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#1724509 - 12/30/09 07:58 AM Dipstick Oil Heater
Robenstein Online   content


Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 3241
Loc: Central IA
O Reilly's is selling them for 19 bucks. Anyone ever use one?
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#1724514 - 12/30/09 08:02 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Robenstein]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 21325
Loc: NY
They've been discussed here and the overall opinions were they aren't worth it. Pay a little more and get an oil pan heater, or block heater. The make some pretty good magnetic pan heaters which IIRC sell for under $40. JMO

Added:

I have a Wolverine pan heater and tested it yesterday. It was 19*F, and in under 2 hours I had the oil to a little over 130*F. Pretty easy to install too.


Edited by demarpaint (12/30/09 08:04 AM)
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#1724535 - 12/30/09 08:20 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Robenstein]
Bluestream Offline


Registered: 09/13/03
Posts: 3952
Loc: Waterloo, ON
Originally Posted By: Robenstein
O Reilly's is selling them for 19 bucks. Anyone ever use one?


I heard they burn the oil with the high heat, and I would not use one. Block heater is all you need
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#1724566 - 12/30/09 08:48 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Bluestream]
Robenstein Online   content


Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 3241
Loc: Central IA
Darn. I was hoping they would work ok since with all the snow and ice we got getting under my car right not is not an easy task.
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#1724577 - 12/30/09 09:08 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Robenstein]
Hethaerto Offline


Registered: 09/08/08
Posts: 820
Loc: Tennessee, USA
Originally Posted By: Robenstein
Darn. I was hoping they would work ok since with all the snow and ice we got getting under my car right not is not an easy task.



Well, get one, then. It sounds like it fits your application perfectly, though it may not be as efficient as a block heater.
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#1724594 - 12/30/09 09:23 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Hethaerto]
Robenstein Online   content


Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 3241
Loc: Central IA
Yeah it will fit, I just dont want to burn oil. I might give it a whirl if O Reilly's will take it back if its a piece of junk.
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#1724596 - 12/30/09 09:24 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Hethaerto]
fsskier Offline


Registered: 07/22/08
Posts: 775
Loc: Iowa
I used one many years ago.... they do really help with cold cranking and starting but it burned the oil and soon had a black ash ring form around it.... I would not want that in the long run. A trouble light laid against your engine also helps a lot for those only needing something once-a-year and you do not have to buy, install or store extra gadgets.

I think the advent of 0Wxx oils has largely eliminated the need for starting assistance unless temps get past -40F!!

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#1724601 - 12/30/09 09:28 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: fsskier]
daman Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 10486
Loc: Bad Axe, MI
run a 0w20 or 30 and call it a day....
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#1724642 - 12/30/09 09:57 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: daman]
Drew99GT Offline


Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 20745
Loc: Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: daman
run a 0w20 or 30 and call it a day....


Yea; that plus a good battery and a good state of tune in an engine (good plugs and wires0, and most any late model fuel injected vehicle "should" start at -30F! Most vehicles are quite grumpy at those temps though.

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#1724661 - 12/30/09 10:11 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: daman]
flanso Offline


Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Houston, TX
Phillips and Temro manufactures a very nice quality magnetic engine block heater that is as easy to use as a dipstick heater and has greater output, part number 3400017.

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#1724913 - 12/30/09 12:53 PM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: flanso]
fsskier Offline


Registered: 07/22/08
Posts: 775
Loc: Iowa
flanso, do you need those a lot in Tampa?? lol!

Is it getting hard to find a spot to put magnet heaters on, as engines and oil pans are often aluminum now? Or do you have miracle "aluminum magnets"?

OK, the ultimate heater story (I am sure that there are better ones but somebody has to start) - Colorado skiing, 1988.

I had my car ready to go, but when I arrived at home to leave my teenage children had the wife's 83 Escort wagon packed, ski rack on, skis on, etc. (Why?? It had a tape player, my car did not) Knowing that the car had a very weak 5 year old battery, I packed the Coleman single burner stove and headed out.
Cold weather struck the second week, -30f or colder, remarkably the Escort started - ran two seconds and stalled. The old battery could not crank it a second time. I slid the single burner under the oil pan - that model had a huge aluminum finned pan... set it to "incinerate" and we walked to breakfast. Returned 30 minutes later, turned the key...SUMMERTIME!!

Now for those that wonder, the oil pan was very thick cast aluminum, and of course held on by lots of bolts. I could still put my hand on the part the flame was touching - it would be very hard to overheat the oil on that model and the heat was conducted very well up into the block.

Now, I bet some of you have used much more bizarre methods... fire em up, I will be watching!!

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#1725119 - 12/30/09 03:35 PM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Bluestream]
SecondMonkey Offline


Registered: 10/09/07
Posts: 931
Loc: OR
Originally Posted By: Bluestream
I heard they burn the oil with the high heat, and I would not use one. Block heater is all you need

That is totally not true. In order to "burn" your oil it would have to get your oil temps above 400 degrees. That simply is not going to happen. Even if you stuck as many heaters to the pan as you can fit.

We're talking around a gallon and a half of oil, inside hundreds of pounds of metal heat sink, in freezing temperatures.
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#1727249 - 01/01/10 11:39 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: SecondMonkey]
Bluestream Offline


Registered: 09/13/03
Posts: 3952
Loc: Waterloo, ON
They burn the oil around the dipstick, and therefore degrade the oil as a whole. There is a reason the factories only install block heaters
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2000 Cavalier 2.2 A4
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1991 BMW 735iL
"A fool and his money are soon parted" - Thomas Tusser

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#1727255 - 01/01/10 11:43 AM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Bluestream]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33783
Loc: New Jersey
Because there is no mixing, there is a localized very high temperature. On long enough, there is the potential for high levels of oxidation in the local area, IMO, though not necessarily burning...

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#1727806 - 01/01/10 09:10 PM Re: Dipstick Oil Heater [Re: Bluestream]
SecondMonkey Offline


Registered: 10/09/07
Posts: 931
Loc: OR
Originally Posted By: Bluestream
There is a reason the factories only install block heaters

Because they are more convenient. The average idiot in a cold climate doesn't want to do anything more than plug their car in, they certainly aren't going to open the hood and F-with the dipstick on every cold trip. That's an oil geek type of thing. Most people don't even know they have a dipstick.
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