A Guide to Fixing Heaters if You’re in Auto Technician Training

auto service training

Driving in the winter brings with it a few risks that need to be addressed. As a professional, you will help people mitigate these risks and stay safe on the roads. Not only do heaters keep passengers toasty, they also prevent foggy windows and ice build-up. These are big safety hazards, as they obscure the driver’s field of vision and can cause accidents.

There are a few things to consider when diagnosing heater problems, and keeping an eye on simple factors like coolant will save time in the long run. There are also a few ways to fix heater issues that you should know. Read on for more about heater problems and how to fix them, just in time for the chilly season.

Basic Diagnostics for Auto Technician Training

In some cases, car heaters will start blowing out cold air instead of hot. Often, low coolant is the culprit. If coolant is low, there may be a leak causing it to drain. In this case, fixing the leak and refilling the coolant may be all you hate to do. If the coolant is not low, it might still not be heating up properly. Sometimes thermostats stick, preventing proper heater function.

Infrared thermometers can be used as helpful tools when checking coolant and checking the temperature in both the input and output hoses of the heater core. This can point to problems like a blocked heater core or a malfunctioning valve, which can both be indicated by a cold output hose. Auto service training familiarizes you with diagnostics so that you can help customers figure out why they may be having heater problems.

Checking coolant levels is part of diagnosing heater problems
Checking coolant levels is part of diagnosing heater problems

Know the Importance of a Heater Core After Auto Service Training

A heater core’s function is to take in coolant that has absorbed heat from the engine. It then uses this heat to blow hot air into the cabin. This is an important element in defogging windshields. In basic designs, the heater core uses a blend door to mix hot air with cold, outdoor air, regulating the temperature of the cabin.

When this function fails, it not only leaves passengers feeling chilly but can also cause the engine to overheat. If a driver notices a problem, it’s best to pull over and have it looked at. A big cue to do this is if the vents blow cold air and the temperature gauge is rising—in this case the issue can be a belt failure, where the belt responsible for the water pump or even the pump itself is broken. If the vehicle isn’t turned off soon, the engine can overheat and cause permanent damage.

Other Elements to Consider if the Heat Isn’t Working

There are other smaller parts that could be the issue when a car’s heating system isn’t doing its job properly. The experience you get in auto technician training prepares you to remember these possibilities. For example, blower fans are an obvious thing to check, but might slip your mind if you’re focused on other possible causes. Another sneaky culprit can be switches and dials on the dash—sometimes they just need to be replaced.

Heater issues are also often caused by dirt and grime build-up. This can happen in different parts of a coolant system. Flushing the system with fluid can remove blockages. In your career, you will encounter many different issues and heating problems are one where causes range from minor to severe. It’s your job to assess vehicles and make sure you don’t overlook simple solutions while in search of bigger problems.

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