Have you tried turning the heat on in your car but it continues to blow cold air by the time you reach your destination? There are many ways a car heater can fail, but this specific problem can be attributed to two basic causes: either coolant isn’t flowing through the heater core or air from the blower motor isn’t being directed through the heater core.
A Quick Understanding of Car Heater Operation
To begin – this article applies to vehicles with water-cooled engines. If you drive a vehicle with an air cooled engine or new electric car, then you have a type of electrical heater that either isn’t getting the power necessary or is broken.
Vehicles with water-cooled engines have heating systems that work on the same basic standard. Hot coolant from the engine passes into a heater core, which looks and functions like a small radiator, and a blower motor forces air through it. The air is heated by the hot coolant which warms up the interior of the vehicle. This is the reason it takes a few minutes for heaters to star blowing warm air.
Until the engine warms up, there is no heat for the heater core to extract. This is also the reason a plugged heater core, stuck thermostat, or air in the cooling system can cause a car’s heater to blow cold
Thermostats are valves that open and close depending on the temperature of the coolant. They stay closed until the coolant in the engine reaches a specific temperature which allows the engine to warm up. If the valves fail to open when the engine reaches that specific temperature, then the coolant won’t circulate properly, causing you to experience the heater blowing cold.
Most of the reasons a car heater will blow cold have to do with the heater core, though you can have a mechanical, electrical, or vacuum problem as well. If you experience the heater blowing cold, give us a call at Stroebel Automotive at (989) 781-4307. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Read more about when your car heater blows cold here.