Auto Heater Core
Whenever you are dealing with a problem with your heater, you are most likely dealing with a problem that is found in your auto heater core. This is because your heater relies on the way that the engine is cooled. You automobile works to cool itself by using coolant in the radiator to collect heat as it passes through the engine, this liquid is then passed through the radiator at the front of the car. When the anti-freeze goes through the front of the radiator it gets cool once more and is put back through the engine to once again pull the heat away from it. The auto heater core in your vehicle functions on much the same wave length as the larger radiator in your engine.
This means that anti-freeze is on a steady loop through the auto heater core, the engine, and the radiator of the car. Even when you do not have the heater in the vehicle turned on there is still heat travelling through the auto heater core that can be used to heat up the vehicle if it should be needed. This means that when you opt to turn your vehicle's heater on you are then opening up a type of doorway between the vents in your dash and the auto heater core that is functioning in the motor. After this doorway has been opened the fan in your heating and cooling system turns on and blows the air across the auto heater core. The heat then goes from this section of the engine and runs through the ducts through to the dashboard vents and then into your vehicle.
However, if your radiator is having problems then your auto heater core will not get as hot as it needs to and before you know it you will be living without a heater. This can be a very problematic and even dangerous situation if you are living in an area where you can experience icing conditions while you are driving if you do not have a reliable heater that can function and clear off the windshield (or at least keep it warm enough to keep the snow or sleet from freezing). So, if you notice that your heater is not functioning as it should, then you might check your radiator because this could be the root of the problem.
If the auto heater core starts to leak, however, you will know it because this device leaks into the interior of the car. It usually occurs on the passenger floorboard of the front seat from under the dash. This means that if you see a puddle of anti-freeze in your passenger floorboard or if you smell an oddly sweet scent inside your car (this could be the anti-freeze), then you are probably dealing with a leak in your auto heater core and this is something that should be checked immediately.
Traditionally replacing the heater core is a job that you would want a mechanic to complete because of the difficulty of getting to the auto heater core successfully generally requires that you be able to disassemble part of the engine. Sometimes you can repair your auto heater core by doing a radiator flush and forcing the coolant through the core so to clear up any blockages that might be causing problems. But if your auto heater core is already leaking then you are probably in too deep to get the repair done through something as simple as a radiator flush. Therefore, if you notice that you have a leak from the auto heater core, you will need to make sure that you take the car into a mechanic to get the problem rectified.