engine block heater

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by panda24619, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. panda24619

    panda24619 Full Access Members

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    dose any one have an engine block heater for their truck? i have one. just incase it snows in SD. HA! idk what a random plug was doing in my bumper till i was like O YEAH! if you have one have you ever used it. i might be staying in the snow next month for a weekend and dont want to be screwed. so should i use it? its never been used before.
     
  2. ecqm8000

    ecqm8000 Active Member

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    While I grew up in SD county, I now am in a slightly cooler area. In normal cold spells there is minimal need to plug in something gasoline powered. I will plug my Diesel in if the temp is going to be around zero (and that's only for an overnight park). Batteries and oil are usually what keeps a gas powered rig from starting. In extreme cold (way up North) it would help, and it makes for a quicker warm up. My diesel is putting out good heat within a couple blocks of the house.
    One cold spell, I couldn't get a gas powered 79 Bronco to start, I lit a can of Sterno and placed it on the ground below the engine bay. This was a lifted truck and I didn't expect much. About an hour later the truck spun over and started like it was summer time. The simple heat was enough to "thin" the oil and warm the battery.
    In-door parking (out of the wind) has a big influence on morning starts as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  3. carrot

    carrot Member

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    I don't think you'll ever need a engine block heater in SD! I usually pass a month in Canada and never had any issues with -25C weather. I would start to worry below that.

    Just let it run in the morning for 5 minutes and wear some gloves. You'll be good to go. Don't waste any money on that. Just change your battery if its getting old.
     
  4. tonydiv

    tonydiv technical advisor

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    Somewhere around here I have a block heater from a semi truck. It is actually a pump and heater that runs heated coolant through the motor. It was supposed to go in my Scout to keep the 440 big block warm, but I never installed it because I lost my diagram of how it was originally plumbed.

    The nice thing about it, at least when it was in the semi, is that you instantly have warm air coming out of the vents when you start the truck.

    Guess I don't really need it now since the Expy has a remote starter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  5. panda24619

    panda24619 Full Access Members

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    so i wouldnt have to worry about it if it snows when i stay in the mountains here. it can go to about the 10s. its not THAT cold compared to some parts of the country but i know ill be a girl for that weekend. haha i mean my expedition already came from the factory with the engine block heater so no wiring is needed. theres a plug in my bumper. ill take a pic later today to post. thats the only thing i can thing its used for. maybe a battery jumper? idk.
     
  6. ecqm8000

    ecqm8000 Active Member

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    I'm sure it's a block heater. Follow the cord and it should lead to the block and dead end into a core plug. That is the most common style. Magnetic mats (on the oil pan), immersed oil and some that are plumbed into coolant hoses that "pump" (convection) heat are some other styles. I have seen and installed some that are spliced to power an onboard battery tender as well as a block heater. It was a bosses snow plow truck that he wanted to make sure would start when he arrived up at his cabin. The truck would go unused for months......
     
  7. nvycrmn

    nvycrmn Full Access Members

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    i cant imagine it came from the factory that way. it is VERY uncommon for a gasoline truck to come with a block heater. hell, lots of diesel's dont come with them stock. i grew up in michigan where we get a lot of the lake effect weather and i have never had a problem with my trucks and they ALL sat outside. when in cold weather, biggest thing is the battery. you should be fine when you go to the mountains. but not gonna lie, sure would like these beasts to warm up a little quicker! hahah
     
  8. panda24619

    panda24619 Full Access Members

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    yeah it is uncommon. but i never put this in. and i dought the original owners would too. especially if it was a drug runner. i have done the built your car on ford.com and toyota.com and what not. and engine block heater is an option. but who knows. and i bet once i get my efans installed it will heat up quicker cause of the lack of a fan spinning when its cold. i need to follow the cable. idk what its for. theres also a cover for the plug. my hand was covering it.

    sorry about the bad pic. it was night and it just sprinkled a little bit. and its in my bumper opening.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  9. BigDaddy

    BigDaddy Full Access Members

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    We've had some fairly cold weather here in PA so far this winter and that is my biggest complaint! I solved it, though. Since I leave for work at about the same time the older kids get on the bus, I have been driving them down the lane and waiting for the bus with them. Idling there for 5 minutes or so helps the engine, but not those of us inside the truck, so I picked up 2 $15 electric heaters from Walmart (the kind with a heating element and a fan that circulates the heat. I use one for the Expy and one for the wife's Montana. I use very heavy duty extension cords and run them off an outside outlet at my workshop. At night, I plug them in and sit them on the consoles and in the morning, the vehicles are nicely warm inside. It makes for a much more comfortable beginning to the day.
     
  10. nvycrmn

    nvycrmn Full Access Members

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    you put the heaters INSIDE the vehicle? i see a car fire in your future! hahah. i may do an engine block heater when i move back to iowa. it has been shown that letting your vehicle idle in the morning really doesnt do much except waste gas. at least with a block heater, you just jump in and go.
     

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