Help! My dashboard sounds like it's gurgling.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jul 01, 1997

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have an '86 Toyota truck that makes a wild, loud gurgling sound whenever I
turn on the heater. There's plenty of water in the radiator. The heat seems to
work fine, but this weird noise comes out from the dashboard. Any ideas? --

TOM: Gurgling, huh? That's usually the sound of the passengers' stomachs when my
brother is driving.

RAY: It could be several things, Brian. Unfortunately, we can't know for sure
without hearing the noise. If you're lucky, you just have some air trapped in
the heater core, and when you turn on the heat, you hear the coolant bubbling
through the system.

TOM: But it could also be a problem with the blower motor. A bad blower motor
could make a "wild, loud" noise sort of like the one you complain about. I'm not
sure I would describe it as "gurgling," though. "Gargling" maybe.

RAY: It's also possible that twigs or leaves or something are stuck in the
blower housing, and the muffled sound of the fan hitting the twig sounds vaguely
like gurgling from the passenger compartment.

TOM: But until they develop the "scratch and hear" newspaper, we're going to
have to suggest you take the car to your local mechanic and let him put an ear
to it. Once a good mechanic hears the noise, he should be able to tell you
instantly what it is and fix it for you.

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