10 Hacks | How to Keep Your Car Warm Overnight?

Keep it warm for the morning drive and for being able to start the engine easily with a few handy tips

How to Keep Your Car Warm Overnight

If you have a car, then you know for sure how pleasant it is to get into a warm vehicle in the morning when it is chilly or simply freezing cold outside! This becomes especially relevant for those who have little children or live in areas with extremely cold winters, such as Alaska.

But even if you live in a place with a less harsh climate, it will be useful for you to learn how to keep a car warm overnight.

First of all, extreme colds may arrive unexpectedly even in your area. And second, who knows, maybe one day you decide to make a car trip to a really cold place?!

Anyway, read this article to learn what you can do in order to keep your car’s insides warm overnight so that you can enjoy pleasant warmth in the morning when driving to work or taking your kids to school.

How to Keep a Car Warm In Winter Overnight?

If you thought that you could keep your car warm overnight by simply leaving it in a warm garage, you have to disappoint you: this is definitely not enough!

Keeping a vehicle warm during the cold night requires the use of extra tools, such as engine block heaters or the oil pan heaters. As an option, an electric blanket placed over the engine may help as well.

Nevertheless, these are not all the possible options you can make use of, so we suggest you get familiar with all of them in detail. Like this, you will know exactly how your car can be kept warm even when it’s freezing cold outside.

With that in mind, you will make sure that the vehicle will be usable in the morning and it will not suffer from the low temperatures.

So how to keep your car warm overnight in the winter when the car is not running? Grab these most common methods we have found for you!

Of course, you may not have to make use of all of them. However, in some cases, they will be all necessary to make sure your car will start in the cold.

How to Keep a Car Warm In Winter Overnight
Credits: imagedepotpro, via Canva.com

Use Engine Block Heater

Want to know how to keep a car warm overnight in winter? Try to make use of an engine block heater.

It is used for ensuring that the car’s engine, as well as the fluids within it are warm enough before you start the car. And indeed, when it is way too cold outside, you will want to be sure that you have something like an engine block heater at your disposal to keep the fluid components of the engine warm!

Should You Warm Up Your Car When It's Cold?Should You Warm Up Your Car When It’s Cold?

What Type Of Engine Block Heater to Use?

Engine block heaters come in various types, and some cars even come with the heater from the factory already! However, even if your vehicle does not have an engine block heater, it is pretty easy to install.

What Type Of Engine Block Heater to Use
Credits: lappes, via Canva.com

The basic types of engine block heaters are designed to make sure that your engine oil, as well as other engine fluids are warm enough for the car to start when it is very cold.

  • Frost Plug Heater replaces the existing frost plug and heats the coolant directly. This one must be installed professionally only!
  • Engine Warming Blanket is literally a blanket that is placed over the engine. It radiates heat into the engine under the hood when plugged in.
  • Oil Pan Heater is a type of heater designed for the oil pan that heats the oil itself. This one might be attached by magnets or inside the oil pan. Again, for installing it, you will need a professional’s help!

These are all the best options that car owners usually make use of to keep their cars’ engines warm overnight so that they can be started easily when needed.

What Type Of Engine Block Heater to Use
Credits: Aleksandr Kichigin, via Canva.com

Dipstick Heater

Dipstick is a unique but very effective type of engine heater that is installed in the engine oil dipstick (that’s where its name comes from). It heats the oil directly, and unlike several other types of heaters, this one is pretty simple to install.

This is why a dipstick heater is an ideal option for those who want to install it themselves. .

However, you need to be aware of one important nuance about this type of engine heater. You see, it may not be suitable for some car models.

This is why it is always necessary to do research prior to buying it in order to know for sure it will fit your car.

You can do it yourself or ask a mechanic that maintains your car to do that for you.

Dipstick Heater
Credits: Valdas Jarutas, via Canva.com

In-Line Heater

In-line heater is basically a sort of a pump that makes coolant circulate through the engine. It must be installed professionally, so don’t make attempts to do it yourself unless you are a mechanic!

On the other hand, this type of engine heater is one of the most effective ones for the warming needs of your engine.

In-Line Heater
Credits: Aleksandr Kichigin, via Canva.com

Bolt-On Heater

Bolt-on heater is an ideal option for those who can not make use of the solutions that alter the engine directly, for instance, like a dipstick heater. Bolt-on heater is attached to the block directly which enables it to heat the coolant directly.

However, you will most likely need professional help when installing this one since it has an electrical cord that makes the heater work when the vehicle is parked.

Bolt-On Heater
Credits: FooTToo, via Canva.com

Keep It Running Using a Remote Start

Well, we need to admit at once that this is definitely not the best and the most brilliant way of keeping your car’s engine and insides warm overnight! This can rather be called a common emergency solution that is used when we need to make sure the car will start in the morning.

This is indeed a wasteful way of taking care of the car’s engine and keeping it warm until the morning, but it does take care of your needs in just a pinch!

Also, please note the following nuance about this method: this option will only work if you have enough gas to idle the car for a few hours. So this can be considered a good option for keeping your car warm if you got stuck on the side of the road for some reason.

