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Why isn’t my car blowing warm air?

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You jump into your car on a frozen morning, crank up the heater and just when it gets toasty warm, cold air starts shooting from the blower.

A broken heater can do more than make you miserably cold. It can set you up for a dangerous drive by preventing the defroster from blowing warm air to your windshield to defrost or defog, making it impossible for you to see the road.

A lack of heat in a vehicle can usually be traced to one or more of the following:

The heater core, which acts like a small radiator, passes hot air from under the dashboard into the vehicle. It’s one of the most important parts of your vehicle’s heating system and replacing it can amount to several hundred dollars due to the complexity and length of time to replace one, according to Angie’s List.

A decrease in the coolant level or a leak in the coolant system is a common reason for a heater not blowing warm air. It’s an issue that requires a look by a trusted mechanic because running a car on too little coolant can damage the engine — a super costly fix.

A thermostat that has gone bad won’t allow the heater to warm up, and if the problem is the coolant, it’s likely that it contains rust particles or other contaminants that are blocking the heating core from circulating air into the inside of your car, adds Angie’s List.

An ounce of prevention is having your mechanic check your coolant level and all the parts of your heating system on a regular basis, including belts, hoses, and coolant. New cars typically don’t need a coolant check until they reach 60,000 to 100,000 miles, and actually, later model cars don’t normally experience heating issues, notes Angie’s List.

Douglas Automotive : 123 E. Virginia, Crystal Lake, IL 815.356.0440 : 417 W. Main Street, Barrington, IL : 847. 381.0454 : 416 Northwest Highway, Fox River Grove, IL : 847.639.4552 : www.douglasautomotive.com

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