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engine block heater?

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Old 01-07-2015, 08:25 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.
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Last edited by Mrbobcat; 01-07-2015 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:39 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, 08:45 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, 09:25 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, 10:48 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, 11:05 AM   #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, 09:05 PM   #7
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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, 06:26 PM   #8
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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, 08:37 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, 12:56 PM   #10
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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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Old 01-12-2015, 01:43 PM   #11
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If you had one I'm pretty sure you would have found the plug by now. No plug = no heater. Simple.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:28 PM   #12
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Look at your window sticker. It should tell you ALL the options that came on the car,
including the engine block/oil warmer.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:58 PM   #13
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Here are some pictures on finding it:

You'll need to remove the radiator cover. There are 4 bolts
http://akrsd.com/h1.jpg
and 5 plastic pins
http://akrsd.com/h2.jpg
slide the cover back or take it off so you can look down in between the radiator and the bumper
http://akrsd.com/h3.jpg
This is the plug you'll see.
http://akrsd.com/h4.jpg
The part of the connector that I'm holding did not come with the car. The cable that came with the car
ended here.
http://akrsd.com/h6.jpg
I had to purchase the converter cable that plugs into an extension cord and the plug I was holding in the previous pic.
http://akrsd.com/h5.jpg



It wasn't obvious that I had a block heater until I removed the radiator cover and found the end of the cable. It's a flat connector with a rubber cover.
I bought the adaptor cable from the Ford dealer, cost $40.00 and they had to order it.

Btw, PonyExpress is correct, I just checked the window sticker and it was listed.
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Last edited by Chromeshadow; 01-12-2015 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:54 AM   #14
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Probably not worth the hassle since we usually only get a few sub 0 days a year. I just found my window sticker and don't see it listed so I guess I don't have one anyway. After doing some searching I thought of a couple other ideas. Use my jump starter when its really cold for less battery wear (I know a trickle charger would be better, but I didn't buy that kind) or how about just using a heating pad under a blanket over the battery? I know that may be a little ghetto, but I can't see how a car batter heating pad would be much different.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:07 AM   #15
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I like the heating pad idea. I had one of my techs set a incandescent work lamp on a car seat during his break, and it melted a hole in the seat...all the way though. Just happened to be a new police car that we were installing the radio and lightbar.
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:40 PM   #16
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Funny, I have an engine heater (120 Volt) in my Mustang which I do not drive in the winter.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:20 PM   #17
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Keep it tune right and good battery it should be good to start
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:42 AM   #18
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yeah, I know it will start. I just want it to start easier with less wear and tear on the battery and motor. I think I'll just ride it out this winter and get a carport with the sides in the spring and maybe put some kind of light in it.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:36 AM   #19
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y'all do know that the engine heater isnt for the starter or battery. Its to keep the oil thin enough to be pumped thru the engine. The colder it is the thicker and more like molasses your oil becomes and the oil pump cant pump it to lubricate the engine.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:17 AM   #20
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Battery warmers Battery warmers
dont warm the oil, neither do
block heaters block heaters
that replace a freeze plug.

A warmer that goes on the pan, however....will warm the oil.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:17 AM
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