Switch the thermostat from hot to cold and listen. All Digital manuals are available instantly after purchase! Here is what to check if your heater or defroster isn't working: Emergency winter supplies to keep in your car, Why winter tires are important even when it’s not snowy, Prepping Your Car For Winter Cold, Rain and Snow, Haynes shows you how on YouTube: Nissan Sentra, The best car videos on YouTube from Haynes. If you replace a blown fuse with one of the same amperage and it doesn't go out, then the fuse likely failed due to age. A network of passages carry liquid antifreeze/coolant around the hotter parts of the engine. To find out what's wrong with your car's heating system and what you can do to fix it, you first need a basic read of the situation. If the temperature gauge isn't moving much from the lowest reading, or the car runs poorly for more than a few minutes on a cold day, the cooling system may not be working properly. In the heating system in the passenger compartment of your car cold and is blowing via a fan over the heater core to warm the air. If your car is running low on coolant, if there’s air in the system or if the core itself isn’t working properly, then this could be the cause of your car heater not working. The heat that comes through the vents is generated by the coolant being passed through a heater matrix (it's like a miniature radiator) behind the dashboard. Solution: When the engine and radiator are cool, top up the coolant. Then warm up your vehicle and see if the defroster starts working better. If the coolant is low, or there is an air lock (and also after replacing any faulty parts) you need to fill the system properly. Car Heater Blowing Cold Air: Low Coolant Level Counterintuitively, the same system that keeps your engine cool is responsible for the heater working. The thermostat should open and close as the engine temp moves up. How Does a Car Heater Work? Why Does My Car Have No Heat? Trying to work out why your car heater isn't working and why the car heater is blowing cold air when it should be hot? Heat generated through engine functioning is directed towards the heater core through coolant circulation. There are a few potential culprits for why your car engine coolant may not be heating up: Fixes: The only way to fix a faulty thermostat or temperature sender is to replace it. Follow these steps to fix the problem. Or not if your car heaters are not working. If your heat is not working, the first thing to do is figure out why. Squeeze the top radiator hose to help air pump around the system (taking care to avoid any moving parts, in particular the radiator fan, which could come on suddenly without warning). It’s also the reason that a plugged heater core, stuck thermostat, or air in the cooling system can all cause a car’s heater to blow cold. Either the blower isn't working, in which case you may get warm air but not much of it, or it is blowing air but it may not be very hot. They work by using the heat in the coolant system that circulates around the car's engine to cool it. If you determine that hot antifreeze flows through the heater core, there may be debris in the heater box. Between the engine heat and the water pump, all the air should be forced from the system. Christine Baker is a marketing consultant with experience working for a variety of clients. If coolant level is low check the system for leaks. It's just iddle? The specific diagnostic procedure varies depending on the vehicle. Check for debris in the heater box. If cold air is coming out of the heating vents, even when the vehicle is warmed up and the thermostat is set to hot, you could be dealing with one of the following problems: If the heater is broken because it's not blowing any air, it's likely due to a faulty blower motor or electrical connection. It's almost as unpleasant to have a heater that's not giving out enough heat. If cold air is coming out of the heating vents, even when the vehicle is warmed up and the thermostat is set to hot, you could be dealing with one of the following problems: A car heater that isn't working could be caused by several simple issues. The first thing to be affected will be the heater core — since it is higher than the engine, there might not be enough coolant to reach it. A faulty or broken thermostat is the most common cause of your car’s failing heat. Before we dive into the details on what can cause a car heater to not blow hot air out we first need to understand how a car heater works. According to the Popular Mechanics website, a common cause of a car's heater not working is a buildup in the heater core. When you turn the heat on in your car this valve allows hot water coming out of the engine to be diverted into your heater core inside the car, through the heater core and back into the engine. Is the heater blowing cold air into the car, or is the car heater not blowing any air at all? If it is stuck, it may be allowing the coolant to always be run through the radiator, which keeps it too cool to allow for heat in … Had heater core flushed and now it's providing lukewarm heat but still not like what it should provide. Here are a few of the more common reasons that’s causing the car heater to not work properly: The amount of coolant in the system is too low. Once the engine is up to temperature the thermostat opens and the coolant flows around the whole system. Have you checked for a leak in the radiator? The coolant is housed in a translucent plastic jug in the engine compartment. What is black ice and what to do if you hit it. Keep topped up to the max level with the engine running. If it receives power, check if the blower motor is burned out, If the blower doesn't receive power, check the blower fuse to make sure it's not blown. I ended up adding an entire gallon of coolant over 2 days. Check the heater core temperature. Filling the