3 Signs Indicating a Problem with the Heating System in Your Car

3 Signs Indicating a Problem with the Heating System in Your Car


You may think that there’s nothing to worry about, in regards to the heating system of your car, since all it does is direct heat from the engine into the passenger cabin. However, keep in mind that there isn’t an electrical system out there that will work perfectly forever. That’s why whenever you notice one or more of the following signs, this means that it’s time to have your car’s heating system inspected by a professional.

Takes Longer Than Usual to Heat Up

Once they’re running, engines warm-up, so every vehicle that can go from point A to point B has access to a heat supply. This also applies to electric vehicles, since batteries and motors heat up when being used. Therefore, once you reach your destination, you shouldn’t be shivering. If your heating system is taking longer than usual to warm up, this might be a sign of a clogged vent or a broken fan.

There’s a Sickly Sweet Smell

The radiator in your car is not the only component that uses coolant. There is also the heater core, which purpose is to collect engine heat for the HVAC system of your car. The heater core can sometimes spring a leak, much like the radiator, and on most models this lets engine coolant leak into the passenger cabin. That’s why if you notice a puddle of coolant underneath your car, you should check both the heater core and the radiator, however, if you smell it in the cabin, then it’s probably the core.

The Heat Gauge Is Off the Charts

In some cases, the problem is not related to the system itself but is associated with the instruments that measure it. Every car has one thermostat, at least, to measure the temperature of the engine, and cars with automatic climate control can also measure the cabin temperature. The thermostat reports the engine temperature to the driver, and it also regulates the coolant flow, meaning that if it breaks in the wrong way, very bad things may occur.


A car’s heating system is closely tied to the cooling system of the engine, therefore, a bad heating system is much more dangerous than how it initially appears. Therefore, if you begin to notice signs that the heating system is not operating the way it should, you need to have the system inspected by a professional as soon as possible.

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