Engine Block Heater

How a block heater works
and why it is needed.

Engine block heater.

Engine Block Heater

120 volt AC block heater.

Vehicle Block Heater
Cold Weather

A block heater uses electricity
to warm the engine block,
and anti freeze, the coolant
that circulates inside the
engine of your vehicle.

A warm engine turns over
better and starts easier
in cold weather.

Without a block heater the
engine starter may not
be able to turn over the
engine to start.

A vehicle should be plugged
in very cold weather,
when the engine only turns
over very slow, having a
hard time to start.

The temperature will be
some where around
approximately minus 10 to
minus 20 degrees Celsius.
Or about minus 17 degrees
Fahrenheit when the block
heater is needed.

The right time to plug in
will vary between size of
engine and age of vehicles.

Two hours time should be
enough, but this depends
on the wattage of the block
heater, type of engine oil,
and outside temperature.

A warmer engine creates
less tailpipe emissions.

A vehicle that has it's block
heater plugged in will heat
the cabin 40 percent faster.

The oil in a cold engine is
thicker, making it harder
to turn over, this puts a
greater demand on the
battery and starter.

Using a thinner grade oil
in the winter greatly helps
when starting the engine.

Testing a block

When a block heater is
working properly, it makes
a slight hissing or buzzing
sound, much the same as
when you boil a pan of
water on the stove.

Lift the hood and listen, the
engine should also be slightly
warmer after a couple of

Outside receptacles are
usually on ground fault
breakers, they can trip
if heavy moisture gets in
the outlet or receptacle

If you are in doubt as to
whether the receptacle is
active, plug any electrical
device into the outside
house receptacle and see
if it works.

To test the block heater and
it's cord you need a
multi-meter. Set the ohms
scale to ohms (x1). Place
the test probes across the
cord pins. You should see
a deflection or reading.

Idling the Vehicle

Only Idle the engine until
the windows are defrosted,
then drive off.

This will depend on how
iced up the windows are,
it may take twenty to thirty
minutes to de-frost under
extreme conditions.


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Block Heater,
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