Your car heater is tied to your coolant. Sounds strange, right? It might seem counterproductive, but we promise it makes sense. Get a crash course on how your heater works and what it means when the car heater blows cold air.
Start With Car Heater 101
A quick overview of how things work can help you understand why you’re receiving an arctic blast instead of your normal flow of cozy, hot air.
Here's the deal. Your car heater relies on an important part called the heater core. This critical coolant, which we already mentioned, is pumped through your car’s engine to do exactly what you’d guess – cool it off! This prevents your engine from overheating.
As the coolant cools off the engine, it simultaneously heats up. Then, this hot liquid flows to the heater core, located inside your dashboard. The liquid passes off the heat to the air flowing through the heater core.
That hot air flows through your vents and warms you up. At least, that’s what happens when your heater is working properly!
But what about when your car heater blows cold air?
Where Could This Cold Air Be Coming From?
If you’re getting hit with blasts of cold air when your heater is turned up on high, you’re likely dealing with one of two issues:
- either the coolant isn’t flowing through the heater core
- or air from the blower motor isn’t being directed through the heater core
If the coolant, warmed from the heat of the engine, isn’t flowing through your heater core at all, you will not get hot air from your heater. This problem can be attributed to a plugged heater core, because the coolant isn’t able to make its way through the internal tubes.
The second cause of this cold air could be a malfunctioning or stuck blend door. Most vehicles have a blend door, which controls how the air flows. When the blend door isn’t doing its job, air can flow straight past the heater core – meaning it doesn’t get warmed at all. Brrr!
Stay Warm On Your Way to Tires Plus!
You’re not doomed to shiver from Point A to Point B just because your heater is broken. Get a little resourceful and creative, and you can stay warm even without a functioning heater.
- Layer up on clothing prior to getting into the car, complete with a warm hat, gloves, and scarf.
- Bring a hot drink with you so you can sip on something warm while you drive.
- Buy heated seat covers or cushions, which you can get for as little as $20 online!
- Stuff your pockets and gloves with hand warming packets.
- Give your passengers fuzzy blankets!
Of course, these aren’t ideal solutions for when your car heater blows cold air, but they can hold you over until you have time to stop by for a visit. Warm up at your nearest Tires Plus and our friendly technicians will take care of the rest. We’ll fix your car heater in no time so you can leave in a cozy, comfortable car!