Why Doesn’t Your Car’s Heat Work?

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan climate control screen

You aren’t imagining it, there is a chill in the air, and winter is right around the corner. At some point, we’ll all seek refuge from the elements inside a car, truck or SUV. Nobody wants to think about what it would be like to turn on the heater only to find out relief isn’t coming. If you’re wondering why your car’s heat isn’t working, Fifth Avenue Volkswagen is here to help. For the most part, an automotive heating system is pretty simple, so diagnosing issues is usually straightforward. Let’s take a closer look at a few things that might be causing your car’s heater to fail.

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Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Get Warm

After a century or more of automotive production, a vehicle’s heating system isn’t so different from when the feature was first introduced. Most, if not all, automotive heating systems consist of the same basic components, a heater core, heater fan, and a few others. The interior of your automobile gets warmed up by drawing heat created by the engine and routing it to the passenger cabin on the coldest days. Here are some reasons why the heat won’t work in your car.

  • Thermostat: A faulty thermostat is the most common cause of heating issues. Ignoring the issue can not only make cold days intolerable, but it could also lead to engine damage – potentially expensive repair.
  • Low Antifreeze/Coolant Level: Engine coolant or antifreeze does the bulk of dissipating heat in an engine. If this fluid level gets too low, the hot fluid can’t make it to the heater core in sufficient volume to make the heat work. This could be caused by a leaking radiator.
  • Heater Fan: Warm air doesn’t just magically make its way into a car’s passenger cabin. It has to be pushed there by the heater fan. Obviously, this can’t happen if the heater fan is malfunctioning.
  • Clogged Heater Core: A rusting radiator can cause debris to find its way into the heater core causing clogs. This isn’t a super common problem, but can be an issue for older vehicles and those with unrepaired radiator damage.

Don’t wait until the temperature gets below zero to find out your heating system is in trouble. Make an appointment with the Fifth Avenue Volkswagen Service Department, today.