Block heater? - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon

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Old 01-22-2005, 06:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Block heater?

Was -16 out when i woke up so I thought good day to use the block heater. Then i realize I dont know how it works. I popped the hood and pluged it in to an extention cord and sat and waited for a hum thinking something might kick in. nothing, so i started it, waited for a DIC display or a differnt sound nothing. I dont even know if the thing is working. I dont wanna sound like a moron here but what do i do lol... right now i just have my truck running... Is it as simple as that? My face is freezing from standing out there right now so imma go warm up lol.
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Rawr,
The block heater is a plan-ahead type device. If you know it's going to be cold (pretty much guaranteed where you are in the state) plug it in the night before. It has a little coil like you'd find in one of those small coffee pots. so it gets hot and heats up the coolant in the water jacket. The warm water flows uphill and it warms the whole engine block. It takes a few hours to get the block hot to the touch though so plugging it in for 20 mins won't make much difference.

If you listen very carefully down near the battery side of the engine you can hear a little boiling noise but other than that it's silent.

It's completely separate from the trucks electrical system so the DIC don't know DICK about it...

Robert
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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he hit it right on. plug it in the night before and your truck will start right up with no struggle.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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ah ok very cool, thanks a lot, yeah i thought it was something more like a hot glue gun
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If it was going to warm your engine up as soon as you plugged it in it would have a 50amp 220V dryer plug on it not a 15am 110v.

Leave it plugged in for a while then put your hand on the other (passenger side) of the engine and see if it feels warm. The water circulates by convection and warms the whole top half of the engine. I doubt that it does anything for the oil in the sump but my Mob-1 is good down to minus something it never gets here so I don't care too much.

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Old 01-22-2005, 05:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm in Northern Michigan and the Colorado is certain to
start right up at the temps we have here. I don't know
anybody that has a block heater. My impression was
that no block heater would be needed unless temps are
-25 and it doesn't get that cold here. I wouldn't think it
would get that cold in New York or Connecticut either.
Maybe in North Dakota.

What I'd really like to have for cold mornings is a heated
steering wheel.
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's true, it doesn't get that cold here, however, a warm cylinder block is going to be more conducive to combustion than an icy cold one. There should be less friction so load on the starter should be reduced as well.

It's like leaving your boots by the heater vent overnight. Sure you can put cold boots on and they still work, but putting your feet into nice warm boots is so much nicer.
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Old 01-22-2005, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would be wary about plugging in a block heater if the temps
aren't predicted to go to minus 20 or lower. I would be worried
about creation of condensation in the engine using the block heater
excessively. It would probably be okay to use a timer to switch
on the block heater two hours before you plan to start the truck.
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Old 01-22-2005, 09:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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and how exactly would this condensation be created? the moisture that forms inside the engine is the result of blowby from the cylinders. If the engine isn't running, there's no blowby..

if anything this would keep condensation down, if the engine doesn't get that cold the moisture won't condense on the insides of the engine and turn to droplets.

Robert
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2004 Colorado Z71 LS Crew 4X4 (Born May 26th)
Line-X over the rail
Hoodflector
3M no-chip film on various surfaces
Supertone Horns installed! Loud!
Block Heater.
Custom Skidz 3 pc set installed and tested!!
Torza premiere tonneau nice!
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Old 01-23-2005, 12:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Robert, I got the idea from reading this post on another
forum:

"Unless the temps are predicted in the minus-10F (yes
minus) or lower range, the block heater is only
generating internal engine water condensation (can you
say "rust" and "acid"?) and doing nothing useful except
enriching the local power-utility."

And it just seems to me to be common sense that an
engine sitting there for hours that is warmer than the
air will cause condensation to form from the relatively
cold air in the intake manifold, exaust manifold and
cylinders.
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