Block heater? - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
rawr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Troy, New York
Posts: 3,911
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.


LIFTED COLORADO CLUB MEMBER #69
Gun Toting American Club Member #45
rawr is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 09:32 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
Posts: 638
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

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!
rmchambers is offline  
post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 09:45 AM
Senior Member
 
1badcolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 1,580
Send a message via AIM to 1badcolo Send a message via Yahoo to 1badcolo
he hit it right on. plug it in the night before and your truck will start right up with no struggle.

2006 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab Z71 4x4
20 inch Incubus Rims
Line-x bedliner
chrome grille with blue bowtie
XOVision DVD/MP3/WMA/ipod head unit
Polk Audio components
Alpine Type R 10 inch DVC 600 watt RMS woofer with subthump enclosure modified to hold it
Rockford Fosgate Prime 500/1 amp
2-7 inch rear seat headrest screens(for the kid)
Gun Toting American Club member #16



photobucket Still trying to get it to work!
1badcolo is offline  
post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
rawr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Troy, New York
Posts: 3,911
ah ok very cool, thanks a lot, yeah i thought it was something more like a hot glue gun


LIFTED COLORADO CLUB MEMBER #69
Gun Toting American Club Member #45
rawr is offline  
post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 03:18 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
Posts: 638
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.

Robert

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!
rmchambers is offline  
post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 06:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Beulah, Michigan
Posts: 517
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.

2005 Z85 LS ext cab 4x4, I4, 5-speed
2005 Chrysler 300C
1967 Plymouth lowered 4 inches
1968 Dodge D100 383
1961 Cadillac
My Gallery
steve577 is offline  
post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 07:38 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
Posts: 638
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.

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!
rmchambers is offline  
post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 10:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Beulah, Michigan
Posts: 517
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.

2005 Z85 LS ext cab 4x4, I4, 5-speed
2005 Chrysler 300C
1967 Plymouth lowered 4 inches
1968 Dodge D100 383
1961 Cadillac
My Gallery
steve577 is offline  
post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 10:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
Posts: 638
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

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!
rmchambers is offline  
post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 01:27 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Beulah, Michigan
Posts: 517
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.

2005 Z85 LS ext cab 4x4, I4, 5-speed
2005 Chrysler 300C
1967 Plymouth lowered 4 inches
1968 Dodge D100 383
1961 Cadillac
My Gallery
steve577 is offline  
post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 08:39 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
Posts: 638
That doesn't make sense, condensation by it's very nature is warm moist vapor hitting a cold surface and forming droplets. When you breathe on a cold window it fogs. That's condensation. When you warm something up (ie the window) you can't fog it anymore.

I'll grant you that at temperatures above the lower extremes it may be of little value but it isn't harmful otherwise everyone that kept their cars in nice warm heated garages would be risking this when they drove them out into the cold.

We don't have to worry about rust in our engines, there's very little steel in there to begin with.

I still maintain that a warm engine would be evaporating moisture not causing more of it to condense inside.

Robert

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!
rmchambers is offline  
post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 02:10 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Beulah, Michigan
Posts: 517
Robert -

Let me ask you a true or false question:

A car (or truck) stored overnight in a heated garage in winter is subject to a less corrosive atmosphere.

Do you believe that statement is true or false?

stephen

2005 Z85 LS ext cab 4x4, I4, 5-speed
2005 Chrysler 300C
1967 Plymouth lowered 4 inches
1968 Dodge D100 383
1961 Cadillac
My Gallery
steve577 is offline  
post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 02:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Posts: 6,707
Alright, how warm (roughly) will a block heater heat your, well, block up to? When I was stationed up in Alaska, I used the one on my car all the time, whether it was just 0 or 40 below. I not once had to worry about my engine rusting or anything of that nature, and I never had any problems with the block-heater or the motor in any way.
Carbuster is offline  
post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 03:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
Posts: 638
True or false question. I'd guess false without being given more information.

Warm air is no more or less corrosive than cold air.

It will hold more moisture than cold air, but if the ambient temperature of the engine is the same as the air around it then there will be no condensation.

I'd answer that question as false.

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!
rmchambers is offline  
post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 05:11 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Beulah, Michigan
Posts: 517
Okay, I'll rephrase the question to a multiple choice.
Is a vehicle that is driven regularly in winter in an
area of the country where there is occasional snow or
frequent rain:

(A) In a more corrosive atmosphere in
a heated garage;

(B) A less corrosive atmosphere in
a heated garage; or

(C) the same atmosphere
whether the garage is heated or not.

