Getting an annual heater inspection is an important safety check for your vehicle. In addition to heating the car's cabin, your heater controls the car's defroster. A broken or failing heater can prevent the defroster from clearing ice and frost off your windshield, limiting visibility, and hindering your ability to drive safely. No one likes to drive while shivering but, more importantly, it's dangerous to drive with a frosted windshield.
As temperatures start to dip below freezing, it’s important to come in for a heater inspection to ensure your heating system will be going strong all season long.
When should I get a winter heater inspection?
The short answer is: right about now! Ideally, you should get a winter heater inspection in the late fall, before the bitter cold temperatures are here to stay. If your heater is broken, it may take time to fix it.
There are a number of reasons why the heater in your vehicle might not be working properly. Here are the most common ones:
- a low antifreeze or water level in the radiator due to a leak in the cooling system.
- a bad thermostat that isn’t allowing the engine to properly warm up.
- a blower fan that isn’t working properly.
- contaminated coolant is blocking the heating core from circulating air into the cabin properly.
If you find that your heater isn't blowing hot air, or isn't working at all, you should make an appointment as soon as possible. That said, preventative maintenance is always a good idea! Getting a pre-season inspection will give your mechanic time to catch any small fixes before they turn into big repairs.
Read more: Winter is coming! It's time to get a heater inspection.
The heating system is complicated. Unless you have experience with car maintenance, it’s best to have a trusted technician diagnose the problem.
At V&F, we strive to provide our customers with a well-rounded knowledge of all things automotive. Since 1988, our family-owned and operated service center has been providing top-quality auto repair services to Agawam, Feeding Hills, Southwick, West Springfield, and the surrounding Massachusetts communities. If your car needs maintenance or repair before this winter season, call us at (413)314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
This article was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated.