What are signs of a leaking heater core? Windows fog up when you turn on the vehicle, coolant on the floorboards, heater not working. A heater core can be a large repair as it is located behind the dash.
A heater core is a crucial component of a vehicle's heating and cooling system. It is a small radiator-like device located in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, typically behind the dashboard. The primary purpose of the heater core is to provide heat to the interior of the vehicle by utilizing the engine's coolant system.
The heater core consists of a network of small tubes or passages that carry hot coolant from the engine. These tubes are often made of brass or aluminum, which are good conductors of heat. The hot coolant flows through these tubes, and as air passes over the exterior surface of the heater core, the heat is transferred from the tubes to the air. This heated air is then directed into the cabin to warm the interior of the vehicle, providing comfort to the occupants during cold weather. The heater core is connected to the engine's cooling system through two hoses: an inlet hose and an outlet hose. The coolant circulates through the engine and then enters the heater core through the inlet hose. As the coolant flows through the heater core, it releases heat, which is then transferred to the air passing over it. The coolant exits the heater core through the outlet hose and returns to the engine to be cooled again. In addition to providing heat, the heater core also plays a role in defrosting the windshield. When the defrost setting is activated, the heater core releases warm air that helps to melt ice or frost on the windshield, enhancing visibility. Over time, the heater core may develop leaks or become clogged, leading to issues such as coolant leakage into the passenger compartment or a loss of heat. In such cases, the heater core may need to be repaired or replaced to restore proper functioning of the vehicle's heating system.