How to Stay Warm In a Car That Doesn’t Have Heat

Have you ever had a car that you love in the summer? The air conditioner blows cold, it gets pretty good gas mileage, and you never have to jump start the battery. But as soon as winter rolls around you begin to hate the minutes in your car. The battery struggles in the cold, the belt starts to make noise, and worst of all, your heater is broken. You can run it for thirty minutes before you need to leave, but it never gets warm. If your commute is uncomfortable, you need to know how to stay warm in a car that doesn’t have heat. 

Your car may lose heat for a number of reasons.

Long Johns and Warm Clothing 

Staying warm in a car without a heater is similar to staying warm outside on a cold day. You can wear multiple layers and long johns under your regular clothes to keep warm while you drive. A jacket or coat will also suffice on a short drive. A long drive may be uncomfortable with too many layers. Also be sure the clothes do not hinder your ability to drive. If you have a hood on, you may be causing a blind spot that makes it unsafe to yourself and other drivers. 

Portable Space Heater

Portable space heaters are available at reasonable prices. You can get one for $20-$30 and use batteries or plug it into the car’s outlet to keep it running. Some have attachments that allow it to be mounted, or you could secure it to your dash to blow hot air on you while you drive. If you have the budget, a couple of these heaters can make a real difference in a small space such as your car. 

Heated Blanket or Seat Warmer

A heated blanket or seat warmer plugs into your car’s outlet and heats up. You can then sit on it or place it on your lap to provide additional heating while you are driving. These items are as cheap as $20, and you could put one in each seat of the vehicle. This is a convenient way to stay warm in your car without heat. 

Heated Steering Wheel Cover

Another heated item that plugs into your car’s outlet is a steering wheel cover. While your car probably has a limited number of outlets, using one for a heated steering wheel cover assures your hands stay warm as you steer. These are helpful if you don’t have warm gloves or feel uncomfortable driving with them on. 

Block Heater

A block heater will warm up your engine which may help it blow warm air if the vents all work properly. Putting the block heater on before you start your car will get it warm enough to keep you warm if you have to drive on a cold day. 

Camping Accessories

There are many camping accessories meant for keeping you warm in a cold environment. Things such as hand and feet warmers can make a difference in a cold drive. An insulated mug with some hot coffee can keep your hands and belly warm as you make the drive. Hot coffee is a lifesaver because it can keep both your body and your mood in good spirits. 

Fix Your Car’s Heater

There are many aspects of your vehicle’s heater. Some problems are simple while others may be complex. Low coolant causes your heater to either not work or barely blow warm air. Fixing the heater may only cost the amount of a gallon of coolant. A mechanic or automotive shop flushes heater cores before winter to make sure they are unclogged to allow for the flow of hot coolant in the dash. These fixes could be less than $100, and comparable to some of the costs of the items previously mentioned. 

Other problems with your car's heater could cost you anywhere from $300-$500. If the blower motor and resistor are bad, the parts alone could be a few hundred dollars. If you have the budget, having the heater fixed properly is always the best way to stay warm in your car. However, if the cost of repair is more than you can afford, you can use one of the other ways to stay warm in a car that doesn’t have heat.

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