Unfortunately, a vehicle heater failure could strike when you need that warm air the most. An automobile heater that isn’t working properly isn’t the end of the world though.
There are several reasons why your automobile’s heater may not be working properly, many of which can be quickly diagnosed and repaired by a trusted mechanic. Below are a few of the most common reasons why your heater is no longer working.
Note: some items in this list require you to look under the hood of your vehicle to diagnose heater difficulties. To ensure your safety, keep your vehicle off for an hour before diagnosing any heater problems.
Blowing cold air?
If your automobile is blowing cold air, there are just a few reasons to rule out before identifying if your heater has conked out on you. Your car could be dealing with something as simple as low coolant levels, which could be the result of a leak in the cooling system.
There could even be a simpler problem, such as a bad switch, stuck heater valve/door, or a blockage in the heater core itself. A capable mechanic can have these issues fixed with ease, so feel fortunate if your vehicle only needs one of these simple fixes.
Problematic heater core
For a vehicle’s heating system to work properly, the heater core must first fill up with hot coolant then transfer that heat to your vehicle via your system’s vents. When you don’t feel any hot air – even a small amount – you may have a broken heater core. To be sure it’s absolutely broken drive your vehicle around 75km/h to first see if any hot air is coming out. If it is, you may be having a problem with your fan. If it isn’t, check your coolant levels and the steps mentioned above. If the problem still persists, you may have a problem with your heater core.
Is the fan working?
Sometimes, you might be able to spot the problem quite easily. If your vehicle isn’t blowing hot air through the vents, you could be dealing with a faulty fan. You can find your fan’s vents inside your automobile’s dashboard under the glove compartment. Once there, check for the fuse. If it’s broken, the fix is as simple as replacing the fuse. If the fuse is still working, the fan itself is at fault and needs to be replaced.
Leak in the cooling system
If your cooling system has a leak, this is where things could start to get frustrating. A leaking cooling system can happen for a variety of reasons, so if you suspect this is the problem consider taking your vehicle to a trusted mechanic immediately. If you know for certain you have a leaky cooling system, top off the radiator fluid in your automobile to ‘band-aid’ the situation, but know that you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible!
For one reason or another, your coolant can become contaminated with the nasty particles that lie around inside of our vehicles. We’re talking rust particles, metal contaminants, and other substances that can ultimately stop your heating core from doing its job. Combating this in the future is as easy as keeping an eye on your fluid levels throughout the year, but if your coolant system is indeed contaminated, then it’s important to take it to a trusted mechanic immediately to ensure you don’t have to deal with additional vehicle woes this winter.
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