Troubleshooting Jeep Wrangler Heater: Tips & Fixes

A malfunctioning heating system on a Jeep Wrangler can be a matter of great discomfort to the users in the winter season. A plethora of reasons can be behind the heater not working properly on your Jeep Wrangler such as insufficient coolant, damaged heater core, faulty control valve, malfunctioning controls, a faulty thermostat, damaged blend door, and so on.

A faulty heating system not only causes an uncomfortable journey but it can also do serious damage to the vehicle if it remains unchecked. You will be able to diagnose the exact reason behind the malfunctioning heating system on your Jeep Wrangler and fix it accordingly by following the diagnosis methods and repair instructions which are discussed below. 

What Are the Common Symptoms of Jeep Wrangler Heater Not Working?

The common symptoms of a malfunctioning heater on a Jeep Wrangler are the heater blowing cold air, not blowing any air at all, and not blowing sufficient air. These make the journey uncomfortable by making the interior of the car excessively cold or hot. 

common symptoms of jeep wrangler heater not working

What Are the Reasons for and Solutions to Jeep Wrangler Heater Not Working?

Low Coolant Level 

One of the most common reasons behind the heater malfunctioning on a Jeep Wrangler is low coolant level. Coolant or anti-freeze is a liquid that is mixed with water to raise the boiling point and decrease the freezing point. Coolant not only keeps the engine cool but also helps to run the air conditioning system and the heater. Insufficient coolant in the cooling system can cause the heater to malfunction. 

Solution: Check the coolant level inside the cooling system. Also, ensure that there are no leaks in the cooling system that are causing the coolant level to go down. Use high-quality anti-freeze in your car for the best performance.

Faulty Heater Core

Another common issue that causes the heater to malfunction is a damaged heater core. The heater core is a vital component of the heating system because it utilizes the smooth movement of the coolant liquid to control the temperature of the interior of the car by blowing hot or cold air. The biggest sign that the heater core is malfunctioning is that air is getting blown out by the fans but the air is cold.

Solution: Replace the damaged heater core with a new replacement part. Replacing a heater core is quite a difficult task and you might need to seek professional help from a trusted workshop nearby to disassemble the heater core, replace it with a new one, and then reassemble everything. It will cost approximately $1000-$1200 to replace a faulty heater core on the Jeep Wrangler.

Damaged Heater Control Valve

The car heater valve controls the temperature of the air inside the car’s cabin by releasing the exact amount of coolant needed to hold that temperature. When this valve gets jammed, damaged, bent, or broken, the heater core fails to adjust the temperature accordingly. This causes the heater to malfunction and blow cold air through the fans.

Solution: Repair or replace the damaged heater control valve to solve this issue. Locate the heater control valve following the instruction manual and repair or replace it. It will cost approximately $15-$25 for a spare heater control valve.

Malfunctioning Controls

The controls themselves can cause malfunction of the heating system on your Jeep Wrangler. The controls work well when they are relatively new but slowly degrade over time and usage. They can be unresponsive due to corrosion or wear and tear. Check the control knobs and make sure that they are working as intended.

Solution: Check the connections and the wires of the control knobs and switches on the Jeep Wrangler with a multimeter to find the issue. Repair or replace accordingly to solve this issue. It will cost about $50-$150 to replace the A/C control unit.  

Faulty Thermostat

Another common reason why the heater might malfunction is a faulty or broken thermostat. Thermostats control the coolant system by sending it signal and a broken thermostat can halt this process. The thermostat is faulty if the car’s temperature gauge still points at C even after the engine has gotten enough time to heat up. Overheating, coolant leaking, erratic temperature changes, strange sounds, and heater problems are signs that the thermostat might be damaged.

Solution: Locate the thermostat which is in a housing near the water pump on the cylinder head. Remove the bolts and take out the thermostat. Replace it with a new part and make sure to change the gaskets as well. It will cost approximately $25-$50.

Malfunctioning Cooling System

A malfunctioning cooling system can also prevent the heater from working properly. Leaks in the radiator cap, damaged hose clamps, damaged radiator hose, and cracked radiator can disrupt the regular cooling system and can cause the heater to malfunction. 

Solution: Repair or replace the damaged hose clamps, radiator hose, and the radiator accordingly to solve this issue. It will cost $10-$30 for hose clamps, $15-$35 for radiator hose pipe, and $150-$400 for an entire radiator. 

Faulty Blend Door

Blend door actuator is an important component of your Jeep Wrangler’s cooling system. This part controls the temperature of the air that is blowing through the vents and into the interior of the car. Temperature cannot be properly controlled when this blend door is not working as intended. 

Solution: Find the blend door actuator which is located under the steering wheel inside the dashboard and replace it. It will cost approximately $20-$30 for a blend door actuator replacement part. 

Defective Wirings or Blown Fuses

Electrical problems like defective wires and blown fuses can also cause the malfunction of the heater in your Jeep Wrangler. Worn-out or corroded wires do not carry power properly because of short circuits and disconnections and blown fuses permanently disconnect the circuit.

Solution: Check all the wiring with a multimeter and change the blown fuses to solve the electrical problems that are preventing your heater from working properly.

Faulty Blower Motor

A blower motor blows air across the heater core, through the ventilation system, and finally to the car’s interior. Low air pressure is a definite sign that the blower motor is damaged or broken.

Solution: Replace the blower motor which can be accessed through the engine compartment on the passenger side. It will cost you approximately $40-$60 for a spare blower motor.

causes of jeep wrangler heater not working

Should I Repair or Replace Jeep Wrangler Heater?

The issues of the heater of your Jeep Wrangler are usually very difficult to repair and require replacement parts. Other than the electrical wires, all of the parts need to be replaced to fix the heater issues.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Heater in a Jeep Wrangler?

The cost to fix the heater in a Jeep Wrangler depends on the component that needs to be replaced and the labor cost in that respective area. It will also depend on how easy or difficult it is to remove that component from the car. It can cost somewhere between $200 and $2000 to fix the heater in a Jeep Wrangler.

How Long Does a Jeep Heater Core Last?

The heater core inside a Jeep Wrangler can last from eight to fifteen years depending on proper care and maintenance. Regularly changing the coolant ensures the longevity of the heater core.

Can You Drive a Jeep Wrangler With a Bad Heater Core?

Yes, you can drive a Jeep Wrangler with a bad heater core as it does not directly affect the performance of the car even though the journey might get pretty uncomfortable.

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