How to Turn on Car Heater

If you’re like most drivers, during the winter months you may find yourself looking forward to turning on your car’s heater. A working heater is an essential part of comfortable driving in cold weather and can mean the difference between a pleasant journey and a stressful one.

How to Turn on Car Heater

Whether you drive an older model vehicle that’s already equipped with a manual control unit or have recently purchased a new car featuring advanced digital climate controls, learning how to turn on your car’s heater is fairly straightforward – but can be quite confusing if this is your first time experiencing it. That’s why we put together this blog post which will provide step-by-step instructions on how to turn on car heater so that you are properly set up for success!

The Functions of Car Heater

Before we dive into the specifics of turning on the car heater, it’s important to first understand the purpose that a car heater serves. The primary role of a car heater is to provide comfort for the driver and passengers by producing warm air that circulates throughout the cabin. 

In addition, some vehicles have an additional setting where cool air can be circulated in order to provide relief from warm temperatures outside. The temperature of this air is typically regulated by either a manual dial or a digital control panel.

10 Instructions on How to Turn on Car Heater

1. Locate the Control Panel

First, locate the car’s heater control panel. This will either be a manual or digital unit depending on your vehicle model and year. It is usually found on the dashboard near the driver’s side. You can also refer to your vehicle manual for more specific instructions.

2. Set the Temperature

Set the desired temperature by adjusting the control knob on a manual unit or using digital controls on a newer model car. Typically, you can choose between cool and warm air temperatures depending on your preference.

3. Turn the Fan On

Once you have set the desired temperature, turn on the fan by either pushing a button or turning a knob. This will allow warm air to be circulated throughout the cabin of your car. The circulation knob can be adjusted to control the speed of the fan.

4. Adjust Temperature and Fan Speed as Required

Continue adjusting the temperature and fan speed settings until you reach your desired level of comfort. You may also want to adjust the air vents if some areas of your car are not receiving enough airflow.

Continue Adjusting the Temperature

5. Check Airflow Direction

If the airflow from your vents is not in the direction you want, you can usually adjust it using a lever or switch located near the vent. This will allow you to direct airflow either up, down, or side to side for maximum comfort.

6. Turn on Heater Seat

If your vehicle model is equipped with heating seats, you can turn them on by pressing a button located either near the dashboard or on the seat itself. This will provide an additional layer of warmth and comfort during cold weather.

7. Run Vehicle Defroster

Most cars are also equipped with a defroster setting that clears frost or fog from the windshield, making it easier to see while driving. To turn it on, press the Defrost/Defog button located near the heater control panel.

8. Check the Coolant Level

To keep your car’s heater running smoothly, always make sure that its coolant level is topped up before setting off on a cold-weather journey. This can be easily done by opening the car’s hood and topping up the coolant with a premixed solution.

To Keep Car’s Heater 
Running Smoothly

9. Monitor Performance

Once you have turned on your car’s heater, make sure to monitor its performance during your journey. If you notice any unusual sounds or smells, it is best to turn off the heater immediately and contact a certified mechanic or car service center.

10. Turn Off the Car Heater

When your journey is complete, make sure to turn off the car heater before you leave the vehicle. This will help to extend its lifespan and prevent any unnecessary wear and tear of its components.

Now that you’re familiar with how to turn on car heater, you can enjoy comfortable temperatures inside your vehicle all year round! Just be sure to keep an eye on the performance of your car’s heater system and top up the coolant level whenever necessary.

8 Maintenance Tips

  1. Make sure your car’s coolant system is properly maintained. Check the antifreeze level regularly and replace it as necessary. Coolant systems help to keep your car’s heater running smoothly.
  2. Check the thermostat if you experience overheating or a lack of heat inside the car. A faulty thermostat could prevent your car’s engine from reaching optimal temperatures, which can reduce the effectiveness of the heater.
  3. Inspect and replace any worn hoses or clamps in the coolant system. Over time, they can become brittle and crack, leading to a loss of engine heat. Find out the age of your hoses and replace them as necessary.
  4. Clean or replace the cabin air filter periodically to prevent it from becoming clogged with dust and debris. A blocked filter can restrict air flow, making it harder for heat to enter the car’s interior.
  5. Test the heater core for leaks if you find that it is not blowing hot air. A faulty heater core can reduce the amount of heat produced in your car.
  6. Have a mechanic check the blower motor if you hear grinding noises coming from the dashboard when you turn on the heater. The blower motor delivers heated air through the vents, so any faults may affect how efficiently your car’s heater works.
  7. Make sure your car’s radiator and fan are working properly. A damaged or blocked radiator can cause heat to build up in the engine, resulting in poor performance and reduced heating efficiency. The fan helps disperse heat away from the engine, so it is important that it is operating correctly. 
  8. If you find that your car’s heater does not get hot enough, add a heat shield to direct more heat inside the car. Heat shields increase the amount of heat entering the cabin and can help improve the efficiency of your car’s heating system. 
Make Sure Your Car’s Radiator

Follow these steps to ensure your car’s heater is running efficiently and will keep you warm during the winter months.  Good maintenance can help to ensure your car’s heater is working correctly and keeps you comfortable year-round.  

Take the time to care for your car’s heating system so that it runs smoothly when temperatures drop.  By taking these simple steps, you can make sure your car’s heater is ready to keep you warm throughout the cold winter season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Install the Car Heater Later?

Yes, you can install a car heater in an older vehicle. The process will require some mechanical work and may involve replacing certain components, such as the radiator or fan. It is best to consult with a professional mechanic for help installing your car heater. The car heater must be properly installed and maintained for it to work effectively.

How Do I Test My Car Heater?

To test your car heater, start the engine and turn on the heater. Make sure that air is blowing from the vents, then check the temperature of the air coming out of the vents. 

If it’s not hot enough, there may be an issue with the heater core or blower motor. You should also check for any leaks in the coolant system and inspect hoses and clamps for wear. If you’re still having issues, it’s best to take your car to a mechanic for further inspection.

How Often Should I Change My Car Heater Filter?

Your car’s heater filter should be changed or inspected every 6 months to ensure it is not blocked with dust and debris. If the filter becomes clogged, it can reduce the amount of air flowing into the cabin which will make it harder for the heater to work efficiently.  

Car’s Heater Filter Should Be Changed

Additionally, a dirty filter can also impact your car’s air quality, creating an unhealthy environment for you and your passengers.  For best results, it is advisable to check or change the filter regularly.


Heaters can be vital to comfortable driving during the winter. It is important to remember to turn on your heater before starting out in cold weather, as well as ensure that all connections are secure and in good condition. Being prepared for the cold months of winter will save you from any potential issues that may arise from not being prepared.

Taking care of these details before hitting the road can make a long journey more enjoyable and less daunting. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a professional mechanic or local auto shop to get additional information on how to keep your vehicle safe and cozy during the colder months. Hopefully, this blog post has been helpful in learning how to turn on car heater this season so that you can stay safe and warm while driving around during winter!

Louis Wein

Louis Wein

Louis has always been fascinated by cars. He loves the way they look, the sound of the engine, and how they make him feel when he's driving. He is always keen to learn more about different mechanics of cars and how the engine contributes to other aspects of the car. As an automotive technician with over 10 years of experience, he knew how they worked and loved taking them apart to see how they went back together. He was especially interested in the mechanics of combustion engines and loved finding ways to make them more efficient. He loves to work on cars and help people keep their vehicles running smoothly. As a senior editor, he enjoys contributing to Diy quickly because it allows him to share his knowledge and expertise with others.

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