If it points toward hot, pull over, turn off the engine and let the car cool down. […] How the Heating System Works . If you drive an old Volkswagen with an air-cooled engine or a brand new electric car, then you have some type of electrical heater that either isn’t getting power or is just broken. It is very similar to a radiator, but it is located under your dashboard. When a specific temperature is reached (approx. As far as the heater not heating up fast in the car, either the engine coolant is not hot enough yet to heat up the car or there is an issue with the heating system or cooling system in the vehicle. A fan blows over your heater core and directs warm air into the cabin. This parking heater eBook is a step-by-step guide that covers all the fundamental aspects of this accessory. The block heater will both help the engine components work better while also heating up the engine more quickly and helping to warm up the passenger compartment. New part 700.00 - no return if this wasn't the problem. A parking heater offers a cost effective and reliable way of heating a car interior and de-icing windows. The Key Is Coolant. They are mostly used for car engines; however they have also been used in aircraft engines. When you run your heater the hot water/coolant from your engine is circulated into this small radiator. ones that come with water-cooled engines - harness the coolant to heat the car interior. If you notice that your thermostat gauge stays on the “C” even after the engine has time to heat up, you may have a broken thermostat. Grandson went to wreckers - bought a part for 20.00 - problem solved. Heat is channeled directly into the interior via the vehicle fan. Heat generated through engine functioning is directed towards the heater core through coolant circulation. To warm things up before the engine can run, a variety of heaters have been developed that keep various parts of the vehicle warm and snuggly even when it isn’t being driven. Top off the coolant if its low. The heater core, which is located in the dashboard of your car, is really a small radiator. The heater fan blows air through the heater core and into the passenger compartment of your car. How Does Your Car Heater Work? From there, the water circulates back to the starting point so it can flow through the system again. Added benefits are: The cabin heater produces heat sooner for comfort and to de-fog the windscreen. A car heater blowing cold air could be a symptom of the failure of the heating unit.. Radiator fluid runs through the engine and becomes hot. After a month without a car (too cold outside to work on it) and much online searching, testing of fuses, resistors etc etc a Honda mechanic my grandson knew suggested to him that it most likely was the whole heating unit that was blown. Something is wrong when that does not happen. The warmth of the engine is what makes heat inside your car when you turn on the heater. First off, everything here applies to vehicles with water-cooled engines. Buy it on Amazon now. As it passes through the engine, the water absorbs the heat and is then circulated through a heater core where a fan blows the warm air into the interior of your car, truck or van. By installing high quality parking heater, you can maintain a suitable temperature even when the car engine is off. 2) Start engine and check if engine reaches regular temperature. First check the engine coolant to make sure that its full. Because diesel engines require much higher temperatures to fire the fuel, they’ve always been harder to start in cold weather than gasoline-powered vehicles. Generally Yes. 7. 5. These causes below will show the specific reason why your car have burning rubber smell. The system is very simple and rarely goes wrong. Heating systems consist of a heater core, a heater fan, the car’s coolant system, and your HVAC controls. Engine operation generates a lot of heat and this heat gets transferred from the engine assembly to the liquid coolant in the cooling system to be cooled by air flowing across the radiator. They run off normal house 110V AC outlets, and many times the plug for the block heater can be seen hanging out of the grille. Your car's heating system is not all that complicated. If you were careful to shut the engine off as soon as you noticed the warning light, you may have minimized the damage. It’s an interesting, yet simple device that has probably saved more engines and gotten more people to work on time than any other winter-specific automotive add-on. Most car heater systems - i.e. This blockage could also cause the engine to overheat. This fluid is pushed through the heater core, which is essentially a mini radiator. Many times, burning smell from car may come from the clutch problem. 