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What Are The Major Signs Of A Failing Heater Core?

The cooling and heating system in the car makes your long drives smoother in those fickle weathers. The repair and maintenance of this system are essential to maintaining the normal temperature inside the cabin. A cooling system preserves the warming and freezing functions of the car. It comprises numerous components to do this job perfectly. And, a heater core is the chief component of cooling and heating system. If in case the heating core fails, then you might have to face some dilemmas. Going in-depth of the signs of a bad heater core might assist in understanding its appropriate functions.

Let us talk about the starting signs of a busted heater core after understanding heater core and the cause of its failure.

Heater Core & Failure Explanation

A heater core is a radiator-like device used in heating the cabin of a vehicle. Radiator is the equipment under your car’s hood. The heater core and radiator are connected. Coolant runs through the heater core. When the fluid is warmed up, the core delivers heat that radiates through your vehicle’s heater. Therefore, it also plays an important role in your car’s air conditioning system. The heater core function is to split the work with the air conditioning compressor to hit the temperature you dial in. It can also defog your windshield and dehumidify the air in the cabin.

heater core
This is what heater core looks like

What causes the heater core to fail is pretty much the same thing that causes the radiator under the car hood to fail before manufacturer’s estimation — and that is lack of maintenance. The coolant goes through your radiator will go through the core. Skipping a few radiator maintenance schedule will accumulate the particles of rust and other debris to increase in both size and amount and thus clog up in the radiator’s passages. Even if your radiator can survive with minimal maintenance, the heater core, with narrower passages, will clog up sooner than the radiator and fail sooner than you can expect.

4 Major Signs Of A Bad Heater Core To Know Right Now!

Location of a heater core is just beneath the steering system and dashboard. Its components such as wires, pipes, coolant container, and exhaust are situated on all sides of the dashboard. To sum up the previous part in an easy way, the heater core is the main component that controls heating and cooling functions inside to normalize the cabin atmosphere. The heater core regulates the coolant in a cooling system for transporting warm air to the cabinet and avoid overheating as well. Moreover, the coolant reduces the over temperature that results in fogging up the windows.

Let us come across the bad heater core symptoms:

1. Pungent Smell In Car

Odd smell in your car is one of the major signs of a bad heater core. If you are experiencing a pungent smell while using cooling or heating system, then it is the time for appropriate repairing. This odd smell is the sign that there is a leakage of radiator fluid. The coolant might have spilled out of the coolant container as well. So, repair the whole system as early as possible.

Could This Report Be The Definitive Answer To Your SIGNS OF A BAD HEATER CORE ?
Look out for unpleasant odor

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2. Leaking Coolant

Another big sign of damaged heater core is leakage of radiator fluid inside and outside of the car. It is quite easy to suspect leaking coolant in the car from passenger side seat or coolant spilling on the ground. This happens when the system is colder than usual. Your front cabin seats might get moisture if there is leakage.

3. Foggy Windows

Foggy windows are also one of the top signs of a bad heater core. If your car windows get fogged up from the inside, then it is sure your car is facing heater core problems. It is an indication that radiator fluid is leaking inside the car cabin making it foggy. The foggy window function is also known as condensation of the windows. Taking expert’s maintenance tips might be a good idea for appropriate preservation of the car cooling system.

4. Cooling System Failure

If your cooling or heating system is not functioning properly, then it is the right time to give it a service or repair. Lack of warmth or heat inside the cabin will prove the cooling system failure.

Making sure the cooling system is working well

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5. Other possible culprits

A heater that isn’t getting the job done is a major red flag but the core may not always be the issue, though. Other failed things like a fuse, the cabin air filter and the fan or vent doors could also be the culprits. You should rule such things out first because getting to the heater core is no easy job which requires at least some mechanical skills. That’s something to remind yourself the next time you’re tempted to blow off a radiator flush.

In Conclusion

That’s all! These were some signs of a bad heater core that call for repair and maintenance. Read this article several time to really know how to tell if heater core is bad. Make sure to give your car an on-time repair and service to avoid these issues.

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