Parking Heaters 101: An Intro for Those Interested in Mechanic Training

auto careers
Parking heaters melt ice and snow from the windshield, making removal easier

Getting into a freezing car in the dead of winter is one of those things everyone dreads, especially if it means wasting time scraping ice off the windshield in the morning. Parking heaters are the innovative solution to this problem, as they are a cost effective and simple way to warm the inside of a vehicle before you actually get in it. Parking heaters are electro-mechanical devices equipped with various sensors and microprocessors. 

Available to almost any vehicle that requires warming (think RVs, trucks, buses, boats), parking heaters are able to warm a vehicle without the engine running, and their structure and design is different from traditional heating systems for car cabins. Using air or liquid, parking heaters heat both the interior and the engine of a vehicle to a temperature that makes getting into the car more bearable on cold mornings. There are many different types of parking heaters with different advantages, such as air based, coolant based, electric, or diesel parking heaters. Read on to find out how parking heaters work and why they’re a popular choice. 

In Auto Mechanic School? Here’s How Parking Heaters Actually Work

Those with mechanic training may be interested to know that parking heaters warm not just the car’s cabin, but the engine as well. How? Well, first, any kind of parking heater will typically be started by a timer, a remote control, a mobile phone, or manual control, warming up the car before the driver starts it. Depending on the parking heater, once started, the control system or computer circuit board will begin running diagnostic tests. This is done in order to check different components, and once complete, a motor fan will dispel air into the system. In order for combustion to take place, the fuel pump begins to pump fuel into the heater system, which an electric current ignites. 

When an adequate level of heat has been attained, it’s ready to circulate throughout the car via air or water, depending on the type of parking heater in question. This transfer happens via the heat exchanger system, which air or water flow through before distributing heat to the interior system. This distribution of heat uses the car’s already-installed ventilation system. The warm water or air will then flow into the engine compartment to heat up the engine as well. Warming the engine prior to starting the car makes it is easier to start, especially in cold weather. From here, the air or water will flow back to the parking heater, continuing the process until the system gets a signal to stop the heater.

The Benefits of a Parking Heater

Cold weather can affect fuel efficiency and other components of cars. This is why those with auto careers may know it’s commonly advised to park in warmer places during cold months, since it increases the initial temperature of the engine. However, it’s often unfeasible for drivers to do so, as they may not have access to a garage each time they need to park their car. 

Parking heaters warm up the car and engine prior to starting the car, lessening the wear on engines during the winter months and preventing ice from forming on the exterior of the car. This makes it a whole lot easier to keep windows cleared of ice and snow! Additionally, parking heaters use only a small amount of fuel to preheat the car, reducing idling time and thus the cost spent on fuel. This results in less pollution, as the amount of exhaust gas a vehicle produces in an idling state is higher than that of a parking heater. By ensuring comfort in a vehicle and reducing the burden on drivers during the winter months, parking heaters have a lot to offer.

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