Best Portable Car Heaters In 2020 – Analysis and Reviews


It is completely possible to drive a vehicle that has no heater, but driving a vehicle that has no heater is a miserable experience. Sometimes the heater goes out in your car and you simply do not have the money for the repairs or the time to let the car be in the shop while the repairs are being done. A portable car heater solves the problem for you.

We want our readers to have the knowledge they need on everything related to portable heaters. When we were asked what the best portable car heaters were, we asked several mechanics and individuals who live in cold prone areas to try out a few of these appliances and give us their opinions. The following list includes the ones that our panel of experts liked the most.



1. ROYADVE 12V Portable Fan Car Heater

Fast heating and cooling are offered by this compact device. It has an adjustable wind mode that creates the amount of wind emitted from the three outlets on the front of the unit.

It can be turned to a strong blow when you are using it to help cool the car in the summer and turned down to a gentler blow when you are using the device to supplement the heat in the cold winter months.

Installation is a breeze with this device. You simply plug the included power cord into the cigarette lighter on your vehicle. 

The device needs to be the only thing plugged into the circuit of the cigarette lighter because if you are using more than one device on the same circuitry one of the devices may not receive all of the amperages it needs to function correctly.

It attaches to the dash of your car and is a low-profile unit so it is not distracting and does not impede your vision. Adhesive mounting strips are included with the item and you do not have to alter your dahs or drill any holes in your dash to mount this item.


2. ROYADVE Portable Car Heater 12V Fast Heating Cooling Fan

Versatility is a key factor with this unit. It is a powerful source of heat to replace or back-up the heat your primary heater creates. It is also a defogger that can clear your windshield so you see clearer.

It is an air purifier so you breathe cleaner air. It also cools the car in the summer and helps you stay comfortable all-year-round. It is quiet and will not be distracting while you are driving.

High-quality materials were used in the creation of this small device. 

It mounts to your dahs using adhesive strips so you do not need to make any permanent alterations to your car. It has three outlets that air flows from. It can be set to blow on high, medium or low depending on what you need the device to do.

In 60-seconds this unit can heat the inside of your car to a comfortable temperature that you can tolerate. In just as short amount of time, it can defog, defrost, or make snowmelt away from your windshield so you can drive safely.

Attractive styling and low profile allow this quiet and effective unit to add to your car instead of being distracting. It has no open flames and does not emit any harmful gases.


3. CICL Fast Heating 12V Portable Car Heater

Cooling and heating powers are amped by this device. It has a switch that you can position when you want it to blow cool air in the hot months or warm air in the cold months of the year.

The design gives the unit a 3600 adjustment so the device blows the air in the exact direction you need it to be blown.

Defrost your windshield in a matter of seconds or keep the fog cleared away so you can drive more safely.

The non-slip base can be stood on a non-slip mat or you can use double-sided tape to adhere it to the dash of the vehicle. You do not have to make costly or unsightly changes to the interior of your vehicle to install this device.

The unit plugs into the cigarette lighter of your car. Then you simply turn the device on and choose whether you want it to spew out cool or warm air. It has easy to operate controls, remains cool to the touch, is quiet and unobtrusive.

This heater heats very quickly but in extremely cold conditions it may take longer for it to defrost your windshield or warm your vehicle.


4. ROYADVE 12V Portable Car Heater & Fan Cooler

12V car heater that also works as a defroster, a defogger, and a fan in the summertime. This item is versatile, durable and effective in all seasons.

The three outlets produce enough air to heat a car in as few as 60-seconds or to effectively blow strong enough to cool a car.

Your vision is improved because you can keep all fog, frost, and snow from forming or building up on your windshield. You are also comfortable and not shivering with cold or trying to wipe sweat from your brow in the summer. 

That means you are less preoccupied and can pay more attention to your driving and the road conditions.

This unit is designed to plug into the opening that houses the cigarette lighter of the vehicle. Then you simply select whether you want the unit to deliver cold or warm air, and decide the amount of force you want the fan to use while delivering that air.

It sits on the dash of your car and is held in place with an adhesive like double-sided tape. It is small and does not interfere with your ability to see clearly out of the windshield. It is attractive, and very quiet while it is running so it is not distracting.


