What’s wrong with my car’s heater?

No one wants to find out their car heater isn’t working when it’s cold outside. If you have cold air or no air blowing out of your car’s vents, there’s a problem with the cooling and heating system. This blog post will address what might be happening with your car’s heating system and will also outline the steps to take to make sure it’s properly maintained.

Your car’s heater is actually part of the cooling system. The radiator, thermostat, belts, water pump and hoses circulate water through the engine to cool it down from the combustion process. As the water/coolant mixture flows through the system, it is heated. The hot water is sent to a heater core where a fan blows the warm air into your car through the vents.

Important Tip: If the heater in your car isn’t working, it’s important to have it checked out by a professional. Because it is part of the engine’s cooling system, a non-working heater could indicate a problem with the cooling system itself. If left unfixed, you could end up with an engine that overheats and becomes damaged. 

Why isn’t my car heater working?

There are any number of issues that can cause a problem with your car’s heating system.

  1. There’s not enough coolant in the system. If the coolant level is low, it could be the result of a radiator cap that is leaking or a slow leak in the cooling system. When the engine has cooled down, check the level of the antifreeze in the radiator. If it’s low, fill it back to the proper level with the appropriate mixture of coolant and water. You’ll also want to schedule an appointment to find out from where the coolant is leaking.
  2. There’s a pocket of air in the heater core. Warm water flows into and out of the heater core through hoses. Both the inlet hose and outlet hose should feel warm when the engine is at operating temperature. If the outlet hose doesn’t feel warm, there could be a pocket of air minimizing the flow of water out of the heater core.
  3. The thermostat isn’t working properly. A bad thermostat could prevent the engine from heating up properly which means your car’s heater won’t work.
  4. The heating system has a defective heater control valve. When the heater control valve is open, hot coolant will pass through the valve and into the heater core. When the valve isn’t working properly, the heater won’t produce warm air, it could leak coolant, or the heater will operate erratically.
  5. The heater core is clogged from debris in the cooling system. If debris has caused a clog in the heater core, it will need to be replaced.
  6. The blower motor isn’t working. If no air is coming out of the vents, electrical problems or a faulty blower could be the culprit.
  7. There could be a kink in a heater hose. 
  8. The water pump stopped working. If the coolant isn’t flowing properly through the system, the heater won’t work properly. 

How can I prevent problems with my car’s heating system?

When you properly maintain your car’s cooling system, you are helping to keep the heater in good working order. Proper maintenance includes flushing and replacing the coolant on a regular schedule. Equally important is the need to replace worn belts and hoses. You will also want to repair any leaks in the cooling system. Our certified auto technicians can assist you in this area. When you bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop in Morristown, New Jersey, we conduct a 27-point courtesy inspection on the major engine systems. If we notice a problem with your cooling system, we will alert you so you can have it taken care of before it becomes a major repair issue.

The best way to keep all the components of your car running properly is to trust its care and any repairs to the automotive professionals at Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ. Our certified technicians can quickly diagnose and correct any problems with your vehicle’s heater. Click here to schedule an appointment for car heating system repair in our auto repair shop.

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