Keep It Running Using a Remote Start
Credits: FooTToo, via Canva.com

Park In a Heated Garage

This option may not be available and possible for everyone, but it is indeed the most obvious way of keeping your car warm overnight and ensuring it will start in the morning.

Like this, you have now learned the most common ways of keeping a car warm overnight during the winter. Choose the best method that suits you, and feel free to combine several of them, for instance, keep your car in a heated garage using the engine heater at the same time!

Park In a Heated Garage
Credits: jokerpro, via Canva.com

What Temperature Is Too Cold to Start Your Car In the Morning?

This question is often asked by those who are not very knowledgeable in cars or who have never experienced any troubles with their vehicle in winter.

So indeed, is there a specific temperature below zero after which you might have problems with starting your car in the morning?

Especially if it spent the whole night outdoors.

Of course, everything depends on a car and on the climate of the area you live in. But in general, car experts say that even at negative 30 degrees, your car’s engine will start having problems.

What Temperature Is Too Cold to Start Your Car In the Morning
Credits: Dolas, via Canva.com

How Long Do I Need to Warm My Car?

Since your car’s engine needs to be warmed before you drive, a reasonable question may arise: how much time does the engine need for getting warm enough?

This is the important issue since the engine of your vehicle must be warm enough for the oil that it uses as a lubricant to flow to all the parts of it.

Normally, the average temperature that is considered optimal for the engines to be run at is no lower than forty degrees.

How Long Do I Need to Warm My Car
Credits: FooTToo, via Canva.com

Of course, if the engine is not warm enough, the oil and other liquids in it will solidify which may lead to serious damages once you try to start the car! In addition, if the engine is too cold, it will be hardened. It means that it will take even more battery power to start.

Moreover, the cold will bring down the amount of current energy that your battery is able to generate. In its turn, this can compound problems as well.

How Long Do I Need to Warm My Car
Credits: Apriori1, via Canva.com

What to Do If Your Car’s Engine Is Frozen And It Won’t Start?

All right, we have shared a few easy to use tips with you on how to keep your car warm overnight in winter so that you can start it in the morning with no effort.

But what if it already happened that the engine of your vehicle got frozen and it won’t start no matter what you do to it?

This can happen to any of us and of course, the very first reaction will be panic.

What to Do If Your Car’s Engine Is Frozen And It Won’t Start
Credits: dnberty, via Canva.com

However, to be able to cope with that, you’d better to calm down and make use of one of the following recommendations we offer to you:

  • Jump the car’s battery. The manual of your car must have instructions on how to do it, and we recommend you read them very carefully since if you do anything wrong, the battery can explode!
  • Also, it will be better if you leave your car running for at least twenty minutes after you jump-started it. It will let your battery recharge, otherwise, you will face the whole problem once again when trying to restart it.
  • Bring your car to the auto shop to find the source of the problem.
  • Hold the key in the ignition for ten seconds to let the engine warm up.
  • To start your car when it is freezing cold outside, start with switching off any accessories, such as lights, radio, or heater. Then start the engine.

These simple tricks may help, but if they don’t, then your car must be examined in order to find the flaw and fix it.

What to Do If Your Car’s Engine Is Frozen And It Won’t Start
Credits: Simon Greig, via Canva.com

How to Keep Yourself Warm In a Car Overnight?

Being aware of what to do to keep your vehicle warm overnight so that you can start it in the morning is a good thing, of course.

But what if you have to spend a night in a car when it is winter outside?!

Life is an unpredictable thing, and sleeping in a car in winter is not something that will never ever happen to you.

How to Keep Yourself Warm In a Car Overnight
Credits: burakkarademir, via Canva.com

So just in case, make sure you know how to act to keep yourself warm if you know you will have to sleep in your car.

  1. Clear the tailpipe. This is vitally important thing to do in order to prevent poisoning yourself with carbon monoxide which can be lethal! So if you are stuck in a snowbank, get out and check that your tailpipe is clear of any obstructions.
  2. Insulate the car. Reflectix is the best option. Just measure it out to fit each window including the windshield. Then secure the material with the duct tape to make sure it will not slip off during the night.
  3. Wear layers! Put on several layers of dry and warm clothes to keep you warm during the night in a car. For such a case, we recommend you always have some clothes stashed in your trunk in the case of an emergency!
  4. Have cold weather bedding, such as a space blanket and a hardy sleeping bag.
  5. Refuel and hydrate. That means you must eat properly and drink enough water to stay warm. Granola, dried fruits, and water will do perfectly fine.
How to Keep Yourself Warm In a Car Overnight
Credits: ermingut, via Canva.com

Well, now you don’t just know what to do to keep your car warm overnight in winter. You also learned a few tricks that will allow you to stay warm in case you have to spend a night in a car!

With all that in mind, cold will hardly manage to cause you any troubles.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ What is the lowest temperature I can leave my car outside in winter?

-32 Fahrenheit is already too cold.

⭐ I left my mobile phone in my car overnight and now it won’t start. What shall I do?

Try to bring it indoors and wait a bit until it “thaws‘. Or put it near the heating object, but not too close!

⭐ How often shall I change my car’s battery?

Every three years is fine.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
Should You Warm up Your Car in the Winter?Should You Warm up Your Car in the Winter?
Does Polyester Stretch?
Is it stretchy, and if yes, then how much