Because some automotive heater cores are difficult to repair, labour costs might be considerable. Some mechanics may provide a bypass option for the heater core. It’s not the best option. There are, however, additional options for resolving the issue.
Things to Consider
If repairing your car’s heater core isn’t doable before the winter weather arrives. A portable car heater is a reasonable choice. However, there are to keep in mind when buying portable car heater:
- Residential heaters (including portable warmers) are not necessarily suitable for use in automobiles.
- Even while certain propane heaters are safe to use indoors, they should never be used in a moving car.
- A 12V portable vehicle heater requires power to operate. Which might cause problems if your alternator or other accessories aren’t up to par.
In the end, even the greatest electric car heater won’t be able to replace a damaged vehicle heater, but that doesn’t mean you have to drive around in the freezing cold.
Residential Heaters as Portable Car Heaters
You should be able to utilise a domestic space heater to heat an automobile since they heat rather big quantities of air. While almost any space heater can provide enough heat to keep you toasty warm in no time. There are two major issues with this approach.
- Residential space heaters aren’t made for cramped quarters. They usually come with instructions to keep combustible things (such as automobile upholstery) 2 feet, 4 feet, or further away from the unit’s front and back. That isn’t usually an option inside a car or truck. It, while using a space heater on the floor of your car may be totally safe. You do so at your own risk.
- The wattage of a home space heater is also a concern. To run the heater, you’ll need to install an inverter with suitable watts. Even then, there’s a chance the alternator won’t be able to keep up with the demand.
There’s a lot more to learn about how to choose the best portable car heater.
Portable Propane Heaters
Although some portable propane heaters are quite safe for interior usage, they nevertheless come with the danger of fire or asphyxia. Because of the risk of fire, open-flame propane heaters should never be use in a vehicle. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a problem with heaters that rely on incomplete combustion.
Portable propane heaters marketed as safe for indoor use usually have a safety valve that activates if the oxygen level drops dangerously low. This makes them generally safe to use indoors, but using one in your automobile while driving is not suggested.
Are There Better Options?
This is dependent on what you are attempting to do.
Car seat warmers, for example, are effective at warming your body but ineffective for defrosting a window.
Because most portable vehicle heaters don’t provide enough heat to quickly defrost windows, I recommend using a car seat heater to keep your body warm.
Many users choose to utilise a tiny gas heater since they provide a lot of heat and do not rely on a vehicle’s 12-volt system.
One such compact gas-powered machine is the Mr. Heater MH4B Little Buddy.
Portable 12V Car Heaters
A 12V heater built for automotive usage is the finest and safest alternative to a factory heater. The ones that plug into a cigarette lighter, on the other hand, usually don’t provide enough heat. This is due to the fact that accessories hooked into the cigarette lighter receptacle can only take a certain amount of current (usually 10 or 15 amps) before blowing a fuse.
To draw enough power to put out the heat needed during the cold winter months, larger 12V vehicle heaters must be hooked directly to the battery (usually with an inline fuse for safety).
Your mileage will vary when it comes to how effectively these heaters function. They seldom provide as much heat as a factory heater, but if you keep your expectations in check, you shouldn’t be disappointed. Even so, you must consider how much electricity the heater consumes. If the alternator isn’t up to the job, you could be better off putting money aside to get the problem fixed properly.
Electric Heater and Cigarette Lighter Fuse / Wiring
Depending on your vehicle, the cigarette lighter circuit may not be powerful enough to operate a car heater.
Some portable heaters require a 15 Amp circuit to function properly and may blow the cigarette lighter fuse.
This, however, is dependent on the heater, with a seat heater requiring as little as 3.5 amps.
Make a note of how many amps are required to power the little heating unit.
Also, check your car’s owner’s handbook to discover how many amps the cigarette lighter can handle.
It’s also a good idea to know where the fuse for the cigarette lighter is located in case it blows and has to be replaced.
While it is unusual for a fuse to blow, they are typically simple to repair if the location is known and the new fuse is available.
Finally, Portable Car Heaters Aren’t True Replacements.
The electrical system of an automobile was never intended to withstand the high power output demanded by creating heat.
As a result, keep in mind that these compact heating gadgets will not provide as much heat as many people would want.
Having saying that, they can help take the edge off.
Another thing to remember is not to leave one of these devices connected into the cigarette lighter of a car.
Some autos will switch off the power to the lighter, while others will not. They will deplete your battery if the electricity is not turn off.
While some portable vehicle heaters may suffice depending on your needs, no portable electric heater will ever be able to replace a factory-installed heating system.
There are true car heater alternatives that tap into your car or truck’s cooling system if money is an issue to the point where the heater core is expensive to remove and replace. Both, though, are more costly to buy and need some installation work.
A space heater on a timer or a weak 12V heater, on the other hand, may carry you through the worst of the winter if all you need to do is take the chill off before or during your journey. Just make sure you’re properly clothe first.
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