When Temperatures Drop - Make Sure Your Vehicles Heater is Functioning Properly - R&T Tire & Auto

October 25th, 2012

by: David Erickson


As the weather gets colder outside, the transition from using your A/C to your heater in your car may take you by surprise. How can you be sure you are ready for the colder seasons? Do you know if your heater is working properly? We can help you with all your heating system questions and concerns to get you ready for this winter season!

Did you know your car heating system works by using the excess heat that is put off from your car’s combustion process? It warms the cabin by filtering and redirecting that heat into your vehicle. Your car’s cooling system works by removing the rest of the heat that could cause damage to your engine. The heating and cooling system are made up of many different parts that are important to maintain to not only keep your car engine cool, but you and your passengers warm in freezing temperatures.

Your basic heating system is made up of:

  • The heater core, which looks like a small radiator.
  • The heater fan, that blows air through the heater core and into your car.
  • Coolant that moves the heat around the engine.
  • The radiator stores the coolant.
  • Heater hoses pull the coolant and heat toward the heater core.
  • A heater control valve on some models that regulates the heating system.

If you are having common heating problems in your car like: The heater blows cold or only slightly warm, the heater goes cold when the car idles, heating is sporadic, or if you feel like your heater is underperforming, there are a few things you can check yourself before heading into your mechanic.

To check your heater:

  • Check your coolant levels. Low coolant is a common problem. There may not be enough coolant to transfer heat into the heater core.
  • Check your heater hoses. At normal running temperature, both hoses should be hot to touch. If only one is hot, this may be a sign of blockage.
  • Check your passenger side carpet for moisture. If there is a leak, this is a big indicator.
  • Check your heater control valve. If your car has one, it is connected to the start of the hoses. If this is disconnected or damaged, this needs to be replaced or repaired.

Other problems may be tied to your full HVAC system and in most cases need a mechanic’s assistance. Call or stop in anytime with questions, or see our auto repair services section for more information and to request an online quote. Don’t wait until it’s freezing to have your heater repair & inspection - Stay warm and cozy this season!

When Temperatures Drop - Make Sure Your Vehicles Heater is Functioning Properly - R&T Tire & Auto was written by of R & T Tire Pros
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101