Many clients ask “What exactly is a 5kW Auxiliary Heater and why do I need it on my Sprinter?” What are they spending their hard-earned money on? Let’s examine how the Auxiliary Heater works and Five Benefits it can provide for you.
In fact, there are actually two different types of Auxiliary Heaters. A 5 kW Auxiliary Heater and a 10 kW Additional Warm Water Heating with Timer. Let’s start with the 5 kW version as this tends to be most common.
The Auxiliary Heater acts as an engine pre-heater, warming the coolant and keeping your diesel engine warm.
The 5 kW Auxiliary Heater (factory code H12) can operate independently of the vehicle running for up to 30 minutes. Drawing small amounts of diesel fuel from the Sprinter fuel tank, it heats the engine coolant, cycling it through the engine and slowly blowing warm air through the Sprinter’s ventilation system into the front cab.
You can operate the Auxiliary Heater manually by pushing and holding the switch to the very left of the steering column. This will engage the heater.
The Auxiliary Heater offers convenient pre-programming for warming the Engine, Cab and Windshield.
You can also program the heater to operate automatically at a pre-determined time. Using your steering wheel controls (if equipped with Convenience Pkg) you go to “Settings.” Using the right minus (-) button toggle down to “Heating.” Next, using the left arrow button (←) and right plus/minus (+/-) button to set the time you want the heater to start. When you turn off the vehicle you will see an orange light on the left heater switch indicating a programmed time has been set.
This needs to be done each time you want the Auxiliary Heater to operate automatically.
You can still be warmly tucked in bed and the heater will function at its programmed time, warming the engine and cab. If the Defrost is set, it will also thaw the windshield. No more reaching or climbing to scrape frost, ice or snow from the large, high Sprinter windshield.
With two types of Auxiliary Heaters to choose from, it can warm the rear of the van.
Both the 5 kW and 10 kW heaters can pump more heat to the rear of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, via the Rear Heating Pkg or Rear Heat Exchanger. The 5 kW heater (code H12) is a single heater and is most common in Cargo Sprinter vans. This is helpful for people working in the back of the van or taking the chill off your tools.
The 10 kW heater (code HZ5) is a dual heater which is most commonly found in the Passenger Sprinter vans. This heater pumps more warm air to the back of the vehicle, keeping all passengers warm on those cold days. The 10 kW heater must have option code H13, which is an Additional Heat Exchanger. This option is also part of the Rear Heating Pkg (code VHP).
The 5 kW Auxiliary Heater provides an extra fuel port for Additional Upfits along with a fuel level sensor.
The exact product profile description for the option code H12 is Heater, Auxiliary Front 5 kW with Timer (includes KL1 Auxiliary Fuel Sending Unit). Not only do you get the front auxiliary heater to warm your engine, cab, etc. you also get an additional port off the tank with an additional fuel sending unit. This is extremely helpful if you want to upfit an Espar Heater, Webasto Heater or Wallas Heater/Cookstove. The 5 kW heater is recommended by many of the top outfitting companies.
The H12 Auxiliary Heater also saves any unnecessary tapping into the Sprinter’s diesel fuel tank, “T-ing” off the fuel line or having to add an additional fuel sending unit. The heater also has a fuel level sensor, so it will not run when your Mercedes-Benz fuel tank is below a quarter tank. This is an excellent pre-caution that prevents running out of fuel or fouling your heaters. Located just rear of the driver, under the Sprinter close to the fuel tank, the Auxiliary Heater vents outside.
Running the Auxiliary Heater to pre-warm your vehicle is much more efficient and benefits productivity
You will reduce fuel + Diesel Exhuast Fluid (DEF) costs by not idling your Sprinter to warm up. Your Sprinter uses the greatest amount of DEF at idle. The Auxiliary Heater requires very small amounts of fuel to operate – much less then idling your engine, and it allows you to spend time attending to other important things. Rather than start your van, then watch and wait for your Mercedes-Benz to warm up you can be doing something else. All the while your Auxiliary Heater is doing its job warming the engine, cab and windshield – saving you time and money!
I hope these Five Reasons or Benefits help explain why you should equip your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van with an Auxiliary Heater (either 5 kW or 10 kW). The convenience, efficiency and adaptability make it a must have for your diesel Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.
See you at my next blog – Vince Pelkman, Lone Star Mercedes-Benz –the Van Experts!