Do It Yourself Automotive Repair

Do it Yourself Car Heater Repair


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The heater in your car has stopped working and you need car heater repair tips? This article will outline some much needed tips and guidelines for repairing your own car heater. There are many ways a heater can stop working, this article will cover the most common causes.

  • Check out the Coolant: Keep in mind that the heat that runs through your vents comes from the heat of the coolant in your vehicles engine and radiator. If there is not adequate coolant, or the coolant is contaminated, this could be the problem.
  • Check the Electronics: There are several electronic components that can cause the heater not to work. One common problem is the blower motor. This can go bad in three different ways. The resistor could go bad, the motor itself can malfunction or a fuse can blow not allowing power to get to the motor. Check these out as they are easily repaired.
  • Flow Restriction: A restriction in the flow of the coolant can cause a heater to not function properly. Check all of your hoses for kinks or collapsing. After that, check the thermostat for proper functioning. Lastly, check the water pump out to make certain it is allowing the coolant to flow properly.
  • Heater Control Valve/Water Valve: The heater control valve is a small plastic or metal valve that opens and closes depending on the temperature of the coolant. It opens when the vehicle warms up to allow coolant into the heater core, thus warming up the heater. When it is cold, it remains shut keeping the coolant in the engine so it can warm up.
  • Blend Door: The blend door is controlled one of three ways. Electronically, by vacuum, or by mechanical levers. This door regulates the amount of hot air to mix in, therefore determining the temperature inside the vehicle. Make certain this door is properly functioning, as it is common for it to be stuck open on the cold side causing the interior of the vehicle to remain cold.
  • Heater Core: This is typically the hardest part to repair if it is the cause of failure. The only way to inspect the heater core for either damage or clogging is to remove the heater hoses from the fire wall and inspect for heavy sludge in the hoses, or remove the lower part of the dashboard and visually check the core for leakage.
  • Air Pockets: Air pockets are a common culprit too when you are having heater problems. Air pockets basically air small areas where air is trapped in the coolant. They cause issues because wherever that air pocket is, that area is just as cool as the ambient temperature allows it to be. You can easily bleed the cooling system by opening the bleeder valve near the thermostat and allow the vehicle to idle. A way to accelerate the process is to jack up the front end of the car a little. This forces the air pocket to rise to the highest point of the cooling system, making it bleed more quickly.

Now that you have these much needed tips you can go out and start checking out you car's heater for repair. 

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