The heater core is a mini-radiator located behind the dashboard. The fan for the heater and defroster blow across this component to bring heat into the vehicle's interior. Replacing the heater core is something car owners dread because parts and labor are expensive, and it is a difficult do-it-yourself project. Signs of a bad heater core are few, but noticeable.
Other Components Working
If the radiator is full and the thermostat works but no heat comes through the vents, that's a sign of a bad heater core.
An odor of antifreeze coming from the vents when the heater or defroster is on also points to a bad heater core.
Another sign of a bad heater core is windshield fogging when the heater or defroster is on.
Antifreeze leaking into the passenger side of the car is a sign the heater core has completely failed.
If the radiator is rapidly leaking coolant into the interior, the vehicle will probably overheat and thus is not safe to drive.
Heater Core Bypass
A mechanic can bypass the heater core by tying off the hoses that connect the core to the coolant system. The vehicle will not have heat inside, but it will still be functional.
Can a Car Be Driven With a Bad Heater Core?
An automotive heater core is used to provide heat for the passenger cabin as well as the windshield defroster. A car with...
How to Know When a Heater Core is Plugged
The first telltale sign that you're experiencing problems in your vehicle's heating system is the absence of heat coming from the heat...
How to Test a Heater Core
A heater core is part of an automobile cooling system, which keeps the engine from overheating. It can be useful to know...
Symptoms of an Air Pocket in the Heater Core
An air bubble in your car's heater core may not cause many problems during warmer months, but it can be dangerous once...
Heating Core Symptoms on a Honda Civic
The heater core on a Honda Civic, located under the dash on the passenger side of the automobile, heats the vehicle's cab....
How to Tell if Your Heater Core Is Going Bad
In order to tell if a heater core is going bad, look for the windows and windshield to fog up whenever the...