Readers ask: What Does An Engine Block Heater Do?

When should you use an engine block heater?

A general rule of thumb is to plug in your engine block heater when the weather reaches -15° C or lower, just to be safe. If you drive a diesel vehicle, you may need to plug in the engine block heater before temperatures drop that low.

Is an engine block heater worth it?

A block heater warms the engine coolant, which warms the engine block and the oil. Plugging in your car before you start it can also lower your car’s emissions — and your gasoline bill, says Natural Resources Canada. At -20C, a block heater can improve your fuel economy by as much as 10 per cent, the NRC says.

How long does it take for a block heater to warm an engine?

Your car will be warm in about five minutes after starting it if you use the block heater. Otherwise, expect it to take 10 minutes to warm up.

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How does the engine block heater work?

Most types of block heaters actually warm up the engine coolant rather than the oil, but this also warms up the engine, which in turn takes the chill off the oil. Some are located in the lower rad hose, while others are screwed into the block through an expansion plug hole.

Do I really need a block heater?

Do You Need a Block Heater? Block heaters aren’t necessary in temperate areas. If you live in an area where you see freezing temperatures in the winter, but a hard freeze is rare, you’ll probably get more use out of a remote starter than a block heater.

How long does it take a block heater to work?

The block heater will reach the best (optimal) temperature in about 1 1/2 hours. If it is very cold, it will warm the engine block just warm to the touch. If it is 32F, the engine will feel a lot warmer. In any case the timer need not be on longer than 1 1/2 hours.

How much electricity does a block heater use?

Running this block heater for 10 hours uses half as much energy. To put it in terms of money 10 hours of usage is 3.8kW which costs about 23 cents. Add on say 10% delivery + 13% tax and it’s 29 cents.

How much does a block heater cost?

Block heaters can rang in cost between around $40.00 to around $120.00. With the typical and most popular ones in use today, seem to be right around $70.00! This is quit a small investment considering the huge benefit you’ll get in return for using one.

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How can I keep my car warm without a block heater?

Aftermarket companies produce and offer alternatives to block heaters, such as pan heaters. These will attach to the engine’s oil pan by use of magnets for steel pans, or metal strapping for aluminum oil pans. When used carefully and as per the instructions, they can be a viable substitute to block heaters.

Can I start my car while the block heater is plugged in?

Yes, you can start the vehicle with the block heater plugged in, it will not hurt a thing.

Is it OK to leave a heater plugged in overnight?

A modern space heater can be very safe to keep on for long unsupervised periods of time, including while sleeping. Be sure your heater is certified by one of the three major testing organizations and has features like automatic shutoff, tip over protection, a shut off timer, and adjustable thermostat.

Does it hurt to leave a block heater plugged in?

Yes they run all the time but are only “hot” enough to heat the coolant to a certain temp, it wont be a big deal and wont hurt a thing leaving it plugged in.

How do I know if my engine block heater is working?

Check your coolant temp in the evic when you start it up. If it is around 32 degrees Celsius, it’s working. If it is at ambient temperature, it’s not. You will see the coolant temperature drop initially on startup, as it starts to circulate the warm area of coolant into the cool areas of the block.

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How effective are block heaters?

Testing in the 1970s of warm-up times for block heaters found little benefit in operating a block heater for more than four hours prior to starting a vehicle. It was found that coolant temperature increased by almost 20 °C (36 °F) during the first four hours, regardless of the initial temperature.

Does a block heater warm the battery?

Plugging in your block heater will help protect them, reduce stress on the battery and make it easier for the engine to turn over. “The weak battery that got you by in the summer can’t turn over a cold engine in the winter – which is why it’s so important to plug in.”

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