What is the best way to turn on my car's heat?

It is important to have your vehicle warm and safe when the temperatures drop. The in-cabin heater will provide all you need to keep warm. What is the best way to turn the heater on my car?

Turn off the engine and close the windows. After you have started the car, set the fan speed and internal temperature. You can warm the cabin quicker by using the recirculation switch. The air from the inside is being recycled and not taken from the outside. 

In this guide, we walk you through the ways to use your car’s heater. You will also learn what might be stopping heat from your system.

Índice de Contenido
  1. How to turn on the heater in your car
    1. 1. Close-up
    2. 2. Start engine
    3. 3. Rent a Car
    4. 4. Set the Temperature
    5. 5. Variable fan speed
    6. 6. Utilize Recirculation
  2. Defroster vs. Heater
  3. Why Isn’t the Car Heater Working Right?
    1. 1. Defective Blower Motor Resistor
    2. 2. Malfunctioning Heater Fan
    3. 3. Broken Controls
    4. 4. Faulty electrical connections
    5. 5. Heating Core Clogged
    6. 6. Broken Thermostat
    7. 7. Low coolant levels
    8. 8. Systems/Leakage Radiator

How to turn on the heater in your car

1. Close-up

Insulate your car's cabin before you do any other work. There’s no reason to pump out heat when it can easily escape from the vehicle.

First, close all doors. Also, make sure that the windows and sunroof are closed. 

2. Start engine

The engine must be turned on to get the heater at the correct temperature. Yes, it’s possible to run the climate controls with the key turned to the ON position, but it’s not going to be effective.

To get maximum heat, you must turn on the engine. It’s also not good to run these accessories with the engine off because they just drain the battery. 

3. Rent a Car

Although you can turn on the heater before driving, it is more efficient if the engine speed is increased. That’s why we recommend you head on your way and then turn on the heater.

Higher RPMs not only make the heater more efficient, but also encourage better cabin temperatures. Keep the motor revving and you will reap the warmth benefits. 

4. Set the Temperature

You can adjust the temperature in different ways depending on which climate control system is used. If there’s a digital display, you can push the up and down buttons to adjust the temperature.

To raise the temperature, turn the knob to the right. The temperature would be decreased if you turned it the opposite way. Certain vehicles have dual-zone and tri-zone climate controls. There are various buttons for each system. 

If you are not sure how your heater controller works, check the owner’s manual for your car.

5. Variable fan speed

A fan-shaped icon is also a good idea. This indicates the speed that the heat is expelled. In some cases, this is a button, while other times, it’s a knob.

You can turn up the fan to increase the heat. You can also turn the fan down to reduce heat. 

6. Utilize Recirculation

There’s a recirculation button that you also want to push. This setting will make the heat more efficient and warm. 

Normal operations see the car warm the outside air and then blow it inside. With the recirculation function, the heat is circulated through the cabin, so it doesn’t have to heat up as much. 

Defroster vs. Heater

You will find a defrost option in your climate controls settings. One could exist for both the front and back windows. While this can be used with a warm temperature, it’s not the same thing as the heater.

To remove condensation from windows, defrosters can be used. This uses the air conditioning system to dehumidify air. The condensation will quickly evaporate if you keep the air dry. You will need to shut off the recirculation in this instance to prevent moisture from building up. 

RELATED: Car Heater Blowing Cold air (7 Causes & How To Fix it)

Why Isn’t the Car Heater Working Right?

1. Defective Blower Motor Resistor

Do you get air out of your vents easily? The blower motor resistor might be the problem. 

This part may malfunction, and cause problems with certain speed settings. It is worth checking if heat can be achieved with different settings and not at other speeds. 

2. Malfunctioning Heater Fan

The heater fan can also cause problems that prevent air from blowing into the cabin correctly. To circulate heat from the system, the fan is necessary.

The fan could make strange sounds just before it stops, which can give you some warning. You will get very cold quickly, regardless of whether you have a fan. 

3. Broken Controls

Today’s modern climate control systems contain a lot of touchscreen and feedback systems that aren’t always reliable. If there’s a short or a broken control, you might not be able to adjust the system.

But even older systems are susceptible to failure. Broken dials or knobs can cause problems that need to be repaired.

4. Faulty electrical connections

To keep the climate control system running, it needs power and electrical connections. If there’s a broken wire or a short, you could notice problems.

If nothing seems to be working with the system, there’s always the chance that a fuse is blown. It's easy to locate the fuse you need by looking at the label. 

5. Heating Core Clogged

It isn’t often that a heater core will go bad, but it happens. The cooling system can be clogged by debris.

It happens most often when the radiator rusts. It can also break apart and get stuck in the heater core. It doesn't matter what, it must be replaced. 

6. Broken Thermostat

Problems with the thermostat are one of the biggest problems in climate control. You will see strange changes in temperature inside the cabin if the thermostat is not working properly.

It can also affect your regular air conditioning use. You need it to be replaced in order to get the temperature control back. 

7. Low coolant levels

There’s always the chance that the system doesn’t have enough coolant inside. Check the coolant levels easily and replenish if required. 

If the coolant is low, hot fluid can’t always make it to the heater core. This is why the cabin stays cold. It can also cause the engine to overheat since that warmth can’t be dissipated. 

8. Systems/Leakage Radiator

Is the coolant too low? This should always be your second question once you've topped up the coolant. A properly functioning cooling system should not need to be topped up with coolant. It should have the right amount.

However, if there’s a leak somewhere, you’ll notice that the levels continue to drop. You could have coolant leaking from your radiator. There’s also the chance that it could be a loose or broken hose. Permanent damage can result if coolant reaches the engine or heater core.

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