It’s getting colder! We’re using our car heaters more and we imagine you are too. It is the season to stay toasty but what do you do if your heaters are under-performing? At Volks Affair, Melbourne’s German car service specialists, we have written down three common heater problems to keep you warm this winter!

As winter approaches and the cold weather sets in, coolants may be the furthest thing from your mind. But, despite the weather, your car still needs coolant. Coolant does more than keeping your engine at a safe temperature. Did you know that it also keeps your cabin warm? As you use your engine, coolant runs through it to take away the excess heat. Now warm, the coolant is carried over the heater core. Turning on your heater fan pushes the heat coming off of the coolant through the car’s vents, warming you and your passengers. If your heater is not working, it may be a sign to check your coolant. We’ve written previously about how to check your coolant here and, of course, at Volks Affair, South Melbourne’s leading German car specialist, we are happy to check and replace your coolant for you when you book an inspection.

Because the heat from your heater is coming from your engine, you have to first make sure your engine is warming up. This is why your heater may take a few minutes to start working – it is collecting the heat off your engine. If your engine does not heat up, neither will your cabin.

Another reason your heater might not be working may be because of a build-up of sediment in the heater core. If the tubes leading to and from the heater core are blocked, less warm air can travel from it to the rest of the body. When you bring your car in for a professional service, we can flush out these tubes, replacing the coolant and clearing out any build-up that may have occurred. This is an easy and inexpensive way of restoring your heater to its former glory for the cold months ahead. Alternatively, the two hoses (one going in and one going out) connected to your heater core may be damaged and have developed tiny leaks only noticeable under pressure. A flush will also be able to test for this.
A third reason your heater may be under-performing is a damaged thermostat. The thermostat is positioned between the engine and the radiator and its job is to stop coolant from entering the radiator until the engine is warm enough to take it. If your thermostat is working, the engine warms up more quickly, reducing wear and emissions. If a thermostat is broken, it may either be permanently open, meaning it takes longer for your car to warm up, or closed, meaning that the coolant won’t take the engine’s heat away to warm up your cabin, this could lead to overheating, which is a serious problem.


When you book your BMW, VW, Audi or Mercedes Benz in with Volks Affair, South Melbourne’s German car service specialists, we can make your car toasty again with:

  • fluid checks, flushes and replacements,
  • filter checks and replacements
  • demister function tests

If you are concerned about your heaters, book in now for an inspection with one of our friendly and professional mechanics