Your vehicle’s heating system is great for keeping you warm during cold months, but did you know that warming up passengers is a by-product of keeping the engine cool? The air that flows into the cabin is doing double duty, and if your heater core is malfunctioning, it’s a bad sign for the health of the engine. The individual parts of the heating system are not expensive, but a complete replacement often can be. That’s why staying on top of small repairs is important for saving money.
How Does the Heater Work?
Once the motor in your car reaches operating temperature, the warm coolant flowing through the radiator is now available to heat the cabin by way of the heater core, a series of doors, and a blower that the occupants use the console controls to adjust the heat and fan. If your car’s heating system is broken, that means the engine cooling system could be having problems as well. An overheated engine can make your car stop operating or cause significant, long-term damage.
What Could Be Wrong?
If you notice your heater is not working properly or that the engine temperature shown on the dashboard gauge seems too high, there are several things that could be wrong. These are the problems to consider:
- Low coolant: Check the levels under the hood.
- Low water: Must be sufficient to make the proper mix with the coolant.
- Worn water pump: Water is not flowing properly.
- Faulty thermostat: It is sticking or not opening and closing at the right times.
- Leaks: Coolant lines must be leak free.
What Should I Do If I Think Mine’s Broken?
You can keep your car’s heating system in good working order with regular maintenance checks. Periodic flushes of the coolant system are recommended, and any leaks should be repaired right away. The longer leaks, low coolant and grime cause problems with the heating and cooling system, the more likely the engine will need major repairs. Many service centers check the cooling system during routine oil changes. Ask your mechanics whether this is part of their checklist.
Regularly scheduled maintenance is the best way to extend your car engine’s life. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is safe and will reliably get you where you want to go. Sun Auto Service can help set a schedule for routine maintenance that includes checks of the cooling and heating systems. Get in touch today to schedule an appointment with our technicians.