When weather gets freezing cold car windows start to freeze and engine can have problem to start. For this reason in countries where there is freezing cold weather on winter time, people use heaters to help up starting their cars during winter time. In Finland it is common to use engine preheater and interior heater. Those heaters are normally powered from 230V AC mains power.
The engine preheater is the device that preheats the engine at low temperatures in winter before starting. It protects and warms up the engine by heating up the coolant and transferring the heat to the engine through the coolant. If you live in the winter zones where temperatures fall below -10 degrees Celsius then it would be good to learn the benefits of using a block heater. From helping your car start in the extreme cold to protecting your car, a block heater is a relatively inexpensive tool. The more you drive with your engine cold the faster the cylinder and piston will wear out. Typical heating time used in Finland is two hours, that’s what is the default on time on most timers on the car heating sockets. Testing in the 1970s of warm-up times for block heaters found little benefit in operating a block heater for more than four hours prior to starting a vehicle. Start by watching video to finding out what a block heater:
The car interior heater can warm the air in your vehicle so that the ice and snow start to melt away from windows and it is nicer to start driving. In Finland we typically use 1000-2000W mains powered (230V AC) heaters in the car for 1-2 hours for getting the ice out of car windows and getting the inside of car somewhat warmer than freezing cold. One kilowatt is not a lot of power trying to heat up car inside in the middle of winter. Defa is the most common brand, but there are also many other heating brands. Here are some videos on those heaters.
I have a Defa miniplug socket installed on the front of my car. I plug the following type cable from it to outdoor mains outlet to it. The cable must be built so that it will withstand handling on the cold weather without insulation being damaged. For example in Finland the cables are tested down to -50 degrees Celsius according to EN 50525-2-21 cable flexing test.
Inside the car there is wiring that splits the power to motor block heater and car interior heater (heater is plugged to normal looking mains outlet wired to heater wiring system wiring inside car). The 230V AC power goes to the car through DEFA mini plug system (originally made by only Defa, now there are compatible connectors also from other manufacturers).
On my car there is a Defa mini socket to SCHUKO socket adapted installed inside car where I plug my Defa heater.
There is also Defa mini socket Y splitter under the hood near motor to get power also to motor heater. Here is a video that shows how inside car socket is installed to one car model.
Here is DEFA heating system wiring diagram example:
This example has engine heater, interior heater and car battery charger. In simpler systems there is no charger (red box) but the wiring is otherwise similar (input just goes directly from input plug to the cable Y splitter.
Here are videos on the sockets that are used to get the heating power to the car in Finland. This is typical outlet with time that gives two hours of electrical power to the outlet starting at the set time.
Before this small DEFA mini plug system, car heaters used to use old style quite big CEEFORM sockets in the car.
Links to more information: