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Signs of Heater Core Problems

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Now is not the time to have heater core problems in your automobile. The holidays are upon us, winter weather is here, and it’s going to be mighty cold in Canton, MI, for the next few months. If you’ve never had your vehicle’s heater core inspected, or if you cannot remember the last time the AC system was serviced, it’s time to see us here at Mechanic One Auto Repair. Here are signs you’ve got heater core problems, which will translate into a very cold and uncomfortable ride inside your car.

Sweet Smells Coming Through the Vents

The heater core uses hot engine coolant to warm your vehicle’s interior. The core is made up of a series of tubes through which the hot coolant runs before it returns to the radiator to cool down. If you smell something sweet and musty, almost like maple syrup, when you turn on the heater, your heater core is leaking coolant. If the leak is bad enough, you might see coolant pool underneath your parked car.

Your Windows Fog Up

The air heated by the heater core is also used to defrost your windows. If you turn on the heater and the windows fog up, your heater core is probably leaking. In this case, turning on the defroster will not help the problem because the condensation is a natural result of hot, leaking coolant blowing through the vents and hitting the cold air inside your vehicle’s cabin. This causes the windows to fog up.

The Heater Is Blowing Cold Air

If the heater core leak is big enough or situated at the beginning of the tubing, you might not get any hot air at all (or lukewarm air) when you turn on the heater. This is because the hot coolant used to heat the air has leaked out of the core before the vents blow over it. This is definitely a problem you don’t want to have when you hop into your vehicle on a January night and need the heater to warm up the cabin.

You Have a Hot Engine and a Cold Cabin

All of the above can leave you freezing in your vehicle’s cabin with an overheating engine. How does this happen? The answer is simple: Your automobile is losing engine coolant through the heater core’s leak, which causes the engine to overheat. Even a small leak can turn your engine into a coolant hog. Because the leak is at the heater core, you have the cold air problem discussed previously, as well.

Call Mechanic One Auto Repair in Canton, MI, for a heater core inspection to make sure it will keep you toasty warm all winter long.

Photo by Victorass88 from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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