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#4689411 - 03/09/18 08:46 AM Personal ceramic heater in the car?
MoneyJohn Offline

Registered: 03/01/12
Posts: 150
Loc: Southern NY
I am curious if anybody tried power inverters in the car and have used personal ceramic heaters for first 5-10 minutes of driving on cold mornings.

I get chilblains every winter and no matter what I have tried, not a thing has worked. This year, they are particularly awful. (I do not have Lupus or Reynaud's.) Hence first 10 minutes of driving is royally painful in our forester. It takes at least 10-15 minutes of city road driving for it to get warm. I am seriously considering an option of getting an inverter like BESTEK 300W with a personal ceramic heater like Lasko #100 for next year.

Did anyone try this idea? Does it work? Forester's factory fitted battery is not the greatest one but I will be installing fleet-type AGM battery once this is out.

If you have any better solution, would love to hear.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by MoneyJohn (03/09/18 08:46 AM)
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium w/ EyeSight
2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

#4689416 - 03/09/18 09:00 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
gathermewool Offline

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5720
Loc: New England
Not enough power to do much before the coolant reaches a temp where it is affective.

Dress more warmly
14 Forester XT Touring w/ Eyesight (her)
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15 Legacy Premium w/ Eyesight (me)
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#4689418 - 03/09/18 09:01 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
old1 Offline

Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 934
Loc: Columbus Nebraska
If you have access to 110v plug, you could install a water heater in the cooling system, and then start up the car a couple minutes before leaving, and it would be nice and warm.
2014 Fusion 2.5 engine 5/20 QSUD
1965 Mustang 200 c/4 10w30 QS defy
1964 Ford Ranchero 302 c/4 15/40 Delo
1929 ford model A No filters, and 15/40 oil

#4689420 - 03/09/18 09:02 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
IndyIan Offline

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 8746
Loc: Ontario, Canada
If you don't like a remote starter, a block heater would help alot. 300W isn't going to help much if it worked and I suspect either the inverter or cigarette lighter fuse/wiring isn't going to like being run on full load like that.
On my old beater Neon I'd just drag the brakes fairly hard while using half throttle and that warmed things up pretty fast too.
07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 190km VWB 5W30
06 CRV, 5 spd auto AWD, 306km M1 EP 5W30

#4689422 - 03/09/18 09:06 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
javacontour Offline

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10193
Loc: Illinois
I used one when my car sat outside. I got a heavy duty timer and ran an extension cord to the car, putting the heater in the drivers floor.

No snow or ice on the car, and it was toasty when I'd get in.

If I was on-call, I just set it for an hour on and then an hour off. Otherwise, it would kick on an hour or so before I had to leave.
network down, IP packets delivered via UPS -BOFH

#4689444 - 03/09/18 09:27 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: javacontour]
krismoriah72 Offline

Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1387
Loc: wv
This is a fan favorite for UTV riders. No UTVs have heaters so riding in the cold is no fun.

#4689461 - 03/09/18 09:54 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
quint Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 348
Loc: Cincinnati
I have a 400W cont/800W peak inverter hardwired in my Sequoia. Wired directly to the battery, draws power via a fused heavy duty relay activated by a switch on the dash. Ran the power cable from the relay through the firewall and under the dash to the inverter which is mounted under the passenger seat. Then ran wires through conduit under the console to the sockets I mounted in the console in the back. Looks factory, it came out really well. Kids used it on trips to watch movies on their laptops, charge phones and iPads, etc. Works great, we use it all the time. The Sequoia has a 140 amp alternator so I never had an issue with power or the battery.

Not sure I understand how they are going to get 300 watts continuous out of a cigarette lighter plug powered inverter. Most cars have those circuits at 20 amps. At 12.7V @ 20 amps youre going to get 254W maximum off a healthy automotive battery, if the fuse didn't blow, and if the inverter was 100% efficient, which is isnt. Even with the engine on and the alternator pumping out roughly 14V you'd still be pulling over 20 amps to get to 300W. Maybe I've been out of school too long and my math is fuzzy....? Most automotive fuses would blow well before you'd get 300W, and if they didnt you probably would be wanting them to, depending on how many plugs, crimps, and various connections the factory wiring harness has.

Even ignoring all that, a 300W heater in a cold car wont do much, I would suspect. You would probably need closer to a 1000W heater to do make any real difference.

