Q: Car heater was blowing cold air until at highway speeds, then stopped putting out any heat. Dealer says blown head gasket

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For months, car heater blew cold air until highway speed reached, then stopped putting out any heat. Dealership diagnosed blown head gasket after mechanic pressured system and found residual coolant in chamber. While saving for repair, we drove car occasionally, short trips. Heat started working again so wondering (hoping) if that indicates something other than head gasket. Car has never overheated nor has temp gauge gone high.

My car has 118700 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You may have a clogged heater core which may be preventing the heater from working properly. Generally, a blown head gasket would cause the car to overheat and would eventually get worse to a point where the vehicle would no longer run. The heater core is a series of tubes that the coolant runs through that generates the heat from the warm coolant after circulating through the motor. These tubes can occasionally develop a buildup on the inner walls such that when the heater core is "flushed" this buildup on the inner walls of the lines remains and still allows the coolant to flow through the heater core. It is important to note that when the heater core is "flushed" it is possible to get good flow through the heater core while the inside walls of the heater core remain caked with buildup. As a result, the buildup on the inner walls prevents the temperature from rising to its capability due to the insulating effect of this buildup on the inner walls which will prevent the necessary heat transfer to properly heat the inside of the car. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and replace your heater core.

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