A sweet-smelling aroma and antifreeze smell could indicate that the car's heater core is leaking. Other common signs of a bad heater core include a foggy windshield, a water surging sound inside the dashboard and wet carpeting on the front passenger side. Heater cores are responsible for circulating heat inside the passenger cabin by extracting heat from the water/antifreeze mixture.Continue Reading
Heater cores look like tiny radiators. They heat passenger compartments by allowing hot coolant through small tubes with fins. Antifreeze odor from leaking heater cores is transferred with the heated air inside the car when the heater blowers are turned on.
There are several reasons why heater cores malfunction, but the common cause of leaks is continued temperature cycling from hot to cold. Rust buildup, corrosion and vibrations also cause pipes, tubes and fittings to leak.
Another indication of a busted heater core is insufficient heating. This electromechanical device is mounted higher than the automobile's cooling system, and low water and antifreeze mixture levels fail to reach the heater core, leading to clogging. Accumulated sludge sometimes leads to leaking that eventually emits antifreeze odor into the car.
According to the Streetdirectory.com Car Parts Guide, flushing a clogged heater core can improve efficiency, but replacing it is a better option.Learn more about Car Parts & Maintenance
A car's heater blows cold air when the actuator or heater core is malfunctioning. The heater actuator is mounted on top of the heater core behind the engine.Full Answer >
The most common reasons a car's heater may stop working include too little coolant, a failed heater core or a faulty heater control air bend door. A coolant, such as antifreeze, is necessary for air to move through the heater core and into the car.Full Answer >
The most common causes of an automobile heater blowing cold air relate to the heater core. This unit is a small radiator the manufacturer installs inside the cabin of the vehicle behind the dash. A fan blows air through it, and heat from the engine moves into the vehicle to provide warmth. Heater core problems are often difficult to fix due to the core's location; owners should rule out other problems before tearing into the car.Full Answer >
Replacing a vehicle's antifreeze involves draining the old fluid using the drain valve at the bottom of the radiator and replacing it with new antifreeze. The antifreeze mixture should be 50 percent coolant and 50 percent water.Full Answer >