Why Is My Heater Blowing Cold Air?

Closeup of hand driver man checking adjusting air from conditioning the cooling system with flow of cold air in car.

As the cool fall temperatures become colder in the winter, you want a car heater that works. However, that’s not always the case. A heater that only blows cold air means that something’s wrong. Sometimes, there’s an easy solution. If not, you might need to have an expert perform a diagnostic test.

Potential Reasons Your Car’s Heater Blows Cold Air

Suppose you turn on the heater anticipating the interior of your car to fill with warm air. However, after turning it on, the only thing it does is blow cold air. Usually, that’s due to an issue with the cooling system. This includes four specific causes.

Stuck Thermometer

Your vehicle’s thermostat is a type of valve designed to open and shut based on the coolant’s temperature. As part of normal operations, it remains closed while the engine warms up. In addition, it’ll stay closed until the coolant reaches a designated range of temperatures. If the thermostat becomes stuck, it won’t open. At that point, there’s no way for the coolant to circulate as intended.

Not only does this prevent the heater from blowing hot air but also, by remaining closed, it can cause the engine to overheat. If you feel lukewarm air, more than likely, the thermostat is stuck open. In that case, either it takes the engine a long time to warm up, or it doesn’t warm up at all.

Plugged Heater Core

Another possible reason that your car’s heater blows cold air has to do with a plugged heater core. If you know anything about automobiles, you can use a non-contact thermometer to determine if the coolant reaches the heater core. If it doesn’t, the most common solution is to flush the core.

At the same time, the issue might have to do with a stuck heater core valve. Depending on the car you drive, it might have a value inside the core inlet. That’s operated by a mechanical or vacuum cable. So, if there’s no plug in the heater core, a valve that’s stuck closed could cause cold air.

Air in the Cooling System

Here’s yet another reason why the heater blows cold air. Within the cooling system, the heater core is typically the high point. Sometimes, this occurs because of trapped air in the system. So, to eliminate air bubbles, you’d need to flush the cooling system. Again, if you don’t have the expertise for this, a qualified technician can assist.

Coolant Not Going Through the Heater Core

Several things can cause a plugged heater core. For instance, it might be the result of rust or debris. However, things like pine needles, lint, and other debris lead to a clog as well. If that’s the reason your car heater isn’t working properly, you’d need to remove or open the heater box. In addition, the fins need cleaning.

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Have Your Car Checked Now

Before the weather turns cold or you discover that the heater blows cold air, have your car checked. Along with checking this issue, the professionals at the Della Auto Group in Queensbury, New York, can service your vehicle for winter.

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