Is my heater core bad or condenser?

I originally thought the heater core was bad because the passenger side floor board stays soaked in liquid. I don't smell coolant though and the engines not running hot…i was told the condenser was bad because at times driving the ac will go hot until i get off the gas or out a turn then it'll go back cold. That problem just began, but the floor board been wet for at least two months. Yesterday it rained real hard, but while driving i could of sworn i saw steam like smoke coming from under the hood but the truck temperature never indicated it was running hot. It seems to work properl
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2008 Ford Escape. The first thing you need to do is to check your coolant level when your truck is cold. Do this by removing the radiator cap. The radiator cap on your car is part of the expansion tank. If it is low, the coolant leak should be found and repaired. When your checking the coolant level, take note of the condition of the coolant. It should be clean and the color should be bright. Ford coolant is often yellow, but it may have already had the coolant replaced at one time and it could be green. The main thing is it should be clean.

Taking note of the coolant condition, color, and clarity is important in determining if the wet carpet is from coolant or water. Coolant will be oily to the touch. It will be slick between your fingers. Water will be clear and not oily. I don’t recommend trying this, unless the coolant looks like mostly water, but coolant tastes sweet. Of course it is toxic, but a small taste will not hurt you. Again, I only recommend this if you are unable to absolutely determine if it is water or coolant on the floor.

If it is coolant, then yes, your heater core is leaking. If it is water, then there are three things that could be happening. It is very common for the evaporator drain to clog and for water to fill up the evaporator case and eventually leak onto the floor. The drain is inconveniently located on the fire wall. just to the passenger side of the center of the vehicle, under the hood. There will be a black rubber elbow hanging off of it. This elbow can be removed if necessary. It usually takes a wire of some sort to dig out whatever debris is clogging it. Sometimes, if your lucky, you can access it from under the passenger side dash.

If the drain is clear, it could be a water leak from rain. These are notoriously difficult to locate. In the past, I have set a sprinkler on top of the car to find a water leak from rain.

The third possibility is the evaporator could be holding water. This is usually because the water that would normally drip off of it is freezing to it externally. If this is occurring, there is something wrong with the A/C system and it will need to be diagnosed by a technician.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

Fog Inside Your Car

First, the heater core could be malfunctioning and, as such, the defrosters aren`t working. Second, the core could be blowing fog/smoke into your vehicle`s cabin. Both are bad signs and need to be checked into right away.

There are several signs of a leaky heater core: First you may notice a sweet smell from your vents. This is coolant leaking out and getting into the air. You may even see vapor coming out the vents and notice a film building up inside the windows. Of course, breathing coolant vapors is not good for you.
Does a bad heater core affect air conditioning? In most cases, the answer is no. The heater relies on hot engine coolant, whereas the air conditioning (A/C) system uses refrigerant. The heater and A/C are, for the most part, two separate systems.
Smoke often leaves car engines as a result of overheating. This can be caused by faulty wire casings, heated residues on the engine block and overheated liquids including oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid. There may also be a fault in your coolant system, or your engine may not have enough lubricant.
As we mentioned above, smoke can be a sign that something is seriously wrong. There could be a crack in your furnace`s heat exchanger, it could be overheating, or the system could just be breaking down. Either way, you should never stop being vigilant and protective of your home.
Does coolant always run through a heater core? Yes, whenever the coolant pump is running, the coolant flows through the heater core on any modern car engine. The heater core is in the “bypass loop” of the cooling system.
After they will drain the system once more. Then they will wash out the area near the water pump, where there are a lot of little seals that, if cracked, can cause leaks and add even more debris to your cooling system. After another drain, your mechanic will wash out the heater core.
What Causes a Heater Core to Fail? There are several factors that can contribute to a heater core failure. These include age, corrosion, coolant issues, and other issues such as a faulty thermostat or a clogged radiator. To prevent complete failure, it`s important to maintain your vehicle properly.
If you`re looking for a heater core leak quick fix, then you`re in luck — K-Seal will fix most leaks in the heater core. When using K-Seal or K-Seal HD for this type of repair make sure that the heater is switched to maximum so that it flows through the pipes and reaches the leak, permanently sealing it.
The air conditioner`s cooling cycle includes pulling in warm air that is then cooled. As a result of this process, condensation is produced. When moisture builds up in the heater box, it may eventually turn into vapor and get released with the cooled air, so you see white smoke coming from the air conditioner vents.
If you notice or smell smoke around an indoor heating unit, shut it off immediately and arrange for an inspection as quickly as you can to see what the problem is. Part of the furnace may be compromised, or a fan motor may have burnt out.
The most common answer to, “Why is my car smoking but not overheating?” is that there`s a type of fluid that`s landed on the engine. This can be motor oil, fuel, transmission fluid, coolant, or even condensation. It can cause your engine to smoke because it`s burning off that fluid from the engine.
The most common answer to, “Why is my car smoking but not overheating?” is that there`s a type of fluid that`s landed on the engine. This can be motor oil, fuel, transmission fluid, coolant, or even condensation. It can cause your engine to smoke because it`s burning off that fluid from the engine.
Thick white smoke pouring from the exhaust is usually due to a crack in the cylinder head, engine block or head gasket. This is caused by constant temperature fluctuations and a consistently overheating engine due to low coolant levels.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Is my heater core bad or condenser?
ANSWER : Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2008 Ford Escape. The first thing you need to do is to check your coolant level when your truck is cold. Do this by removing the radiator cap. The radiator cap on your car is part of the expansion tank. If it is low, the coolant leak should be found and repaired. When your checking the coolant level, take note of the condition of the coolant. It should be clean and the color should be bright. Ford coolant is often yellow, but it may have already had the coolant replaced at one time and it could be green. The main thing is it should be clean.

