Car heater problems are the least fun a driver can have behind the wheel – yet car heater issues are one of the most common problems for vehicles. Even if you’ve just bought your car new, car heating system problems can be a potential headache. If you notice that your heater has stopped functioning completely (or just doesn’t work the way it should), the problem could be traced to several places in your car.
Car heater issues suck. They suck even more during long drives where passengers and drivers rely on this feature to keep them focused on the road. From leaks to computer issues, here’s a look at the most common car heater problems – and when you should take your car to the auto repair shop for a service.
Here’s what to check – and what to do.
Common Car Heater Problems
Diagnosing The Problem
It’s not always as simple as, “The heater doesn’t work.” While a car heater might stop cold in its tracks, it could also malfunction over a long period of time (or only malfunction every once in a while at first).
Has your car heater started taking longer to work the same as it used to? Does it feel just a few degrees off from the right temperature? These are signs of a malfunctioning heater that you might see even where the heater is still working. Fix the problem early!
1. Computer Glitches
Cars created in the computer era rely on electronic systems for temperature monitoring and control (as well as other essential features in the vehicle). When the computer malfunctions, so does everything it controls. If your vehicle relies on a computer, it could be reason No. 1 why your heater isn’t working properly.
The solution? It’s time to book a vehicle service.
2. Coolant Solution
Many car heating (and cooling) systems rely on coolant solution. When levels are running low or have run dry completely, the heater will malfunction as a result. A lot of new vehicle owners don’t know that coolant levels should be monitored, just like water and oil.
If you can’t remember when you last checked your coolant system levels, it’s a very likely problem. Stop by an auto repair shop and ask them to check. A coolant check takes just a few minutes but can save you hours of trouble on the road.
3. Leaks Or Shorts
Leaks along the pipeline can stop the coolant solution from reaching the bits that need heating or cooling down. Sometimes, shorts in the electronics can also be a problem that causes interruption of signal from one point to the next. If you can’t find the heating problem anywhere else, check for leaks, and then check the wiring leading from the heater.
Not sure how? Call an auto repair shop and have them check.
Thermostat problems can mean that you have no idea whether your heater is doing its job or not. A thermostat can be either too high, too low, or completely non-responsive – and any of these three are obvious problems.
A busted thermostat is a common problem that many people drive around with for years. It takes just a couple of minutes to fix, and it saves both time and money. When a broken thermostat is mixed with other problems, the main heating issue might be harder to find until the thermostat itself is repaired.
5. Dust Or Dirt
It’s not always a leak that stops the coolant flow. Vents and tubes can also become clogged over time and use with dust, leaves, and all sorts of other things you might not want to think about. There are rare occasions where heating has malfunctioned due to living bugs or mammals making their home in the car.
Do you see why it’s always important to check under the hood?
Dave & Rays Automotive Repair Shop in Omaha, NE
Our team has learned one thing: automotive problems are as varied and unique as the customers who bring them to us. Fortunately, our decades of experience in auto service and repair also mean that our skilled network of professionals is ready to accommodate an impressive scope of automotive issues. Contact us today.
- Winter Car Maintenance Checklist
- Halloween Driving Safety Tips
- Mouse in Your Car? Signs of Rats & Mice
- What is an Engine Flush & How Is it Beneficial?