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Old 01-07-2015, 09:25 AM   #1
Mrbobcat
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Default engine block heater?

Hey guys, do you think an engine block heater is worth it? I park outside and its supposed to get to -7 tonight. It started fine today when it was 7, but is supposed to be cold all week. I don't have to go anywhere in the morning, but not sure if one of these plugs will cut down on wear ant tear much since it rarely gets really cold here for very long.

Last edited by Mrbobcat; 01-07-2015 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:39 AM   #2
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With modern fuel injection on a gasoline engine, I don't think it's worth it. If you want to warm something, get a blanket for your battery. Your ignition and fuel system don't really care how cold it is outside.

If you want your heater to work faster, though, a block heater will help.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:45 AM   #3
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You may have one, I know all new Fords sold in WI have them, It was standard on my 2012 3.7.
It only had a stub cord, it was hidden under the radiator plastic cover. I needed to buy a small cord that allows a standard extension cord to plug into it.
I use it occasionally on my 2013 F150 (it was also standard). I believe Block heaters keep the oil a little warmer so it's not as thick when you start it up, which helps reduce wear.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:25 AM   #4
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A block heater in this day really is not needed on a standard gas engine. The only benefit you may see when using one is that the coolant in the block with be warmer quicker for the heater when you start driving.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Vehicle: 2013 Mustang V6
Location: Texas
When is the last time you saw -20? This is our current weather in WI
Quote:
Humidity49%
Wind SpeedNW 16 G 22 mph
Barometer30.65 in
Dewpoint-17F (-27C)
Visibility10.00 mi
Wind Chill-23F (-31C)
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:05 PM   #6
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Windchill is not actual temperature. Vehicles don't care about windchill.

My old truck (diesel) had a block heater on it and I thought it was awesome. I could put the truck on a timer so the block heater would be on for 2 hours before I left in the morning. Start up the truck and instant heat.

I think you would see benefit from heating the oil too. I've seen plug-in heater blankets that attach to the oil pan, vs. your standard block heaters that go into one of the core plugs on the block.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:05 PM   #7
jz
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I think you're fine without an engine block heater. Just take it easy when driving until the car is warm. In PA we have similar weather to you, and I've never had an engine block heater on any car I've ever owned.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:26 PM   #8
Nuke
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If you're worried about a night or 2 or 3, put an incandescent light under the hood (100w or maybe 2- 75's) with a blanket over the engine. Just be sure the lights don't touch anything that could melt or burn. The old fashioned work lights work well. They'll provide just enough heat to quench your fears.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuke View Post
If you're worried about a night or 2 or 3, put an incandescent light under the hood (100w or maybe 2- 75's) with a blanket over the engine. Just be sure the lights don't touch anything that could melt or burn. The old fashioned work lights work well. They'll provide just enough heat to quench your fears.

This is not the time to use an energy efficient bulb!

Halogen work lights put out a ton of heat so that would certainly do the trick.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:56 PM   #10
Mrbobcat
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Well were the heck is it, if I have one that is? I think its supposed to be near the bottom of the engine block somewhere, but me and my dad looked all over and couldn't find it. There was a strange looking plug with threads behind the front grill on the drivers side, but I don't think that's it. I probably don't really need one but for a few nights of the year. Although it didn't start very easy last week when it was -6 and we are supposed to have a couple sub 0 nights this week. Maybe I'll look into one of those heater blankets.
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