Can you even imagine life without the heater in your car on cold days? Most of us have never even driven a vehicle without a heater, and we really don’t plan to — until that bone chilling day comes when something goes wrong. If your ride has turned frigid, here’s what you need to know about Ford heater issues.
Step 1: Check the Coolant
The first step of diagnosis should be checking the amount of coolant in the system. If your Ford is low on coolant, it won’t be able to properly send heat to the heater core, thus an issue arises. Check the coolant levels at the radiator and reservoir when the vehicle is completely cooled and add coolant if needed. Once you’ve done that, get the vehicle back up to operating temperature to check if the heat is now working.
Step 2: Do a Visual Inspection
When you do a visual inspection, you may be able to identify the problematic part by noticing obvious signs of damage. Check for leaks and signs of damage and replace or repair any damaged parts.
Step 3: Test Out the Electrical Components
Now it’s time to check out the blower motor and resistor to make sure those are working as they should. Check for blown fuses and look at the wiring, connections for the wires, and switches for functionality. The resistor will need to be checked with an ohmmeter to ensure current is coming from the part.
Step 4: Inspect the Heater Core
It’s not completely uncommon for a heater core to go bad — especially if it’s had various blockages or the system has overheated before. To check this is simple - just place your hand over the hoses that connect to heater core at your Ford’s firewall. You should feel heat once the engine is at operating temperature. If you don’t feel heat, the heater core is likely in need of replacement.
Step 5: Is the Cooling System Working?
It’s not likely that heater issues will be the first sign of cooling system problems, but it’s not unheard of either. If your water pump is failing or your thermostat is stuck shut, your heater will stop working. However, this will also be accompanied by an overheating engine, which will almost always be your first sign. If your vehicle is overheating and the heater isn’t working, it’s a cooling system issue and the heat will return again once you address that issue.
When you do identify the problem, make sure you replace any parts with genuine Ford parts to avoid premature failure or putting strain on other components. Should you fail to find the problem through these steps, it’s time to take your vehicle to a certified Ford mechanic.