5. Happybuy 5KW Diesel Air Heater 12V Diesel Parking Heater

Diesel vehicle drivers will love this unit that is specifically designed to be installed in a diesel engine automobile. It can be used in diesel cars, trucks, buses, RVs, and more.

It will effectively heat the cab of the vehicle and keep you comfortable no matter what Mother Nature is giving outside.

Fast heating is offered through this aluminum housed unit. It is light and designed to control the amount of air intake so it extends the durability the device offers. 

The device is very easy to install and comes with all of the mounting hardware and accessories that are required to make the installation. You will not need more than a screwdriver and a little time to install this device.

Low noise is another feature of this muffled unit. The heater will not cause you to have to play the radio louder or be unable to have a conversation with the person riding with you. Other than the increased warmth in the cab of your ride you will barely notice that this unit is being used.


6. KINGLETING Heated Seat Cushion with Intelligent Temperature Controller

Heated seats are the greatest way to increase your comfort when you are driving in the frigid winter weather.

These delightful heated seat covers will begin to produce heat that you can physically detect within one minute of being activated. The warmth will spread and be felt along your thighs, back, and hips.

You control the exact temperature the seat covers reach. The highest setting will allow you to choose a temperature that equals 860F up to 1400F. No matter how cold it is outside you can be toasty warm while you are driving.

It has an overheat sensor that will not allow it to overheat and cause any damage to you or the seat that it is placed on. It has a built-in thermostat that allows the heating to stop when it reaches the temperature you have chosen. When the temperature drops below your preferred setting it will engage the heat again until it reaches the proper temperature.

Designed so they universally fit the majority of all bucket style seats in all vehicle makes and models. It has elastic bands to help hold the cushions in place and keep them from moving or shifting.


7. Mr. Heater F274830 Portable RV Propane Heater

Propane heat that can heat an area as large as 450 square heat is available from this unit. It has a swivel regulator and you can power it with a one-pound disposable propane cylinder, or go ahead and connect it to a larger 20-pound propane unit. 

The heater can function in outdoor conditions if you are camping or heating a patio and can be used indoors too. It is a clean-burning device and uses the fuel it consumes with 100% efficiency.

You do need to provide the proper amount of ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning from units that are fueled by propane.

It has an auto shut-off feature designed into it so the device will turn off completely if it were to be tipped over to an unsafe position. It also has over-heat protection so the unit will automatically shut off if the device overheats.

Three heat settings allow you to choose exactly how much heat the appliance produces and propels into the area. It will use less fuel when it is operated on the lowest heat setting.


8. Mr. Heater F242010 MH4GC Car Heater

Mr. Heater F242010 MH4GC Car Heater

Check More Photos & Price at: amazon.com

Five and one-half hours of running time are provided by the small propane cylinder that powers this heating device.

It does burn propane and does require good ventilation to keep you safe from carbon monoxide concerns while operating this device. It is recommended for vehicles like golf-carts that have open sides, front, and back.

You will be able to position this small heater in the cup-holder of the vehicle and enjoy the heat it creates/ It is powered by one-pound propane cylinders, and the fuel is purchased separately.

You do not need an external fire source to ignite the unit. It has a simple push-button ignition that automatically ignites the heater and starts the warmth. There is asl a protective screen on the front of the heater to keep the wind from being able to blow out the flame.

Use this item with caution as it is not cool to the touch device and can be a contact burn threat if not handled properly.


Buying Considerations of best portable heater for car


Winter is fast approaching and with winter the concern for car heaters that are not working properly arise. Before you consider just be cold, or buying a portable heating unit for your vehicle take the time to read about the following things so you can be better educated on these appliances and their pros and cons.

When to buy a portable car heater

  • When you live in an area that has brutal winters that have temperatures at or below freezing
  • When you drive a large vehicle or SUV
  • When you spend a lot of time on the road in your car and there is any risk of you getting caught by snow or having to sit in the car for extended periods of time.
  • When your primary heater is malfunctioning and not able to provide sufficient warmth for comfort or safety.
  • When you want to be able to defrost your car windshield faster on cold winter mornings.

