My Heater Isn't Blowing Hot Air!

January 7th, 2017

You start your car, the engine warms up and the heater still isn’t really blowing air that’s hot enough. In a Bloomington, IL winter, that’s a real problem!Cooling System Service in Bloomington IL

The heater/defroster is a pretty simple system. There’s a heater core behind the dashboard, usually on the passenger side; this assembly looks like a tiny version of your radiator. Hot coolant circulates through the heater core, and your heater control on the dashboard then opens or closes a valve to regulate how much coolant flows through it. That heat is then diverted through the vehicle’s heater or defroster ducts and is forced through the cabin by a fan.

When the heater isn’t working properly, it could be for the following reasons:

  • Fan has failed, due to a relay, the switch or the fan itself
  • Problems with the vehicle’s climate control thermostat and system (if so equipped)
  • Damper door in the heater ducts is stuck
  • Vehicle is low on coolant; low enough that an insufficient amount of coolant is flowing through the heater core
  • Heater core is clogged. This one is entirely avoidable! Your coolant contains anticorrosion agents that are meant to prevent the buildup of scale and lime that can easily clog the tiny passages in the radiator and heater core. It’s vitally important that you have the cooling system flushed and refilled at regular intervals. Failing to do so can lead to a buildup of scale and corrosion in the radiator, water pump, thermostat, and heater core…along with impeding the heater’s efficiency, it can also mean a vehicle that overheats easily and will need an expensive radiator replacement at some point down the line.

At Don Owen Tire, our cooling system service includes a thorough flush to remove any traces of scale and corrosion, followed by a pressure test to locate any weak spots in the hoses, water pump or hose clamps. Remember – coolant does more than keep your vehicle from boiling over in the summer, it’s also vital to keep your heater working well in winter and to protect the engine from freeze ups. Make an appointment with us for cooling system service and keep warm!  

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101