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My 2004 Chrysler Sebring has a heater that takes forever to heat. The car has to be running for about seven minutes before it starts to get warm. It was looked at by a professional who said it is working just fine. Is this just a Sebring or Chrysler thing? My Honda Accord was very warm in a snap.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Colleen McGee, Driving Instructor at Americas Driving School Hi Julie, In my experience with car heaters, it normally takes about five minutes for the engine to heat up enough to blow hot air in the vehicle. Remember your vehicle is heated by warm air from your engine that is then blown into your car. On colder mornings it will take longer for the engine to heat up. I don't turn my car heater on until I see the needle of the temperature gauge (engine temperature) at the first white line on the gauge, below that it will normally be cool air coming into my vehicle. So 7 minutes I think is average time for most car engines to heat up enough to heat the vehicle, especially on those REALLY cold mornings. Happy, safe driving! Colleen

Georgia Brown, Director of Education at National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) Make sure there are no leaks around the hoses or even on the floor on the passenger side of your car. Also, the thermostat could be faulty or sticking. The professional who checked it should have checked these, but just in case he/she did not, double check. Georgia Brown

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Julie, That is a common characteristic, some makes and models are different yes in the amount of time to reach optimum operating temperatures.. It just may take longer for your Sebring because it has a larger cooling system which takes more time to heat and circulate in turn opening your thermostat under premium operating circumstances.

Audra Fordin, Owner at Great Bear Auto Shop Hello Julie, Have the thermostat checked to see what temperature it opens up at. It could be as simple as that. Mechanically yours, Audra www.women auto

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