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4 Signs Your Car Heater Core is Damaged

Your car's heater is an integral part of keeping your ride comfortable. Not only does your car’s heating system keep you and your passengers warm on chilly winter days, it also allows the defroster to work correctly so that your windshield can remain clear for the sake of your visibility. Sometimes the heater core may fail to work optimally and not read the temperature of your car correctly, leading to heating issues. Check out these four signs your car heater core may be damaged.

car heater core in need of maintenance

1. A Sweet Smell Coming from Your Car

The sweet smell coming from your car is not the smell of your perfume or your car's air freshener. It could be emanating from the heater core. When the heater core starts leaking, it blows the odor of the engine coolant into the vehicle. Since coolants have a sweet smell, the scent will pass for candy, maple syrup, or fruit.

2. A Chilly Cabin

While a chilly car cabin may not always signal a faulty heater core, if you notice other signs in addition to a lack of heat, the heater core could have a problem. When the heater core has a hole, warm air escapes too quickly, failing to reach the other end of the heater ducts. You may feel warm, lukewarm, or freezing air coming from your vents, depending on the size of the puncture.

3. Your Windows are Foggy

The most common sign of a faulty heater core is when your windows suddenly fog out for no reason. With a damaged heater core, coolant will spray out, forming a coat of mist on the inside of your car windows.

4. The Engine Overheats

If your car's cabin is cold, but the engine is hot, there could be a problem with the heater core. Coolant leaking from the heater core can cause your engine to overheat, which could result in costly repairs.

Contact Our Auto Experts

If you suspect a problem with your heater core, our expert technicians at Custom Complete Automotive can assess your car. To learn more about our heating repair services, or to schedule an appointment at one of our six Missouri locations, contact us today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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