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Old 12-09-2009, 08:42 PM   #1
toadson
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Default Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Now that winter weather has finally made its way to my area, I've been looking for engine block heaters. Obviously the magnetic ones won't work on an aluminum block, and I've heard they are junk anyway. I've also tried looking around for OEM heaters but can't seem to find any, and I'm sure the dealer (if I can find an open one) would be pricy. Is there a decent aftermarket block heater that actually works well? I've heard that they make heaters that heat your coolant, which would be nice. Please let me know if you know of a good aftermarket heater or know a reasonable price on an OEM heater. Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

What year is your car?

Those cut the hose coolant heaters are not real good due to a gross lack of room to install one. And the way the cooling system is designed they are not that effective.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

I have a 01 SL2 and did the factory optioned block heater and love it!!
Good luck finding one. If you do luck out enjoy it quick heat right from the start.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Youre making me jealous! Haha. Sorry, my car is a 95 SC2. Thought I had that in my sig but apparently not. Aren't the later model heaters just slightly different than the first gens?
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

I have one of these magnetic heaters that I use on our cars & I love it.

Stick it on the bottom of the pan & your done. The only PITA is taking it off in the morning.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toadson View Post
Youre making me jealous! Haha. Sorry, my car is a 95 SC2. Thought I had that in my sig but apparently not.
Y'all using the mobile saturnfans? if so there's your problem... I've suffered from this ALL THE TIME, and just noticed it after I was BANNED from here awhile ago..
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

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Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
Y'all using the mobile saturnfans? if so there's your problem... I've suffered from this ALL THE TIME, and just noticed it after I was BANNED from here awhile ago..
Nah, I just thought I had added it to my sig, when I didn't, haha.


So doublemm, the magnetic heater you stick to your pan keeps the engine fairly warm? Could you epoxy it in place and leave it on all the time and route the cord somewhere to just plug it in and unplug it?
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toadson View Post
Youre making me jealous! Haha. Sorry, my car is a 95 SC2. Thought I had that in my sig but apparently not. Aren't the later model heaters just slightly different than the first gens?
They are not directly interchangeable. A search of the J/Y may yield up one. You want one from a 97 or earlier. The 98 and up is part number 21008372. If you find one be sure to get the cord also as its made of unobtainableum.

I think the later one can be made to fit properly.


Pan heaters are hard on the oil. They tend to overheat it quite a bit.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Anybody try the dipstick type heaters before? These go in the dipstick tube down into the oil pan and have a pretty low powered heater element (75watt, IIRC).

The idea isn't to get instant heat in the coolant, but to have oil that immediately pumps. Basically, its for the car's benefit, not the driver. Sounds like a good idea, but I haven't found anybody who uses one.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by manualman View Post
Anybody try the dipstick type heaters before? These go in the dipstick tube down into the oil pan and have a pretty low powered heater element (75watt, IIRC).

The idea isn't to get instant heat in the coolant, but to have oil that immediately pumps. Basically, its for the car's benefit, not the driver. Sounds like a good idea, but I haven't found anybody who uses one.
The dip stick and magnetic heaters operate at an excessive temperature and you will hear your oil sizzling when you use one. There are flexible rubber blankets that can be attached to the bottom of the pan that are large enough in area and low enough in wattage that they do not boil the oil.

This is what you are looking for. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...s=kats&x=0&y=0

The direct water heaters do not work well on a Saturn as a result of the lack of space and the design of the cooling system.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
Y'all using the mobile saturnfans? if so there's your problem... I've suffered from this ALL THE TIME, and just noticed it after I was BANNED from here awhile ago..
Actually, the "problem" is with putting useful info in the signature in the first place. Members who don't want to waste a lot of bandwidth on redundant text turn signature views off. Better to put the relevant info in your profile, which everyone sees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
There are flexible rubber blankets that can be attached to the bottom of the pan that are large enough in area and low enough in wattage that they do not boil the oil.

This is what you are looking for. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...s=kats&x=0&y=0
So are these meant to be attached permanently? How are they attached? And veering off-topic, could a heater like this be attached to something like a ZF-5 manual tranny?
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

If it will make good contact you can adhere one with real high temperature epoxy. Or you can hold one in place on a transmission with a insulating blanket pad and the appropriate quantity of real bailing wire. Fiberglass welding blanket material works well to hold and protect the heater. You can get it with a coated side so its waterproof, or use a sheet of aluminum flashing. Naturally no one makes these things right out of the box.

