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Old 11-29-2011, 01:03 PM   #1
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Default Engine Heaters

I'm sure this is the wrong forum for this, but I'm not getting a lot of response on the Subaru forums. It's worth a try; you guys know a lot about a lot of things.

My daily commute is 4 miles each way, and I just bought an Outback XT for winter. I hate getting into a cold car, then driving it cold, then parking it just as it starts warming up. It's uncomfortable, and pretty much the worst thing you can do to it.

Subaru has a 400W block heater that goes in the frost plug, but I am hearing mixed reviews about whether that will actually make enough difference, or if it is just designed to keep stuff liquid in the arctic circle.

Then there is something like
this this
, that is slightly more complicated, and leaves more room for error, fitment issues, and potential leaks down the road; but it is 1000W and would easily heat the engine up enough to produce heat by the end of the driveway.

So, since I live in Maine and not the arctic circle, I'm looking for comfort and added-life for the engine, not simply "will it start?" on -40F days... thoughts?

For what it's worth, the car lives in an unheated garage, so temps will be as cold as outside, but there will be no wind.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:43 PM   #2
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Serious response: heated seat cover?
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:02 PM   #3
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Make a removable piece where you can block off the radiator opening. Remove it when you have to drive more than your 4 miles.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
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Emilio was talking about how he REALLY wanted to make a design for a vent to go behind the radiator that was adjustable for the crusher. That would allow you to block it off and open it after warm up. You should definitely ask about it.

Seriously though, you can get quality freeze plug block warmers that work very well if the OEM one is supposed to be crap. Being where you are, it should be relatively easy to find.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Serious response: heated seat cover?
It's got heated seats, the comfort is just an extra, I'm more interested in not making all of my driving be short trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rharris19 View Post
Seriously though, you can get quality freeze plug block warmers that work very well if the OEM one is supposed to be crap. Being where you are, it should be relatively easy to find.
I can't find any info on the stock plug, except that it's 400W and is supposed to be really good as long as you don't want more than 400W, which is part of what I don't know.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:50 PM   #6
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The guys on my Geo Metro forum talk about block heaters all the time (due to the horrible MPG when the engine is cold). Anyway, I am no expert but they would be.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:39 AM   #7
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This is a really neat find. I'm aware of block heaters, but I had never seen a forced-circulation tank heater.

To be honest, I'm thinking about installing one of these in my Miata so I can have insta-heat on our frigid winter mornings in San Diego.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
This is a really neat find. I'm aware of block heaters, but I had never seen a forced-circulation tank heater.

To be honest, I'm thinking about installing one of these in my Miata so I can have insta-heat on our frigid winter mornings in San Diego.
You poor thing, it must get all the way down to what, the low 50's?

FWIW, the heater I linked to is not a forced convection heater. There is no pump, it just circulates by natural convection. The instructions say the pump must be mounted vertically, and below the engine block. The only person I can find who has mounted one of these on a Subaru mounted his horizontally, and while it worked very well (melted snow off the hood, defrosted the windshield), his heating element failed within a year. I would assume he boiled the coolant because it couldn't rise properly.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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1. Buy space heater with thermostat.
2. Put in cabin of said auto.
3. Turn on before going to bed.
4. ??????
5. Profit


Y U gotta make this so hard?


$30 and sits on driver's or passenger's floorboard when car is in garage.

Amazon Amazon

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Old 11-30-2011, 02:49 PM   #10
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For my cars, neither have heaters, I have a space heater on a timer that is set about the time I wake up. Then after showering and getting ready I go out to the car and presto...its warm and cozy. As for block warmers I have no idea. Come up with a external pump with a tank and heating element with some quick disconnect couplers. That way it circulates throughout the entire cooling system...but that would still leave the oil cold, so you would need a way to warm that. But that is probably way to complicated of a system.

*just saw the link to the amazon thing. I like my idea better, that way its not always in the car and having coolant run through it. For the oil, just do a dry sump and put a heating element in the oil tank...problem solved...lol
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:44 PM   #11
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Except for the fact that those heaters all have tilt switches, so his car needs to be big enough for it to stand up. I've done that before though, it's very effective. You're on your own for the whole fire hazard thing though. Not so much that one as the ones with exposed internal heating elements.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:47 PM   #12
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You're putting a space heater in your car with a timer and can't disable a tilt switch? <G>
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:00 PM   #13
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I've been using the block heater on my truck lately and found that heat came on sooner (was luke warm almost immediately) and my 50km morning commute has averaged 9.4L/hkm vs 11.5L/hkm it has been previously. Ambient temp has been -5 to 0C in the mornings. I dunno the wattage but it came stock on an '07 B3000.

You could get a corolla, they have an electric heater that works until the coolant is warm enough to take over, at least the Canadian ones do.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude View Post
You poor thing, it must get all the way down to what, the low 50's?
Yeah, it can be brutal. Sometimes it even gets into the 40s overnight. I thought Brownian Motion was supposed to cease at those temperatures.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:26 AM   #15
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http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...0652&ppt=C0076

Back when I was a counter jockey, I sold a ton of these at work. None came back, all people I talked to were happy. Once out of the apartment, I'm going to put one on the Jeep with a timer for about an hour before clinicals/work.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inferno94 View Post
You could get a corolla, they have an electric heater that works until the coolant is warm enough to take over, at least the Canadian ones do.
I'm both happy and pissed.

Happy they're actually doing this,

Pissed that I'm not making millions from this.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:03 AM   #17
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Cheap and easy. Clean oil pan and stick on. There are others but this was the first link that I came to. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...9139_200339139
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
I'm both happy and pissed.

Happy they're actually doing this,

Pissed that I'm not making millions from this.
Believe me it's a wonderful thing up here, too bad I don't have it on my truck.

Look at me I'm a cheap ***/
Speaking of which, on a -6C morning I got 8.4L/hkm going 110kph (vs my usual 120kph) today. My stock truck can get better gas mileage than my miata (in which mpgs are moot) and 20% better than the factory rating without drafting anything.
/Look at me I'm a cheap ***
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude View Post

So, since I live in Maine and not the arctic circle, I'm looking for comfort and added-life for the engine, not simply "will it start?" on -40F days... thoughts?
.
artic circle :(

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omg look at those gas prices O_O -40 for the highs :( :(

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lol this was years ago gas is above $4.00 now :(

but yes engine heaters work at these temps. up here it is a necessity. to have them ive had oil freeze so solid that i couldn't even pull the dip stick out , had to thaw it out with bbq coals in a pizza pan under the engine

i have a block heater, oil pan heater, battery heater, trickle charger, transmission heater, peculator heater plus the correct fluids to handle these temps

some people also install a 12v cab heater inside their car to heat up the interior which is usually plugged in with the rest of the engine heaters
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