Heated Dipstick


Old 12-28-06, 09:41 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 54
Thumbs up Heated Dipstick

I was just getting ready to install a heated dipstick for the winter, and I see the directions say that it should be removed before running the engine. I merely assumed a dipstick heater could be left in all winter, and be plugged in and unplugged as needed. Does anyone have experience with these types of heaters? What could happen by leaving it in while driving/running the engine?

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Old 12-28-06, 11:34 AM
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I've never used one but would assume the higher temps that the engine oil would reach would adversely affect the unit. It also might not seal as tight.
Old 12-28-06, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345

Is it longer then the stock unit? If so I can see some problems as it might hit moving parts.
Old 12-29-06, 07:06 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 54
thanks for the suggestions.
the length of the heater is the same as the original dipstick, so I don't see it hitting the crankshaft or anything.
Old 12-29-06, 10:52 AM
Join Date: May 2006
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I personally have reservations about the good those things are supposed to do. The surface area of the heater is relatively small compared to the amount of oil it has to heat. Oil has a tendency to insulate heat locally around the heating element so it really takes a lot of heat to move through the contents of the pan. So you have oil, which is hard to get completely warm in the pan, away from the block and heads which would benefit most from the heat.

I would suggest putting a block heater on it. Those are much better for cold weather starting and they put the heat where it does the most good. They are set up to percolate the water throughout the system for a good heat distribution.

Hope this helps,

Old 12-29-06, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Alberta.
Posts: 74
definitely go with the blockheater... I don't usually plug my car in til it hits -30 celcius, but we've seen it down to -40 and lower... don't waste your money on the other gadgets, if you're in this section, then chances are you've got a big motor and the heated dipstick won't do much for you anyway...
Old 12-30-06, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
i agree

I can not really see the benifit of a heated dip stick as the heat surface is very small and with no movment of the oil it will only get warm around were the actual heater is.
A block heater sounds like a better choice as it will heat the entire block and transfer heat to the oil.
Old 01-17-07, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 912
heated dip stick

The other boys have got it right. The small area that the heat is in degrades your oil. Go with a block heater. The best are the ones that go in place of a freeze plug. No lost heat or hoses to leak. I had good luck with one cut in to the lower hose. I wiuld plug it in for about an hour in the morning. You can also put it on a timer. You get what you pay for,
,,if you are lucky. Tom
Old 01-17-07, 06:25 PM
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Just two rules. Plug it in or it won't do any good. And the most important rule - easy to forget - unplug it before driving off.
Old 01-18-07, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 912
block heater

And one other thing to remember when unpluging it do not hit your plastic grill they break very easy when cold. My truck looked like someone with a toothless grin. Tom

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