If your car heater is not blowing hot air, you can get miserable on the road pretty quickly.
No one wants to have to drive their car in the winter wearing thick gloves, scarves and hats, and a heavy coat.
Plus, a car heater blowing cold air can burn through fuel at a much faster rate than normal, meaning you’ll have to shell out more of your hard-earned cash on gas.
We know you don’t want that!
Read on to learn why your car’s heater stopped working suddenly, and how to fix the issue.
1. A Broken Thermostat
A car heater blowing cold air usually indicates a problem with your thermostat.
Once your car engine has warmed up, if you continue to feel cool air, look for a “C” on your thermostat gauge. You should also ensure that your thermostat’s needle can still move at all.
If the needle takes over 10 minutes to move or if you see the “C” signal on your dashboard, you’ll likely need to replace it.
Buying a new one is relatively inexpensive. However, attempting to repair a faulty thermostat isn’t possible (or worth the effort, since it will just break again a day or so later.)
2. You Need More Coolant
Your car AC/heating unit needs coolant to be able to keep your engine cool and keep your car warm and toasty. Coolant runs from the car’s engine to the heater’s core, which is what warms up the air in the unit.
If your thermostat is still working fine, but you have no heat in the car, you likely need to add more coolant.
Check out this guide on how to add more coolant to your engine.
3. You Have a Leak
If the heater stopped working in the car without warning, then you likely have a leak on your hands.
Though this doesn’t happen often, if you suspect that’s the issue, check the water pump, hoses, and the radiator itself. If you can’t locate the leak yourself, take your car to an auto repair shop.
4. Clogged Heat Controls
If your car heater is not blowing cold air, then the problem could also be due to clogs in your heat controls.
Especially if your car is a bit older, it’s likely that dirt, debris, and even rocks and pebbles could somehow have made their way into the heat control.
The debris blocks the coolant, so you’ll have no heat in the car.
This means you’ll need to replace the heat control valve itself, or some of the control buttons to it.
Don’t Let a Car Heater Blowing Cold Air Ruin Your Road Trip
No one likes a car heater blowing cold air, especially if you’re in the middle of a harsh winter.
Do a quick visual inspection of your car’s system underneath the hood and in the interior, and look for the issues we’ve described here.
Usually, the best thing to do is to take your car to a professional mechanic, as a broken heater could be an indication of a larger issue.
Keep reading our blog for more auto repair tips and tricks so that you can extend the life of your car and stay safe on the road.