Taking note of the coolant condition, color, and clarity is important in determining if the wet carpet is from coolant or water. Coolant will be oily to the touch. It will be slick between your fingers. Water will be clear and not oily. I don’t recommend trying this, unless the coolant looks like mostly water, but coolant tastes sweet. Of course it is toxic, but a small taste will not hurt you. Again, I only recommend this if you are unable to absolutely determine if it is water or coolant on the floor.

If it is coolant, then yes, your heater core is leaking. If it is water, then there are three things that could be happening. It is very common for the evaporator drain to clog and for water to fill up the evaporator case and eventually leak onto the floor. The drain is inconveniently located on the fire wall. just to the passenger side of the center of the vehicle, under the hood. There will be a black rubber elbow hanging off of it. This elbow can be removed if necessary. It usually takes a wire of some sort to dig out whatever debris is clogging it. Sometimes, if your lucky, you can access it from under the passenger side dash.

If the drain is clear, it could be a water leak from rain. These are notoriously difficult to locate. In the past, I have set a sprinkler on top of the car to find a water leak from rain.

The third possibility is the evaporator could be holding water. This is usually because the water that would normally drip off of it is freezing to it externally. If this is occurring, there is something wrong with the A/C system and it will need to be diagnosed by a technician.

I have a 2012 Xterra, we took it in just to get oil service ice.afterwards the heater core went bad, you could smell rubber burnin
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. When it comes to bypassing and modifying the vehicle in ways it was not designed, its hard to say what went wrong without doing an inspection. The overflow tank, if collecting and recycling the coolant properly, is performing its job. This is normal engine operation under these circumstances. The bypass that was performed may be the issue, and a new clog or block may have occurred. The thermostat, water pump, radiator, a hose, or any other component that can block circulation of the coolant may be to blame. The engine oil does a huge amount to cool the engine as well. Make sure the oil filter and service you first received was done correctly. Check the type of oil filter used, and make sure it is seated properly. Make sure the oil is full. With both repairs seemingly simultaneous, it is a wise idea to verify both of them. Take further diagnostics of the pump, thermostat, and other components from there. For more help, contact our service department.

Overheats when heater is on, heater blows cold air.
ANSWER : Since you had cooling system work done recently, one possibility is the cooling system is air bound. If air is trapped within the cooling system and not properly bled from the system after a repair, the air can cause the coolant to not circulate properly. This can lead to overheating and no hot air from the heater. Another cause that can simply be coincidence is a stuck thermostat. The function of the thermostat is to allow the engine to reach a certain temperature before opening and allowing coolant to flow throughout the cooling system. If the thermostat is stuck closed and fails to open, the coolant will not flow properly and cause the engine to overheat. The heater will blow cold air because hot coolant is not flowing to the heater core behind the dashboard to provide heat for the interior. Have a certified technician diagnose the engine overheating as soon as possible. Continued driving while overheating can damage the engine.

Overheating issue, when heater is on its normal temp. but if heater is off it begins to overheats, until heater is turn on again.
ANSWER : It sounds like your engine might have a restriction in the cooling system. If the cooling system has a restriction that prevents its flow, this will cause the engine to get hot. The heat is dissipated from the cooling system by means of the radiator.

When a restriction exists sometimes the radiator alone is not enough. The heater core is like a small radiator inside the dash and is also another means of dissipating the heat from the cooling system. So essentially when the heat is on you are introducing a second radiator into the system which will help to cool the engine down.

In order to get this fixed, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office to diagnose the overheating issue firsthand and help you make the necessary repairs.

Car overheats. Replaced thermostat, overflow cap, heater core. car was blowing cold air, massive leak from heater core hoses.
ANSWER : Of course, be sure it is not just a temperature sender and/or gauge malfunction. If there is trapped air in the cooling passageways that can cause overheating. There are a few other common causes of overheating, namely a faulty thermostat (inapplicable in your case although be sure you used a genuine OEM thermostat), a plugged radiator, collapsed hoses, non functioning cooling fans, and a faulty water pump or drive belt. Certain engine faults, such as a leaking head gasket or poor engine running condition can also cause overheating. If you desire that this problem be diagnosed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an engine overheating diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

If the thermostat is bad would it cause the heater core to not work properly?
ANSWER : Hello – you are correct. If the thermostat is stuck open, not allowing the engine to warm up properly, there won’t much, if any, heat in the passenger compartment. However, if you are smelling coolant in the passenger area, chances are the heater core is leaking as well – not a happy occasion. I would recommend a heater inspection by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, confirm this diagnosis, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

My 2000 VW Passat 1.8 turbo recently was flushed to try and clear up heater core, but now my coolant is running out quickly
ANSWER : Engine coolant can leak externally through a hose, radiator, water pump, etc. or internally due to a leaking head gasket and sometimes a leaking intake manifold gasket depending on the engine design. External leaks are typically found by simple pressure testing of the cooling system. To find the leak that exists in your case, and get the required repair estimated, please request an engine cooling system leak diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

I have a bad oxygen sensor, bad power steering sensor, and a bad cam shaft sensor? Should I replace any of them?
ANSWER : When you say you have three bad sensors I can only assume you have had them tested and the end result is three bad sensors. If they tested bad then they should be replaced. The power steering sensor senses the load of the steering on the engine so it can raise the idle during parking maneuvers. The O2 sensor is used for fuel control and it may effect engine power and fuel mileage. The camshaft sensor cay cause no starts, engine running problems and all three will turn on the check engine light.