Understanding Auto Heating and Auto Heating Repair
Your car heating system comprises of the HVAC control, antifreeze/coolant, heater core, thermostat, blower motor, blower fan and pump.
Simply put, after starting your car, the engine builds up heat to reach its operating temperature that is controlled by a thermostat. The high temperature heats the antifreeze/coolant or water mixture, and a pump pushes it through valves and hoses into a heating core. A blower fan powered by a blower motor pushes hot/warm air from the heating core, through an air filter and into your car through vents.
What Are the Signs of a Faulty Auto Heating System?
The most common sign is lack of hot air when you crank up the heat in your car. You might also experience a pungent smell or notice foggy windows, especially when it is cold outside.
What Could Be Wrong?
- There might be a leak in the cooling system that reduces the level of water or antifreeze in the radiator. If this happens, there won't be sufficient fluid to be heated to produce hot air.
- The thermostat can also be faulty, meaning that your engine is not warming up effectively, and therefore, is not producing enough heat to warm up the antifreeze/coolant or water mixture.
- The other problem could be that the blower or blower motor mentioned above, may not be functioning correctly. If the hot air is not blown, it does not reach the cabin of your vehicle.
- The pump that pushes heated antifreeze/coolant or water mixture through valves and hoses might also be faulty. The hoses and valves should also be checked for wear and tear.
- There can also be a clog in the heating core. The clog just needs to be cleared by flushing (forcing compressed air and a cleaner through the heater core).
- Lastly, the coolant might contain impurities (contaminated coolant/antifreeze), meaning it fails to function correctly and thus blocks the heating core from circulating warm air.
The heating core of a car is rather complex, and you should not DIY any repair methods. The recommended thing to do is look for a qualified and competent auto heating repair company to regularly inspect your car's heating system. This helps prevent damage to components and also helps in catching a problem early before it becomes extensive to the extent of requiring an expensive replacement.
You should also have the cabin air filter dusted with compressed air frequently to avoid pungent smells or breathing in air filled with dust. Lastly, it is recommended to at least turn your heat on once a week to elongate its lifespan.