How Your Car Heating System Works
It’s finally starting to rain in Chico again. That means Fall and soon Winter will be here; that means cold weather is near. By the end of October it’ll be chilly for sure. By November it’ll be full wet-weather and jacket season. You’re getting prepared for the new season right, so shouldn’t your car be prepared too?
Rather than wait until you really need it, get your vehicle’s heating system serviced long before the cold gets here. To help you out, we thought we’d go over the basic elements on the average car heating system. That way you’ll know what to look for if anything goes wrong in your HVAC heating or cooling system.
Layout of a Heating System
The parts of a car or truck heating system are fairly common overall. Many parts use shared systems, like hot coolant from the engine to make warm air with the blower. There is certainly a wide and wild nuance between the systems in different vehicle makes and models, but for the most part it goes like this:
The ignition system powers the car and all the electronic components including the blower motor. Power and signal pass through the blower motor fuse to protect against power surges;
On to the blower motor relay, then the blower motor resistor or blower motor control module for fixed speed and variable speed systems, respectively;
That charge is then passed to the blower motor which takes air in from the outside (filtered by the cabin air filter) and then passes it through the vent system;
This air passes over an A/C condenser to produce cool air and then some of that air is passed over the heater core to provide heated air. They are mixed accordingly using the temperature blend door which controls air flow mixing.
Temperate warm or hot air is finally passed through vent doors into the cabin through passenger/driver side, windshield, etc.
A water pump is also part of the heating system in that it controls the coolant flow used to heat the air in the first place. There’s also a thermostat valve which controls when to allow more coolant into the engine. The cabin air filter keeps the cabin air from being contaminated from the outside, while still allowing the system to take advantage of the heat. In rare cases, it can even be the cause of temperature control issues, especially when air quality has noticeably decreased.
Potential Problems with the Heater System
A number of different issues can occur related to the blower motor and heating system, some of which may require professional service:
Coolant leaks can bring the coolant level in the coolant overflow bottle so low that the HVAC system doesn’t work. It is possible that this can be resolved as simply as refilling the engine coolant, but fixing a coolant leak itself may require much more effort in the long run.
Dirty coolant may require a coolant flush to expel fluid clogs in the cooling system. This has been a real problem lately with the summer heat hotter than it’s ever been. A lot of people are finding they’ve been running low on coolant for way too long, which results in a much higher density of contaminants and very obviously dirty coolant.
The temperate blend door can become stuck or clogged, often requiring someone get in there and pick the gunk out to get it working again.
How to Help Keep Heating System Working
Number 1 is keep your vehicle’s intake and exhaust clean especially the cabin air filter, the engine coolant and cooling system, and the HVAC system. Check and refill engine coolant if at all necessary. Overheating in the cabin may be a sign of overheating in the engine, which can cause serious and expensive damage to your engine. But first, it’ll drive you up the wall and drain your wallet too while you tackle repair after auto repair trying to fix the problem.
Need Blower Motor Service in Chico?
Have you been having heater problems in your vehicle? Not hearing the blower motor; failing to get hot air; never feel warm air in the cabin at all? Dirty smelling or musty air coming out of the vents whenever you turn them on? Got bees because it idled for an insane amount of time? We can help!
Call Tedious Repairs today and we can diagnose your heating and cooling system issues for your car, truck, RV, or whatever vehicle you may drive. Whether it’s a broken blower motor, cold air blowing when it should be hot, or a thermostat valve that won’t even switch when it needs to, we can help. Use the contact information below to get in touch, or schedule an appointment immediately using this button.