Oil pan or block heaters

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Old 11-06-07, 08:41 AM
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Oil pan or block heaters

Anyone have any pros/cons on either the flexible oil pan stick on heaters or frost plug heaters?

The oil pan heater is attractive since I won't need to remove the frost plug to install, but I'm not sure how well the oil pan heater will work. Both my vehicles (99 windstar and 94 saturn) are with out engine heaters during the winter. Living in ATL I didn't need a heater, but since moving back north (WI) I would like to keep things a little warmer when it drops into single digits.

Thanks.

Brian
 
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Old 11-06-07, 11:23 AM
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Forget about the dipstick or magnetic oil pan heaters, they don't put the heat where it is needed - in the block.

What you want is either the freeze plug heater, lower radiator hose heater or heater hose heater. They all work well, although the hose type heaters will probably be of higher wattage because of higher heat loss. Also, IMO, the hose heaters install a lot easier!

I once lived without a garage and put a hose-type heater on my car. Plugged it into an outside outlet that was wired to a heavy duty timer set to come on about 2 hours before I had to leave for work. The car started like it was summertime, and had some defrost heat right away.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 11:41 AM
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Block heater in IMO, and here is why. The blcok heater is in contact with the coolant that can heat and then cause not only heat transfer but cause movement of the fluid (the name to this scientific principle is eluding me at the moment).

With the pan heater, the oil falls to the botom where the heater is. But then it really can't transfer anywhere except through the metal of the pan or through the air. It is effective in causing the oil to be warmer and thinner for when you start your car. But the watts of these units I believe are far less than the block heater.

You can also get a heater that goes into the lower radiator line. I'd imagine this would be quite effective as well. That is what I have but it is burned out and I never got to see how good it works, but I'd imagine it would work good.

The oil pan heater I magnetically stuck on my car did not help the engine to crank over much faster. It helped some. But I remember years ago when I had a block heater and was up north in temps below 40-below zero, the car started right up!

The magnetic oil pan heater I think is like 150 watts and the block heater I think was more like 800. It's been years and I suppose I could stand corrected.

If the oil pan heater is some other style rather than magnetic style, I would still presume the heat could not as effectively transfer out of the oil in the sump as it could by being in direct contact with the coolant for reasons stated early on.

Will have to see how others weigh in on this.
 
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Old 11-07-07, 06:10 AM
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I have my doubts on the oil pan heaters. Sure the oil will stay toasty, but will do little for anything above the pan. I am also looking at the tank style heaters, since they circulate the water. But doesn't the thermostat cause problems since it will be closed and restrict circulation?
 
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Old 11-07-07, 06:31 AM
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On the other hand, I don't think the tank style heaters connect to the radiator hose, but the heater hose...I guess I better do some more research.
 
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Old 11-07-07, 12:01 PM
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Question Heater Problems

I Have A 90 Honda Accord And My Heater Doesn't Want To Work. Just Last Night It Started To Blow Some Warm Air But Not Much. Today It's Not Working Again. What's The Problem?
 
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Old 11-07-07, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DINERO View Post
I Have A 90 Honda Accord And My Heater Doesn't Want To Work. Just Last Night It Started To Blow Some Warm Air But Not Much. Today It's Not Working Again. What's The Problem?
Maybe a moderator can start a new thread for you. WE were talking about a different type of heater - the kind that keeps engines warm overnight in the winter.
 
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