12v Auto Heater: Read Before Buying!

12v Car Heater

12v Car Heater

Christie James

Christie James
Recognized Blog Writer With Appearances On Media Outlets

Updated on 3/21/2023


There is no question that the climate inside your car can get quite cold during the cold season. On top of that, you'll often find the windows defrosted, making it nearly impossible to see what's outside.


It is possible to use a portable car heater to add warmth to your car's interior and defrost your windows so you can see outside.


They are lightweight and begin to release heat within seconds of being plugged into a car's 12-volt adapter. These heaters are typically plugged into a car's 12-volt adapter. This guide aims to assist you in choosing the best 12-volt car heater for your vehicle. First, let us look at a few of the best products in this category.


Best 12-Volt Car Heater Buying Guide

You have to ask yourself several questions before selecting the right 12-volt electric car heater for your car. Your answers to these questions should address how you intend to use the heater.


For example, this would allow you to select between plug-in heaters and larger, hardwired options depending on your needs. If you were to answer these questions, you would also be able to determine the correct wattage of the lamp to use.


Convection Portable Heaters

A portable car heater that works by convection draws cold air over an electric heating element. In passing through the heated part, the cold air becomes heated simultaneously. Once the heated air reaches the area around you, it circulates.


Through convection, warm air rises to the top, while cold air sinks to the bottom, drawn into the heating system. In other words, convection is when warm air rises and cool air sinks. The best place to put convection heaters is in a sealed-up car to avoid heat escaping. In my opinion, oil-filled heaters are the best example of convection car heaters. These heaters heat oil sealed within the heater using an electric heating element.


The heat is transferred to the surrounding air upon transfer to the casing. Conventional heaters are slow to heat.


Fan-Forced Heaters

As with electric heaters, these heaters also use an electric element to heat the water. However, there is one big difference: they do not entirely rely on natural convection. Most fan-forced heaters are fitted with a fan that helps move the heated air around. It is important to note that the heaters circulate heat more efficiently and faster by using fans. Unlike convective heaters, you do not have to wait for your entire car to get warm, as it is done within minutes with convection heaters.


In addition, they take up less space than convective heaters. But they are noisy. There is always noise when there is a fan, and fan-driven car heaters are no exception. 


Radiant Portable Heaters

As a final note, portable car heaters that use radiant heating elements also use electric heating elements. Although they do not emit heat into the surrounding air as convective or fan-forced heaters, they emit infrared radiation that only warms objects, not the air around them.


Car interior elements and occupants would be included here. Heat is transferred to the environment via radiation from these objects. Radiant car heaters are dangerous, primarily when used in confined spaces such as small cars. They're more appropriate in larger RVs.


Advantages Of 12-Volt Car Heaters

During the cold season, they keep the car warm.

Muscle tension is relieved by seat warmers.

You can customize the heating in your car.

You can upgrade your car heating system at an affordable price.


12-Volt Heaters For Car Come In Many Styles

Kingleting Heated Seat Cushion

There is no doubt that the Kingleting heated seat cushion will add a luxurious touch to the interior of any vehicle. Therefore, it doesn't matter whether the heated cushion is for a car, SUV, or RV; you can rest assured that it will fit your seats.

A non-slip rubber bottom on the cushions ensures that they don't slip during use. Additionally, the KINGLETING comes with elastic bands that are used for fastening the cushion to the seat.


In terms of performance, the cushion heats up in a minute and provides ideal warmth for your entire back, thighs, and hips. Further, if you want to adjust the temperature, a minimum set point of 30 °C (86 °F) is available. As a result, you will have the flexibility to set the temperature upwards by a minimum of 3C (37.4F) to 60C (140F). It is possible to set an auto-timer that automatically shuts off the cushions after a certain period, such as 30, 60, or 90 minutes. However, it is also important to note that the heated cushions are safe.


The heating system is equipped with a thermostat that serves as a protection device to prevent overheating of the cushions.



