Vehicle Heating System

If you have already waited till now or your heater just went on the fritz, don’t wait any longer. No need to suffer in the cold cold winter. There is a fix and it could be minor; however, to be honest, some details of the heating system can get a little pricy but it is always worth it not to suffer to winter frost. But you won’t know till you get it checked out, don’t wait.

While both the heating and AC are connected - to an extent - within your car, they’re actually separate systems. Your car’s heater uses heated engine coolant to warm the air that is blown into the cabin, while the air conditioner uses a compressor driven by the engine, combined with both high pressure and low-pressure lines, special refrigerant and many other components.

The potential issues here vary whether your heating has gone out or your car’s AC system is on the fritz.

Common reasons for the heating system not to work include the following:

Low coolant

Air in the coolant system

Malfunctioning heater core

Failed (or failing) thermostat

 

The potential issues with the AC system are different, and include:

Low refrigerant (will generally blow cool, but not cold)

Damaged compressor

Damaged compressor clutch

Damaged expansion valve

Damaged evaporator

Worn or stretched serpentine belt (required to operate the compressor and clutch)

As you can see, both systems are very different. However, if you’re experiencing problems from the HVAC controls, then it’s possible that the same issue will prevent both your air conditioning and heater from working. For instance, a failed blower motor won’t be able to blow air into the cabin. A failed fan switch will make it impossible to adjust the blower fan speed. There are a number of other potential issues, ranging from a failed relay to a blown fuse to a short in the wiring.

If the air blowing out of your vehicle’s vents at the hottest setting is just barely warmer than the air outside, chances are high you have a dirty or clogged heater core. You can flush out your heater core to get some efficiency back, or have a professional mobile mechanic replace it wherever you are.

If your vents seem more like brick walls than passageways, there could be two things wrong. One, the blower motor for the HVAC system is faulty, meaning whenever you try and change the fan speed, nothing changes. One way to confirm the blower motor is bad is to turn on the heat and feel for residual warmth as the engine heats up. If you can’t feel anything and the engine is at full operating temperature, chances are high your heater core is no longer functioning.

When your engine is cold and the air outside is cold, no car will be able to instantly pump out hot air. While some newer vehicles are quick to build up some heat, it may require older models a bit more time to circulate warm air throughout the cabin. However, if it’s taking your car simply too long for warm air to come through, chances are your heater is in bad shape. This usually means the heater core is dirty and can’t pass enough warm air through the vents as intended from the factory.

When your vehicle’s heater core goes bad, it can often leak, dripping condensation into the interior. This often impacts the passenger side floor and usually requires the replacement of the heater core itself.

If your heater isn't functioning at its best have a professional technician, look at it for you. There’s no reason to go through the season without any salvation from old man winter. And remember if it is not blowing hot and just warm, it’s a problem that will only get worse so get it looked at asap. With ice on your windshield you want hot air coming out of the defrost vents and lower ducts.

 

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