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Old 01-21-2009, 11:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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12v cabin heater/defroster?

Has anyone found a 12V cabin heater/defroster that will provide heat and help with defrost while waiting for the engine to come to temp?

I have a Nissan Altima Hybrid, and can't drive in EV mode until the engine temp hits 161F. Meanwhile, my windshield is fogging up and my passengers are whining.

All the reviews for these things are very negative. Is there a "better" one than most? The creme de la crap, perhaps?

Thanks,
Eph

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Old 01-21-2009, 11:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe try out a 110V heater instead? I mentioned this a while back in my winter preparation thread. They even have wireless outlet controllers you can buy to turn it on from inside your house.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tyle-5772.html
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's an option. Wifey already has issues with my block heater cord attached to my car. Not sure having another cord going into my cabin will pass the "Wife Approval Test". Plus, I'd also like a portable solution for when the car's been sitting in the parking lot at work or at a store/gym.

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Old 01-21-2009, 12:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When I lived in Fairbanks, AK we used a 1500 watt AC interior heater to "kinda" keep the interior warmer. Usually that meant the interior was 30 degrees warner than the ambient temperature. At -50 F the interior was a comfortable -20F.

IMHO a DC heater would consume vast amounts of power.
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, it would take a ton of power to run it off the car power. Watts = Volts x Amps. So 1500 watts / 12 volts = 125 amps. More than many alternators put out. And a 1500 watt heater still takes awhile to warm up the car. Your coolant warms up faster.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Katz makes a 300 watt 12v electric heater that has to be hard wired to the battery but it's a special order from the auto part store and they couldn't give me a price, my thought on the higher electrical load is that it will make the engine work harder so it warms up faster, so if the whole point is heat right now then why not go electric? it takes my car 4-5 miles to get warm enough to put out heat.
with a 15 amp outlet you have 1800 watts of power avalible to you, a small electric 1000 watt space heater in your car and a 500 watt block heater running off the same 12 gauge cord should be ok if nothing else is plugged in.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You could get an inline coolant heater. It's popular for TDIs. You get instant heat. For best FE results I would also use a classic block heater.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a block heater. But, when it is 10F out, it only gets my engine to about 80F. Still takes 4-5mins to get to 161F, where I can get into EV mode and turn on the heater. Of course, once I'm in EV mode, the engine begins to cool again. When it drops below 161F, my ICE turns on... Vicious cycle.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Harbor freight makes ones that plug into your power point. Maybe if that quality isn't what you are looking for you might be able to find a high quality one that's similar.

A friend of mine a few years ago found an electric heater out of a school bus fit perfect in his fj40 landcruiser.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cephraim View Post
Meanwhile, my windshield is fogging up and my passengers are whining.
I think you'll find that the only really workable solution is to swap out the passengers :-) Face it, it's cold. It's going to take a certain amount of energy & power (rate at which energy is delivered) to warm things up to what your passengers seem to consider acceptable. That's not likely to be available from your car's cigaratte lighter receptacle, which is probably fused at around 20 amps.

You might look at a radiator block to help the engine get up to operating temp faster, if you haven't already. Even then, if you go into EV mode, the engine is going to cool down pretty quickly. I find that with the Insight, it's just better to dress warmly...

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