The fall and winter seasons bring colder temperatures, and that means that the cabin of your BMW will need to be heated in order to give you the most pleasant driving experience. However, like any part of a vehicle, the heater core will at some point need service. How do you tell when?
What Is the Heater Core?
The cabin of your BMW is heated through the carefully engineered redirection of the heat that is produced in your engine. Your cooling system pumps a combination of water and coolant through the engine and radiator in order to emit heat to the outside of the vehicle. As the cooling system does this, it also directs the hot fluid mixture to the heater core in your dashboard when your heating system is engaged. You can think of the heater core as a second radiator which, instead of emitting heat to the front exterior of the vehicle, emits that heat to the inside of your cabin through a controlled mechanism.
Problems and Symptoms
Any issues with regulation of heat in your car should be paid close attention, such as a lack of heat in the cabin despite engaging the heater, rapid consumption of coolant, or even overheating. This is because your heater core and coolant system are closely intertwined. While some of these issues can be attributed to things like a broken blower motor or faulty radiator, you shouldn’t rule out a broken heater core. One of the most common signs to watch out for, however, is an unpleasant, “sweet” smell. This is the smell of your coolant, and that’s never a good sign.
While you may think of your heating system as being primarily focused on comfort and therefore not essential, it unfortunately isn’t so simple. Differences in temperature between the interior and exterior of your vehicle can lead to fogging of the windows and windshield. A faulty heater core that goes unserviced runs the risk of leaking hot coolant vapour into the cabin, therefore introducing fog and compromising your visibility, which can be especially dangerous during winter. Besides, who would ever want to drive an unheated car during winter in Calgary?
Have you noticed any issues with the heating system in your BMW? Whether or not they match up with the above examples, it’s important to consult a BMW-certified technician as soon as possible. Give Motorwerkes a call at (403) 453-0269 for help with this and much more!