If you smell something sweet when your heat is on and are wondering what the kids spilled on the dash, you may want to think again.
Chances are, your heater core is leaking and that sweet smell is coolant coming in through the vents. This is toxic and NOT something you want to be breathing.
Some more signs your heater core is leaking are as follows:
- Vapor coming in through the vents
- A thin film collecting on the inside windows
- Coolant on the ground under your car
- and sometimes, coolant may leak onto your front floorboards
So what is your heater core and how can you prevent this from happening to you?
I’m glad you asked.
When your vehicle is running, it gets very hot and needs to be cooled to prevent damage. Generally it’s your radiator (along with air flow and the rest of your cooling system) that handles this by passing coolant around the engine keeping it from overheating. The air passing through the radiator cools the fluid and cycles around your engine in a continuous loop making sure your engines temperature stays within tolerances.
Your heater core is patched into this loop and as the air going into the cabin of your car passes through the heater core, it is heated, transferring the heat into your car and keeping you warm.
Unfortunately, the parts making up your heater core and radiator are susceptible to corrosion and more than likely, this is what has caused that sweet smell.
To help prevent this, you can make sure to check your coolant levels and maintain the recommended ratio of coolant to water for your vehicle and the time of year. The coolant contains corrosion inhibitors and helps protect the inner surfaces of your radiator and heater core.
In addition, check your hoses for leaks, breaks and brittleness and replace them before they fail.
While doing these things isn’t a sure fire prevention for heater core failure, it’s definitely going to extend the life of not only your heater core, but your radiator and hoses as well.
If you are concerned you have a leaking heater core, or you have that telltale sweet smell coming from your heater vents, give us a call and we’ll take a quick look for you. Remember, the same system that heats the inside of your car keeps your engine from overheating and causing expensive, sometimes catastrophic engine failure.
Give Leslie a call and put your mind at ease.
Bob’s Auto & Towing
785 Northwest Cornell Avenue
Corvallis, OR 97330
Call or visit Bob’s Auto Repair Shop. Your premier auto repair shop in Corvallis since 1977.