Why Is My Car Heater Not Working?

Why is my car heater not working?

The heater system is very important to stay on top of to keep yourself and your car warm. Especially during the winter months the heater in your car is vital to stay warm as well as safe. After all, the heater also helps demist and defrost your windows. Getting heater problems sorted before it gets cold is therefore key. Luckily, there’s only a couple of parts that can cause problems.

Heater matrix

The heater matrix is one of the heater parts most prone to failure. The matrix is a little radiator that heats up the cold air from outside before it flows into the cabin. If it is clogged up with debris it will mean that it won’t be able to heat up the air passing through it enough.

Over time the heater matrix core can also start to leak due to corrosion. This too will have an impact on how much warmth it can generate. Which is not what you want in winter!

Heater blower motor

Another part to check is the blower motor, which helps to distribute the warm air into your vehicle. Over time it’s possible that the motor’s strength will weaken or fail completely. Check the different blower speeds to see if the blower strength changes. If there is no change then the blower motor or the blower motor resistor is faulty.

Finding out which of the two is faulty can be tricky and often can only be done by removing the parts. The resistor more often than not fails due to corrosion caused by moisture in the system. An increased electrical current through the part can also lead to a resistor failure. Often this happens due to a failed blower motor or one that can’t spin freely.

Heater inspection

If you’re not sure what is actually faulty it’s always advisable to get an inspection first. So that a mechanic can check exactly what is wrong before any parts are replaced. Remember, replacing heater parts can be quite labour-intensive. Sometimes large parts of the dashboard need to be removed to get to the parts. This can get expensive, especially if it turns out that it’s just a small electrical problem and not the heater matrix.

About Kurt Schleier

Resident classic car enthusiast and blogger at Clickmechanic.

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