What is a Heater Core?

This time of year is not ideal to have a malfunctioning heater core. NOw that it is mighty cold in Yakima, WA, we need to crank up our heaters as soon as we start our cars. If you haven't gotten your vehicle's heating/cooling system inspected recently, please do so to ensure your car's heater works. 


A heater core is somewhat like your radiator, and it is in charge of powering your heating and defrosters. When this critical component has problems, there won't be enough coolant traveling through your car, disabling your heat from blowing warm air. Below are some common signs that you've got heater core problems:

  • Sweet scent coming through the vents - The core has a series of fluid lines for coolant to flow through. These passageways can break down over time and cause leaks. Fortunately, coolant is easy to detect with its syrupy smell.
  • Foggy windows - The air that is heated by your heater core is supposed to defrost your windows. If you turn this setting up and your car's glass fogs up, you should have your heater core checked out.
  • Cold air blowing out the vents - If you're only receiving cold air with the heat setting on, it is a good sign that your heater core is in trouble.
  • Overheating engine - Despite the cold vents, your engine may overheat with heater core problems. The engine is most likely not receiving enough coolant fluid, possibly due to a leaky heater core, which is why it may read hot.

If any of these signs apply to you, we invite you to bring your car to Westside Car Care for a heater core inspection. The skillful technicians will be happy to look at all your cooling system components to identify the problem. Afterward, we will get you the proper repairs to ensure you stay warm on the road this winter.