Is Your Car's Heating System Not Working?
Your car will often be your refuge from extremely low winter temperatures. However, when the heater isn't working as you expect it to, you may have to endure some cold drives to work or home. Car heater problems are not unusual and can often be fixed quickly.
There are common issues that are known to affect the heating systems of cars. You'll need an auto repair professional to address some of these issues, while others you'll be able to fix on your own.
Coolant and Water Levels
The same coolant and water that play an important role in keeping your engine cool also play an important role in heating up your car. When you turn on the heater, this mixture will be brought in from the engine to the heater, core which then blows warm air into the car.
If the coolant or water levels are low, there won't be enough to bring to the heater core. Therefore, there will be no way of heating the air being blown into the vehicle. However, you should always expect cool air for the first few minutes when the engine is still heating up.
Heater Core Problems
The heater core is where the air is heated before it is blown into your car. If the coolant or air is unable to get to the heater core effectively, there will be a heating problem. The small tubing in the heater core can become clogged. If your car uses up coolant quickly, this could also be because of a heater core problem.
Sometimes the heating problem is caused not by the heating system itself but by the buttons or dials used to control the system. This is not unusual if you've had your car for a while. Years of use can cause the heater control buttons to get stuck.
It's also possible that the control valve for the heating system is the cause of the problem. You'll have to open the hood of the car to check this. This is what acts as a switch, turning the heater on or off.
The thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your car. It also monitors the engine temperature to let your car know when the engine is hot enough to send the coolant in. If the thermostat is malfunctioning or not working at all, it won't be able to send the right signals to the heating system.