An electric or diesel-based auxiliary heater is a nifty add-on to any vehicle, especially if you live in a place known for its frigid winters. If you're planning on buying one for your car but you still want to know more about this accessory, here's the lowdown on some of the most commonly asked questions about the auxiliary heater:
How does an electric auxiliary heater work?
Basically, this add-on heater relies on your car's electrical system to function. This is why it is quicker to heat up than your car's factory heater. Because it doesn't rely on the warmth generated by the circulating coolant fluid inside the engine block, you don't have to wait for the engine to reach operating temperatures in order to warm up inside your car. Some electric supplementary heaters work similarly to parking heaters. As a matter of fact, some manufacturers allow motorists to upgrade their supplementary heaters into parking heaters.
What are its benefits?
Installing a supplementary heater provides several advantages. These include instant warmth inside the cabin once you turn on the engine and more heat to defrost the windshield faster when it's heavily snowing outside. This means a cozier, warmer, and more comfortable driving experience even if outside temperatures drop below zero. And since many modern supplementary heaters are backed by high-tech, energy saving mechanisms, you don't have to worry about increased fuel consumption once this accessory is installed.
What should I look for in an electric auxiliary heater?
When shopping for a supplementary heater for your vehicle, here are some nifty features worth checking out:
- Externally mounted relays inside a control box for better durability and reliability
- Integrated mechanical relays so you won't have to deal with complicated wiring and installation procedures
- Smart switches so you can get rid of unnecessary switching noises, maximize the heater's lifespan, and enjoy improved safety features because these switches usually have built-in temperature monitoring mechanisms
- Plug-and-play layout if you want hassle-free installation and a cleaner look since you'll be using less wires
- Intelligent control behavior features to lessen power fluctuations, enjoy advanced monitoring of battery voltage, heater rods, power transistors, and initiate proper countermeasures in case of a short circuit or an unexpected voltage drop or surge
Is it easy to install an electric auxiliary heater on my own?
It's relatively easy to install a supplementary heater without hiring a mechanic as long as you have the right tools. The trickiest part is when you're routing the wires. To make things easier, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions and consult your car manual regarding the best location for the heater's wiring assembly. Depending on your DIY repair skills, the entire installation process might take six to eight hours. This is because depending on your car's make and model, you might have to drill holes in order to mount the heater. You might also need to cycle the newly installed heart on and off to reach optimal operating conditions depending on the brand or type of supplementary heater.