Help! My Car’s Heater is Blowing Cold Air

December 14, 2016

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As the temperatures in Maryland begin to drop, you’ll be cranking the heat in your car higher and higher. There are several things that need to be working properly for your car to produce warm air through your heater, otherwise you’ll be left out in the cold, literally. Your car’s heater is directly connected to your car’s cooling system, and if something is not functioning correctly with the engine cooling system, your heater won’t be working properly either. Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that could cause your heater to produce less than warm air, and leave you cold and frustrated.

How does the heater work?

First, let’s take a look at how the car heats the air that keeps you warm during frigid temperatures. When your car is running coolant flows through the engine and keeps it from overheating while the car is running. This coolant absorbs some of the heat given off by the engine, and then warms the air expelled into the car from the heater core (a small radiator). When everything is functioning optimally, your engine remains within a normal temperature zone, and your car interior remains at a comfortable temperature for you.

Not enough coolant?

The first thing to check when your car stops producing warm air through the heater is the amount of coolant in the engine. Your engine could be leaking coolant, which can cause major issues for your car, and needs to be addressed quickly. Alternatively, there may be a build up in the hoses that deliver coolant to the engine. In this case, the tubes can be flushed to remove any grime built up in them that is preventing the flow of coolant to the engine. In either case, it is important to get the issues checked by a mechanic, before you run into bigger issues than a chilly drive to work, such as your engine overheating.

Is the engine thermostat functioning?

Another culprit could be the engine’s thermostat. The engine has an interior thermostat that opens and closes the flow of coolant to the engine, to keep it at the optimal temperature. When this thermostat malfunctions, coolant may not be delivered to the engine as it should be, allowing the engine to get too hot, and simultaneously, you to get too cold. If this is the case, it is important to have it looked at by a mechanic and fixed, because the engine overheats.

Are the heater buttons working?

An unlikely cause, but still worth considering, is the actual heater controls themselves. In some cases the actual heater buttons/controls stop working properly. If this is the case, you can rest easy that your engine is functioning properly, but you’ll likely still need the help of a mechanic to get the heat working in your car.

No matter what the cause of your heat trouble is, a trip to the shop is probably in your best interest, and the best interest of your car. Because the heating system in your car is so closely connected to the engine cooling system, it would be wise to have someone take a look and confirm everything is working properly. At Choisser IAS we can quickly diagnose and solve all of your car troubles, getting you back on the road quickly, and with peace of mind.

What Our Customers Say..

"Robert (Rob) Choisser has been servicing my 1998 Honda CRV for nearly 3 years. I have never had better, more honest service done on any of my cars. Rob is extremely thorough in his work and more than fair in his pricing, I would recommend his work to anyone in my family and to my friends. He is a real credit to his profession, his family and friends."

- Gary, Owings, MD

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