» »

Car encyclopedia

Heater Core

The heater core is a small radiator located behind the dashboard. When the heating controls are operated, hot coolant from the engine is diverted through the heater core and the resulting warm air blows into the passenger compartment through the vents on your dashboard.

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

  • Little or no heat
  • Coolant leak under the dashboard
  • Windows may fog up
  • Sweet smell inside the vehicle
  • Mysterious coolant loss

Related Repair Advice

  • Some vehicles may require removal of the dashboard to replace the heater core
  • Some vehicles will require the evacuation and recharging of the air conditioning system, which can increase the cost of repair
  • We recommend using a high-quality replacement heater core. Cheap heater cores tend to leak and not last very long.
  • The heater hoses should be inspected when replacing a heater core. Problems with the heater hoses can cause similar problems to a failing heater core and are less expensive to correct.
  • Worn engine mounts allow the engine to move more than normal, which can damage heater core connections. Worn mounts should be replaced to avoid damage to the new heater hoses.

Ask a Question Find a Shop
Featured Articles
Ask a Question