How Does A Diesel Block Heater Work?

Next, we’ll go through the various types of engine block warmers and their differences.

When it comes to engine cooling, we have two options: water-cooled engines and air-cooled engines. Water-cooled engines are used in most cars, but air-cooled engines are used in some small ATVs, UTVs, and motorbikes, so we’ll discuss them in that order.

When should you use a block heater on a diesel engine?

Many of us in the Edmonton area rely on driving to get to work, bring our kids to school, and get food for our families during the winter months. While driving in light winter weather isn’t too bad, harsh winter weather puts a strain on engines. Our engines, like the majority of us, dislike the extreme cold. They work best in warmer weather, and while we can’t control the winter temperatures, we can use engine block heaters to keep our engines warm. Many of our Ford automobiles come equipped with engine block heaters to keep your engine warm throughout the chilly winter months. The cord to plug in your engine block heater is normally situated under the hood, as seen in the photographs below, and we’ve even drawn a box around it for your convenience.

What is an Engine Block Heater?

Let’s take a look at what an engine block heater is and what it does before we get into when you should plug it in. When you start your car, oil circulates through the engine block, lubricating all of the working parts. When we have harsh winter temperatures, such as -20° C or below, the oil thickens and becomes sticky. This makes it more difficult for the oil to travel through your engine, causing it to work more, consume more petrol, and emit more pollution. The engine block heater maintains a temperature that allows the oil to remain thin and flow freely through the engine block.

When to Plug in an Engine Block Heater

While the precise temperature at which you should consider plugging in your engine block heater varies, the main thing to know is that if it’s going to be severely cold overnight or early in the morning, you should probably plug in your vehicle. Newer vehicles can usually start at temperatures as low as -30° C, but if the block heater isn’t connected, the engine will be put under more strain. To be safe, plug in your engine block heater when the temperature drops to -15° C or lower. If you drive a diesel car, you may need to use the engine block heater to keep the temperature from falling too low.

How long does it take for a block heater to warm an engine?

I’m not sure how often I’ll need to plug in the block heater now that we have a new automobile parked outside for the winter. We reside in Winnipeg, where temperatures regularly fall below -30 degrees Celsius, and I only drive once or twice a week. What is the best way to ensure that the car starts every time? — Winnipeg resident Kara

The cold weather irritates most of us, including your car. If it hasn’t been plugged in, a modern car should start at -30C, but it won’t enjoy it.

“When it’s about -15C, people call and say’my car starts at -20, -30, or -40,’ but it’s in your car’s best interest to plug it in before you use it,” explains Liz Kulyk, communications manager for CAA Manitoba. “It’s for the car’s longevity – to ensure that the engine components get enough oil and wear is minimized.”

Oil is pumped through the engine block to lubricate moving parts as the engine begins. When the temperature drops, the oil thickens and ceases to flow properly.

Because there is less oil flow, there is more friction, which causes engine parts to wear faster than they should. The engine coolant is warmed by a block heater, which also warms the engine block and oil.

Natural Resources Canada claims that plugging in your automobile before starting it can reduce pollutants – and your gas price. According to the NRC, a block heater can improve your fuel economy by up to 10% at -20°C.

A chilly engine burns more gas and emits more exhaust pollutants in the winter. That’s why idling your car for 10 or 15 minutes to warm up isn’t such a good idea – you’re harming the environment and burning more gas than if you were driving. According to the National Research Council, it is preferable to simply get in the automobile and drive until it reaches the proper working temperature.

Your car’s interior is not heated by the heater. But, according to Kulyk, the warmer your engine is, the better it will heat the air that will blow into the vehicle, keeping you from freezing to death.

“The vehicle will warm up in 5 to 6 minutes instead of 10 minutes when it’s plugged in,” Kulyk explains.

The National Research Council recommends plugging in a car two hours before driving. However, according to CAA Manitoba, your automobile should be plugged in for 3-4 hours, especially when it’s cooler.

According to a study conducted by the University of Saskatchewan in 1972, a block heater will get an engine as warm as it can ever get after four hours. The excess heat is then lost to the chilly air outside.

“If you’re not going until 7 a.m. the next morning, you don’t need to plug it in when you come home from work at 5,” Kulyk explains. “Electricity is inexpensive in Manitoba, but leaving it plugged in for 14 hours is a waste of energy.”

You can get a block heater timer for $15 or $20 so you don’t have to run out and plug the car in four hours before you need it.

“Stores like Canadian Tire and Home Depot carry them,” Kulyk explains. “Right now, I’m seeing one marketed for $10.”

If you only drive one or two days a week during the winter, you should be more concerned about your battery losing its charge, according to Kulyk, especially if it’s a few years old.

“You can get a battery minder installed if you don’t drive very much,” Kulyk explains.

Can I leave my diesel plugged in all night?

Is it okay for me to leave my truck plugged in all night? After three hours, the temperature reaches its highest point ever. Any additional expense is simply a waste of money. If you leave it plugged in all year (winter, summer, or in between), the engine will not be destroyed, but you will have to pay $100 every month to keep it hooked in.

Should you unplug block heater before starting?

Block heaters are usually considered to be safe. It’s the cords that you need to be concerned about. An engine fire can occur if your cords are damaged or do not have a strong connection. Not to terrify you, but an automobile can quickly become completely engulfed in flames.

For your block heater, experts recommend using a three-wire, three-pronged extension cord. Make sure it’s rated for outdoor use in the winter.

Regularly inspect your block heater and extension cords. Make sure the wires aren’t frayed or damaged, and the block heater plug isn’t corroded by salt. Make sure you don’t run over your extension cord. Don’t, for the love of God, drive away while the automobile is still plugged in. Before you start your car, unplug the block heater.

Plug in your truck or vehicle

You can use an engine block heater to prevent a diesel vehicle from gelling. These can be installed at your local dealership if your truck doesn’t already have one.

Use winterized diesel.

Some gas stations will have fuel that has been winterized. It may not be available at every pump, so call ahead or inquire at the gasoline counter. They might have a blend that lowers the gelling temperature significantly.

Keep diesel tank as full as possible

Keep more than half a tank of gas in your car. If you’re traveling long distances in places like Wyoming, this could be difficult. With more fuel in the tank, the chance of water/condensation collecting and freezing is reduced. This, in turn, will aid in the prevention of diesel gelling.

Store the vehicle inside

Keep your car in the garage (heated is even better if you have one!) as much as possible. Keeping the vehicle inside, though, may provide just enough of a temperature differential to prevent gelling.

Can a block heater catch fire?

Poor electrical connections around block heaters are a common cause of farm fires. Even if block heaters are working properly, plugging them into a broken cord with a bad connection can cause them to catch fire.

Can I leave my block heater plugged in while running?

The engine block heater should be left on for no more than four hours, according to most specialists. You should leave your vehicle plugged in for at least two hours if you want it to start.

Can you leave an engine block heater plugged in while running?

It takes some time for engine block heaters to reach their full potential. Run them for at least 2 hours, but 4 hours is preferable. You can leave them plugged in overnight or buy timers specifically designed for block heaters.