  • In a minute, it begins to heat up
  • Thermostats with intelligent temperature control
  • Protection against automatic power-off
  • A thermostat with overheat protection prevents overheating



  • It may catch fire


Stalwart 75-Hblanket Electric Car Blanket

CAR ADAPTABLE: This soft 12-volt electric blanket plugs into any cigarette lighter in your car, truck, SUV, or recreational vehicle. This blanket will heat up quickly and stay warm for an extended period.

LONG CORD: This heated fleece throw comes with a 96-inch cord, so even passengers in the backseat can stay warm.

THIN WIRE AND WARMTH: This lightweight auto blanket has thin wires that give off a warm and comfortable heat. You can fold the blanket easily to store in a trunk or the back seat of a car without taking up too much space.

PERFECT GIFT: This travel throw is the ideal accessory for those cold winter nights! In addition to making an excellent gift for your friends and family this winter, it will make a great emergency kit for your vehicle, camping, and tailgating.

PRODUCT DETAILS: The dimensions of the product are 59" (L) x 43" (W), and the length of the cord is 96". This product is made entirely of polyester. The color is blue. For best results, spot clean only-do, not machine wash. It comes with a storage case that has a handle.


Powered by your cigarette lighter, the Stalwart 75-Hblanket comes with a 96-inch cord, so you don't have to worry about getting it to any seat in the car.


Even if you choose to buy one for the backseats, there will be a cord. As well as being able to heat up super fast, the Stalwart blanket also stays warm at the chosen temperature until you unplug it. During your drive, you will be cozy and warm. This seat warmer is also very thin compared to other seat warmers. Nevertheless, the thin wires provide consistent and comfortable heat.


Despite its thinness, the blanket can be folded easily during storage and tucked into the trunk or stored in the backseat without taking too much space. A carrying case is also included.


This 75-inch blanket is made from 100% polyester and measures 59 by 43 inches. You can order the blanket in either black or white, and it is straightforward to clean. The blanket should not be machine washed. 



  • Indicators using LEDs
  • Thermostatically controlled
  • The set includes a plastic storage case with handles
  • The cord measures 96 inches



  • Washing by hand only


RV Camper 12-Volt Auto Defroster With LED Light

RV Camper 12 Volt Auto Heater with LED Defroster...

Dash mounting base that swivels 360 degrees

Handle that can be used as a defroster

There are separate switches for the heater, fan, and lamp (three-position heat switch)

Flashlight with LED built-in

Outer housing made of rubber


The unit blows hot air into the car's interior first and foremost. However, the RV Camper can defrost, prevent fog, and melt snow.


Furthermore, it has an air purifier function to keep your car smelling nice and fresh throughout your ride. Considering that you'll be closing your windows for most of the winter season, it makes even more sense. This rubberized heater comes with an 8-foot power cord, and you should only plug it into outlets rated for 15 amps and 12 volts.


The RV Camper also has a 360-degree swivel base for dash mounting and separate switches for the heater, fan, and light. You can also use the heater as a spot defroster with the swing-out handle. 



  • LED flashlight integrated into the device
  • Fuse with a 15-amp rating
  • With a three-position heat switch
  • The warranty period of 90 days


  • Warming up takes a while


This model may be an excellent choice for campers who need a small heater. This device has a wide range of functions and can be used on trucks, RVs, and cars.


HonsCreat 12V DC Portable 300W Tungsten Car Heater

Auto overheat protection 12 Volt 300W Fan for Car

Easily mount the portable fan for your car

With this product, you can enjoy traveling, camping and glass defrosting mist while on the go

An aluminum alloy laminated heater that provides instant heat even in the coldest conditions

The package includes 1x Car Heater, 1x Aluminum tube, 2x Clips, and 1x Aluminum ring


The HonsCreat is a tungsten heater that is another value-for-money option. This heater uses electricity to generate heat through the tungsten. Through the help of a fan, the heat is evenly distributed throughout the cabin.


