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This article brought to you courtesy of Karen Johnston of All About Automotive, Gresham Outlook Insider Automotive Expert.

Karen Johnston

Winter is coming is your heater working properly in your vehicle? If not, why?

The heater is designed to warm the passenger compartment. The heater uses heat that is generated, during normal engine operation that gets coolant temperature hot. The hot coolant is circulated by the water pump thru the engine and hoses to the radiator and heater core. Once the heat from the coolant has been utilized, it is circulated thru the engine again to absorb more heat. The heater core is like a mini radiator that is installed generally in the dash or near the firewall of the vehicle. The heated coolant circulates thru the tubes of the heater core, and the heater fan blows air across those tubes and through the little fins encasing the tubes and directs warm air through the heating vents of the cabin of your vehicle.

There are primarily two designs of heater controls, a Manual Control System and an Automatic Temperature Control System. The Manual Control System requires manual adjustment from the operator to keep the cabin at the desired temperature. The Automatic Temperature Control System, is a computerized management system, that is designed to keep the cabin at a selected temperature or even split the settings for the driver and passenger compartments. The heater control system of a vehicle runs the blower motor, blend doors, and temperature operation.

Some of the common problems we see when a vehicle heater does not blow warm air are:

Low coolant level on a vehicle due to a coolant leak.

Thermostat that is stuck open.

Plugged or leaking heater core.

Heater blower that is not functioning.

Blend doors that are not functioning properly.

Heater control system that is not working properly.

If the heater in your vehicle is not working properly, we recommend having it checked out by your trusted repair facility. If it is related to the engine cooling system, other issues can occur if you run your vehicle low or

All About Automotive

139 NW 2nd Street

Gresham, OR 97030


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