>>> Block Heater Question ???

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i have a '91 sunbird 3.1.

i was wondering is it bad to have the block heater plugged in all night for more than 8 hrs or so???

also does anyone know what the wattage consumption is roughly on a block heater ??? i was told its about 700 watts.

posted by  Rad1

Block heater can't hurt anything, never heard of it hurting anything.

Block heater takes about 8amps at 110 volts. So a pretty good amount of power. Out of curiosity, why'd you ask that?

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

someone told me not to plug it in for more than a few hours a night cause it damages somthing,, somthing to do with expanding and contracting with temperature change.

what ever he said i didnt really think it would harm the car but i thought i would ask others to make sure

also wanted to know about the power cause the bills are pretty high in my house and just trying save energy where ever i can.

posted by  Rad1

It won't hurt anything. Help if we had an idea what the temp in your area is,,really don't matter. Block heaters are very slow to heat and I don't believe they heat past 90 degrees. If you are worried that much about power consumption, connect it to a timer and set it for 3 hours before you intend to start your car.You don't need to use these if you temp doesn't fall below 20-30degree. But it a lot easier on your vehicle if you do, heats your toes faster too.

posted by  lectroid

That's actually a good idea, the timer, but with how cheap it would be to use the block heater, probably cost you more for a $20 timer. 30 degrees is awfully warm to be using a block heater (that's only about 0C), unnecessary at temperatures like that, usually once it hits about -30C is when it's necessary (I think that's about -20F). We get lots of experience with cold starting up here, this winter's been harsh in Canada, -40's for two weeks.. eep.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

ya i only plug it in when its below -10 C

last few nights its been about -20 to -30 C, and few times the car almost didnt start but when i plug in the heater its no problem with one turn of the key.

posted by  Rad1

Exactly, -20C outside right now, car's not plugged in but it'll start first go, just once it hits that -30C - -40C the cars refuse to start if the block heater's not being used. Especially on smaller motors, like I4s, they're even harder to get goin' in cold temps.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

Gee, if it's that harsh up there, I wouldn't worry about the cost of running a block heater. I'd be more concerned about my oil laying in the pan till it warms up to operating temperature. That is going to cost you in the long run. :2cents:

posted by  lectroid

5W-30 maaan. I remember when I had to change the oil in some old guys car last month he had probably 20W-30 in it, came out like fudge, looked like fudge too.. but it didn't really taste like fudge :cry:

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

PUKE!PUKE!PUKE!

posted by  lectroid

just one other curious question.

do any you happen to know what temperature it warms up to ???

i heard about 30 - 40 C

posted by  Rad1

I'm not exacly sure on the temp, but I think they will kick off around 200 degree. Here is a good little read. Alaska should have a clue about block heaters.
http://www.ci.anchorage.ak.us/healthesd/WhyPlug20F.cfm

posted by  lectroid

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