Combustion engines in most cars and trucks is cooled by a water and antifreeze mixture ratio, that is circulated through the engine and radiator by a water pump to enable the radiator to give off engine heat.
Inside the vehicles dashboard is the heater core where water is diverted from the engine through the heater core to heat the cabin. The internal fan in the vehicle’s ventilation system forces air through the heater core to transfer heat from the coolant to the cabin air, which is directed throughout vehicle via vents at various points.
Aluminium or copper heater cores with cooling fins are identical to your cars radiator, but a 3rd of the size. All late model cars have aluminium cores so its important to keep the coolant ratios perfect. Electrolysis or stray current, kills a heater core as fast as it kills your radiator.
To turn your heater on or off is via the hot and cold dial on your dashboard. Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, your car could have a plastic heater tap, or in most modern cars its via a flap inside your dashboard.
The biggest issue with a faulty heater core is how to replace the heater core. Majority of heater cores are inside a ventilation duct which is mounted in the centre of your vehicles dashboard. On most occasions it is full removal of the dashboard, which is time consuming and expensive as most removals take 8-10 hours.
Heater Core Problems
The most common problems with a heater core are as follows;
- No heat, Blocked heater core or piping or faulty heater tap or flap
- Coolant coloured carpet, Heater core failure due to age or electrolysis
- Steam Through Vents, heater core failure
- Smell of coolant inside car, heater core failure