Is it OK to drive with a leaking heater core?
An automotive heater core is used to provide heat for the passenger cabin as well as the windshield defroster. A car with a bad heater core can be driven, but there are a number of reasons why it is not a good idea.
How do you know if your heater core is leaking?
Your Car Smells Sweet. You may notice a sweet smell from your vents. Your car windows become foggy. Your car is blowing cold air into the cabin. Your car is devouring coolant. Your car's cabin is cold, but the engine is hot.
What do I do if my heater core is leaking?
Fixing a leaking heater core will always be much easier than replacing one. Since it is only a small leak in the heater core, we recommend simply sealing that leak and leaving your heater core in place. You can do this by simply by adding BlueDevil Pour-N-Go to your vehicle's radiator when your vehicle is cold.
Driving with a faulty heater core can be risky, as it can lead to overheating and extensive engine damage. Even a clogged heater core can prevent proper coolant circulation, causing your engine to run hot.
The heater core will not cause the A/C to not blow cold. If your A/C is working properly with the correct amount of refrigerant, then you may have a temperature blend door not working and staying on heat mode.
If your heater core is leaking coolant, that means the coolant level is low. As such, the engine can overheat. This is one of the main causes of mechanical breakdown. If the leak is small, you will notice a tiny trace of the antifreeze under the dashboard.
We have the right solution for you. Our Bar's Leaks Liquid Aluminum Heater Core Stop Leak is a one-of-a-kind solution that is guaranteed to safely and easily seal leaks in plastic, aluminum and metal radiators, heater cores, gaskets and freeze plugs. Fixing that heater core leak could not get any easier than this!
Replacing the heater core can be an expensive job, and usually costs between $564 – $927 for parts and labor. The parts aren't particularly expensive, normally costing $80 – $234, but the location of the heater core means that labor costs tend to be quite high.
You basically take the two hoses off the heater core, you stick them together and you're done. That way, the coolant will continue to circulate, even though it no longer goes through the heater core. And bypassing the heater core should have no effect at all on the performance of the engine, Charles.
Flushing out the tubes in the heater core will allow the coolant to flow more easily so there will always be warm coolant to heat up the air going into the cabin. If water isn't enough to remove all the sediment, you'll need to use some radiator cleaner and let it soak inside the heater core.
If the heater core came with an access cover, then install it. Recheck the radiator to ensure there is enough coolant present as air pockets may escape the system and need additional fluid. This job is doable, it just ranges from easy to challenging, depending on where the heater is located inside your car.
How does a heater core go bad? There are multiple reasons a car's heater core could not be working properly. One reason could be due to clogging, as the coolant could become contaminated if it's not regularly flushed out. Another reason for a bad heater core could be because of a leak somewhere in the system.
If the "smoke" has a sweet smell with it then it could be steam cause by a leak from the heater core or coolant hoses in your heater. Usually this fogs up the interior glass as well as leaving a slimy film. This can leave your cooling system low on coolant decreasing the output from your heater.
Best Radiator Stop Leak: Protect Your Engine and Keep Your Car Running Smoothly
When you carefully follow the instructions for our engine, radiator or other stop leak products, there is no risk of damage.
There are many benefits to replacing your heater core. It is definitely worth the money to fix this part. The heater core makes it possible for you to defrost your car. If this does not work, then you won't have heat in your car.
If you are getting enough heat and there is no wetness on your carpet and no odor of coolant, then there is nothing wrong with the heater core. VW cars are very unreliable as they age but a heater core should last longer than a few years. On most older cars from years ago, the heater core would last 10 years or longer.
The air-conditioning evaporator is a small radiator inside the dashboard that provides cold air for the air-conditioning system. Unlike a ruptured heater core, which can leak engine coolant into the foot wells, a leak in the evaporator releases only refrigerant vapor.