Heating and Cooling Systems

Heating and Cooling Systems

Your car is a complex machine. There are a lot of moving parts involved in making your car move. The engine uses fuel in the form of gasoline to create thousands of small explosions in your pistons in order to make the drive shaft move and transfer that power into your wheels. This action produces a lot of heat and if the heat is not regulated, problems can occur that will cause a failure in your engine. Your heating and cooling system helps your engine regulate that heat into a constant and optimal level.

Parts of the Heating and Cooling System include:

• Radiator
• Thermostat
• Radiator Fan
• Fan Clutch
• Heater Core


The cooling system works by sending a liquid coolant (radiator fluid) through passages in the engine block and heads. As the coolant flows through these passages, it picks up heat from the engine. The heated fluid then makes its way through a rubber hose to the radiator in the front of the car. The radiator keeps the temperature regulated by air flow with the help of movement by the vehicle and the radiator fan.

The heating system is used to heat your car heater when cold weather demands it. The heater core works with the engine cooling system. It takes heated radiator fluid and passes it through a mini internal radiator like contraption usually located within your car dashboard. As heated fluid passes through this system the available heat is used to add heat to the air flowing into the driver and passenger compartment. If there is a problem with the heater core, you may experience a heater that simply isn’t working. There are symptoms that can indicate that you need a new heater core:

• No heat from the air vents when heater is switched on
• Sweet odor coming from air vents (radiator fluid smell)
• May see a greasy film on the inside of windows
• May see radiator fluid buildup on floor of front passenger side of the cabin

What can cause the heating system to not work properly?
There are a few areas that can be diagnosed in order to check the heating system.

• Antifreeze level – is the antifreeze too low, has too much water, or is it discolored (should be green or orange/red in most cases)?
• Bad thermostat – A faulty thermostat can prevent the engine from getting hot enough to heat the antifreeze. Conversely, a faulty thermostat can also cause your engine to overheat due to not allowing the antifreeze to flow through the cooling system properly.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, or if you have a heating or cooling issue, come to All Auto for an expert evaluation. We will be happy to diagnose any issues you may have and get you the proper solution to get your car back to its optimal performance level.