There's nothing more disappointing than finding out your car heater is busted right as the winter weather is setting in.
Recently, my significant other went through this. The price to fix it? A whopping $900. If money is tight and you only have one car...what can you do?
As it turns out, there are several alternative options for keeping the interior of your car toasty as you make it through the chilly Michigan winter. Here are at least 5:
1. Windshield Cover
It may be a well-known trick but, using a windshield cover can not just spare you the pain of having to brush or scrape off snow and ice but it also provides some insulation as well. Find it on Amazon for as little as $10.
2. Invest in Heated Clothing
Instead of dropping $900 to fix the car, you could try a couple of heated clothing items. Heated coats seem to be the most expensive with the average cost being $130. However, there are also heated vests or beanies that cost significantly less at around $60 like these options:
3. Snag a Car Seat Heater
While this won't heat the entire car (a bummer for any passengers in your car), this car seat heater should keep you warm on your way to work or wherever your travels take you. Searching online, there are quite a few options (including ones for office chairs instead of car heaters so, take care when clicking on search results) with some costing as little as $40 like the one below:
4. Try a Portable Car Heater
Like the car seat heater, a portable car heater will plug directly into the 12v socket (or cigarette lighter). Some models can act simultaneously as a defroster, which can be one of the biggest issues in a car without heat. This one costs under $30
If you're looking for more options, Live Wire recently listed the best portable car heaters for 2021. Find the full list here.
5. If All Else Fails, Grab Some Hot Hands
They may not do much as far as full-body heat or warming your car goes but, warming your hands is a start. And, should you decide to shove these hot hands in...other places...I won't tell. I would urge caution, though. These things can get surprisingly warm.
You can find other tips and tricks for staying warm in a car without heat at familyhandyman.com. Hopefully, they'll help. Because I know firsthand how frustrating and miserable that can be.
If, however, you're able to find a mechanic to fix it, these local auto shops are said to be both affordable and reliable. Keep in mind, this list was put together in regards to brakes specifically but, hopefully, they can fix your heater too!
And, if you fancy yourself as someone who knows their way around a car, this article from thedrive.com could help you identify the problem.
Constantly on the lookout for a good bargain at thrift stores? Same. Check out these cool (and sometimes weird) 2nd hand items found in Michigan: