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Old 11-02-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,138 posts, read 6,901,436 times
Reputation: 2907

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I have a Frostheater kit in my diesel Jetta. The heater used is made by Zerostart. It is a convection coolant heater so there is no pump. The 1000w heater is mounted low in the engine bay. So, as it heats coolant that rises and draws in cold coolant. A few hours will bring the cars water temp up to 170F.

Also, if you have a reliable way to monitor your coolant temperatures (Scangauge or external gauge) you might want to consider blocking off some of your radiator with Coroplast.
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
12,597 posts, read 10,725,246 times
Reputation: 14850
Glad to know they don't work well. Thanks!
Wanted to buy one as a present.

I put my bean bag in the microwave and walk out the door with it, ahh, heaven.
All your attention goes to where you place it...neck, lap...uncanny how that is.

(Or hot water bottle...)
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:32 AM
 
Location: So Cal
23 posts, read 38,650 times
Reputation: 36
I'm in So Cal so it isn't something I need, but I just sent my brother in Minnesota one of these universal engine heaters. It is supposed to work on any car and keeps the engine fluids warm overnight. Not sure if that is what you are talking about, though.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,163 posts, read 16,510,896 times
Reputation: 13349
I'm not sure what you're talking about either. I had a factory installed engine block heater on my F250 that I owned for 14 years. (Just traded it last week.) It worked very well for a simple engine heater. I usually plugged it in at night when the temps were forecast to be below zero, sometimes when they were only going to be freezing if I was in need of glow plugs.

I've also had circulating heaters on a few cars and trucks. Those go into the water line and circulate heated water throughout the engine block, probably doing a little better job, but they cost a little more and probably wouldn't last 14 years, although I never had a problem with them during 3-4 years that I owned them.

They also make dipstick heaters that heat the oil in the pan -- super easy to install (replacing your original dipstick). Just be sure you get the right size and type so it fits properly.

Any of these will not only give you nearly instant heat, they'll also reduce wear on your engine caused from cold starts.

The only catch is that you must have access to a 110v outlet wherever you park your car overnight. Many parking lots in very cold areas will have outlets for each parking spot. (Talking about interior Alaska and Canada.)
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:06 PM
 
8,851 posts, read 7,333,347 times
Reputation: 11775
Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
I'm not sure what you're talking about either. I had a factory installed engine block heater on my F250 that I owned for 14 years. (Just traded it last week.) It worked very well for a simple engine heater. I usually plugged it in at night when the temps were forecast to be below zero, sometimes when they were only going to be freezing if I was in need of glow plugs.

I've also had circulating heaters on a few cars and trucks. Those go into the water line and circulate heated water throughout the engine block, probably doing a little better job, but they cost a little more and probably wouldn't last 14 years, although I never had a problem with them during 3-4 years that I owned them.

They also make dipstick heaters that heat the oil in the pan -- super easy to install (replacing your original dipstick). Just be sure you get the right size and type so it fits properly.

Any of these will not only give you nearly instant heat, they'll also reduce wear on your engine caused from cold starts.

The only catch is that you must have access to a 110v outlet wherever you park your car overnight. Many parking lots in very cold areas will have outlets for each parking spot. (Talking about interior Alaska and Canada.)
Koolatron Auto Compact Space Heater - Walmart.com like this
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:38 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,006,224 times
Reputation: 2919
If the horrendous product reviews are not enough information for you then I don't know what we could say. When it comes to electric heaters, the only thing that matters is wattage, the rest is marketing fluff. Oddly enough they must not expect anyone who understands resistive heating to purchase the product because they do not list amperage. After some digging I found a figure of "60" amps, if this were true you would have a wattage in the 700 range... not great but not too bad considering a typical home space heater is 1500 watt and can heat an average enclosed room (with enough time). However 60 amps out of a cigarette lighter outlet is not going to happen, they are fused in the 10-20 amp range; not to mention that more than half the output of a typical alternator.

Bottom line, don't count on it working too well. Due to your amperage restrictions expect about 200W, as much heat as a few household light bulbs generates.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:07 PM
 
358 posts, read 620,433 times
Reputation: 458




Using a pug in AC inverter - this combination worked well or a compadre of mine who lost the heat in his vehicle. Remove the bonnet thingy and attach the hose with Velcro wherever you want heat. This is a 400 watt hair dryer and can be powered by a rather small inverter. It produces more heat than those silly heater things you buy at discount stores and auto supply shoppes.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
13,633 posts, read 8,654,691 times
Reputation: 11225
How do engine block heaters actually work? What do you heat and how? Take a look at this. Have no idea where the business end of it goes.

http://www.amazon.com/Zerostart-310-.../dp/B000NM2KNA
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:31 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,350 posts, read 4,925,010 times
Reputation: 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
How do engine block heaters actually work? What do you heat and how? Take a look at this. Have no idea where the business end of it goes.

http://www.amazon.com/Zerostart-310-.../dp/B000NM2KNA
They heat the coolant or oil. I don't know if THAT particular block heater works. But, in general, block heaters absolutely do work and are fantastic in a cold climate. Your car will start instantly and blow hot air in just a minute or 2.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Broomfield, Colorado
656 posts, read 927,348 times
Reputation: 849
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
How do engine block heaters actually work? What do you heat and how? Take a look at this. Have no idea where the business end of it goes.

Amazon.com: Zerostart 310-0057 Engine Block Heater: Automotive
Engine block heater does pretty much what it says... heats the block and the oil pan, which heats the oil, in turn.
The ones I've installed/worked on plug into the oil pan and the side of the block. When oil gets cold, it becomes viscous... becomes very difficult to move through the engine, creates excess oil pressure... I've seen some systems which also run tank heaters on diesel vehicles, as diesel fuel is prone to gelling at such low temperatures.
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