Fully automatic car heater for 12 volts, this car heater has a 300 Watt power output. A sensor determines the heat levels in your cabin, and it turns the heat production process ON or OFF, depending on the situation, to increase or decrease the cabin temperature. In addition to heating the building, the HonsCreat also assists in defrosting the glass during cold weather. Other features included in the heaters are instant, powerful heating, and an automatic overheat protection system. 


You can easily mount the unit. A mounting bracket is included in the package. Additionally, two aluminum clips, a ring, and a tube are included in the package. 



  • Installing a portable fan could not be easier
  • It is a great travel and camping tent
  • It is a device that provides instant heating
  • Assists in the defrosting of glass



  • It is essential to position yourself professionally.


RoadWorthy Back Seat Heat Plus 1100 BTU 12V Truck Heater

Heater with 12 volts and 25 amps

The battery-safe heat output is 300 Watts, 1100 BTUs

The wiring harness is 20 feet long and includes a 30 amp fuse

A few tools are required to install. There is also some hardwiring involved.

This product circulates the air in your vehicle's heater. It is NOT a replacement for the heater in your vehicle.


Your truck cabin gets plenty of heat with a 12-volt, forced-air ceramic heater from RoadWorthy. However, you should know that RoadWorthy cannot be used as the primary heat source for your car.


Ideally, it should be used as a complementary heat source. The air coming out is between 20 and 30 degrees warmer than the air going in.

According to the manufacturer, the heater produces 1,100BTUs of instant heat. The heat transfer is 100% efficient because of the unique design of its cells.


It is best to hire a professional to do the mounting for you. If you choose to do it yourself, mount the unit low on the floor under elevated seats in the wheel wells. 


There may be a need for hardwiring to be installed. Packaged with the unit are the necessary wiring, a universal mounting bracket, and a switch that can be mounted to the dash. 



  • Installation is simple 
  • The power output of 1,100 BTU
  • Controls for the dashboard on/off switch
  • The wiring harness is 20 feet long



  • You can only use it as a supplementary source of heat.


12 Volt Rubberized Electric Car Heater & Defroster

With the handle swung out, the spot defroster can be used as a handheld device

You can choose between "heat" and "fan-only" settings

LED flashlight integrated into the device

Mount swivels 360 degrees

A 12-volt outlet is directly connected to the 87" cord


With a price under $15, this 12-volt auto heater/defroster with light is perhaps the cheapest option.


It is easy to install the heater. Plug it into a 12V accessory power outlet rated for 15A. It would help if you used no other outlet. It can burn the sockets on your light bulbs, for example. Connect the device and turn it on by toggling the power switch. Toggle between heating and cooling, and select the heat setting.


Defrost the windshield by mounting the dashboard or holding it over the windshield. Remove the handle from the housing to operate handheld. The heater features a 360-degree swivel base for dash mounting, separate switches for the heater, fan, and lamp, and a built-in flashlight.



  • Fuse with a 15-amp rating
  • Handle that swings out
  • With a three-position heat switch
  • The cord measures 87 inches



  • The plug must be of high rating.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will A 12-Volt Heater Run On A Car Battery?

Even though it might work, you will permanently damage your car battery. In addition, it will only keep you warm for about three hours until the battery is drained, and it can be dangerous as well (you're using high current devices). You should purchase an indoor propane heater instead to stay warm during a power outage.

Is There A Heater You Can Plug Into Your Car?

Installing a car power inverter or using an extension cord are the primary ways to use a 120 V plug-in car heater. You can use the 120 V heater if your vehicle's engine is running or any of these heaters if the engine is off.

How Many Watts Does A 12V Heater Use?

At 12 volts, heater # PTW5009 consumes 13 amps, equating to 156 watts.

How Long Can A Car Battery Run A Heater?

A typical car battery has 600 watt-hours of charge, so you can run a 200-watt heater for 3 hours before it needs to be recharged.

How To Keep A Car Warm In Winter Overnight?

You should park your vehicle near a wall or inside a garage or carport. Blocking the wind helps to keep the engine warm. Cover the engine beneath the hood with a blanket. Invest in a full-sized car cover for your vehicle. An outlet should be connected to the radiator.