Car Heater has stopped working

I have a Rover 75, and a few days ago the heater stopped working, which is a right pain now that the cold weather is on it's way.

The cold air works fine, but even when I turn the temperature control upto it's highest level, all I get is cold air.

I am an absolute numpty when it comes to cars, so I have no idea what the problem may be, or if it would be an expensive repair.

I have had a look on the internet for advice, and all I found was that it could be an airlock in the pipework, but no advice on what to do to sort it out.

Any advice on what may be the problem, and how to sort it out would be most appreciated.
08:44 Wed 20th Oct 2010
 
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Is there water in the radiator?
-- answer removed --
try filling your radiator, probably little in it, that will sort it,let me know
This happened to us once (my wife's fiat punto) and unfortunatly for me it was the worse case scenario and her head gasket had gone!!! £300 later i was not a happy bunny...so its worth getting it checked out...she drove for ages before she told me!
Well it could be quite a few things.

First thing to check is the coolant level - if that is very low then you've got a leak

The heater is run from a mini radiator called the heater matrix that takes its water from the main coolant system

It's a Rover - as Helen says they are rekowned for head gasket failures so you should check that first - if there's white smoke from the exhaust or a white gunk on the oil filter cap then that's likel;y it - especially if the engine temperature is going up too.

If the temperature is goin up it could be the water pump too.

In which case get it to a garage asap and don't let it overheat.

If it's not that then you need to find where the leak is coming from - there may be a pipe with a leak somewhere in the engine.

If the coolant level is good then in might be that the heater matrix is gunked up and the coolant system needs flushing or the control system that allows water in and out of the heater matrix may have failed

I don't know Rovers in that much detail but for example some Fords have a electric valve that does this job that has a habit of playing up.

Whether or not the repair is expensive rather depends on what it is

Could be a head gasket (expensive) or a replasement hose (cheap) - I'm afraid you'll have to get someone to look at it and find the problem first.

Leaving it is a bit of a gamble - OK if it's a valve or the heater matrix - you'll just get cold - if it's the head gasket leaving it would be an expensive mistake

Best of luck
Question Author
Hi All,

Just wanted to give you an update.

I topped up the water, but it only needed about a cupful before it reached the max line. I left the engine running with the cap off, but no air was coming through. I then checked the fuses, and all are ok.

I have spoken to a guy at my local garage and he is certain that there is an airlock somewhere, so I have now booked my car so it can be checked out.

Thanks to all for your help.
Sounds like good news to me!

Could still be a gunked up heater matrix or a valve failure but it sounds good on the head gasket front!
It could also be caused by your thermostat being stuck open. The coolant will be constantly circulating through the radiator which causes the engine to run below optimum temperature. Normally the water will flow around the engine block only at first so your engine reaches optimum operating temperature ASAP. This means the coolant is also cooler than normal and hence why your heater is not blowing as warm as it should. It could have been like this for a while but you have only noticed now since the weather has turned cooler. Mind you it's better that a thermostat sticks open rather than shut. If you do have to top up your coolant level dont forget to add summer coolant/antifreeze in accordance with the manufactures recommendations.

Please let us know the outcome for future reference.

Good luck and best wishes.
This happened to my car, I needed a new heater motor (think thats the name) It only takes 15 minutes to take the old one off and fit the new one.
i have a rover 75,and have rebuilt it extensively from scratch.
This problem often occurs with the 75 when the heater matrix is blocked.
the blower works in the fan heater,but as its matrix is totally blocked it blows out cold air only?
you can get a matrix rad for the 75 for 80 quid plus postage on ebay,i think the guy is called demisterman or something to that effect?
i would bet my socks that is what the problem is??
heater matrix mate,i have had a 75"s for ten years now,the heater matrix gets blocked,and the heating pumps out cold air.
80 quid from demisterman online!!
Not a expert here!.........but maybe your thermostat has gone!..............Happened to mine last Winter!...............Brrrr! very cold!...................probably that's it!............
Do you need coolant in the engine. Mine stops when the coolant is down.

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