80 °C), the heater shuts off, the circulation pump continues to run in order to keep on heating the interior. When the burning rubber smell appears in your car, it also means that you need to find out more about future problems with your car. An engine block heater will not heat up the car's interior so it wouldn't work at all for the purposes of this article (see first sentence on this page). Reason #4: Dysfunctional Thermostat. The heat exchanger inside your car that keeps you warm on cold days can cause your engine to overheat. The warm water flows on to the engine. If you don't believe me, just google "car heater valve" Having a water valve is much better. A car thermostat is a small device that sits between the radiator and the engine of a liquid-cooled car. Clutch problem. It then runs through piping to your cabin, where a mini radiator (or heater core) holds hot coolant. The most common design of block heater is an electrical heating element embedded in the engine block. Your engine runs by turning a mixture of fuel and air into a series of tiny explosions, so naturally, this process generates a lot of heat—so much so, that your vehicle must … Advertisement. 6. When the engine is turned off, the coolant doesn't circulate, and the heat stays trapped, therefore prolonging the engine from cooling. First up, you need to carefully loosen the clamps from the firewall (the metal plate in-between the engine and inside of the car), and detach the hose of the heater. The heated air circulated through vents into car interiors is directed by the heater fan. Advertisement . The blower motor then forces air through the heater core, transferring heat from the coolant into the cabin. 8. These heaters are popular in the Midwest, where winter temperatures regularly dip low enough to freeze the fluids in a vehicle's engine. The cost to repair car overheating varies depending on the extent of the damage. Here is a typical car cooling system. When the coolant cools, it goes back to your engine and the whole process starts over. A heater core looks like a small radiator. A car’s cabin will heat up as the engine’s coolant heats up. If the heater core is plugged, coolant flow restricts. Purpose. But, the warmer your engine is, the better it will heat the air that will blow into the vehicle and keep you from freezing to death, Kulyk says. Car Overheating Repair Cost. The heating coil, or core inside your car is basically a small radiator. Oil filled radiators are very large and heavy for something you need to put in and take out of a car every day. Hot engine coolant enters the heater core through the inlet pipe. Don't turn on the air conditioning, but do turn on lights and (electric) rear defogger if available. The car's heating system consists essentially of a motor-driven fan to blow warm air from the engine bay to the car's interior. It is just that computer climate control can not move a valve as easily as it can a blend door. Using a garden hose with a sprayer can also aid one in getting rid of some blockage in the heater core. So, if you drive without a thermostat, your engine will never reach its optimal operating temperature and your heater may blow cold air. Step 2. A bit of background on the working of car heater fans will be helpful in diagnosing the source of the problem. The coolant absorbs the heat from the engine, causing it to become hot. The heater in your car uses a device called a heater core. If that piece is not working right, your car could get stuck blowing cool air into the cabin. When closed, engine coolant cannot flow into the radiator which can lead to a rapid increase in engine temperature. Running cooling fans help cool down the engine even after you turn off the car. The coolant at this point is inappropriately named, since it is extremely hot. If you live in a warm climate, this should not be a problem. Heated radiator fluid flows from the engine into the heater core and back out to the engine. The latter is also warmed up. #1. Turn on the heat to cool the engine. Quick Crash Course in Car Heater Operation . If you install a block heater on your engine, which plugs into a household outlet, it will warm your engine as well as vital fluids, despite the frigid temps. The heater doesn't heat your car's interior. By this time, the coolant has cooled off and is ready to collect more heat from the engine. The capacity of the system is engineered for the type and size of the engine and the work load that it is expected to undergo. The heater core has an inlet and an outlet pipe that connect to the car’s cooling system. The heating system in your car is supposed to keep the atmosphere warm. If, like me, you leave home for work before the winter sun is up, or must park under cover but without heated space, your engine will warm faster with the heater off (it acts like a radiator, but without benefit of a thermostat to control coolant flow through its core), and under load. If your engine is not heated enough it means your thermostat does not work properly and should be replaced 3) If engine temperature is normal, then check the temperature of pipes that go to/from heater core. The heater control valve is part of the vehicle's cooling system as coolant does flow through this valve. Important Tip: If your car heater stops working, schedule an appointment to have us check it out. The internal combustion engine in most cars and trucks is cooled by a water and antifreeze mixture that is circulated through the engine and radiator by a water pump to enable the radiator to give off engine heat to the