How to quickly warm up you and your car this winter

November 29th 2015 | Benjamin Yong
Vancouver has been experiencing uncomfortably low temperatures lately — OpenRoad has some tips on how to thaw out.


The mercury has been dipping down to near the negative mark this week during evenings, meaning many drivers are being greeted by freezing cold cars when they head out to start their commute in the morning. To help ease the pain, we’re sharing some words of advice to get your ride (and you) warmed up as quickly as possible.

• Skip the long idle

After you have your windows defrosted, there’s no need to leave your car running stationary for too long. When you hit the road, take it easy on the throttle until the temperature gauge reaches the mid-point.

• Recirculate

Once the engine gets to its optimum operating temp, turn up the fan and set the climate control to recirculate. This keeps warm air blowing out of the vents rather than a frigid draught brought in from outside.

• Mind the wheel

Whenever I get into a car that has a steering wheel heater on a chilly day, that’s one of the first things I turn on — never underestimate the joy that comes from toasty hands. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have this feature, you can slip on a cover to provide a buffer against the cold leather or plastic.

• Heated seats to maximum

The above applies to heated seats as well, which rely on electrics so they tend to be the first thing that gets hot. Any automotive parts store will also carry heated seat cushions that perform a similar task, and, as a bonus, some have massage functions built in.

• Bundle up

This might sound obvious, but your body will reach its own preferred operating temperature much quicker if you’re wearing appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Even if it looks sunny outside, it’s wise to never leave the home or office without a proper winter jacket and a hat. 

About the Author

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5.

Twitter: @b_yong
Instagram: @popuplights