Every motorist sooner or later may encounter an unpleasant situation: one day the heater of the beloved car simply stops working as it should. Any malfunction of the climate system is a serious problem that should be immediately corrected.
Check the flaps
In winter, the source of heat in the car is hot antifreeze from the cooling system. It passes through the radiator of the climate system and heats the air. Then the air goes to different areas of the car cabin, bypassing the damper system. Very often the problems with the operation of the heater are due to the malfunction of those very flaps. The problem is most relevant for cars with automatic climate control system. There is no way to identify the problem by yourself. Damages of such climate system are detected with the help of computer diagnostics. Often breakdown of flaps occurs due to clogging of the whole system, therefore it is strongly not recommended to drive without cabin filter.
Check the electrics
The air circulation in the climate system is provided by the interior fan. If it breaks, the heater will either stop heating at all, or it will get much weaker because of air stagnation. The fan can stop both because of mechanical damages, and as a result of blowing up of climate control unit or blower controller. In both cases, the breakdown can be determined even without professional diagnostics. In the vast majority of cars, the fan operation creates a characteristic noise.
Check the radiator
As noted at the beginning, the source of warm air is the antifreeze flowing through the car’s radiator. However, if the radiator becomes clogged with sludge flakes from the coolant, the normal circulation of antifreeze will be disrupted. And with it the work of the whole climate system will be disturbed. When this happens, only half of the radiator heater works. In rare cases, the situation is aggravated by an air plug formed as a result of a faulty timing or pump.
The car’s thermostat can also be the source of problems with the climate system. If the thermostat breaks down, the antifreeze stays cold for a long time. In this case, it will take about 30-40 minutes to warm it up, which is much longer than with a functioning thermostat. It is not worth neglecting the breakdown of the important part, because in the winter time, cold antifreeze becomes the cause of increased engine wear.