During the winter, when a vehicle warms up and coolant begins flowing through the engine, it is not always flowing through the heater itself. The coolant begins flowing through the heater when the climate control knob is turned to the heater or defroster position. The climate control knob is generally attached to the vacuum hose which leads to the coolant vacuum valve switch.
When in the heater position, the coolant vacuum valve switch is opened and allows coolant from the engine to enter the heater unit, called the heater core. It is this warm coolant flowing off the engine into the heater core that gives off heat for the interior fan to blow through the vents. This is how heat works in many new vehicles.
Sometimes the coolant vacuum valve switch can crack or become clogged with debris or old coolant. In these instances, the vehicle may experience symptoms similar to that of another cooling system issue so the correct diagnosis is important.
The coolant vacuum valve switch is used to control flow to the vehicle’s heater core. Without this switch, a vehicle will have no heat in the winter.
If you suspect the coolant vacuum valve switch has failed, contact one of our trained technicians to have it checked. Routine maintenance is also important for proper operation of the engine cooling system, which is where the heater unit obtains its heat.
While it may be easy to put off that coolant drip or wear an extra layer on the daily commute, if the heater isn’t properly running, the vehicle occupants will be very uncomfortable. Furthermore, the vehicle’s defrost unit won’t function properly, meaning that dangerous ice buildup could occur on the windows.
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