It isn’t easy to recognise the symptoms of heater matrix failure for what they are. You might not know that some of these symptoms signify a problem with the heater matrix, which is why it’s important to identify and deal with them as quickly as possible. They include:
You may also find that your heater matrix is making gurgling noises or hissing sounds from behind the dashboard.
While the cost of a replacement heater matrix part isn’t particularly high, there is a large amount of labour involved. The dashboard has to be completely removed to access the area where the heater matrix is located and, while the actual job of replacing the heater matrix isn’t particularly complicated for a competent mechanic, the whole task can take several hours. It may take longer depending on the type of vehicle being worked on, and this means that the costs of the job may stretch into the thousands, and certainly the hundreds.
If you’re looking for a heater matrix leak quick fix, then you’re in luck — K-Seal will fix most leaks in the heater matrix. When using K-Seal for this type of repair make sure that the heater is switched to maximum so that K-Seal flows through the pipes and reaches the leak, permanently sealing it.
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The heater matrix is also known as the heater core. It works in a similar way to the car radiator but, instead of removing heat to the outside air, it transfers heat to the vehicle interior to help keep you warm.
The heater matrix is a small radiator which uses conductive brass or metal tubing and a fan to transfer heat from hot coolant making its way around the cooling system out into the air of the interior of the vehicle. In this way it can provide heat to the driver and passengers during cold weather.
The tubing that makes up the heater matrix can become clogged over time with dirt and other contaminants that can be picked up by the coolant if it is not flushed out and replaced on a regular basis. This will eventually lessen its effectiveness and it may stop working completely if it is not maintained.
Additionally, leaks can be created via electrolysis, which is a chemical reaction that sees electrical current flowing through the coolant and eating away at the tubing of the heater matrix. It can eventually make the heater matrix tubing spring a leak. The hole created may only be the size of a pinhead, but it will be enough to ensure that the system stops working properly, and will only get worse with time.
Although your heater matrix could be the source of your engine troubles, it might not be the only component you need to take a look at. Select an engine part in the interactive diagram below to explore your engine and the important components that keep everything ticking over.
Still not sure what the problem is? Try our 60 second problem solver to quickly identify what the issue is based on your symptoms.