Is your car heater not giving out hot air? Here are a few things you can do about a Ford Explorer heater blowing cold air.
Have you turned on your Ford explorer’s heater only to find that it’s blowing cold air? It’s frustrating when your car blows cold air instead of warm air in the winter season. There can be numerous reasons, like low coolant level in the reservoir or problems in the thermostat or heater core, resulting in hot air.
The article below describes the working of car heaters and the reasons for blowing hot air on chill winter days. So, keep reading this article to know more about this information.
How Does A Car Heater Work?
A car heater helps keep you warm when the outside temperature is cold or windy.
A car naturally produces heat when it is running. It has an internal combustion engine, which produces a lot of heat energy because it burns an air-fuel mixture. The engine can become overheated if it is run continuously. So, it needs to let out heat.
Most of the heat goes away through the exhaust valve. The rest of the heat is transferred to the coolant. Coolant is a fluid that helps run the engine at an ideal temperature. It continuously moves around the engine’s components to prevent it from overheating.
Once the coolant reaches the desired temperature(200 degrees Fahrenheit), the thermostat valve opens, and the warm coolant moves to the radiator for cooling. It is then pumped by the water pump, where the coolant will be directed back to the engine head and piston.
When you feel cold and want the car heater to work, the car uses some part of the coolant to blow hot air inside. The coolant goes from the radiator into a mini radiator or heater core.
The heater core is a heat exchanger mounted just under the car’s dashboard. A blower motor uses the hot air produced by the hot coolant inside the heater core, thus heating you up. A valve regulates the flow of coolant inside the heater core. When it cools down sufficiently, it is again pumped back into the engine.
One thing you must understand is that a car’s heating system greatly depends on the coolant. It will only work effectively if the coolant is in an appropriate amount. So, you need to check the coolant levels from time to time. Once the coolant level is low, you must add coolant to the car. Additionally, the radiator and heater core must be kept neat and clean to remove the engine’s heat effectively.
Why is My Heater Blowing Cold Air?
#1. Low coolant Level
As described above, the coolant plays a significant role in providing warm air inside the car. The car heating mechanism entirely depends on whether the levels of coolant are sufficient.
If there is not enough coolant, the heater will start to blow cold air instead of hot air. So, once you get a low coolant indication on the dashboard, you should always open the coolant reservoir and add coolant immediately during the winters.
If you have recently filled the coolant reservoir and the car heater is blowing cold air, you need to check for leaks. Sometimes radiator hoses can get cracked or loose and cause the coolant to leak. There may be a problem with the heater core as well. The heater core might break with time which can result in this issue.
#2. Jammed Blend Door
The blend door is the door that allows the warm air from the heater core to flow around the car’s cabin. Sometimes, it gets jammed, which causes warm air to not come inside the car. As a result, the heater will blow cold air.
Again, there can be a problem with the blend door actuator. If this is the issue, you can fix it easily. But sometimes, the blend door might be completely broken, in which case you must replace it completely. You can take the car to the nearest professional service, and they will repair or replace the blend door.
#3. Water Leaks
Water leak issues can affect the vehicle’s heating and cooling system. The radiator hose can crack or damage with time. Seals can also get loosened with time which results in water leakages. So, if your car is blowing cold air after switching on the heater, you should check your water tank.
Park your car for a few minutes in a safe place, and if you observe a pool of liquid underneath the car, the water is probably leaking. Take your vehicle to the nearest garage to inspect the leaks. It does not cause a lot to fix this issue.
#4. Heater Core Issues
The heater core is another vital component that plays an essential role in the car’s heating system. If you are turning on the heater and it’s blowing cold air, it can be because of core issues. The heater core is made of either brass or aluminum tubes. These tubes can get clogged with dust or dirt with time. As a result, enough hot air from the engine cannot enter the heater core.
The best thing you can do is to flush the coolant from the reservoir every few months. It helps remove contaminants from the coolant, and thus heater core is less likely to choke.
Another thing you should remember is that the heater core in the car is a heat exchanger. The hot coolant exchanges heat with the air. But if a sufficient amount of air cannot reach the heater core, the heater will blow cold air.
#5. Air Bubbles Entering The Cooling System
Air bubbles can accumulate inside the cooling system. The system works on a closed loop. The coolant flows through the hose to provide adequate cooling when necessary. But, an air bubble in the cooling system can create blockages inside the hoses, which can result in overheating the engine.
The engine can become so overheated that it can blow the head gasket. So, take the car to the nearest car repair service so that they will remove the air bubbles.
#6. Issue With The Thermostat
Does your car thermostat stay remain at C despite starting the car? If yes, then there may be a problem with the thermostat.
The thermostat housing is located near the dashboard. It opens when the coolant takes up the heat up to a specific temperature and needs to go into the radiator. If the thermostat is not working correctly, then hot coolant will not flow into the heater core, which is why your heater may not be working.
The best thing is you can change the thermostat and then check whether the car heater is blowing hot or cold air. If the heater is still blowing cold air, it could be because of other issues.
#7. Heater Control Issues
Sometimes the car’s heating system works perfectly, but it still blows cold air. It can be because of heater control issues. The heater control valve works to regulate the flow of hot coolant inside the heater core. It can get clogged with dust and dirt, which causes the heater to blow cold air.
There can also be a wiring problem in the heater control valve, resulting in this issue. So, you need to inspect the heater control and, if required, replace it with a new one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my car blowing out cold air when the heat is on?
Here are a few reasons this might be happening:
- Low coolant in the reservoir
- Bad thermostat
- The heater control is not working properly
- The issue in the heater core
- jam in blend door.
How do you fix your heater when it’s blowing out cold air?
Below are a few ways you can fix your heater if it is blowing cold air.
- Check your vehicle thermostat. If it’s staying on C, then there may be an issue with it, and it needs to be replaced.
- Investigate the heater control valve
- Inspect the radiator hoses
- Check the coolant reservoir.
How do u know if your heater core is bad?
Here are a few signs of a bad heater core.
- If there is fog inside your vehicle, it can be because of the malfunctioning of the heater core.
- You will also have a sweet smell inside the car. It is not because of any perfume or doughnuts. The coolant may leak from the heater core, which has a sweet, musty smell.
- You have filled the coolant reservoir today, and it will empty or less the next day.
- If there is cold air blowing from the heater.
How expensive is it to replace a heater core?
The heater core plays a vital role in the car’s heating system. But it can damage with time and need to be replaced. You will have to spend between $100 to $300 to replace the heater core.
We have discussed above some possible reasons why a car heater blows cold air when the outside weather is too cold. It will help you investigate the matter thoroughly if you face heater issues in your vehicle.
Sometimes you might have the reverse issue where the AC (sometimes of a particular car manufacturer) is not cooling properly or is blowing cool air only on the passenger side. We have covered those issues for you as well
Thank you for reading this article!