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Fixing Broken Car Heater
Time: 2017-01-24
When comes to broken car heater, the right way to deal with it is to start with some basic diagnostics and then fix whatever is wrong. The wrong way is to do a quick patch job and then figure out some kind of temporary car heater replacement that’s good enough to get by.
The diagnostic procedure varies from one vehicle to another, but if your car heater is blowing cold, then a good place to start is with the coolant. If the coolant is low, then there may be air in the heater core, which would explain why your heater isn’t working. Find and fix the leak, fill it up, and that may be the end of it. If the coolant is full, then a good way to check the operation of a few important components is to grab a non-contact infrared thermometer. That will allow you to check whether the coolant is heating up properly, as a stuck thermostat can cause a heater to not function properly. An infrared thermometer will also allow you to check the input and output hoses on the heater core. If the output line is cold, then you might have a plugged heater core or a valve that isn’t opening.
Inside the vehicle, problems like a bad blower motor, heater switch, blend door, or blower motor resistor can cause the heater to not work. If you can identify the specific component that failed, you can replace it and you’ll have heat again. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay someone to do the diagnostic work for you.
Most car heater problems aren’t really a big deal if you just leave them be until you have the money to fix the failed component, but a leaking heater core is a big exception to that. If your heater doesn’t work because the heater core is leaking, you could end up dealing with a bunch of sticky, smelly antifreeze on the floor of your car, and the engine could even overheat if the coolant level gets too low. The quick fix for this problem, if you can’t afford the repair bill, is to bypass the heater core. You can do this yourself by cutting the heater hoses where they attach to the heater core and then splicing them together, so long as you make sure to tighten the splice with good worm gear clamps and route the spliced hoses so they don’t rest on a hot surface like an exhaust manifold or fall into the engine belts and pulleys.
If you don’t feel comfortable bypassing your own heater core, a sympathetic mechanic should be able to do the job relatively inexpensively, unless the heater core is exceptionally difficult to access. Once the heater core is bypassed, you can either tough out the cold or explore some car heater alternatives that might be enough to get you through the winter.
Some problems that keep a car heater from working right are relatively cheap, quick fixes, while others are exceedingly costly. For instance, some heater cores are buried so deep that you have to remove the entire dashboard to get to them. If you’re dealing with that type of situation, and money is tight, then you might want to consider a quick fix and car heater alternative to get you by.
If your car has heated seats, you might be able to ride out the cold weather by turning them on, bundling up, and hoping for the best. You can also buy aftermarket car seat warmers that work just fine, if your car didn’t come with this option. Heated seats don’t really do anything to warm you up, at least not in the same way that a functioning car heater would. Between bundling up and making yourself some hot crossed buns, you may just be able to fool your body into forgetting that you still have not fixed your broken car heater.
Source: www.lifewire.com