As a driver, there are times when you will have to sit in your car while the engine is running either to wait for someone or in a drive through. Whichever one it is, the engine will continue to run as well as other accessories in the car such as the AC, heat, etc. While sitting in a running car with the heat on is completely okay, the question is, how long can you sit in a running car with the heat on?
As long as you’re not driving a Tesla, you can sit in a running car with the heat on for how long you want until you run out of gas. But you should not sleep off to avoid suffocating to death by the heat.
Can You Sit in a Running Car With the Heat On?
Yes, you can sit in a running car with the heat on as long as you don’t sleep off. The heat in the car is made to be used comfortably at any time you want. So it is possible to do so. It won’t cause any issue in your car.
How Long Can You Sit in a Running Car with the Heat On?
You can sit in a running car with the heat on for how long you want provided you have enough gas in the tank and your alternator is charging the battery at low RPM.
Factors that Determines How Long you Can Sit in a Running Car with the Heat On
How long you can sit in a running car with the heat on depends on various factors such as:
1. The Type of Car You Drive
The type of car you drive determines how long you can comfortably sit in a running car with the heat on.
If you’re driving a Tesla or any EV cars that needs to be recharged, you may not want to sit in the car with the heat and engine on for a long time to avoid draining your battery percentage.
However, if you’re driving a car that uses gas, you can sit as long as you want provided you don’t fall asleep while the heat is on.
It’s never a good idea to fall asleep in a car with the heat on to avoid any unwanted circumstances. You never know how long you can sleep and you don’t know how long your body needs the heat.
2. How Many Liters of Gas in the Gas Tank
While it’s OK to sit in a running car with the heat on, the quantity of gas left in the gas tank should determine if you should sit for a long time or turn the car off as soon as possible.
Considering the price of gas nowadays, it might not be advisable to sit in a running car for a long time with the heat on. You’re not making money to be spending it all on gas.
Also, you should consider the quantity of gas in the tank to avoid the car turning off in the middle of nowhere. If you know that you might not be able to get a gas station anytime soon, don’t sit in a running car for too long to avoid using up all the gas that would have taken you home.
3. How Good Your Alternator Is
The alternator is what charges the battery whenever the car is running. Therefore, if the alternator is no longer in good condition and is not able to charge the battery at low RPM, sitting in such a car with the heat on is detrimental to your battery. It will drain your battery up. The car might just shut off on its own.
Sitting in a running car with the engine on does not kill the battery except the alternator is bad and unable to charge the battery while it’s running idle. The only effect this has on your car is your gas. The car uses the gas to function even at idle.
4. How Long You Want the Heat
The amount of time your body needs the heat determines how long you will leave it. If you just need to warm the car a little bit while you sit in it, turn the heat on till you’re satisfied and turn it off. Do not turn the heat on and sleep off.
Is it Okay to Sit in Your Car with the Heat On?
It is completely okay to sit in a running car with the heat on, however, it’s never okay to sit in your car with the heat on and be sleeping.
Turn off the heater before sleeping in the car to avoid heating to death. You don’t know how long your body needs the heat. You don’t want anything that will damage your health.
Can You Die With the Car Running with the Heater On?
Yes, you can die from sitting in a running car with the heater on if you mistakenly falls asleep and your body gets to a point where it doesn’t need the heat anymore. If there’s not enough ventilation, you may end up suffocating to death.
This is definitely not the prayer for anyone. However, a word the say is enough for the wise. Though this is not always the case.
Car manufacturers designed their car heaters to have a limit especially the Automotive HVAC systems. It limits how much cold or hot air it produces to avoid killing someone.
Therefore, it might not necessarily kill someone except the person has physical condition such as sensitive to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, etc.
You can sit in a running car as long as you want provided you have enough gas and you’re not driving an electric vehicle that needs to be recharged. However, you need to be cautious not to sleep off while the heat is on. It’s never a good idea.