Your car's heater core has a very important role, but there are many it can have. If you are experiencing issues with your heater core, it might be clogged, leaking, or completely broken. All of the symptoms from these three issues will be fairly similar, but symptoms of a bad heater core can mimic other problems in your car such as a faulty water pump. That's why it is important to get your heater core checked out by a qualified professional if you suspect that it is broken in any way.


Get a free quote


If you are in need of a heater core replacement service or an automotive diagnostic service, then you need to book an appointment with Wrench's ASE-certified mobile mechanics! We offer hundreds of auto repair and maintenance services from routine oil changes to more complex alternator replacements. Better yet, you don't have to leave your house! Our mobile mechanics will bring our services to your home, office, or any other location that you prefer. All you need to do is reach out and we will be able to take a look at your car's heater core in no time!

What Is The Purpose Of My Heater Core?

The heater core's job is similar to the radiator, it circulates the coolant through various tubes and parts. Your defroster and air conditioning system are also linked to your heater core. That means that you might experience a wide variety of symptoms if your heater core isn't working properly.

When your vehicle's engine is warming up, the coolant absorbs the heat and then it gets pushed throughout the rest of the cooling system. Then the coolant's temperature gets reduced and the whole cabin stays at a constant temperature.

Turning on your car's heater opens a valve so the hot coolant can go to the heater core. Since the coolant can get very hot, this is a very effective way to deliver heat to your heater core. Then you will be able to do things like defrosting your windshield quickly!

How Do I Know If I Need A New Heater Core?

  • Foggy Windows
    If you are noticing that your windows are foggier than usual or get foggy for no apparent reason, that could be a sign there is an issue with your heater core. Now, we aren't talking about the normal fog you might find on your windows just from talking or breathing, this will be a pretty thick fog that will make it incredibly hard to see. It can also appear film-like and when you try to wipe it off it will smear. You might also notice that the fog or film smells sweet. If you notice any of those things, that could be a good sign that your coolant is leaking.
  • Overheating Engine
    Of course there are many reasons why your car might be overheating, but one of those reasons could be an issue with your car's heater core. This is one of the more serious symptoms of a failing heater core because overheating can seriously damage your car. A leaking heater core or even a clogged heater core could cause your car to overheat. Whether you think your car is overheating due to your faulty heater core or something else, you should book an appointment with a professional as soon as possible.
  • Low Coolant Level
    You always want your car's fluids to be at the correct level. If you don't have enough coolant, engine oil, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, or transmission fluid, you could end up seriously damaging your car. If you don't have enough coolant in your car, this could be a sign that your car's heater core isn't working properly and your car could be leaking coolant. If this is the case, you need to get the problem fixed as soon as possible to ensure that you have the proper amount of coolant in your car at all times. To learn more about the six main fluids in your vehicle, click here!
  • Coolant Leak
    If you notice that your coolant is leaking under your vehicle or you are having to use more coolant in your car than usual, this could indicate an issue with your heater core. When you are standing outside your car, if you smell a sweet smell, you should check underneath your vehicle to see how much coolant has leaked out of your vehicle. For more information on fluids leaking from your car, click here!
  • Cold Air Is Blowing Into Your Cabin
    If your heater core is broken, your car might not be able to heat up the air that circulates around your car. This could be a difficult symptom to notice because you might purposefully try to cool down the cabin. But if you are trying to blast the heat and only cold air comes out, then this might be a sign that there is a hole in your heater core. The hole could cause the heat to leak out which could result in warm, lukewarm, or cold air coming out of your vents.
  • Car Smells Sweet
    If you smell a sweet scent coming from your air vents, this is another sign that your coolant is leaking. While a sweet smell might be enjoyable to you, it is important to get this problem checked out by a mechanic because your car needs to maintain a consistent level of coolant at all times. If the coolant level gets too low, it could cause a variety of other issues that could end up being costly repairs.

What Causes A Bad Heater Core?

If you have issues with your coolant, that could cause your heater core to get clogged. Dirty coolant can also be corrosive which can contribute to coolant leaks or holes in your heater core. In order to keep your heater core in good condition, pay attention to your coolant and make sure you get it changed regularly.

Can I Drive My Car With A Broken Heater Core?

While some people might believe that you can drive around with a broken or faulty heater core, we wouldn't recommend it. If you continue driving with a faulty heater core, your car could overheat or you could accidentally cause serious damage to your car's engine.

If it is absolutely necessary to keep driving, it is okay to drive a very short distance as long as you keep an eye on your temperature gauge. If the temperature climbs, it is very important to pull over and allow your car to cool down before continuing your journey.

Here at Wrench, we know how inconvenient automotive issues can be. We are extremely passionate about the automotive industry and want to make car ownership stress-free for everyone. If you find yourself in a sticky situation and need an auto repair or maintenance service quickly, book an appointment with us. Our mobile mechanics will be able to come to your home, office, or any other preferred location to replace your heater core. All you need to do is book an appointment today!

How To Book A Heater Core Replacement Appointment

If you are in need of a heater core replacement service, book an appointment with Wrench! Our skilled mobile mechanics will come to your location and inspect your heater core to make sure that you can get back on the road safely.

To book a heater core replacement service with Wrench, go to the homepage of our website or download our mobile app. If you have an account with us, log in and select your vehicle that needs a heater core replacement service. If you don't have an account with us yet, we will need to know a little information about your vehicle such as the year, make, and model. Then you will choose which services you want our mobile mechanics to perform. If you would like to add in an oil change service or any other routine maintenance service while you get your heater core replaced, just let us know! Then we will provide you with a quote so you will know exactly what to expect. Once we have all the information we need, you will be able to choose a date, time, and location for your heater core replacement appointment.

Book an appointment today and you will get peace of mind, delivered!

Get a free quote