Why Isn’t My Car Heater Working?

December 23rd, 2015 by

If the Farmer’s Almanac is to be believed – and it usually is – we can expect a colder-than-usual winter this year in Georgia. While we’re not likely to see the ice and snow they get year after year north of the Mason and Dixon Line, it’s going to get colder than we’re accustomed to, especially around the middle of January.

While losing the car heater is only a mild annoyance most of the time in Georgia, the couple of months a year that we need it, we really need it. Seriously, nobody wants to shiver while they drive. The best time to make sure your heater is ready for winter is before it gets cold. Of course, you can simply turn the heater on and make sure it’s blowing hot air, but an even better idea is to ask the service techs to check it out next time you bring your car into the dealership for service. If there are problems coming, they’ll be able to tell well before the heater breaks down in many cases.

Common Reasons for Heaters Breaking Down

There are plenty of reasons your heater may stop operating correctly, but here are some of the most common problems:

  • Low fluid level in the radiator. If your radiator is low on water or antifreeze, it’ll often cause problems with the heater. In fact, it can cause a lot more serious problems, so make sure you get your radiator checked out if you’re running low.
  • Blower fan problems. Often, it isn’t that the heater isn’t producing heat, it’s that the blower fan isn’t directing the heat where it needs to go. It’s a fairly simple fix and our service techs can have you back on the road – toasty and warm – in no time.
  • Thermostat is bad. If the thermostat is bad, the engine won’t warm up like it’s supposed to – and that can cause problems above and beyond the discomfort of driving in the cold. Get it fixed right away.
  • Rust or other contaminants in the fluid. Contaminants will block the flow of heat. Sometimes, the fix is as simple as having your radiator flushed, but this is one of those issues you’ll want to take care of while it’s still a small issue as it can cause bigger problems fast.

What’s It Going to Cost Me to Get Heat Again?

It’s impossible to quote a price for repair without figuring out what caused your heater to stop working. Common car heater repairs run anywhere from under $300 to a little over $1,000, but that’s just a rule of thumb. There are plenty of small things that can cause the heater not to work (sometimes as simple as a blown fuse) that cost a lot less to have fixed and other things that could cost a bit more.

As with other types of repairs, your best bet is to have your car serviced regularly so that you can catch car heater problems while they’re small – or preferably before they occur. Doing so will generally cost you a lot less than putting necessary repairs off. On top of that, taking care of those problems before we’re in the throes of winter will ensure that you don’t have to freeze your toes off.

If your heater isn’t working – or even if it is and you’d like to have it checked out while having your car serviced – call and set an appointment today with the service department at McDonough Nissan. Whether you bought your car from us or someone else, our courteous service professionals will get you back on the road fast and at a highly competitive price.

Posted in Service & Parts