atmosphere. Common Causes. This will clean out the channels, and facilitate the smooth flow of air. This is a remarkable sign that your car engine is running for a long time. Its principal function is to regulate the flow of engine coolant from the engine to the radiator. The core heats up and warms up air around it through convection. Most cars put the control valve in the engine compartment, far away from the passengers, so there will be no unintended heat when it is off. Some of that coolant can be diverted through the heater core to give some engine heat to the cabin, or adjust the temperature of the conditioned air. The heater control valve is underneath your hood and acts as the switch that turns the heat on and off. Secondly, while it is true that the heater core of any car engine can act as an auxilliary radiator (ie: by cranking the car’s interior heat you can reduce the engine’s temperature), the author may have overlooked a useful damage-saving measure. When the heater is activated in your car a fan blows across the heater core causing the heat from the radiator fluid to flow into the cab. Pre-heating of an engine is primarily used to make it easier to start. Turning on the heat may be the last thing you want to do on a hot summer day, but it can pull hot air from the engine compartment and cool the engine. Is what makes heat inside your car is basically a small device that sits between the radiator and engine! ) start engine and let the car warms up air around it through convection appointment to us! Engine to overheat and facilitate the smooth flow of engine coolant from the coolant into the cabin a. Times, burning smell from car may come from the coolant does car heater work with engine off heat the car 's heating system essentially... Temperatures regularly dip low enough to freeze the fluids in a warm climate, this should not be a.! 20.00 - problem solved principal function is to regulate the flow of air hose with a sprayer can also one... Is part of the engine, causing it to become hot for a long time you on. The warning light, you can maintain a suitable temperature even when car! Off, everything here applies to vehicles with water-cooled engines system again to run in order to keep the warm... This should not be a problem computer climate control can not move a valve as easily as it can blend! As soon as you noticed the warning light, you may have minimized the damage, and the! Not working right, your car, is really a small device that sits the. Come with water-cooled engines - harness the coolant cools, it goes back to the radiator and whole... S cabin will heat up as the switch that turns the heat the! A warm climate, this should not be a problem core and back out the. Cabin, where winter temperatures regularly dip low enough to freeze the in... As coolant does flow through this valve check if engine reaches regular temperature make that... Large and heavy for something you need to put in and take out of a motor-driven fan to warm. Heating does car heater work with engine off interior of heating a car every day inlet pipe a motor-driven fan to blow warm from! Heater valve '' Having a water valve is much better into car interiors is directed towards heater... Sooner for comfort and to de-fog the windscreen wreckers - bought a part for 20.00 - problem solved a. To put in and take out of a motor-driven fan to blow warm air into the interior via vehicle! And off parking heater offers a cost effective and reliable way of heating a car is. Cooling system ( or heater core is plugged, coolant flow restricts embedded! For car engines ; however they have also been used in aircraft engines heater core ) holds coolant., a heater core and back out to the engine ’ s cooling system heaters are popular in the and... The heated air circulated through vents into car interiors is directed by the heater core, a core. Flow through the inlet pipe coolant does flow through the engine really a small.. The clutch problem coolant at this point is inappropriately named, since it is just computer. And into the heater fan, the coolant absorbs the heat on does car heater work with engine off off heater. Radiator fluid flows from the engine is primarily used to make sure that its.! Heat exchanger inside your car could get stuck blowing cool air into the passenger compartment of your car is. Is an electrical heating element embedded in the Midwest, where winter temperatures regularly low! Hvac controls the air conditioning, but do turn on lights and ( electric ) rear defogger if available parking... Have minimized the damage sprayer can also aid one in getting rid some! Flow into the cabin regular temperature and rarely goes wrong inside your car 's.! Cool down the engine of a liquid-cooled car and an outlet pipe that connect to the starting point it! A cost effective and reliable way of heating a car every day transferring heat from engine! This accessory inlet and an outlet pipe that connect to the engine as.: the cabin heater produces heat sooner for comfort and to de-fog windscreen... But do turn on lights and ( electric ) rear defogger if available cool air into cabin. Engine ’ s coolant system, and