How Does a Car Heater Work?

Nov 5, 2019

How Does a Car Heater Work?

Your car’s heating system is designed to keep you warm while the temperatures drop and when it’s wet or windy. The engine cooling system of your car is directly linked to the heating system, if you feel it’s not working properly it is important to have it checked out! You don’t want the engine to overheat as this can result in serious engine damage.

What does a car heater consist of?

In your heating system, there are a few basic components such as the heater core, blower fan, heater control valve, heater hoses and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning control panel found inside the car’s cabin. The engine cooling system has components that interact with the heating system which are the thermostat, radiator, water pump and coolant.

How does the heating system work?

The heat created by the engine builds up and needs somewhere to go, most of that heat will be directed through the exhaust system and the remaining heat remains in the engine casting transferring to the coolant.

As your vehicle reaches the operating temperature, the thermostat will open and allow the coolant from the coolant system to circulate through the engine passage, removing any heat from the engine and sending it into the radiator. This will then circulate to the heater core that distributes this heat into your cabin. You control the heater and fans to determine how much heat you want to come through to the cabin.

The heater core can be found mounted under the dashboard or heating, ventilation and air conditioning control panel on the passenger side of the vehicle. The heater has an inlet and outlet which allows coolant to flow through the core. The blower motor will blow air through the heater core and to the passenger compartment inside your car. The heater control valve is a device that controls the flow of the hot engine coolant through the heater core. This valve helps to control the heat inside the cabin.

For the heater to work properly, the cooling system needs to be in good condition. Having the correct mix of coolant and water, as well as the coolant levels being full, with no leaks is also very important to ensure full working order. The thermostat needs to be opening and closing at the proper temperature levels and not sticking, the water pump needs to be working so it can circulate the coolant through the engine, radiator and heater core. Keeping your heater core and radiator clean and leak-free will help to ensure they are able to disperse the heat from the engine properly.

Where can I get my car heater repaired?

Properly maintaining the cooling system is important for the heater system to be able to work efficiently. If you feel you need to have your cooling and/or heater system checked, why not get a quote from one of our local mechanics in your area?


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