Ownership How to Get the Most Out of Your Car's Heater

16:54  03 january  2018
16:54  03 january  2018 Source:   Consumer Reports

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Winter is here, so it's time to understand how to maximize your car ' s heater to keep you comfortable and safe. “We breathe out water vapor, and that can cause window fogging,” Fisher says. “ The more people in the car , the worse it can get .”

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Winter is here, so it’s time to understand how to maximize your car’s heater to keep you and your passengers comfortable and safe.

Get the Car Moving

“Modern cars don't need much to warm up before taking off, but it does take a long time for cars to warm up if they're not moving,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “The sooner you move, the sooner the engine begins working, the sooner the engine starts creating heat that will warm the passengers.”

Your Corner Wrench: Keeping your ride warm this winter

  Your Corner Wrench: Keeping your ride warm this winter When the cold winds blow, here's how to keep your ride nice and toasty“I need a new thermostat!” is the most common rallying cry from chilled drivers and passengers. But new thermostats seldom bring any relief and good mechanics won’t recommend them unless there are cooling system problems. After all, thermostats only restrict engine coolant flow for a short time on start-up to lessen the time it takes for an engine to reach operating temperatures, in order to control emissions.

With winter approaching, I'd like to get this sorted out before the cold weather turns me into a commute-cicle. How do I get my car heater working again? A much smaller radiator called the heater core uses the same hot coolant to keep the cabin toasty.

Do you live in a cold climate? Get better heater hoses! Stop losing heat ! How to get the most out of your car heat !! People Are Awesome .. Mustang Street

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If your car has automatic climate control, you can still set your system to the temperature you like, and the car will warm up just as quickly as if you crank the dial. It works just like the thermostat in your house: The system can sense the temperature of the air being blown into the cabin, and knows that once the air coming out is hot enough, it will increase the fan speed. Cranking the temp and fan to high only results in passengers being force-fed a lot of freezing-cold air.

Keep the A/C On

To most drivers, A/C means cold air. But really, that button on your dash controls the air-conditioning compressor, which performs a very important task when temperatures dip, namely dehumidifying the air. Shutting it off can cause the car's windows to fog up.

“Even if you want warm air from your system, turning the A/C on will cool the cabin air down to just above freezing before it is reheated,” Fisher says. “This removes moisture from the air, which otherwise would collect on cold glass, keeping you from being able to see out.”

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When the outside temperature dips below freezing, the A/C compressor will shut itself off even if the light stays on. Leave it on and forget about it. The A/C doesn't have to work very hard when the outside air is cool, so it doesn't put much of a strain on the engine or use much extra fuel.

Don't Use the Recirculation Mode

You want fresh air in the cabin to keep those windows clear.

“We breathe out water vapor, and that can cause window fogging,” Fisher says. “The more people in the car, the worse it can get.”

Crack a Window

If you are carrying several passengers, you may find it difficult to keep the windows from fogging. When passengers exhale, more water vapor is released in the cabin, and that can cling to the windows, fogging them up. Cracking a window slightly can help keep them clear.

Higher Fan Speeds Help the Backseat

Although the driver may be comfortable with the heater set only to a low fan speed, that may not keep the people in the back very warm. To help them, consider cranking up that fan, even if it means the driver will have to turn the temperature a little lower. That can help make sure everyone stays comfortable.

Keep It as Warm as You Like

Some people don't want to use the A/C a lot in the summer to save fuel (and by extension, money). The good news is, in the winter, the heat is free (unless you have an electric car).

“The heat is generated by the engine, and if you don't use it, it's just going to get dumped through the radiator,” Fisher says.

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2017, Consumer Reports, Inc.

Illustrated Guide to Your Car’s Heater .
When it’s cold and wintry, being warm is the best. But what actually happens in your vehicle when you turn on the heat? Why does it take a moment for the heat to arrive on a cold morning? What’s going on at the other end of the climate control console to keep you and your passengers warm? Below, we’ll take a simplified look at how your ride’s heater system works, the jobs of various components inside of it, and what might cause it to work poorly if something goes wrong. Numerous processes kick into action to provide a warm cabin in the coldest months of the year – so let’s dive in. Your Engine Your ride’s engine is the heart and soul of its heater – since it’s the heat from your vehicle’s engine that’s captured by the heater system and used to warm the cabin. This is why, on a cold morning, there’s no heat for the first few moments that the engine is running. When it’s 20 below, it takes a moment or two before the engine generates enough heat to share with the vehicle’s cabin. But, how does that work? Coolant Engine coolant, sometimes called water (though this is technically incorrect), is a liquid. It’s also the vehicle that transports heat from your car’s engine to your car’s cabin. A device called a coolant pump (or water pump) drives several litres of engine coolant through passageways built into the engine at all times while it’s running. The flowing coolant absorbs heat, and therefore cools the engine, from the inside out.

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