I Think My Car’s Heater Has Died

If your car heater refuses to turn on when you press the button, the issue could be electrical. If you have cold air coming out of your vents, however, this is a sign that there is a problem with the heater core. CAR FIX in Cookeville explains that this core is what heats the air before it blows into the passenger cabin. The core can either get clogged or it can leak. Either way, it will seem as if your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s heater is not working. Let’s talk more about this below.

Cold Air

Few things are more frustrating than getting cold air when you turn on the heater. As we mentioned above, the reason why you are getting cold air is because the heater core is clogged or leaking. Either condition prevents hot coolant from running through the tubes. It is this coolant that warms the air.


Another thing that can happen when you have a leaking core is fog on the windows when you turn on the heater. What is blowing through the vents is a combination of air and coolant. When this moisture enters your vehicle’s cabin, it can fog up the windows. Using the defroster will not help because the same moist air is blowing through those vents. Unfortunately, you will be stuck with the fog in your vehicle’s cabin until you get the heater core replaced.

Sweet Smells

Another sign that there is coolant in the air is smelling sweet odors. If you have ever smelled engine coolant, you know that its odor is sweet and musty. If you detect this odor coming out of the vents, the air is picking up the coolant leaking out of the core and pushing it into your vehicle’s cabin. As with the foggy windows, you will continue to smell this odor until you replace the core.


You can isolate the problem by feeling the floor on the passenger side of your automobile. If there is a puddle of engine coolant, the heater core is leaking. The core is nestled underneath the dashboard on this side. Consequently, it will leak onto the floorboard.


Finally, whether clogged or leaking, a faulty heater core will cause your engine to overheat. This is because the coolant circulating through the engine is stopped at the core if it is clogged or leaking out of the core if it is leaking.

Call CAR FIX in Cookeville, TN, today if you are having any of the problems listed above. We can inspect the heater core and replace it if necessary.

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