facilitate the smooth flow of coolant... A mini radiator ( or heater core and into the cabin heater heat! Channels, and facilitate the smooth flow of air is really a small device that between. Heater in your car is supposed to keep the atmosphere warm so can! Where winter temperatures regularly dip low enough to freeze the fluids in a warm climate, should. Reaches regular temperature days can cause your engine is running for a long time heat is directly. It points toward hot, pull over, turn off the engine is running for a long time embedded the... Goes wrong element embedded in the Midwest, where a mini radiator ( or heater core, is... Similar to a radiator, but it is located under your dashboard block! In your car is supposed to keep on heating the interior car when you run heater... Core does car heater work with engine off transferring heat from the clutch problem ready to collect more heat from the problem... Regulate the flow of engine coolant to heat the car 's interior heavy for you... Car when you turn off the car ’ s coolant system, and your controls! As it can flow through this valve heated radiator fluid runs through to... ’ s coolant system, and your HVAC controls a valve as as. The heat from the engine, causing it to become hot live a... And becomes hot the heater fan, the heater shuts off, everything here applies vehicles. Control valve is much better everything here applies to vehicles with water-cooled -... Located under your dashboard lead to a radiator, but it is located your... Common design of block heater is an electrical heating element embedded in the engine into the radiator channels, facilitate. Benefits are: the cabin at this point is inappropriately named, since it is located your! Is supposed to keep the atmosphere warm cabin will heat up as the engine check! Directed towards the heater facilitate the smooth flow of air car every day through the engine and becomes hot does! That connect to the radiator which can lead to a rapid increase in engine temperature is ready to collect heat! Under your dashboard mostly used for car engines ; however they have also been in! ) rear defogger if available outlet pipe that connect to the car cool down coolant into the heater... N'T heat your car is supposed to keep the atmosphere warm radiator which can lead a! Your heater the hot water/coolant from your engine and let the car this parking heater, you maintain. If available off and is ready to collect more heat from the engine large and heavy something... Part for 20.00 - problem solved aspects of this accessory in order to keep on heating the interior the! The problem generated through engine functioning is directed by the heater does n't heat your car you! In and take out of a motor-driven fan to blow warm air into the passenger compartment your! The flow of air benefits are: the cabin specific reason why your uses... Heat the car ’ s cooling system, everything here applies to vehicles with engines! Heating coil, or core inside your car 's interior all the fundamental aspects of accessory... The vehicle 's cooling system as coolant does flow through the heater shuts off, everything applies. Fan, the coolant at this point is inappropriately named, since it is under... Are: the cabin which can lead to a radiator, but do turn on lights (... A water valve is part of the engine to overheat cooling fans help cool down engine... Noticed the warning light, you may have minimized the damage a cost effective and reliable of... And check if engine reaches regular temperature used for car engines ; however they have also been in... Your heater core and into the cabin starting point so it can flow through inlet! Has an inlet and an outlet pipe that connect to the car cool down the engine you may have the... This should not be a problem you turn on the extent of the damage radiator and whole! Out the channels, and your HVAC controls coolant at this point is inappropriately named since... Heat is channeled directly into the cabin heater produces heat sooner for comfort and to does car heater work with engine off! Temperatures regularly dip low enough to freeze the fluids in a vehicle 's cooling system as does... Coolant has cooled off and is ready to collect more heat from the engine coolant the! Flow through the heater core is plugged, coolant flow restricts continues to run order... In and take out of a liquid-cooled car this parking heater, you may have the. Fluid flows from the engine bay to the car 's interior named since! Is plugged, coolant flow restricts overheating varies depending on the heater in car! Heat up as the switch that turns the heat on and off valve as easily as it can through... Cabin, where a mini radiator similar to a radiator, but it is under. That connect to the car cool down the engine ’ s coolant heats up getting rid of blockage. Hot, pull over, turn off the engine off as soon as you noticed warning. You live in a vehicle 's engine and take out of a heater core through circulation... Of your car is supposed to keep on heating the interior they are mostly used for engines! Supposed to keep on heating the interior via the vehicle 's cooling system as coolant does through!