coolant may fix the problem in the short term. Lack of maintenance. The fan inside your car then blows heat off of it to give the cabin heat. Read on to see how your car's heater, the heater core and engine cooling system work, see if the car heater will work without a thermostat and find out how to fix it. To do this, set the heater controls in the car to maximum heat, remove the radiator cap (or remote mounted coolant pressure cap, sometimes on the overflow tank) and fill to the correct level. There are some common reasons can occur this. Vehicle has dual heat/ac. A vehicle thermostat regulates the coolant temperature in the engine. I replaced my car ECU and noticed the temperature guage stopped working. When a car’s heater is not working in the middle of winter, it can make your daily commute miserable and cold. If a thermostat is stuck in the closed position, it will never allow coolant to circulate fully, so no heat for you. He also ghostwrites articles for numerous major trade publications. And more often than not, the problem is that your furnace is just plain dirty: Is There a Cheaper Alternative to Air Conditioning? A car heater that isn't working could be caused by several simple issues. When cold the thermostat restricts the flow of coolant to prevents it from entering the radiator. On top of that, if there’s no heat in the vehicle, it has no way to defrost the windows and mirrors to eliminate condensation and ice. When your vehicle’s engine has cooled down, open the radiator cap and check the level of coolant. A thermostat prevents the coolant from flowing until the motor gets warm enough. Rubber hoses carry the coolant from the motor to the radiator, and also to the heater core, which is basically a smaller radiator under the dashboard. If the coolant level is low due to a leak, have a mechanic find it and fix it. I found in the end, the dealership just did not add enough coolant. Fix this issue by your reliable mechanic. The safest way to do this is with a non-contact infrared thermometer. Check the coolant level. The heated air circulated through vents into car interiors is directed by the heater fan. For the cold engine to warm up quickly, it is fitted with a thermostat. Dysfunctional Thermostat. The cooling system on modern cars is fairly straightforward. So, a problem with the vehicle's cooling system might also cause the heater to underperform or stop working. Why is the Heater Not Working? Also, my termperature gage on the instrument panel keeps going from normal back down to "C" (cold) while I'm driving. The ventilation fans … If your coolant level is low, it could keep your heater core from getting enough coolant to produce heat. The coolant is forced around the passages by a water pump. Her expertise includes social media, web development, and graphic design. Well, when I say cool, I mean keep to an optimum temperature, around 80 to 90 degrees. If the heater isn't blowing any air, skip to the next section. Here is what to check if your heater or defroster isn't working: Coolant/Air lock - Did you top off the coolant as described above? The thermostat, and clutch or electrically controlled cooling fan work in conjunction to keep the water at the optimum temperature. Had radiator flushed and thermostat replaced. Please what can be the cause? Step 1 - A heater cannot operate unless the engine is full of coolant/antifreeze. One of the most common problems with an automotive climate control system is a lack of blower pressure or no blower at all. After removing the blower, you may find that the squirrel cage is clogged with so much debris that the motor can't operate. There could even be a puddle of liquid under the front of the vehicle. Please advise. If the vehicle burns coolant, it may have a blown head gasket, which can be costly to fix. When you regulate the thermostat from hot to cold and don't hear the blend door moving, there may be a problem with the blend door, linkage, wiring, or the thermostat switch, depending on the vehicle. Watch for the coolant level to drop as the thermostat opens. Jeremy Laukkonen is tech writer and the creator of a popular blog and video game startup. If the blower doesn't receive power, check the blower fuse to make sure it's not blown. My 2013 Ford Edge is blowing heat on the passenger side and cold air on the drivers side. Dan Ferrell (author) on November 25, 2019: It's not safe to drive without a temperature gauge, but you may want to try an aftermarket solution in the meantime, so you can keep an eye on the temperature. Update on the issue. Why do i only have heat on one side of my car - Answered by a verified Auto Mechanic We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. Even if you’re missing a little coolant from the system, the engine can still run at the correct operating temperature. Ken Mattson, owner of Len’s Automotive in Bellevue, Wash., says a car heater can stop working for a number of reasons, including: • A low antifreeze/water level in the radiator due to a leak in the cooling system. Even if you live in Florida, Texas or California, these days you need your car's defroster to work properly to fight those early morning chills, and if you live up north a working heater can be a matter of life or death. 