Heater to warm vehicle interior for cold am.

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I park outside and in winter it's a hassle to take off in the early am because of frosted windows. I don't care it the interior is cold, though warm is always nice, but would do it to clear the windows. Can I just buy a cheap space heater and put it on a timer, or is there a permanent mount version? I have seen some that plug into cig lighter, but that would wear down battery, right? Maybe they have one that is also timered? Anybody have an interior heater for this purpose, and how do you like it?
 
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I bought a used 110V truck heater on eBay with a built-in thermostat a while ago. It is very compact, and is designed to be mounted under the dash. Unfortunately it did not come with a mounting kit; so, I mounted it on a piece of wood with a metal basket. I drilled a hole on my car's firewall, and routed an extension cord through it with its plub dangling at the front bumper. On a freezing morning I will place the heater on the car floor, set the thermostat, and run another extension cord from the house to connect the plug at the front bumper. The heater is very compact and provides such enough heat to gently warm up the car interior; so, I do not worry about fire hazard. By the time I am ready to leave for work the car windows are all clear of frost/ice with warm interior while the neighbors are still scrapping the ice off their car windows. The only drawback is that the heater is of an old design (1960s) using heating coil which increases the monthly electric bill if it is used on every winter morning. Later I bought another identical one off eBay. This one is brand new and comes with a mounting kit. I keep it as a spare. These heaters are a rare find on eBay. I have seen modern designed car heaters (110v) sold by the store Canadian Tire that are even smaller in size. A while back I checked its web site looking for such a car heater. For some reasons it could not be mail ordered directly. Maybe you will run into one on eBay when some Canadians put them on auction.
 
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In Maryland it is illegal to have a car idling on the driveway without the driver in order to prevent carjacking. Besides, it will take a very long idle (wasting fuel, and carbon fouling the engine) to melt a thick layer of ice on the windows.
 
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Car starters have a circuit that causes the car to turn off as soon as the brake pedal is applied. In any case, I was wondering this myself because I am considering buying my wife an Highlander hybrid, but we park outside and our daily drivers have car-starters, which won't work in a hybrid.
 
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I have remote start in both vehicles. It's the best. What you really need is a block heater on your engine. That way, the engine is warm from the get go and your heat comes up much faster, if not immediately. Have the plug come out through the grill and plug it into a timer so it starts up a couple hours before you need the car. I think that's a lot safer than trying to heat the interior. It's certainly better than using your battery. Also, another trick I use is park so when the sun comes up, it's facing the windshield. My truck is black, so it works well. A white car... Not so much. Check out Kim Hotstart
 
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Kim Hotstart! Isn't that a porno website or something? I guess that would warm up the interior pretty quick but also cause fogging of the windows.
 
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Quote:
The only drawback is that the heater is of an old design (1960s) using heating coil which increases the monthly electric bill if it is used on every winter morning.
A newer one won't be any more efficient. Electric resistance heaters are always 100% efficient at turning electricity into heat.
 

XPR

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Sep 13, 2007
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USA
Quote:
I park outside and in winter it's a hassle to take off in the early am because of frosted windows. I don't care it the interior is cold, though warm is always nice, but would do it to clear the windows. Can I just buy a cheap space heater and put it on a timer, or is there a permanent mount version? I have seen some that plug into cig lighter, but that would wear down battery, right? Maybe they have one that is also timered? Anybody have an interior heater for this purpose, and how do you like it?
Check the truck stops / catalogs. I've seen devices on semi trucks for heating and cooling the inside to reduce idling times.
 
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Mar 20, 2004
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Camas, WA
I have a baseboard heater mounted on a piece of 1x12 for defrosting/deicing the vehicles. The 1x12 keeps it away from the back of the seat and being a baseboard heater it sits up high enough to not be a fire hazard. It's also adjustable so you can run it longer at a lower setting if desired, and a lower setting works better with extension cords. Works great on ice.
 
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TallPaul...After some searching I discovered the Nissan Titan long-term test article on Car And Driver's website...BlueHeat is the product that was also tested on this truck...Car And Driver seemed to like the product and they are in Michigan too...
 
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Apr 17, 2005
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Big Bear Lake, CA
During the winter I run the snowmaking plant at one of our local ski resorts. It's, um, "usually" cold when I am working. It's a small enough town that my truck is just getting warm when I'm about 100 yards from home... With my remote starter I lean over to the window at the pumphouse and push the magic button (this always makes the other guys call me bad names) about 10 minutes before I leave. The remote start shuts off after 15 minutes (in the event that something happens and my departure is delayed) so it won't end up idling for hours. With the heater/defroster pre-set, my windows are usually ready for a quick wipe and the interior is just beginning to warm up. My truck is often pretty well covered with snow and ice ('cuz that's kinda what we do there...) so it's really nice to have the ice warmed just enough for a quick scrape (ice not sticking any longer) or sometimes the windshield wipers are enough to do the trick.
 
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Feb 16, 2004
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i just use a small space heater on an extension cord. i run the cord out of one of the windows. it works reallllly well. apparently i'm not the only one.
 
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