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Re: Heaters slow at warming up
In normal circumstances the heater wouldn't begin blowing warm air until the vehicle has travelled 5 miles - call it 5 minutes. That's because the thermostat only begins to open at around that mileage/time and allows coolant to circulate around the engine. Before that - there just isn't any warm coolant in the heater matrix.
After 10 miles/10 minutes of normal driving the engine will be at its correct operating temperature and the coolant will be hotter - as will the circulating coolant in the heater matrix. That's when the heater blows the hottest air.
If you're sure that the heater has lost efficiency it may be due to air being trapped in the heater matrix/coolant system, or a blockage caused by limescale/engine corrosion within the heater matrix itself.
To remove any trapped air, set the heater to maximum, remove the radiator cap/coolant bottle cap and let the engine tick over for 10 minutes.
If the heater matrix is blocked/partially blocked, drain the coolant system, refill with plain water, set the heater control to open .. and let the engine tick over for 10 minutes. Drain it again.
Refill again with plain water and add a can of 'radiator flush'. Follow the instructions on the can of 'radiator flush'.
Drain again and refill with coolant/water.
If the heater is still inefficient then the only option is to replace it - and that's not an easy job.
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What you describe is true for many home heaters, but maybe not true very often for cars. For most cars - especially older ones, the fan speed is independent of the engine temperature, and the heater will not "blow warm" until the engine has warmed up. There are also many new cars that let you set a temperature, and then automatically change the fan as appropriate. Those have many different behaviors, but in order for others to provide help I think it might be helpful if you said which model and year car you were asking about.
sounds like a possible plugged heater core, restricting the flow of coolant. those require a special tool to remove, quick disconnect, just remove both hose from the heater core and back flush the heater core with a garden hose, NOTICE DO NOT DO THIS WHILE HOT IT WILL BURN YOU, this can make a mess, flush it both ways untill it flows clean and with even pressure, then refill the coolant and road test the vehicle to see if is changed.
This sounds like your automatic climate control is starting to malfunction. Check to make sure your coolant is full, and temp is not fluctuating, and when your vehicle is warmed up, try using the low setting and feel for air temp. Is it warmer than if you turn it up? When at idle the vehicle is not producing heat the same as if you are driving, putting load on your engine and more air/fuel combustion means more heat, which is why you can feel heat while driving. Ideally you should feel heat as soon as the engine is warming up, getting hotter as it reaches peak temp of 190-210 degrees. You can try to make sure your water control valve is not blocked, and all electrical connections are secure. This will be located close to your firewall and connected to the coolant tubes that run into your firewall to your heater-core. Also use recirc (setting)to try to summon as much heat as possible, however ultimately, you may need to take you vehicle in for service. If it only warms when driving defrost will be an issue. Good luck.
Yes. Flushing the radiator would be a great first step. Check that your heater core feed and return hoses are not leaking or clogged. If it is still acting up, you may have a clogged or leaking heater core. Good Luck.
Your engine coolant is what your heater gets the heat from. You need to start your car and let it warm up for awhile before any heat will come. This is how most cars heaters work. Yours sounds like it is working fine; most cars take a little while to warm up.
Since warm air eventually comes out when the vehicle is in motion, you may have an air mix door that is stuck in fresh or is somehow blocking warm air from the heater core.
To see if the air mix control motor is bad, you need to retrieve your Diagnostic trouble codes (DTC's) from the heater control panel. To run the diagnostic function, do the following: 1. Turn the ignition switch ON (II). 2. Turn the fan switch OFF. 3. Press the recirc control button to select Recirc (recirc light on.) 4. Press and hold the recirc button to select Fresh (recirc light off) and continue to hold the button down until the recirc light comes on for two seconds and then goes off. 5. If the system is okay, the recirc light stays off. 6. If there is a problem, the recirc light blinks the DTC to indicate the trouble. One blink=a problem in the air mix control motor circuit. Two blinks=problem in the mode control motor circuit Three blinks=problem in evaporator temp sensor circuit. 7. Turn the ignition switch off to cancel the self diagnosis function. Run the diagnostic again after repairs are complete.
Note: the air mix control motor has a rod which connects to a plastic link. The link controls the mix doors and also connects to the heater control water valve via a cable. The air mix motor may check okay, but if the link is broken then you will still have problems. the motor is on the bottom of the heater unit in the front passenger's foot well.