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 hours.

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

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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