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plug in for winter, engine block or oil pan heater?

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Old 12-06-2007, 09:43 PM
SnowHiker SnowHiker is offline
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plug in for winter, engine block or oil pan heater?

when i plug in my truck i cant tell any difference when i start it. so i dont even bother. isnt the the plug in supposed to warm the oil or the block so it fires up like its a fall day? 0 degrees and snow all over!!! yee ha
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:10 PM
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What are you working on?????
Most factory block heaters are in a freeze plug hole in the block.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:54 PM
xjoedirt55x xjoedirt55x is offline
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i dont see how the oil block heater would make the truck fire up right away, but I am thinking that it will allow the vehicle to have less of a warm up period.... I also haven't really every looked too much into them though, so correct me if I am wrong
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:56 AM
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I've always noticed a BIG difference when it gets really cold - but not until its usually less than 0-15 deg F or so. I spent seven years in North Dakota going to school and teaching and when it got down in the -30 to -40 range my power steering pump would make a VERY loud whine noise initially on startup, then quiet down, and it would turn over noticeably slower, plug in my truck and it would turn over much faster and whine a lot less in the cold. Even when I couldn't hear the difference I think it makes a big difference having things that much warmer, oil moves faster, things less prone to breaking when they're that cold etc.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:02 AM
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you can put a soda can full of diesel fuel with the top off and light it under the oilpan to warm up the engine oil.. just dont let ti get to close or dont have any leaking fuel lines.. ive seen some people use charcole also

Ray
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:42 AM
Club Wagon Club Wagon is offline
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Suggest you figure out if you have an "engine block or oil pan heater" & determine if the bloody thing actually works first. FORD offered only a block heater as an accessory. A simple VOM can show you if the unit is dead. Once you know what you have & where it is you may be able to feel for warmth. I'd guess FORD's block heater should make the antifreeze warm, providing faster start & warm up, instant defrost capability, and melt snow off the hood, in an unheated garage down to 0. Brand X might not, but if its -30 & a heater can bring it up to just +30 that's a major advantage for economy & emissions.

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Originally Posted by SnowHiker
when i plug in my truck i cant tell any difference when i start it.
If your engine heater is functional, you do realize that its NOT instant help-like a 'jump start' or spray of starter fluid? It can take hours for the small heater elements to do their work. In severe winter conditions you leave them plugged in overnight & still might want to cover at least the grille & park out of the wind.

In Sweden I drove a Volvo Wagon that had a built in gas 'furnace' & simple timer on the dash. It sipped gas right out of the tank & you'd set it to go on as little as 10-15 minutes before you'd leave. I'm sure they've got remote & phone actived as well. The car would be 'steaming' when you got in no matter how cold or windy. Only rarely ever seen these in the US, perhaps our Canadian members have them?
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:48 AM
Wilber15 Wilber15 is offline
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If I were you I'de go with a block heater. Todays oils are so thin even in sub zero temps(where I am in northern MN) they flow fine. An oil heater won't do you much good. Whereas a block heater heats the coolant in the entire block(not just the oil in the oil pan). go with the block heater!!
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Club Wagon
In Sweden I drove a Volvo Wagon that had a built in gas 'furnace' & simple timer on the dash. It sipped gas right out of the tank & you'd set it to go on as little as 10-15 minutes before you'd leave. I'm sure they've got remote & phone actived as well. The car would be 'steaming' when you got in no matter how cold or windy. Only rarely ever seen these in the US, perhaps our Canadian members have them?
I've never seen this in a car but I have it in some multiengine airplanes I fly and boy is it nice!! Most of the training airplanes I fly in heat the cabin through simply a shroud ducting air over the engine muffler which takes FOREVER to heat up sometimes it seems! Especially when its below zero! With the Janitrol combustion heater its instant hot! That being said both of these designs have their issues as well - mostly with carbon monoxide dangers and overheating of the combustion heater/carbon monoxide etc. Liquid cooled engines are a happy medium between the two without the CO risk.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Club Wagon
In Sweden I drove a Volvo Wagon that had a built in gas 'furnace' & simple timer on the dash. It sipped gas right out of the tank & you'd set it to go on as little as 10-15 minutes before you'd leave. I'm sure they've got remote & phone actived as well. The car would be 'steaming' when you got in no matter how cold or windy. Only rarely ever seen these in the US, perhaps our Canadian members have them?
My Dad and Father-in-law both have told of cars in the past with heaters along this line. These were very common years ago but were outlawed as montanafordman mentioned.

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Originally Posted by montanafordman
That being said both of these designs have their issues as well - mostly with carbon monoxide dangers and overheating of the combustion heater/carbon monoxide etc. Liquid cooled engines are a happy medium between the two without the CO risk.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:35 PM
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I wasn't aware that they were outlawed - they are still available on Airplanes but they are subject to REGULAR maintenance and inspection with many other aircraft components - I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't legal for domestic autos though - it would probably be easier to mandate domestic cars must be heated by other means than make the consumer regularly inspect/repair it besides I image the liability would be great especially since most consumers wouldn't bother getting educated on the CO risks or pay for having it checked at regular intervals.
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:49 AM
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the military runs these on the military blazers and pickups.. you can find them for sale once in a while.. i do not htink they are outlawed

ray
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:57 AM
Club Wagon Club Wagon is offline
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Where's SnowHiker?
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:07 PM
SnowHiker SnowHiker is offline
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im in midwest minnesota,,,, walleye on man
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:05 PM
LastSplash LastSplash is offline
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If you install an oil pan heater you will notice a change in the way the truck starts when it gets below -20F. Personally I prefer the oil pan heater over the freeze plug because with the oil pan heater the heat will radiate up through the engine, plus even though the new oils say they flow at low temperatures I have tried to add a quart of 5-20 oil that was in the back of my truck at -25F, I managed to squeeze about 1/2 a quart out. it flowed about like honey.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:16 PM
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mine has the block heater and it works pretty well i plug it in when its down below 15 and if the engine is cold when you plug it in you can feel a warmth around the plug i use a no touch laser thermo to check it in at first then in an hour
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