Most people just don’t think about their car’s heater until they’re in need of auto heating repair. After all, you basically flip a switch and hot air comes out of the vents. It’s a great feature everyone takes for granted, which is why having problems with it can be infuriating – especially during the winter!
The good news is you can turn to car heater repair shops and have the problem fixed. Depending on what’s wrong, you might be on your way in a short while. Trying to repair the heater yourself, unless it’s an incredibly basic problem, isn’t advisable. The level of difficult for those kinds of repairs is well beyond the mechanical skills or expendable time on most people’s hands.
How do Car Heaters Work?
The hot air you feel blowing through the air vents originates in something called the heater core. It’s basically like a small radiator embedded under the dash. Hot coolant is transported from the engine to the heater core, where a fan helps extract some of the heat, blowing it into the cabin. This is why people say if your engine is overheating, you should roll down the windows and turn the heater all the way to full blast.
When you first get into your car on a cold winter morning, the air coming out of the vents isn’t hot. This is because there literally is no coolant running to the heater core. As you drive, the engine heats up, which increases the coolant’s temperature to the point it’s ready to be sent to the heater core. As it does, the air coming through the vents heats up as well.
Do Heaters do Anything Besides Heat?
Your car’s heater system also affects the defroster. Vents aimed at the windshield (and on some models the back window) blow hot air directly onto the glass. Their purpose is to remove any fog, snow, or ice buildup. Without the defroster, you might have a hard time seeing, especially at night.
Since the defroster is also dependent on the heater core working properly, you should get any heater system issues fixed immediately. Losing the defroster because of a problem with the heater system can actually cause a wreck, putting you and fellow drivers in serious danger.
Common Car Heater Problems
Because the heater works by using coolant that’s been heated up by the engine, a coolant level that’s too low can cause serious issues. Sometimes, fixing the problem might simply require topping off the coolant to a normal operating level. You need to be careful about doing this yourself.
Opening up the radiator or pressurized overflow reservoirs when the car is even a little hot can be catastrophic. The coolant can be incredibly hot, spewing out and burning you. Always heed any warnings printed on the cap of whatever you intend to open. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, it’s best to not risk serious injury and call a professional for auto heating repair.
Other problems could have to do with the heater core, or the hoses that transport coolant to and from the car’s coolant system. Replacing old, cracked hoses should only be done when the engine is cold. There’s a slight chance the fuse your car’s heater runs on could be blown. Checking the fuse is a quick and easy solution for auto heating repair, as is replacing it, if needed.
What About Plug-In Heaters?
You might be considering a plug-in heater for your car instead of repairing problems with the built-in heater. One factor to consider is that plug-in heater can put an extra drain on your car’s battery during the time of the year when cold weather puts a strain on them. You’ll also need to find a spot to place the plug-in heater, which can be tricky depending on the car’s interior layout.
Just as important is the fact that the hot air from this type of heater might not reach the backseat quickly, especially if your car has rear air vents, making trips uncomfortable for your backseat passengers.
Most importantly, plug-in heaters don’t defrost windows, so you could still suffer from serious visibility issues.
Auto Heating Repair at T3 Atlanta
If you’re in need of auto heating repair in the Atlanta area, come by T3 Atlanta today and we’ll gladly take a look at your car’s heater. Our highly trained technicians know how to pinpoint problems and repair problems quickly, so you’ll be on your way quickly.