It’s been chilly up here in the Northeast and if you live in the area, chances are you’ve been relying on your car’s heat during your commute. However, if you’ve found that the air coming out of your vents isn’t warm, there are a number of things that could be wrong:
Your heater control valve
Almost all vehicles built after 1970 have a heater control valve that’s vacuum-operated to let coolant circulate throughout the heater core at all times. This valve stays open until a vacuum is applied. If you apply vacuum and it doesn’t close, you’ll need to replace it.
Your blower motor
Blower motors are used to circulate air throughout your car. If you don’t hear any sound coming from the blower motor (or if there’s no air coming through your vents), you may have a defective motor or there may be an electrical problem.
Check to see if a fuse has blown. If so, replace it, and if it blows as soon as you turn the blower motor on, investigate an electrical shortage. If it lasts for awhile and then blows, your blower motor may be operating at too high of a temperature and should be replaced.
Your heater core
If your cooling system has taken on a significant amount of dirt and debris, your heater core may be clogged, which means your coolant is backed up. There’s no real way to unclog it, so you’ll need a new one.
Your coolant level
Your problem may be as simple as a low coolant level. If your cooling system isn’t completely filled, check the manual for the proper way to fill it. If you have enough coolant, check both the inlet and outlet heater hoses to see if they’re hot when you have the heat turned on. If they’re not, your coolant may not be flowing correctly.
Your heater hoses
Check to make sure your heater hoses aren’t kinked, pinched, or leaking. This disrupts the flow of coolant. Also make sure they’re in the right place (especially if someone recently worked on your cooling system).
Your water pump
A water pump circulates your coolant and runs on engine power via a belt. It may stop working because of a broken water pump belt, V-belt, or serpentine belt. If this is the case, you’ll probably just need to replace the belt. If it’s not a belt, your water pump may have failed.
If your car’s heat isn’t working, don’t worry – leave it with our PHL parking staff and we’ll have our Maaco experts fix it for you while you’re away!