Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why Does It Take a Long Time for a Heater to Warm Up in Winter?

asked by on

Why does it take a long time for a heater to warm up in winter?

A: The heater in a vehicle gets its warmth fro...

The heater in a vehicle gets its warmth from the engine. The engine has to warm up, and heat up the liquid coolant circulating throughout the engine, before any heat is available for people comfort. During winter, when outside temperatures are lower, that process takes longer. An efficient heater relies on the engine’s cooling system components to all be functioning well.

A few things that cause automotive heaters to work less well are low coolant levels in the radiator, a faulty heater valve, or the thermostat is stuck open. Have a certified mechanic replace your thermostat if necessary or diagnose and repair other cooling system issues, such as leaking coolant.

One more thing to be aware of: it’s possible for a vehicle to be warming up to proper operating temperature, but be unable to provide enough warm air flow from the heater due to a restricted cabin air filter which needs to be replaced.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I cannot get yhe upper oil pan off, i have removed all screws, how do you remove the lower baffle and oil pump strainer/pickup

Chances are high that you have a bolt or two hidden out of sight. I believe the part you are having trouble with is sometimes referred to as a "main bearing support plate." Sometimes this part is also called a...

Q: Truck won't start when outside temp drops below 45 degrees.

Hello There, It sounds like you may have a fuel pressure problem. Try turning the key on 3-4 times before trying to start the motor as this will cause the fuel pump to come on priming the fuel system with...

Q: Heater not working

Your vehicle has a control valve in the heater hoses the either blocks or allows the hot coolant to flow into the heating system. This control valve is operated by engine vacuum via several solenoids that are controlled by the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...