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Heater Core


Heater Core

The heater core is a heat exchanger that serves to warm the vehicle passenger compartment. Outside air or existing air from the passenger compartment is directed over the radiator-like surface of the heater core by the blower motor and into the passenger compartment.

What is a Heater Core and what does it do

How Does it Work?

  • As coolant is directed through multiple tubes in the heater core, the aluminum fins surrounding the tubes dissipate heat from the engine coolant into the ambient air
  • The heater core has an inlet tube and an outlet tube where coolant is returned to the engine
  • A blower motor fan then pushes the warm air into the vehicle cabin on the demand of the temperature controls
  • Cabin temperature, airflow source and vent location are further controlled by the blend doors per direction of either manual or electronic controls

How is it Made?

  • Long brass tube with several bends wrapped within many aluminum fins stacked slightly apart

Why Does it Fail?

  • Clogged
  • Deterioration from the inside out
  • Worn out coolant
  • Leaking engine coolant

What are the Symptoms of Failure?

  • Loss of heating efficiency
  • If a leak is occurring, you may notice that the windshield becomes foggy, a damp spot on the floor and/or a sweet-smelling odor which is emanating from the leaked engine coolant

What are the Implications of Failure?

  • Vehicle may overheat and stop running
  • Vehicle may stop working

How Difficult is the Install?

Difficulty Rating:

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