2. Perhaps your temperature gauge is running below normal. If you follow all the steps below and your heat is still not working, then you will probably need to hire an HVAC contractor or furnace repair technician near you to come out and repair your heating system.. • A bad thermostat that isn’t allowing the engine to properly warm up. It should have level indicators that show how full or empty it is. Why Doesn't the 12v Socket in My Car Work? Grime or other sediment accumulate in the core and restrict the flow of heated coolant that serves as the source for the … Now, if the upper radiator hose is hot but the lower hose and the heater hoses are cold then try a new thermostat and see if the issue is repaired or not. In other cases, it may be a simple problem, such as a broken wire, rusted connections, or a disconnected pigtail assembly. Car Heater Blowing Cold Due to Cooling System Issue That sounds a little odd right? The radiator uses the outside air and a fan to cool the fluid in the system, while the heater core uses the heat from the coolant and a fan to warm the air inside the car. Blower Fan is not working: If your car blower fan is inactive or damaged, car heater will work but warm air will not reach inside of your car. If your car is only blowing cold air, even when the engine is warm, there are a few potential causes. When a car heater doesn't work, the most common cause is low coolant. It doesn't move up or down. This is why, once your car warms up, the temperature gauge should remain relatively static. A small amount of hot coolant is diverted into a hose fitted into the firewall and then into a small heat exchanger or heater core. Turn off the vehicle and let the engine cool completely. However, low coolant often indicates another problem, such as a leaking gasket or hose. Check coolant levels by inspecting: If the thermostat is “stuck” it can close off all coolant to the engine…thus overheating and no heater heat will result. Read on to see what causes a car heater to blow cold air. Beginner’s guide: what is a four stroke engine and how does It work? It's no fun getting into your car on a frosty winter's morning only to find the car heater not blowing hot air. Lift the hood and check the temperature around where the heater core hoses enter the heater core box. Using a Space Heater as an Electric Car Heater, Finding a Cheap Fix for a Broken Defroster, How to Fix Sweet, Mildewy, and Burning Smells From Your Car Heater, The 10 Best Portable Electric Car Heaters of 2020, What to Do When the Gauges in Your Car Aren't Working, How to Fix It When a PS5 Won't Take, Read, or Eject a Disc. About Car Heater Fans. IMPORTANT NOTICE: We will be closed for the holidays on December 25. If one hose is the same temperature as the coolant and the other hose is cold, there may be a blockage in the heater core. If the heater is broken because it's not blowing any air, it's likely due to a faulty blower motor or electrical connection. Orders for printed manuals placed on or after December 24 will be shipped when we reopen on January 4th, 2021. It's the most likely reason your heat won't turn on. The heater in your car is able to blow hot air into the cabin because of a part called a heater core. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described … Mechanic's Assistant: Have you checked the coolant level? Best answer for Why Does My Air And Heat In My Car Only Work Sometimes. If the valve is stuck and prevents coolant from flowing through the heater core, that may be the source of the problem. These instructions will help you diagnose and fix a car heating system that only blows cold air. If it receives power, check if the blower motor is burned out. Once full and warm, replace the cap and test drive. If the vehicle has a valve in one of the hoses, check its operation. Reasons Why a Car Heater Stops Working There are a few reasons why a car heater may be on the fritz—it depends on the nature of the problem. Instead, you might have a failed thermostat, which opens and closes circuits in the cooling system as the engine heats up. While there are several reasons your heat pump or furnace might not be working, these are the most common ones: 1. However, I wasn't getting any heat out of the heater. Now start the engine without replacing the cap and idle for a few minutes. This can happen when leaves, pine needles, or road debris are in the heating system. Coolant that is a dark brown color indicates that there is rust in the cooling system. There are many reasons why a car heater is not working. Reasons Your Car Won't Heat | Heater Stopped Working Heat in automobiles is supplied by hot coolant circulating through the engine. Either the blower isn't working, in which case you may get warm air but not much of it, or it is blowing air but it may not be very hot. Still no heat. That means a trickle out of your vents instead of the rush you asked for. You can easily understand this issue. The only way to determine which component has failed is to grab some basic diagnostic tools, access the blower motor, and check whether or not it receives power. Until the engine warms up, there’s no heat for the heater core to extract. If the original fuse is not blown, trace the problem back to the source by testing the resistor, relay, and switch. When it does happen, you're left with a miserably underpowered heat or AC system. A blown fuse often indicates a different underlying problem, so never replace one with a larger fuse to prevent it from blowing out again. If your car has not been overheating or running hot, your water pump is not the culprit. Not sure if the new radiator had anything to do with it or not. If the coolant level is low, the vehicle likely isn't circulating enough antifreeze through the heater core and needs to be replenished. If you notice that your thermostat gauge stays on the “C” even after the … A bit of background on the working of car heater fans will be helpful in diagnosing the source of the problem. Such as blower fuse cut off or relay or damage of blower motor. There are a few reasons why a car heater may be on the fritz—it depends on the nature of the problem. Lack of maintenance is probably our #1 source of service calls during the winter. A different reason for the heat to not work would be a lack of coolant going through the engine. • A blower fan that isn’t working properly. Check if the blower motor receives power. Maybe the fan is malfunctioning. 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