Your heater core generates heat from your antifreeze in order to ensure that the air that is blowing out of your heaters is nice and warm when you turn it on. Your heater core also allows you to use the defrost button on your vehicle to clear your windows of ice and steam in the winter time.

Why Your Heater Core Leaks

There are two reasons why your heater core may start to leak. Your heater core may start to leak if you don't change the coolant on a regular basis, and dirty, contaminated coolant flows through your cooling system. This can cause corrosion within your system and lead to leaks.

The second reasons your heater core may start to leak is just the passage of time. This is not a part that is designed to last forever, and eventually the wear and tear of normal use may break it down.

Preventing Issues With Your Heater Core

The best way can take care of your heater core and ensure that it doesn't go out before it should is by taking care of your cooling system in your vehicle. Your heater core works together with your cooling system.

There are a few things you need to do to take care of your cooling system in your vehicle. The thing that you should do the most often is check the level of fluid in your cooling system. Just consult your owner's manual as to where your cooling system fluid is located, and every few months, check and make sure that it is above the minimum fill line; it if is below that line, top it off with more coolant.

At least once a year, you should have the coolant in your vehicle flushed. This will remove all the old coolant from your system and ensure that dirty or contaminated coolant is not wearing out your cooling system prematurely. This is a quick and affordable task that your mechanic can easily do for you.

Warning Signs

Your vehicle will give you a variety of warning signs that something is wrong with your heater core. One of the first things you may notice is that your vehicle starts to smell really sweet; your vehicle should not produce smells all on its own. This sweet smell is generally an indication that your heater core is leaking.

Another sign that your heater core may be going out when you start to see a mist inside of your vehicle when you turn on your heater. This is something that is generally really noticeable and obvious.

If your heater core starts to leak, do not touch the coolant. Although it is called coolant, it is not cool to the touch; in fact, it can be scalding hot to the touch and could burn your skin.

Although you can try to fix your heater core yourself, you generally have to move other parts in order to get to the heater core, making this a job that may be better left to a mechanic at an auto shop like Jason's Auto Repair. It generally costs between $565 to $734 to replace a heater core.