It’s hard on your hands to drive in the winter. Just grabbing the steering wheel could feel like putting your hand in an ice bucket. One way to make sure that never happens again would be to add a heated steering wheel.
Many new cars come with the option of heated steering wheels, and they can also be added later. A heated steering wheel cover is another option that many people think about for the winter.
Even though all of these solutions will help you warm up your hands, some will cost more than others. So, the best choice depends on how much you can spend.
Can You Add a Heated Steering Wheel Aftermarket?
You can, of course, buy a heated steering wheel as an add-on. But if you don’t already have one, it could be pricey to get one. Putting in a new heated steering wheel is also a lot of work.
The electronics are built into steering wheels that are fully heated. You can’t just add heat to a steering wheel that already exists.
You would have to pull the whole steering column out of the car. And then you could replace it with a heated steering wheel that you bought separately.
You could use something else to get the same result, which is good. Many people would rather use a heated cover than buy a whole new wheel.
Tip: For some great options, check out my guide to the best heated steering wheel covers.
Heated covers go over the steering wheel that is already there. Most of the time, they plug into your car’s DC port. That’s where cigarette lighters from back in the day went. They are mostly used to power electronics these days.
During the winter, a heated cover keeps you warm enough. And they don’t cost nearly as much as a new steering wheel.
If you don’t have much money, it might make more sense to get the cover. If that’s not the case, you can have a brand-new steering wheel put in.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Heated Steering Wheel?
Getting a new steering wheel would cost you more than $1,000 just for the parts. Then you would have to think about the cost of labour.
There may be aftermarket steering wheels for some cars that cost less than $1,000. The more expensive your car is likely to be, the nicer it is.
Aftermarket parts are known for having a wide range of prices. Some of them might look pretty cheap. But they might not be as good as they could be. It might be a good idea to spend a little more on a good part.
It’s also not easy to change the steering wheel that’s already there. You have to pull the entire steering column out. Then, you’ll have to unhook the control module.
Then you’d have to put the new one in its place. After that, you’d have to reconnect everything.
In many cars, you can’t remove the steering column without also taking out the dashboard. You’re talking about at least a few hours of work. You could do everything yourself, of course. But not everyone is confident enough to do that because they don’t have enough experience.
You can always pay someone else to do it for you. But the cost of the work might be more than the cost of the part.
If you want a steering wheel that gets warm, you have another choice. You could buy a heated cover instead. You can get these for less than $10. So, you don’t have to have a lot of money to buy one.
Lastly, you could ask for a heated steering wheel if you’re looking for a new car. It’s much easier to put one on a new car. The maker could just add it while the product is being made.
You’ll still have to pay something extra. But it costs a lot less than buying an aftermarket part and paying to have it put in.
Adding one to an order for a new car might only cost a few hundred dollars more. So, it is something to think about, especially if you live in the north.
When it’s cold outside, a heated steering wheel makes driving much more pleasant. You’ll also no longer have to worry about wearing gloves in the car.
Because of all that, a lot of drivers think it’s worth the money.
How Do You Install a Heated Steering Wheel?
Let’s say you want to use aftermarket parts. There’s no doubt that could happen. But you’ll be working on a big project.
By far, the easiest thing to do would be to hire someone else to do it for you. How you install it yourself will depend on what kind of car you have.
First, you’d have to take off the steering wheel you already have. Usually, you have to take the whole dashboard off to do that. Then you’d have to take everything apart to get it out.
After taking off the old steering wheel, you’ll need to connect the new one to the car’s wiring. The old one won’t have wiring you can follow because it wasn’t heated. Connect the new wheel to the engine bay’s fuse box.
Check that everything is wired right. You might want to check your owner’s manual to make sure you’re doing everything right.
Then, you’ll need to screw the new wheel onto the steering column. After that, you can put the dashboard back in place.
It is much easier to set up a heated cover. Just wrap the cover around the wheel that’s there. Then all you have to do is plug it into a DC outlet. This is usually somewhere on the dashboard. Sometimes, though, it’s in the middle console.
After that, it should work as soon as you turn on the car.
Do You Need a Heated Steering Wheel?
It’s very clear that having a heated steering wheel is a good thing. You won’t ever have to worry about driving with cold hands again.
But adding one could get pricey.
Still, if you’re worried about your hands getting cold, a heated steering wheel would be a good solution.