How to Fix Your Heater

Is the heater of your truck, van, SUV, or car on the fritz? Then let this guide help you. It's not a difficult thing to do, actually. The supplies and tools you need include protective gloves and eye wear, screwdriver set, and a flashlight.

Park your car on level ground, turn off the engine until it's cold, then park with the emergency brake on. Check your heater controls. It won't operate unless the engine is full of antifreeze or coolant. If you have low antifreeze levels, check the system if it has cracks and leakages.

The rate which the engine heats up is controlled by the engine thermostat. If the thermostat is stuck open, the engine will keep having a low temperature with no heat from the heater. This necessitates thermostat replacement.

The Process of Elimination When It Comes to Heater Repair

  • Checking the Electronics, Vacuum, or Cable: A malfunction by the electronics, vacuum, or cable of your heater control air blend door can keep it from opening when needed. To check out if the door is working, move the heat control from hot to cold. Afterwards, listen for movement within the heater plenum. Have your mechanic get these car parts fixed or if the damage is irreversible, then you might need to outright get a blend door actuator replacement.
  • Fixing Heater Control Valve Vacuum Lines: Inspect the heater control valve vacuum lines as well as all the other lines within the heater system. If these vacuums have leaks then the heater system isn't properly transferring heat from within it to your engine and interior as required. If you hear hisses under the dash when your engine is turned on, then there must be a leak and the lines should be repaired to ensure better heater functionality when all is said and done.
  • Repairing the Heater Control Valve Itself: Maybe the control valve itself has malfunctioned. To test it, use a vacuum gauge. It should check various control tubes used to move blend door actuators. You can also get the handheld vacuum pump to test out servo diaphragms by linking it directly to the vacuum port. If you're not getting vacuum feedback, then open the hood to inspect the vacuum lines from the firewall to the engine or check out the heater control valve itself to see if it has malfunctioned.
  • Purging Air Bubbles Locked in the Heater Core: The core of your heater might have air bubbles that's keeping it from operating at maximum efficiency. To fix this, run the engine at full temperature. From there, use a car jack or jackscrew to lift the front of your vehicle up. Let the whole thing run for 2 minutes straight. Afterwards, undo the front jack and then jack up the rear of the car. This will purge the air bubbles in no time when push comes to shove.

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