How to Determine What's Wrong with Your Car's Heating System

If you live in a temperate part of Australia, you may really enjoy your summers as you can drive around in your car with the windows rolled down. However, winter is around the corner and this means that it's going to get colder, of course. As you will have to use your heater to keep warm you need to get to the bottom of the problems you've been experiencing. What do you need to know to fix this system, before the cold weather arrives again?

How Does the System Work?

The first thing you need to understand is that your car's heating system relies on two different systems in order to work properly. The main radiator, which is at the front of the car, is used to divert water in different directions, both to cool down the engine and to warm you up inside the cabin. Water circulates through this radiator under pressure and it's important that it is maintained properly. Remember also that there is a secondary radiator, which is in between the engine and the cabin. This is attached to a fan, which blows warm air through the radiator via ducts to the passengers within.

Could Be Simple?

Before you do anything else, it's always a good idea to see if the thermostat is working correctly. This device regulates the flow of water through the system and it is a simple component that is either open or closed. If it's not working, a sufficient amount of warm water may not be diverted towards the passenger radiator.

Looking Further

It's also possible that the radiator and heating/cooling system are not working properly because of a buildup of sediment over time. Sometimes, the rubber piping can deteriorate inside and this residue can cause a blockage. Alternatively, the type of fluid you use when you top up the radiator may be inefficient and contribute to the issue.

Flushing It out

To properly flush the radiator system, you will have to use compressed air and you may have to try the process a number of times before you get a real improvement. It's best if you do this with the right type of equipment and put the process into skilled hands. A full system flush can take time and you need to be careful that you don't damage any of the sensitive, internal components.

What to Do Next

This may be a better job for your mechanic, who will also be able to tell you if you need to replace the entire radiator.