Retrofit auxiliary heating and save

Retrofit auxiliary heating and save money
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S can be seen when looking out the window on a cold winter morning many of what awaits them when going to the car - a milky-white layer of ice on the vehicle windows. So scratching is announced. And even if it only takes a few minutes - it's annoying.

In these situations, the desire for a parking heater arises. It clears the windows of ice and snow without the driver having to do anything. It also preheats the engine. That means: During the frosty days, you sit in a preheated vehicle - without clammy fingers.

There is now a suitable retrofit solution for almost every vehicle model on the accessories market. The cost of installing a parking heater depends on the heater itself, the desired control element and the car. As a rule of thumb, the bottom line is that customers must always expect costs of over 1,000 euros. For example, if you equip a small car with an auxiliary heater and the inexpensive, permanently installed control element, you pay around 1,200 euros including assembly. But there is often still something that can be done about costs. Because the providers keep putting together so-called package deals or special offers, which can save you around 200 euros.

Parking heater from Webasto.

The amount still remains high, but drivers get a lot in return. Since auxiliary heaters are integrated in the cooling water circuit, they also preheat the engine block. This reduces the wear and tear on the drive unit, which is particularly high during a cold start in winter. The use of the heaters doesn't really matter, they have been designed for these tasks and should last the life of the car. And that without an inspection - parking heaters are usually maintenance-free.

ExactlyMany people know little about the low fuel consumption of a heater. As studies show, the consumption of a car during a cold start can be 1.5 to two times higher than the normal value. This means that if a diesel consumes six liters per 100 kilometers when it is at operating temperature, the additional consumption over a distance of five kilometers is up to 0.6 liters in the cold start phase. Parking heaters shorten the cold start phase and do not need a lot of fuel. With a half-hour heating phase, for example, the devices consume around 0.2 liters of fuel, depending on the vehicle model. At current fuel prices, this corresponds to costs of around 22 cents. Around half of this is offset by the lower consumption in the shortened warm-up phase.

Save on operation

A lot has happened in the last few years with parking heaters - they not only work more efficiently, but are also one step further in operation. The devices can now be started in many ways. It is precisely at this point that there is potential for savings. If you can do without a remote control because the auxiliary heater usually starts up at a certain time, you save 200 to 400 euros on your wallet (see above). The start time is operated via a preset clock in the car.

Timer remote control plus heating for 1,498 euros: The Telestart T100 HTM offers temperature monitoring and on /off Function with feedback also allows you to set the desired departure time.

If you use the auxiliary heating at different times, the remote control is advisable. There are different versions here. Depending on the unit, the mobile control tools enable heating periods to be programmed in advance. A good thing is the cell phone start and also not tied to range limits like the radio remote controls. Smartphone owners benefit from apps that use the Android device or Apple iPhone to control the heating remotely. The telephone control is usually not much more expensive than a timer remote control.

And something else speaks for the remote controls: OneModern auxiliary heating can even be used in summer when the heat builds up in the car. If the driver switches on the auxiliary heating fan minutes before the start, the interior of the car is significantly cooled with fresh air.

ThermoCall app plus heating for 1,598 euros: Expensive solution, but no range limitation because it is controlled via the cellular network. The running costs for the SIM card are less than 10 euros a year.

Upgrade auxiliary heater

This shows the Advantages of a parking heater. Many modern cars already have such a device on board without the owners knowing it - at least a stripped-down version called an auxiliary heater. The reason: Modern diesels work so efficiently that hardly any heat is generated for the vehicle heating. This is why the auxiliary heaters are used. The difference to the parking heater is that the auxiliary heater only works when the engine is running, while the parking heater can also be on when the car is parked.

In principle, auxiliary heaters can be expanded to include additional control elements with relatively little effort, in order to turn them into a fully-fledged auxiliary heater. The supplier Webasto (, for example, offers vehicle-specific upgrade kits for numerous models from the last 15 years, which experienced workshops can assemble in a maximum of four hours. This cuts costs by more than a third. That means: the upgrade, including installation costs, starts at around 700 euros, retrofitting a parking heater at 1,200 euros.


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