Winter is here and it’s time once again to crank up the heat in your car. But what do you do if your vents start blowing out only cold air? A malfunctioning heater can make rides very uncomfortable, so you’ll need to bring your car to an auto repair shop ASAP. Below are a few of the most common reasons for a faulty car heater.

The Top Causes of a Malfunctioning Car Heather

1. Low Coolant Levels

Coolant is a mix of antifreeze and water that helps prevent your car’s engine from overheating. It also flows to your vehicle’s heater core, where it’s warmed up to create heat for the interior.

When only cold air blows through your heater’s vents, it could be because there’s not enough coolant in the system to reach the heater core. If the heater continues to blow cool air even after the car’s warmed up, you may need to add more coolant to your system or have an auto repair expert check for leaks.

2. Problem With the Heater Core

Montana auto repairIf low coolant is not the issue, the heater core itself could be to blame. It may be broken or malfunctioning due to a leak or a clog. The heater core also controls the defroster, so this is a more serious problem that should be taken care of as soon as possible. Other common signs of a faulty heater core include foggy windows, moisture under the dashboard, and a sweet smell inside the vehicle.

3. Broken Thermostat 

This is one of the most common reasons for a car’s heater to not blow warm air. As coolant moves through a vehicle’s engine and heater system, the thermostat is what regulates its temperature.

If it’s stuck or broken, it won’t allow the coolant to get hot enough to heat the interior of the car. You can usually tell that your thermostat is broken if your vehicle’s temperature gauge doesn’t move after a few minutes of running the car. Fortunately, replacing a busted thermostat is a quick and simple job for an auto repair shop.

If your car heater is only blowing cold air, get in touch with Kalispell Alignment & Auto Repair in Kalispell, MT. With more than 25 years of experience, the ASE®-certified technicians at this auto shop provide first-rate services to drivers throughout the Flathead County area. From heater repair and tire alignments to tuneups and engine replacements, they do it all. Visit their website to learn more or call (406) 755-0234 to speak with an auto repair expert today.