By Rick Popely on Sun Sep 01 02:00:00 GMT-06:00 2013
What is the Lexus high-intensity interior heater?
Several Lexus models have as an optional feature an auxiliary electric heater that provides warm air faster than a conventional heater, which has to wait for the engine coolant temperature to rise before it can deliver any warmth.
Lexus says this "positive temperature coefficient" heater means that on cold winter mornings you don't have to sit with your teeth chattering while the engine warms up. The electric heater comes on when you start the car and instantly begins warming the air pumped into the interior.
On a car with automatic temperature control and a conventional heater that relies on warmth from the engine coolant, the climate system won't come on as soon as you start the engine. Instead, there is a delay of at least several seconds while the system waits for the engine temperature to rise to generate warm air. With the electric heater, you should get some warm air before then.
The high-intensity heater is available on several Lexus models, including the GS 450h and LS 600h hybrids. The heater is part of an All Weather Package on the LS 600h and is an included feature in the GS 450h's Luxury Package. It's available on some other Lexus models as part of the Cold Weather Package.
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Contributor Rick Popely has covered the auto industry for decades and hosts a weekly online radio show on TalkZone.com . Email Rick