It can be an auto repair nightmare: it’s the coldest day of the year, and your car’s heater has just stopped working. You learn very quickly that your car can become an iron cooler quickly, and soon, you are commuting to work in full outdoor gear. The bad news is that, if you do not want to freeze to death merely driving, you need emergency auto repair in Lansing, MI for your heater. However, the better news is that you can avoid this scenario with preventative maintenance and noticing the signs of failure early. Here are five common causes of heater failure in cars:
- Low coolant: If your radiator isn’t full, your car’s heating and cooling systems will not work. Sometimes a radiator leak is the issue, and other times it can be as simple as a loose or damaged cap. If you find your car is not as cozy as usual, check your coolant level. Your heater trouble may have a quick fix.
- Electrical issues: No matter how much you turn the dials, you get no sound or air coming from your heater vents. This suggests an electrical issue that can include a blown motor or fuse. A thorough check by your mechanic will also involve checking heater switches, power relays and wire connectivity. If you are getting nothing from your heater, this can be a very easy or complex repair, depending on the explanation.
- Debris on the heater core: Winter often means storms and debris on the road. If any of this builds up under your hood, it can plug your heater core. Without a flow of coolant, there is no way for your heater to operate. Unfortunately, the only solution after this happens is to replace your heater core and flush out the cooling system. You can prevent this development by being careful of driving over piles of rubbish on the road or keeping your car garaged in the winter.
- Air pockets: These will build up in your heater core or in the hoses. Once air pockets develop, they will block the flow of coolant and cause your heater to stop working. Your mechanic will need to bleed the lines to remove the air pockets, and may likely perform a flush as well. Air pockets will sometimes indicate their presence by reducing heater function first before shutting it all off. Taking care of them early will mean a smaller repair bill.
- Heat control valve defects: The heat control valve allows coolant to circulate through the heater core even when the heater is not running. Heat control valves are normally open, but defects can cause them to close, cutting off access to coolant.
Many of these issues arise from old or dirty coolant. If you have your system flushed regularly and maintain proper levels, it can prevent most causes of heater failure. Keeping a maintenance schedule for your coolant system is the easiest way to make sure this is covered.
PFS Auto Repair can get your heater working with expert auto repair in Lansing, MI. Call us today for an appointment.