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Old 11-17-2014, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
6,704 posts, read 4,195,460 times
Reputation: 14936

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When I lived in rural Northern Wisconsin many years ago, I just picked up a tank heater and spliced it into the heater return hose. I then plugged it into a timer that was set to turn on at 4 AM, 2 hours before I left for work. Every morning, when I got in that car - even if it was 30 below zero - it fired up like it was on the showroom floor, and started blowing warm air before I even let out the clutch.

Come to think of it, the only downside was that it cracked my windshield one morning when it was about 35 below zero - I think I had a rock chip or something anyway, but when I started the car and turned on the heater, the hot air hitting that cold windshield just made it crack all the way across. The glass hadn't had time to gradually warm as the engine warmed up, and I think the temperature differential was just too extreme. After I got the windshield replaced, I made sure not to use the defroster setting until the interior of the car had had a chance to warm up and bring the windshield up to a more reasonable temperature.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
13,750 posts, read 8,738,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
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.
How would heating the oil give you quicker heater output? Heating the coolant is even more complicated it seems. Do you have to tap into a coolant line and pump the coolant around and heat it? I am sorry, I just have award time with this.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
6,704 posts, read 4,195,460 times
Reputation: 14936
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
How would heating the oil give you quicker heater output? Heating the coolant is even more complicated it seems. Do you have to tap into a coolant line and pump the coolant around and heat it? I am sorry, I just have award time with this.
With a tank heater, you just cut a heater hose and splice the heater right into the hose. It has a fitting at each end, you just slide the two ends of the heater hose onto the fittings and tighten down the hose clamps. Takes about 10 minutes. Then when you plug it in, the pump in the heater circulates the heated coolant through the engine block. It's really that simple.

Here, take a look at it. If you just see it, you'll understand right away how it works -

Northern Tool - Kat's 1500 Watt Circulating Tank Heater - Model# 13150 customer reviews - product reviews - read top consumer ratings
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,139 posts, read 6,931,269 times
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Heating coolant is easier in most cars. There are hoses that carry coolant outside of the engine block. If there is a hose then you put a heater inline.

Most cars oil stays within the block. So this means a heated pad glued to the oil pan.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,050,629 times
Reputation: 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
How would heating the oil give you quicker heater output? Heating the coolant is even more complicated it seems. Do you have to tap into a coolant line and pump the coolant around and heat it? I am sorry, I just have award time with this.
Heating the coolant is more effective at heating the entire block, the coolant is distributed throughout the block in a manner to maximize heat transfer, thus it is the best method.

My block heater is a simple 1kW (or 1.5kW, can't remember) heating element inserted in one of the freeze plugs, there is no flow necessary. It takes about 3 or 4 hours to significantly heat my 6BT block in 10-15F. When I use it, I put it on a timer for 3 or 4 hours before I leave. Works great.
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