How to Choose the Best 12 Volt Heater Are you confused about which 12-volt car heater to buy? There are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help with your purchase decision. First of all, how do you intend on using the heater? Your answer to this question will allow you to determine whether you need to buy a plug-in type or a hard-wired type (which is also larger). You also should ask which type of heater is best suited to your needs, the kind of wattage that is best for your purposes and whether the job entails a real universal car heater replacement—one that taps into your car’s cooling system. Car heaters are commonly utilized for heating the car while the engine is turned on, for defrosting the windshield before starting up the car, or for heating up the car’s interior to a comfortable temperature before driving off with it. Perhaps the primary question you need to ask yourself is when and how you will use the heater. There are three major uses for a 12- volt car heater, with each one calling for a different solution. You may need to install a 12- volt heater to replace a failing factory type heating system when the engine is running, for instance. However, you shouldn’t use a 12-volt heater to heat up your vehicle when your engine isn’t on. You will need to choose a different type heater for that job. If your plan is to use your car heater only while the engine in your vehicle is running, though, then you can go ahead. Since your engine is on, the heater can be safely run without draining your battery. A 12-volt heater running off your car's electrical system will provide heat instantly once you turn it on, not like a factory heating system that depends on hot coolant from your engine. However—compared to the factory system that just requires electricity to power the blower motor—it will draw much more power from your car’s electrical system. You also need to keep in mind that 12-volt heaters cannot provide the same amount of heat that factory heaters can provide. Shop for your 12-volt car heater from an online store that offers a large selection from top- quality manufacturers. The best ones have ‘Authorized Retailer Status’ and can offer manufacturer warranties. Their highly-knowledgeable customer service team can recommend the most suitable products for your unique needs.