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#1034319 - 11/24/07 11:57 PM How long must a block heater be plugged in for?
byez Offline


Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada,North America,Western H...
I guess it depends on how cold it is but how long does it take to actually make a difference? Would leaving it plugged in overnight cause any coolant breakdown?

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#1034386 - 11/25/07 07:43 AM Re: How long must a block heater be plugged in for [Re: byez]
va3ux Offline


Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 963
Loc: Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: byez
I guess it depends on how cold it is but how long does it take to actually make a difference? Would leaving it plugged in overnight cause any coolant breakdown?


The puny little 100-200 watt block heater is not capable of producing the temperatures that the engine produces during normal operation. You can't hurt the coolant with a block heater.

I leave mine plugged-in over night on the few really cold nights we get here in Southern Ontario. In colder parts of Canada, the engines are either running, or the block heater is plugged-in; nothing in between.

I have found that plugging the heater in for even 2 hours makes quite a difference. You could put it on a timer to turn on perhaps 2 - 3 hours before your first start in the morning.
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2001 Chrysler Intrepid 2.7L 505,000 km (313,000 miles) - now retired

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#1034390 - 11/25/07 07:59 AM Re: How long must a block heater be plugged in for [Re: va3ux]
daman Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 10931
Loc: Bad Axe, MI
Yup over night hurts nothing,there dsighned for that.
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#1034416 - 11/25/07 09:37 AM Re: How long must a block heater be plugged in for [Re: daman]
G-MAN Offline


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 8902
Loc: SC
In my experience, if you know it's going to be cold enough overnight to warrant the block heater, it's best to just plug it in as soon as you've parked the car/truck for good. That way the block heater is keeping the coolant warm, not trying to warm up ice cold coolant.
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#1034428 - 11/25/07 10:10 AM Re: How long must a block heater be plugged in for [Re: G-MAN]
NYEngineer Offline


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 1143
Loc: NY, NY
I would get one with a thermostat and set it up on a timer so it came on a few hours before you use the vehicle.

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#1034697 - 11/25/07 07:51 PM Re: How long must a block heater be plugged in for [Re: NYEngineer]
pepper32 Offline


Registered: 06/01/02
Posts: 341
Loc: fairbanks, alaska
Three hours minimum even at -50F.


Edited by pepper32 (11/25/07 07:52 PM)

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#1034706 - 11/25/07 08:11 PM Re: How long must a block heater be plugged in for [Re: G-MAN]
va3ux Offline


Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 963
Loc: Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: G-MAN
In my experience, if you know it's going to be cold enough overnight to warrant the block heater, it's best to just plug it in as soon as you've parked the car/truck for good. That way the block heater is keeping the coolant warm, not trying to warm up ice cold coolant.


That's exactly what I do when the real cold weather hits here. Only need to do it for 5 or 10 nights a year.
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2001 Chrysler Intrepid 2.7L 505,000 km (313,000 miles) - now retired

2003 Kawasaki 1500 Mean Streak (50,000 km)

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#1034708 - 11/25/07 08:13 PM Re: How long must a block heater be plugged in for [Re: va3ux]
TEMPESTboy Offline


Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 14
Loc: Canada
I use a timer and have it turn on 2-3 hours before I have to leave in the morning. This is when it is -20 degrees Celsius and colder. Use a timer and save energy!

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#1034810 - 11/25/07 10:53 PM Re: How long must a block heater be plugged in for [Re: TEMPESTboy]
Towel_Rail Offline


Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 289
Loc: Iowa
Until you start it?


Edited by Towel_Rail (11/25/07 10:54 PM)
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