Isn’t the best part of everyone’s drive the moment you turn on your heater to warm up and instead you’re subjected to a wall of freezing cold air? No? If so, you’re definitely not alone, common auto heating problems can be immensely frustrating.
Below, we’ve detailed a few of the most frequent causes of poor heating in your vehicle that you may experience and what’s causing the problem.
Common Auto Heating Problems: Not Enough Coolant
It seems counterintuitive that coolant, the liquid used to keep your car running at the optimum temperature, would be the problem in keeping your car warm, but that can be the case. Coolant is routed through your car’s heater core, but if your car was just turned on there hasn’t been enough of a transfer of heat yet so cold air could be blowing for that reason.
However, if your car has been running for a while, you could be running low on coolant and need to top it off since there could be not enough coolant going to your heater core to create warm air.
There’s Some Kind of Issue With the Heater Core
Speaking of the heater core, the issue could be with it as well. A heater core is made up of brass or aluminum tubing that carries the hot coolant in and out, along with fans that disperse the heat released by the coolant. It’s the part responsible for both defrosting and anything to do with heating.
There could be something wrong with it if you notice fog building up on the inside of your car, or you smell a fruity, sweet-smelling odour (that’s unrelated to any food you may have still inside the car).
The heater core could also be having an issue if you’re finding your vehicle goes through coolant very quickly or your engine is overheating.
The Controls Are Clogged or the Heater Control Valve Isn’t Working
Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can work their way into just about every nook and cranny of your vehicle. This includes your heating system and may be the contributing factor as to why your heating isn’t working as intended. In this case, the system just needs to be cleaned of dirt and debris— just like how a dirty furnace filter puts more strain on your furnace, a dirty heating system can run into the same problems when it’s your heater core.
Otherwise, it could be that the switch that controls the heater control value needs to be replaced or repaired. This switch turns the heat on and off and if it isn’t functioning properly it may be why only cold air is coming through your car’s vents.
If you’re having heating issues, the best thing to do is still to go and see a mechanic. They can diagnose the problem you’re having and repair your car to help you get back on the road in no time.