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Instant car heat

How can new cars give heat instantly. Old cars had to wait until car was warmed up

Aluminum engine blocks.

The only “instant heat” I can think of is a vehicle that’s equipped with an engine block heater. The block heater keeps the engine coolant in the block heated in extreme cold weather. I used one in Alaska and Northern Maine. They do sell electric heaters for vehicles but I’m not that familiar with them.

Aha! Thank you.

Hybrids or electric cars may use their battery power to deliver heat right away.

Smaller engines probably heat up faster.

Even with an Aluminum block I have to wait 2-3 minutes on a real cold morning…

If your air conditioning works properly, you can get instant heat out of that if it’s bitterly cold outside. Regardless of outside temperature, that evaporator core always runs 40-45 degrees F, which can feel plenty warm on a freezing day. Automatic climate control probably does this automatically.

Some cars in the 1930s and 1940s had Stewart Warner gasoline heaters that gave instant heat. In those days, the heater was an option and Stewart Warner sold quite a few of these aftermarket heaters. The last car I saw equipped with one of these South Wind heaters was a 1949 Chevrolet.

My wife’s diesel BMW X5 has a ceramic electric heater that kicks in very quickly, which is needed because diesels heat up slowly. I think some of the other diesels out today also have this feature.

How can new cars give heat instantly. Old cars had to wait until car was warmed up

Not true.  Some old cars, like some new cars, heated up fast and some slow.  Many of the old VW's had gasoline heaters.  Turn it on and you would be turning it down before you got out of the parking lot.

My little Sunbeam Imp would have me turning the head down on the oldest of nights when I was headed home from work. 

Frankly I don't see any real meaning full difference between old and new cars in this area.

You’re saying a modern AC can double as a heat pump? I know, in principle, an AC can function as a heat pump, but I was unaware that any automotive versions actually did.

Do you own a toaster? Does it need to warm up?