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Why Won’t My Car Heater Work

Here at Advanced Radiators, we understand how important car heaters are. Having a problem with your heater in your vehicle will not only result in a very chilly cabin in the colder months, but also difficulties getting rid of the effects of ice and fog. To understand why your car heater is not working properly it is a good idea to first be clear about just how the equipment works.

Did you know, for example, that the method for warming up a car’s interior is very similar to the technique used to keep your vehicle’s engine cool? This is because the entire system is hooked together and function on the same circuit. With this in mind, coolant will be circulating through an engine and absorbing heat from it when your engine is running. This heat is then exchanged with air that is outside of the vehicle — the part of the process where your car radiator will come into play — with a heater core making use of the same hot coolant in order to keep a cabin at a desired temperature.

Due to this setup, it’s a good idea to first check that the flow of coolant into the heater core is fine should your car heater stop working. The flow may simply be restricted as a result of sediment and grime accumulating and building up, usually within the actual heater core.

Found this to be a problem in your car?

Then follow this simple guide to try and solve the issue:

  1. Once the car is cold, disconnect the heater hoses at the water pump.
  2. Push both the coolant and any built-up sediment and grime backward and out of the inlet hose by flushing the system using compressed air.
  3. Fill the heater core with tap water a few times and continue the flushing out process.
  4. Refill the heater core this time using mixed coolant and reattach each of the heater hoses.

This isn’t a tricky job but it can be a messy one. If you want to avoid a mess or don’t feel confident doing the task yourself, find somewhere that offers this service. Still find that your car heater isn’t working after ensuring the flow of the coolant is fine? Then carry out checks for any of the following issues and work to get them fixed as soon as you can:

  • A blown fuse.
  • Any dirty, loose, trapped or disconnected wires.
  • Corrosion of the heater motor’s earth connection.
  • A leak in the cooling system which is causing a low antifreeze or water level within the car radiator.
  • A malfunctioning thermostat which is failing to enable the car engine to warm up correctly.
  • A malfunctioning blower fan.


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