The answer is (A). If you bring a wet, salty vehicle
into a heated garage (and obviously I'm not talking
about dry climates like Arizona), the heat will speed
up the affects of oxidation caused by the presence of
moisture. Not only will the vehicle be subjected to the
corrosive atmosphere, but everything else in the
garage will be also, most alarmly, a collector car that
you might have in there.

I readily concede that an engine often subjected all
night to a block heater is not going to be significantly
damaged right away, and neither is a collector car
necessarily going to develop pits on the chrome the
first year or two of storage in a warm, moist
atmosphere. All I'm talking about here is what
common sense would tell you is good, and not so
good.

2005 Z85 LS ext cab 4x4, I4, 5-speed
2005 Chrysler 300C
1967 Plymouth lowered 4 inches
1968 Dodge D100 383
1961 Cadillac
My Gallery
steve577 is offline  
post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 05:21 PM
Global Moderator
 
Danny45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Posts: 15,979
If you were to use a block heater just for a couple of hours like you say, and do it over many years time, then I'd say that yes, you could cause some rust in the engine.

However, if you plug it in all night, the moisture that does form will dry rapidly from the continued heat.

Danny



10,000 Posts Club Member #1
Conservative Club Member #2
Gun Toting American Club Member #3
Danny45 is offline  
post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 05:35 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Beulah, Michigan
Posts: 517
Danny,

I would surmise that if you leave a block heater
plugged in all night, it could produce enough heat to
create condensation in the cylinders but not enough
heat to drive the mosture out of them.

The Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency recommends
"Don't.....leave the block heater plugged in overnight.
Instead, use an electric timer to turn on the device
two hours before you plan to drive the vehicle. This is
all the time needed to warm the engine....."

2005 Z85 LS ext cab 4x4, I4, 5-speed
2005 Chrysler 300C
1967 Plymouth lowered 4 inches
1968 Dodge D100 383
1961 Cadillac
My Gallery
steve577 is offline  
post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 06:05 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Strongbadia
Posts: 129
Why does it really matter? Your engine is coated with oil anyway so you shouldn;t really have to worry about anything rusting.
stratmanj is offline  
post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 06:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Beulah, Michigan
Posts: 517
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratmanj
Why does it really matter? Your engine is coated
with oil anyway so you shouldn;t really have to worry about anything rusting.
I'm not an engineer, but I would hazard a guess that high levels of
condensate in an engine cylinder could contribute to formation of sulphuric
acid which is a very aggressive corrodent of aluminum and iron.

You raise an interesting point in that perhaps changing the oil more often
under these conditions would be sufficient to prevent significant damage.

2005 Z85 LS ext cab 4x4, I4, 5-speed
2005 Chrysler 300C
1967 Plymouth lowered 4 inches
1968 Dodge D100 383
1961 Cadillac
My Gallery
steve577 is offline  
post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 09:44 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
Posts: 638
heat alone doesn't cause moisture. That's a fact. The only two places moisture can get inside an engine from are (a) byproducts of combustion blowing by the rings into the sump, (b) moisture from the air going in through the breather

Having a block heater plugged in will NOT magically create moisture where there is none. If there IS moisture in your engine the block heater probably won't make it hot enough where it matters to drive the moisture back into vapor.

The reason the Canadians and probably everyone else says don't use a block heater all night is for energy conservation, nothing else. If the block heater can warm the engine as much as it's going to in say 2 or 3 hours then there's no point in keeping the engine warm for 12 hours. Less energy used = lower electric bills, less pollution from the power plants etc etc.

The moisture in the oil will combine with sulfur and other byproducts to form acidic compounds. This happens whether you have a block heater or not. That is what the TBN number in oil is for, that's total base number - Base being the opposite of an acid and the combination of the two cancel each other out and leave a salt of some sort.

The only way to ensure that moisture is driven out of the engine is to drive it at a rate that gets the engine good and hot, any moisture will evaporate and hopefully get either blown out of the breather or sucked in through the PCV valve into the engine.

Changing the oil on a regular basis is a very good way to ensure there is no buildup of acidic compounds in the engine.

Robert

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!
rmchambers is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome