What does a heater core do?

The main purpose of a heater core is to keep you warm in your vehicle when it’s cold out. After the engine in your car or truck starts heating up, it warms the coolant that circulates around the engine and thru the radiator. The hot coolant also makes it way to the heater core. When the heat is on, air is pushed over the warmed heater core and into the cabin of your Worcester car or truck. If the heater core is leaking or clogged, you will get little or no heat in your Worcester vehicle.

To a certain degree, the heater core is also part of the engine cooling system. The same types of things that can harm your Worcester radiator can also harm the vehicle’s heater core. Coolant, or antifreeze, contains corrosion inhibitors that coat the surfaces inside the engines cooling system, including the heater core, and add a level of protection to these surfaces. Over time, the inhibitors breakdown and the level of corrosive protection is decreased. When this happens, parts of the system start to rust and the system fills with contaminants (flecks of rust) which can lead to leaks and clogs in the system.

What are the signs that the heater core in your Auburn vehicle may be leaking? Having no heat does not always mean an issue with the heater core since other things can cause this.  A couple of other symptoms may also be present... if you are getting a sweet smell in the car when your heat is on, the heater core may be coolant leaking into the air. If you are getting a filmy build up on the inside windshield and seeing vapor thru the air vents, this is another indication that your heater core may be leaking. Breathing coolant vapors is dangerous so you don’t want to wait to have the issue checked out at AutoPro in Worcester.

On the other side of the equation, the loss of coolant in your Worcester vehicle means that the coolant level is low and may cause the engine to overheat. An overheated engine will cause a breakdown situation very quickly. This will result in additional repair costs, if damage is done.

Replacing your heater core can be a costly repair since the entire dash has to come apart to access them, in most vehicles. What’s the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Good thing there are  steps you can do to protect your heater core and avoid this type of repair. (And they are the same things you should do to protect the cooling system – a double bang for your buck!)

Change your coolant at the regular intervals recommended by your car’s manufacturer. (Intervals are listed in your owner’s manual or you can call AutoPro if you don’t have a copy of the manual. We have access to all technical & maintenance information from your car or truck’s manufacturer.)  Between intervals, have the coolant protection level checked and make sure to repair any coolant leaks quickly, as well. Hose inspection is key as a way to prevent emergency repairs too.  

If you are smelling coolant or have any type of fluid leak, call us to check it out. AutoPro in Worcester will help you keep your vehicle on the road. Give us a call today! 508 757-1297

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
Worcester, MA 01603