You may have heard the advice that if you car is overheating, open all the windows and run the heater with the fan going at full blast. This is because the heating system is actually a secondary cooling system that mirrors the main cooling system on your car.
The heater core, which is located in the dashboard of your car, is really a small radiator. The heater fan blows air through the heater core and into the passenger compartment of your car.
The heater core draws its hot coolant from the cylinder head and returns it to the pump -- so the heater works regardless of whether the thermostat is open or closed.
For more information on car cooling systems and related topics, check out the links below.
Cooling System FAQ
What is the primary job of a cooling system in a vehicle?
What are the two types of cooling systems?
What is the function of the radiator in a car's cooling system?
What are the parts of a cooling system?
What is the function of the water pump in a car's cooling system?
Originally Published: Nov 22, 2000