Maintaining Your Heater/Defroster Through the Winter

1044 Rangeview Rd. Mississauga, ON


Winter Car Maintenance: How to Keep Your Defrost and Heater in Top Condition

January 20, 2023

There is no nice way to say it – while our country is beautiful, it also tortures us with frigid weather. Our winters can go on for six months or longer. That’s why we rely on heating in our homes, workplaces and cars. Having a properly functioning car heater and defroster is not only vital to keeping you warm, but also allows you to drive safely on our treacherous winter roads.

The integral role that your heater and defroster play in the winter

So, how does your heater work? Well, when you turn your heater on, the coolant that is in your car (which is roughly a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze), flows from your car’s engine to the heater core, which is right inside of the car’s dash. A fan is then utilized to blow air through the heater core. This air then passes through the car’s vents and warms up the interior of the vehicle. Your defroster utilizes the same components as your heater. It takes the same hot air that comes through your vents and directs that air up onto your windshield. This operation becomes much more effective when the engine has been on for a while and is warm.

How can you maintain this system throughout winter?

With these components being so important to the safe operation of your car and comfort, making sure they are in full working order is key. There are a few ways that you can ensure this happens:

  • Have your heating system inspected before winter – Before the temperature drops, have your mechanic inspect your heating system to make sure there aren’t any issues. The last thing you want when frost hits is to have a faulty car heater and defroster.
  • Make sure your coolant is healthy – Your coolant is extremely important to the life of your vehicle. Make sure that it’s clean and filled to the proper level. A flush of your coolant system is recommended every 4-5 years, as the coolant can cause corrosion and oxidation over time.
  • Regular maintenance – Nothing beats being proactive, especially with vehicles. Have your heating system regularly inspected by your mechanic to make sure it continues to work properly. Make sure you get your heating system checked out at the first sign of a problem.

Signs your car heater and defroster aren’t working right

This is pretty straightforward. Besides seeing your breath with the heater on and not being able to see through your windshield, there are a few other things to look for. If you can’t hear your blower fan working or you see a coolant leak then your controls might not be activating the corresponding system. If this is the case, get your car into your mechanic as soon as possible. If you are in need of a reliable and professional mechanic, look no further than the experts at Xtreme Tire Garage. Our dedicated team offers a variety of services, including heating system inspection and repairs, to make sure you and your vehicle stay warm and safe this winter.


Our Xtreme team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and assist you with anything you need.