An alternative to a engine block heater, do you know if this thing works?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by glocknut, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    Here in Arkansas its not anywhere near as cold as it is up north, but one of my cars is a really hard starting old car that takes a long time to warm up, so I've been thinking about putting in a block heater.

    It turns out they have a device, I forget what company makes it, but its from Napa Autoparts...this little heater is installed in the middle of one of the water lines that run to the heater core. The guy at napa claims that water is conductive for heat and will keep the water in the block warm?
    My first thought is that this won't work nearly as well as a traditional block heater that is drilled right into the motor?

    Has anyone ever tried one of these water heaters before?
    Do they work to any degree at all?


  2. WyomingSwede

    WyomingSwede Guest

    As a veteran of the Great White North and points west, I can tell you unequivocably...go with it. Yes they are not quite as efficient and the block heater...but they do the job real well.
    I prefer them over the block heater.
    #1 ease of installation - anyone can do it with minimal tools.
    #2 Replacement - see #1 above
    #3 Considerable cheaper than the drill in type.

    It it works for me when it is 20 below for weks at a time...I would bet it would be the best thing since popcorn down Arkansas way.
    Best of luck to you.


  3. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    As a veteran of two Great White Norths (Maine & Minn-eeee-sota), here is my opinion.

    1) Best - Block heater (goes in place of one of the freeze plugs). Best to have this one installed by a mechanic.

    2) 2nd Best - Lower Radiator Hose (return line) heater. Much easier (you can do it yourself) to install and almost as good as a block heater.

    3) 3rd Best - Heater Return Hose heater (the kind you mentioned). Not nearly as good as 1 & 2, but will probably work OK in the mild Arkansas winters.

    4) 4th Best - Wrapping the battery with heater tape (the type used on gutters and downspouts). Better than nothing.

    If your car starts hard in an Arkansas winter, you probably need a tuneup and a new battery.
  4. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    The heater which fits in a freeze plug works best. The next best is one in the lower radiator hose, as heated water will rise into the engine. When in Alaska, I couldn't run down to the corner NAPA, so I wrapped the lower hose with pipe heating tape and wrapped that with fiberglass insulation. It worked and -70F is not to be sneezed at (you'll blow out your nose hairs. :D )

  5. gpostal

    gpostal Former Guest

    Feb 20, 2003
    what ever happened to those heated oil dipsticks sold by jc witney??

    i live in the midwest ,not a ice box but i get my share ,i always run a thinner oil in winter ,it makes a big difference
  6. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    The dipstick heaters had a tendency to fry the oil, so were discontinued by most. I have seen them for sale a time or two in the past 10 years, but many fewer than before that.

  7. Txquadhunter

    Txquadhunter Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Nevada, TX
    I'll be willing to bet if you rebuild the Carb. or buy a rebuilt carb. for the car it'll solve the hard starting and warm up on cold days. Alot of old carb's hate cold mornings. (holley is #1 at it) my 79 bronco used to be the same way had to get down and beg it to start or warm up on cold days. Now after carb rebuilt it'll fire right up no matter how cold it gets.
  8. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    I hate to spend the money to rebuild a carburator on a $500 to a $1000 car, it just does'nt make sense.

    The main reason i want a heater on it is because I'm thinking about selling it, and I want whoever buys it to able to keep it running without it giving them too much problems....

    Some of these poor folk need all the help you can give them......

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