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Old 04-08-2005, 11:24 AM   #1
Dubhlachan
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Default Yet another engine block heater question

I'm being stationed in Duluth MN soon so I started gathering info on block heaters. Saturn wants $84 for the tack-on heater and $38 for the cord. I like the idea of an easy install but the price... ugh. Does anyone have an alternate/aftermarket source for the same style (bolt-on) heater but at a more reasonable price?

Is it worth it to get an electric battery blanket as well? Would that be better than trickle-charging the battery all night?

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Old 04-08-2005, 01:38 PM   #2
Kevin94SL
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Default Re: Yet another engine block heater question

I plugged the SL1 in about 15 times over the winter. I don't have a battery blanket, and I have never "charged" the battery with a trickle charger.

Never hurts to have the car plugged in. $100+ seems steep. Of course, I just pulled mine off my old man's car before it got scrapped.

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Old 04-08-2005, 01:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Yet another engine block heater question

That seems to be the going rate for the excessively priced heater element and cord. The "S" series engines use a unique block heater; only available from Saturn. The L, Ion, and Vue 4 cylinder Ecotec engines use a very common GM block heater, available at any GM parts store. If you don't want to pay the piper, try a magnetic heater element from a parts store. They're made for prewarming air compressors as well as engine blocks. I paid $28 Cdn, including the cord. Works great on my air compressor in my garage in the winter. I also use an electric battery blanket. Duluth gets almost as cold as Winnipeg, so I would recommend it. Also a 0W-30 synthetic oil will help a lot.

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Old 04-08-2005, 02:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Yet another engine block heater question

How big are these magnetic heaters, and is there a good place (on the engine) to stick them? I'm not sure if having warm oil (pan placement) and a cold water jacket is better than cold oil, with a warm water jacket (block placement).

Oh hell, if someone has a picture of a circulating heater/pump on thier saturn please post it with details. Magnetic heater pics welcome too.

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Old 04-08-2005, 04:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Yet another engine block heater question

Magnetic heater is about 4" long, 2" wide, and 1" thick. Made by Temro. Any surface that will hold the magnet will do. Would be a problem with the Saturn block, as it's aluminum. However, the flat part of the block below the coil pack is where the factory block heater bolts to. The magnetic heater would just sit on that ledge. No need for magnet.

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Old 04-09-2005, 08:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Yet another engine block heater question

I live in northern Alberta and have a 95 sl1. I just use the factory block heater, no blanket or trickle charger, and the battery is the original. It doesn't need to be plugged in above about -20 celsius, and below that it will start no problem as long as it is plugged in for a couple of hours first. Only thing that I might warn with the magnetic ones is that it would involve some messing around under the hood when you want to unplug the car and go somewhere unless you can find some way to mount it permanently. Probably would suggest checking the wreckers in MN when you get there, i would guess that most of the cars sold there had the factory block heater installed.

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