Why Does My Car Heater Take Forever To Warm Up?

We here at Meadows Automotive sympathize. There is nothing worse than freezing in your car during our brutal Michigan winters. You think the more you drive the warmer you’ll get, yet nothing happens. The air blowing through the vents remains frigid. This is a sure sign something is up that shouldn’t be, so we recommend you bring your vehicle in for an inspection.

Heater Blower

If you turn up the fan and nothing happens – no wind or no increase in wind force – your heater blower might be malfunctioning. This is also called your fan motor, and it pushes the warm air through the vehicle’s vents in the winter. It handles the AC’s cold air when you flip it on in the summer, too, so this engine part is crucial to your comfort system. We recommend having your comfort system serviced regularly per your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

Heater Core

Your heater core can fail, and signs that it’s doing so include no heat, excessive window fog, coolant leaks under the dashboard, low coolant, your vehicle overheats, and you smell coolant inside the vehicle cabin. If your heater won’t heat up, your heater core may be the culprit. Heater core replacement can be expensive but bear in mind, regular maintenance can detect issues with the heater core early to help keep down repair costs.

Low or Dirty Coolant

Even though we call it coolant, radiator fluid is equally important in the winter. Oddly enough, your vehicle’s heater works on coolant, so you must have it serviced in the fall just as you would in the spring if it’s time. You see coolant cycles through your vehicle’s engine and absorbs the heat the engine generates. The heater core uses hot coolant to increase air temperature. Low coolant means less hot coolant for the heater core.


As with your home’s comfort system, your vehicle has a thermostat that works in tandem with the radiator and coolant to ensure enough coolant circulates to prevent your engine from overheating and to provide the heater core the fuel it needs to warm the cabin. If your thermostat is faulty, such as being stuck open, your engine will not get hot enough to warm the air coming in through the vents because the engine is constantly being cooled.

Don’t suffer any longer! Bring your vehicle into Meadows Automotive in Waterford Township, MI, and let us diagnose and repair your heating problem. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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