Installation Requirements

If you buy a portable heater for your car you want to make sure that you get one that is easy to install. Some of these devices easily plug into the cigarette lighter port of your vehicle or into an auxiliary port like the one you plug your cell phone charger into.

Versatile

You can buy just a portable heater or you can buy a unit that is capable of heating and cooling. The versatility of the device will increase the amount of time you use it and this can make the item a better overall value.

Some of these devices also have features that allow them to be perfect for defrosting or defogging a window.

Size of Device

You want to get a device that can be installed in your vehicle and will not interfere with your vision or with the function of anything in the vehicle. The majority of the portable car heaters are designed to be installed on the dash of the vehicle. You want an item that is powerful enough to provide the warmth you need but small enough to not be distracting on the dash of the car.

Cost

The cost of any accessory is something to consider. You want to make sure that you get an item that is reasonably priced but be careful buying the cheapest thing you find. Do your research and read the reviews on the devices before you determine whether you want to try the item or not.


Frequent Asked Questions


1. How Do Car Defrosters Work?

When you turn the dial to the defrost setting the warm air that is produced by your heater will be directed through the ductwork to blow on the bottom section of your windshield.

When this warm air hits the windshield it can clear away the moisture and frost that has accumulated on the glass so you have a clear vision of the road ahead of you. In the majority of cars, the engine of the car must be cranked and allowed to warm up before the defroster will begin to clear your view.

2. Are Portable Car Heaters Safe?

For the most part, the worst thing that a portable car heater can cause is for you to have a blown-out fuse from circuit overload. The majority of these devices are safe and efficient.

There are some precautions you need to take when using propane-fueled portable heaters in your vehicle, like making sure to ventilate properly, and always making sure to cut the device off before you leave the car unattended.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and safety guidelines, and you should be safe and warm while using a portable car heater.

3. Does the portable car heater run when the vehicle is turned off?

For the most part, a portable car heater that is connected to the vehicle will stop working when the engine of the car is not running. If the car you drive has an automatic start/off function installed then when you start the car the heater will start to work immediately without you turning a switch.

If the heater you are using works on propane or batteries independent of the vehicle then the heater will not turn off when the car engine turns off and you will have to manually shut the heater off.

4. How long should it take a car heater to warm up?

Within ten minutes of cranking the car and turning on the heat, you should be feeling the temperature inside the vehicle increase. Some car heaters do not reach their full abilities until the car is driven for a few minutes so in those cars the warm-up time is a little longer.

5. Why is my car heater not blowing hot air?

One problem may be that the coolant you put in your radiator may not be circulating properly through the heater core. This can be caused by a blockage in the small tubing of the core. The thermostat in your car may not be operating properly or you could have broken heater controls. A water leak may also cause your heater to not work correctly.

6. How much does it cost to fix the heater in the car?

Depending on what the problem with your heater is the cost to repair it may be between $300 and $1,000 dollars. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a car heating system so the price of repairing one will be determined by the problem and whether the car is still under warranty or not.

7. Why does my car heat only work when I'm driving?

The coolant that you place in the radiator of your car heats up as you are driving. As the heated coolant is dispersed through the heater core the air that you feel coming from your vents is warmer than the air was when the coolant was still cold.

Check your heater control valve to ascertain whether it is opening properly and check your coolant levels to make sure that you have the correct amount.


Final Note


If you are interested in a small and versatile unit that can provide extra heat or cooling to the cab of your vehicle you will want to look at the Portable Fan Heater made by ROYADVE. It is easy to install and works by plugging into the cigarette lighter of your vehicle.

If you are looking for a propane heater that is adequate for supplying heat to something as large as a recreational vehicle, we suggest you look at the Mr. Heater F274830 MH18BRV. It is an indoor safe device that provides a lot of heat to as much as 450 square feet of space.

A portable car heater can provide you with extra heat if you live in a really cold area, or be a primary heat source if your car heater is broken or malfunctioning.

Vernon Scott
 

Vernon is the founder of this cool ( read HOT! ) website. He's superbly experienced on heating technologies as well as having clear ideas about modern heating appliances. Vernon has called him " I am a hot ( this time read COOL! ) guy!"

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