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Toyota Corolla Heater/Blower Not Working

Car heater vents

When it comes to cabin comfort in a car, the heater is probably the most important aspect. Good seats are nice, and so is a comfortable steering wheel, but when it is freezing outside, you absolutely do not want to be stuck in that. So when the heater in your Corolla stops working, that is not a good thing – at all, but what could be the cause?

A Toyota Corolla heater/blower not working could be due to multiple reasons, from a bad thermostat to low antifreeze and water level in the radiator. Additionally, a malfunctioning heater core or a leaking cooling system can also be the culprit.

We will be going over the various heater related problems that a Toyota Corolla has, why they happen, and how you can resolve the issue. If you want to learn more, we encourage you to keep reading.

How a Car Heater Works

Car heater and temperature controls

To properly understand the issues that will be discussed below, it is important to know how a car heater works in the first place.

It all starts with the engine. As you might know, car engines generate a fair amount of heat, even more so if we talk about performance cars. This is the foundation of how a heater can function in a car.

The engine’s heat travels to the heater core, which acts as a heat exchanger and allows coolant to flow through. The heater control valve then regulates this coolant. The result is a warm air in the cabin – that’s the simple explanation anyway. We recommend watching this video below if you want a more detailed explanation.

Toyota Corolla Heater Not Working

Center control panel for a car's heater and audio system

As we stated earlier, there can be multiple reasons why a car’s heater can stop working. It is a system that involves different parts, and thus it won’t always be the fault of one thing.

Unless you are already good with cars, as you are a mechanic or a borderline mechanic, fixing the issue yourself might be challenging. If you need a heater immediately, we would recommend picking up a Portable Car Heater. However, you can at least diagnose the issue to avoid being charged at the car shop for the said diagnosis. Do not do the first step below while the car is running.

Verify Radiator Coolant Levels

This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to find out what’s going on with your heater. While the engine is cold, you can check the radiator fluid to determine if this is the culprit of the lack of a toasty cabin.

It’s simple, if the amount of fluid is low, then it is likely why you aren’t getting enough heat from the heater. What isn’t as simple is discerning if there is coolant leakage, but you can ask yourself how long you’ve had the car to conclude.

It’s normal for cars to lose a bit of coolant over time due to evaporation, but this shouldn’t be noticeable when going from one year to the next. If you find that the coolant has depleted rapidly or is depleting rapidly – you leak.

The cost to replace a coolant reservoir is between $189 – $214

Check the Thermostat Valve

If you have discerned a relatively full amount of radiator fluid, the next step is to check the thermostat valve. Maybe people don’t even look at the indicator in the dash that tells you how warm or cools the engine, but this is one of those times that can tell you why your heater might not be working.

If it’s taking a long time for the indicator to tell you that the car is warm, or it isn’t telling you at all, then the thermostat valve is likely faulty, which in turn means that there won’t be enough heat emitting from the heater.

Toyota Corolla Heater Blower Not Working

A hand that is testing the temperature of the air coming out from a car's heater vent

The blower, or fan, is responsible for delivering warm air into the cabin after the previous parts of the process have done their job. Naturally, a blower that isn’t working means there is no toasty air in the cabin. You can diagnose if the blower isn’t working by locating the fan vents underneath the glove box in most Corollas. The fan in this area is what is responsible for circulating warm air into the cabin.

The fan might be spinning, but the heater core can get clogged and need to be flushed. If you want to do this yourself, we’ve linked a video below that tells you how to do so. It can be difficult to describe the steps if you are unfamiliar with where everything is.

Otherwise, you can take the car to the shop. Do note that if the entire heater core needs to be replaced due to it leaking coolant, you are looking at a replacement cost of $582 – $1,034 depending on Corolla’s model.

You can check if the heater core is leaking by feeling the floor mats underneath the blower. If they are damp, then that is likely a sign of a leakage occurring.

Toyota Corolla Blowing Cold Air

Car heater and AC vent located in center dashboard

A heater that is blowing cold air is a sign of a faulty thermostat, a malfunctioning heater core, or low coolant fluid levels. If you’ve come to this section from a search engine, we’ve discussed how you can diagnose these issues above. However, one thing that you can rule out is that the blower is working at the very least.

The repair cost for a heater that is blowing cool air can be up to $1,034, but that is the worst-case scenario. Toyota Corollas are some of the least expensive cars to repair, and a faulty heater is usually nowhere near that expensive of a fix.

Toyota Corolla Heater Fan Noise

Hand adjusting the position of a car heater vent

While a hater making noise sounds like death, the issue itself can be as simple as debris being stuck in the blower motor. You can test this by diagnosing if the noise gets worse as you crank the fan’s speed up.

Where the blower motor is located will depend on your Corolla. However, most vehicles have it located under the dash. It will probably be easier to provide a video demonstration if you don’t know what the blower motor looks like. So we linked a video below from Scotty Kilmer that shows how to access this component.

There is a good chance that you won’t have to replace the blower motor, simply clear out the debris if there is any, but if you do need a new one, then it will set you back under $100 for the component itself with cheaper models being as low as $35.

How To Turn On Heater in Toyota Corolla

Hand adjusting the car temperature control knob

Maybe people like to turn on the heater before they start driving in freezing temperatures; in newer Toyota Corollas, you can start the car remotely. However, you can’t manually turn on the climate control unless the heater or AC was already on when you last turned off the vehicle.

It’s fairly easy to locate and switch on the heater in a corolla.

The copyright owner of this article is and was first published on Feb 17, 2021..

  1. Start the engine, the warmth from the engine itself is what powers the heater, essentially. It will heat up quickly while driving.
  2. The process of how you turn on the heater will depend on the Corolla that you have. In the 2017 models, there will be an AUTO button right in front of the shifter and under the front display. Press this, and there will be a lever closely to the right. If you press up on this lever, the temperature goes up; if you press it down, the temperature goes down.
  3. The lever next to this controls the fan speed, and the lever next to that controls where the air blows.

Here is a video demonstration on how to do this:

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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on Feb 17, 2021 and last updated on .

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