If the car takes that long to heat up, I would check on the thermostat to see if its opening too soon, and maybe clean up the heater core. I would check the blend doors as well. My 240sx wasnt putting out much heat at all a couple winters ago, and changing the t-stat, flushing the cooling system, and removing the blower and cleaning it up as well as blowing out the heater core fins made a huge difference in how soon, and how much, heat I got.
1993 240sx convertible
2001 Sequoia
2012 Mazda 2
2012 Mazda 3
2017 Mazda 3

#4689469 - 03/09/18 10:02 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
IveBeenRued Offline

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 209
Loc: Virginia, USA
My father has Reynaud's and he uses a blowdryer rigged up with an extension cord and a timer to preheat his car. He lives up in central NY where it gets mighty cold but his system has worked for him for several years without issue. I forget how long he has it set to preheat his car but I've gotten into it and it is always toasty by the time we get into it. He doesn't have a garage either, his Subaru has the rain guards so he is able to route his extension cord up through the top of the window so it doesn't allow any rain/snow in.

If you are considering doing this, Costco currently has some really nice American made 12/3 extension cords on sale. $29.99 (in store) for a two pack and they are rated for 1875 watts.
2013 Ford C-Max Energi|28,500 Miles
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#4689471 - 03/09/18 10:05 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
BAJA_05 Online   content

Registered: 02/04/18
Posts: 178
Loc: Pennsylvania
Make time to go out and warm your car up alittle earlier then you normally do. I hate last minute people!!!

2017 VW Jetta SE TSI 1.4L Turbo
2005 Subaru Baja AWD 2.5L N/A 5spd.

#4689474 - 03/09/18 10:08 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
Wolf359 Offline

Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4260
Loc: MA
Get another car with heated seats. Mine gets toasty after 2 or 3 minutes. Or get a remote start and have the heat on. That's what a lot of people use to remote start function for. As others said an electric heater won't put out enough heat due to limited wattage. Most inverters are only good for 300-400 watts. Those electric heaters are 1500 Watts.

#4689475 - 03/09/18 10:08 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
Nick1994 Offline

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 9605
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Go warm up your car
2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 74k PU 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 227k M1 AFE 0w30 & Wix
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 145k M1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

#4689518 - 03/09/18 11:04 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
JLTD Online   content

Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 209
Loc: US
So installing inverter, ceramic heater and high powered battery, spending $$ for same vs warming up the Subaru for 10 minutes?

Agree with warming up first, save yourself $$ and time.
2015 4Runner SR5 1GR-FE

#4689536 - 03/09/18 11:21 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
Cujet Offline

Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 6835
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
From a technical point of view, a ceramic heater will consume about 1500W. NOT accounting for losses, that's 125 amps from your battery/alternator. You would need a quality 2000W inverter, wired directly to your battery, with large cables.

Instant heat is very difficult to achieve. Is using an extension cord to a heater an option?

#4689561 - 03/09/18 11:53 AM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
MoneyJohn Offline

Registered: 03/01/12
Posts: 150
Loc: Southern NY
Thank you, everyone.

I actually dress pretty warmly. I do not have issues with the body as such but the toes. Even with 2 layers of woolen socks and best possible thermal insulation possible shoes, my toes freeze. I have even tried those toe warmers but they don't help much. I would have just put up the picture but its too ugly looks like I am almost bleeding from my toes.

For the heater in the car with an extension cord idea, we have a ton of restrictions in this development due to past litigations by the former tenants. I can not use the extension cord that long or leave the car idling more than 5 minutes. I still leave it idling more than 5 minutes sometimes when its below freezing and have gotten notices from the management. I do have a seat warmer. Even though that gets warm pretty quickly, its the toes that bother the most. I will move out of this place as soon as my kid is done schooling but until then I have to deal with all these regulation vigilantes.

Thanks @krismoriah72, this seems to be the most viable option at this moment. I can just leave it on for 5 or so minutes. Is there any place where I can actually check this out, like outdoor sports store like REI or something?

@quint, can you please link the inverter you use?

Thanks again.
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium w/ EyeSight
2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

#4689586 - 03/09/18 12:16 PM Re: Personal ceramic heater in the car? [Re: MoneyJohn]
GravelRoad Offline

Registered: 05/30/15
Posts: 123
Loc: Virginia
They make heated socks. Don't know how well they work.
2016 Subaru Outback Premium. PUP 5w30 oem filter
2013 Hyundai Elantra loaded. lifetime free oil/filter change

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