Automotive

The Car Interior Preheater could make winter a little more tolerable

The Car Interior Preheater cou...
The Car Interior Preheater is a portable, battery-powered device that warms up the inside of vehicles before the driver gets in
The Car Interior Preheater is a portable, battery-powered device that warms up the inside of vehicles before the driver gets in
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The Car Interior Preheater is a portable, battery-powered device that warms up the inside of vehicles before the driver gets in
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The Car Interior Preheater is a portable, battery-powered device that warms up the inside of vehicles before the driver gets in

Of the various "joys" of winter, one of the biggest has got to be getting into a frozen-solid automobile, then sitting and shivering as you wait for the inside of the windshield to defrost. Many people instead opt for remote engine starters, although these must be professionally installed, plus they waste fuel while also creating air pollution - some cities have even passed anti-idling bylaws, to limit their harmful effects. So, what's a winter wimp to do? Well, they can now buy the Car Interior Preheater.

The portable device sits on the dashboard, and draws power from an integrated rechargeable battery to blow hot air throughout the inside of your car. It has two adjustable-angle vents, so one can be pointed at the windshield, while the other directs its toasty goodness towards the seats.

It can be set to start as much as 20 minutes before you enter the car, or it can be started simply when you think of it, using a remote with a range of 200 feet (61 meters). Recharging is accomplished through an AC outlet or an in-car power port, and takes four hours.

The gadget won't preheat your engine, needless to say, but then that's what block heaters are for. One question that does arise, however: could a particularly cold night cause its battery to conk out? Only one way to find out ... the Car Interior Preheater sells for US$119.95 through Hammacher Schlemmer.

22 comments
Gareth James
What a complete and utter waste of space this thing is! Over here in Finland we have car interior heaters that run off the same circuit as the engine block heaters! Normally in the passenger side footwell there will be a standard size plug socket. Into this you plug something like the Defa Termin 2100 and mount it to the side of the footwell angled to face into the car. Then when ever the block heater is turned on, this is also activated! So the engine and the interior are both well warmed when you get into the car!
Leanne Franson
Gareth, as far as I know, we had those too, in Saskatchewan, in the 1970s and 80s (I don\'t live there or own a car now so cannot speak to now)... you plug in the engine block heater and the interior car warmer which goes down by the passenger side footwell. I have no idea why this might be \"news\".
stimpy77
Dunno what you guys are whining about. I think this is brilliant and if I wasn\'t in Arizona and didn\'t have a Toyota Echo dashboard I\'d jump at the opportunity to buy one.
EinSascha
Are you suggesting to run a 2100 to 3300W device from your car battery while the engine is off? It\'ll suck over 175A and thus in 20 Minutes depletes 58Ah from your battery. Even most fully charged diesel car batteries will be to weak to start the engine after that torture. This device is for the poor folks that have to park at the roadside, far from power outlets. The Idea is probably to take it out of the car, charge at home or work and put it back into the car in the evening so it can heat in the morning. The available devices to be run from the car battery have been around 120W and were useless by design. So if this thing actually works, it\'s great news for me.
Duane Phillips
That this thing is battery powered is innovative- regular in-car heaters, as the other commenters have said, are AC-powered, on the same circuit as your block heater. But I don\'t see the battery pack of a $119 device making much of a difference to -30 temperatures. This is probably meant for people who occasionally see sub-freezing temps, not for those of us who live in places with real winters.
nehopsa
This is not even news: \"We regret that this item is no longer available.\" C\'mon gizmag readers so you have bought the store out in just about six hours since this article was posted?
VirtualGathis
@EinSascha - No they are talking about a vehicle that is connected to mains power. In the places where temps stay below freezing for long periods cars come standard with a block heater that runs on mains power. Apparently in some places they connect that circuit to an outlet in the car to run a heater.
YukonJack
This is redundant. When I plugged in my block heater I always left my vehicle\'s heater turned on so the fluid could circulate on into the interior and warm it as well.
Slowburn
I use a highly efficient 150watt heating element that gives light as a byproduct.
Richie Suraci
My wife will love this !!!!