Winter is here and you will be busy driving to do your holiday shopping and getting to and from work. You will be driving slowly to ensure your safety on treacherous winter roads. This means you may end up spending more time in your car than you normally would. So, it is imperative your car’s heater works optimally and doesn’t stop working while you are in it. It can be miserable and even dangerous if you are caught in the middle of nowhere without adequate heating.
Reasons for Car Heater Breakdown
Your car’s heater can malfunction or stop working for many reasons. If you know these reasons, you can always flip the switch for preventive maintenance to ensure the heater works properly, especially when you need it.
Some of the reasons for car heater problems include the following:
- Leak in the Cooling System: Sometimes the radiator can spring a leak, causing the water or antifreeze to leak. This can cause your car heater to stop functioning.
- Thermostat Problem: If the thermostat is not working properly, it will prevent the heater from warming up the interiors of your car.
- Blow Fan Issue: The blower fan of the heater can also malfunction, causing the heater to stop working or not work the way it should.
- Coolant Contamination: If you don’t flush out the coolant tank regularly, the tank can rust. The rust particles then block the heating core, preventing it from circulating warm air through your car. Hence, the interior of you car will not warm up. That is nothing good to hear in the winter!
Fixing a Malfunctioning Car Heater
The repair of an improperly working car heater depends on the kind of problem it has. Your car heater is different from the furnace in your home. If your furnace ceases to work, the technician will suggest replacing it. The same cannot be done with your car heater. There are many factors that work together to ensure the heating system of your car works optimally. A problem with one of these factors can affect the functioning of the heating system. Hence, the issue would have to be first isolated and then fixed.
Cost of Fixing Your Car’s Heating System
So, the cost of fixing your car heat will depend on how serious the problem is. This said, the heating core is the most important part of your car’s heating system. It is like a radiator and transports hot air into your vehicle. If the heating core is at fault, it can be expensive to replace it and the replacement can take a day or two.
If there is a leak in the radiator, you can get a temporary fix by constantly topping up the coolant level. However, this is not a solution. You should get it fixed immediately to prevent the situation from going bad to worse. If you don’t fix the leak, it could damage the motor of your car and fixing this problem would be more expensive than actually getting the leak fixed.
So, if you notice the coolant level dropping for no reason or you see a damp patch under your car, take your vehicle immediately to a reliable and trustworthy car repair shop. The technician there will check the hoses and engine cylinder head gasket to ensure your vehicle’s engine has not sustained damage.
Typically, it can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 to fix the heating system of your car. However, this cost can increase if the problem is worse than what the technician anticipated.
Use Preventive Maintenance to Your Advantage
Even something as simple as car heater can result in serious damage to your car. It is not just about staying warm in cold winter months. As the heating system has several different parts, it is important you get the system checked by a knowledgeable and experienced technician.
Usually, make it a point to get the heating system checked before the onset of winter. This way, if there is a problem, it can be tackled during the off-season, before you need a warm, toasty car. Make it a habit to get a mechanic to check the coolant level and other components of your car on a regular basis. This way, any problem can be identified early and fixed. Also, this will not cost you too much.
The best way to ensure your car’s heating system works optimally is to maintain the cooling system. Yes, it sounds weird, but the coolant and water mixture is used to heat the interiors of your car. So, the cooling system is what needs to be maintained to ensure the heating works properly when you need it.
Get the hoses and belts checked regularly, and also ensure the coolant is always rust-free and clean. Make it a habit to check the coolant level and if you notice a dip in the level, top it off. These basic preventive maintenance tips will go a long way in ensuring you are cozy and warm while driving your car this winter. Well, at least something is going right!