Without the heating and air conditioning systems in today’s modern vehicles, we would all be miserable driving to our destinations. We take for granted the heat that keeps us warm in the winter months, and the cool air that refreshes in the summertime. Let’s take a look at how both systems work to keep us comfortable all year round.
The heater in your car is basically a smaller version of your cooling systems radiator. Hot engine coolant is circulated through a small radiator, oftentimes called a heater core. A fan is positioned in front of the heater core to blow cold outside air over the fins. As this air travels over the heater core, it heats up and becomes the hot air that blows out your heater vents.
Like your engine’s cooling system radiator, the heater core can suffer some of the same issues. If the heater core becomes clogged with rust or sludge, you will no longer have heat.
Also, leaks can cause a cabin full of white steam and really mess up your windows. If you smell the sweet aroma of coolant when your heater is on, chances are, you have a small leak in the heater core. Often times the heater core is buried under the dashboard, and replacing it, is a major job.