater core
Overheating engine is very easy to be detected

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Another case is to feel cold cabin and heating engine is the sign of a malfunctioning heater core. You can check out for any puncture in the core and be ready to fix if you find any.

4. If The Passenger Area Is Chilly

A passenger compartment feels cold more than normal. It is a sign that your heater core is not working properly and thus no heat is being distributed evenly.

5. If It Seems Thirsty

If you encounter a car that is thirsty than usual then again it is a sign of a defective heater core. Check with a professional if you can’t figure out what is wrong. Check the passenger-side floor if it seems wet or soaking.

Interesting Facts About can you drive with a bad heater core
It costs you more fuel

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The Verdict

Even that small leak in the heater core can give you goosebumps when the temperature suddenly goes chilly. On your query ‘can you drive with a bad heater core’ it is possible to drive a car but it is not any solution, and you should get it checked by a professional or yourself if you hold some experience.