Heater cores have much in common with radiators. They have similar designs: Two tanks and a core. They have hoses carrying coolant to and from them and they are both work with fans to dissipate heat. However, their purposes are quite different. While the radiator's goal is to keep your engine cool, the heater's job is to keep you warm.
The heater core is almost always located inside the cabin, or under the hood very close to the firewall and works in conjunction with the blower motor. Coolant is pumped into the inlet neck via the water pump and flows through the channels of the heater. As it flows through the core, the blower motor throws the heat off of it, simultaneously lowering the temperature of the coolant and warming the cabin.
The heater core as we know it first arrived on the automotive scene in the 1934 Ford. As with everything else in the early days of the automobile, there was a lot of experimentation, so there were all kinds of crazy designs, such as those shown here. General Motors and British Leyland (Jaguar, MG and more) were responsible for the round heaters that you see, the U-shaped and double heaters were Chrysler products and the "triple nipple" core, that's a Ford, which had a secondary outlet hose, hence the three necks.
Modern heater cores are mostly made of either an aluminum core with "plastic" tanks (actually a nylon blend) or just aluminum with the core, tanks and necks all made from the same material. These aluminum core heaters have very narrow tubes, which are prone to blockage.
Whether you drive an antique car or a late-model one, nobody has more access to the heaters and parts that you need than Cap-A Radiator!
Heater Core Installation
Installing heater cores can often be a very complex operation, whether it's a 1963 Buick Riviera or a 2011 Mercedes E550, the specialists at Cap-A Radiator have the experience to replace your heater correctly on the first try, without having to worry about your dashboard shaking, screws falling out or the new part leaking.
We've been installing heater cores since we opened the doors in 1982! You won't get a better heater job on Long Island!