I see that the cold weather has arrived in Madison.

Its weather like this that convinces me that synthetic gear oils and grease is well worth the cost.

I will be attempting a start on a 57 year old diesel powered machine tomorrow. Large diesel burning hot air heater and several tarps. And a large can of starting ether.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Whats the point of a block heater? If the only point to one is so you have heat faster in the cold. I wouldnt waste my money on it. You need to let your engine warm up before you even think about driving it. I start mine about 10 mins before I leave, that gives the car plenty of time to warm up both the engine and the temp inside the car. I didnt even know block heaters even existed on gas engines. I only seen them on diesels.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

The point is that if it is setup properly you have the oil warmed up enough that it will flow to the bearings. There are several ways to accomplish this. Saturn does this by heating the block and water jacket by #4 cylinder. Direct oil heating is problematic as the heating element surface temperature has to be restrained to 200f - 250F or oil damage is possible.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

doublemm -

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublemm View Post
I have one of these magnetic heaters that I use on our cars & I love it.

Stick it on the bottom of the pan & your done. The only PITA is taking it off in the morning.
How long do you have it on? An hour? 2 Hours?

CarloSW2
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
If it will make good contact you can adhere one with real high temperature epoxy. Or you can hold one in place on a transmission with a insulating blanket pad and the appropriate quantity of real bailing wire. Fiberglass welding blanket material works well to hold and protect the heater. You can get it with a coated side so its waterproof, or use a sheet of aluminum flashing. Naturally no one makes these things right out of the box.
How about aluminum electric fence wire? Won't rust....

Quote:
I see that the cold weather has arrived in Madison.
Uh-huh, just hours after getting EIGHTEEN INCHES of HEAVY, WET snow. We have plow mounds pushin' 10 feet high on some corners. Now today's high is supposed to be 8F.

Quote:
Its weather like this that convinces me that synthetic gear oils and grease is well worth the cost.
Had the wife's PSD plugged in for 3 hrs this AM, 1000W block heater plus 2 battery blankets, Mobil 1 TurboDiesel. Started like it was July. She actually went out yesterday, BEFORE they plowed, and blew past several private plow truck operators (new Blizzaks).

Quote:
I will be attempting a start on a 57 year old diesel powered machine tomorrow. Large diesel burning hot air heater and several tarps. And a large can of starting ether.
I'll look to the west for a puff of smoke on the horizon.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huskerville View Post
Whats the point of a block heater? If the only point to one is so you have heat faster in the cold. I wouldnt waste my money on it. You need to let your engine warm up before you even think about driving it. I start mine about 10 mins before I leave, that gives the car plenty of time to warm up both the engine and the temp inside the car. I didnt even know block heaters even existed on gas engines. I only seen them on diesels.
It's not for driver comfort, it's for engine longevity. My car, running Mobil 1 5w30, will start in just about any temperature, but the wear-and-tear starting it without a heater is much greater. Idling an engine barely provides enough oil pressure to do any good "warming up"; actually running it at _moderate_ operating speed provides better lubrication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
How long do you have it on? An hour? 2 Hours?
I run my OEM block contact heater for 2 hours. A magnet heater, per OldNuc's warning about sizzling the oil, should go less (if you use it at all). You'll need a pretty heavy-duty timer; the OEM heater draws 300 watts, and a typical magnet draws 200.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Aluminum wire tends to fail. Metal fatigue. Copper clad plumbers strap and a couple of 1/4x20 stainless steel bolts would do a good job. The regular fiberglass material that is used for patching bodywork would be OK if its protected with a sheet of flashing. Seal edges with the red high temperature RTV and it will be next to bullet proof. getting the fiberglass wet from road splash would not be good.

Dug out snow blower and much to my surprise it did not require a major overhaul before starting. Its all of 17F to 18F today.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...9472_200379472

electric engine blankets work great

My uncle used to use a regular electric bed blanket
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:22 PM   #19
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

here is some more

http://www.powerblanket.com/engine_blankets-a-38.html
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:01 AM   #20
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Default Re: Engine block heaters, OEM or aftermarket?

Engine blankets.... interesting. Those pads on amazon probably are only sufficient for an atv or something small I would imagine. Anyone have something similar to the small stick on blankets? I guess you would just have to stick it on the oil pan, unless you can find a spot on the block that it would conform to.
...
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