Engine Block Heater

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nazar1212
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:32 pm

Engine Block Heater

Post by nazar1212 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:43 pm

Hello everyone,

I recently visited Helsinki and I found that on parking lots there power outlets that are used to plug in Engine block heaters. I've never seen anything like that before and I live in a very cold place. I am from Eastern part of Russia a place called Yakutsk. The average temperature in winter here is minus 45 and sometimes it gets well below minus 50. In winters we usually leave our cars running all day and night, because once you turn it off it won't turn on. So I was wondering if engine block heaters will work in minus 50??? or what's the coldest temperature anyone has ever used their engine heaters in???

Thanks for your info!



Engine Block Heater

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Mangrove
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:45 pm

Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by Mangrove » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:57 am

nazar1212 wrote:So I was wondering if engine block heaters will work in minus 50??? or what's the coldest temperature anyone has ever used their engine heaters in???
As you might know, it is illegal to keep car idle for more than two or four minutes in the winter:
If a motor vehicle is stationary for a reason other than an obligatory traffic obstruction, the engine must not run for more than two minutes. When the temperature is below -15°C, the engine may run for a maximum of four minutes before the vehicle is driven.
I think the coldest temperature I have used block heater is around -30°C and it worked fine. The heaters, small and large, sold in Finland are tested usually at -20°C. For the coldest parts of Finland you might need a larger one (i.e. more watts) than one would need in Southern Finland. At least in Lapland the problem in very cold temperatures, around -40 and -50°C, is perhaps not that the car does not start but the tires are not round anymore but flat due of the compression of the air molecules.

Please do use block heater, we do not want your car looking like this in a densely populated area! :wink:



Upphew
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by Upphew » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:59 am

nazar1212 wrote:Hello everyone,

I recently visited Helsinki and I found that on parking lots there power outlets that are used to plug in Engine block heaters. I've never seen anything like that before and I live in a very cold place. I am from Eastern part of Russia a place called Yakutsk. The average temperature in winter here is minus 45 and sometimes it gets well below minus 50. In winters we usually leave our cars running all day and night, because once you turn it off it won't turn on. So I was wondering if engine block heaters will work in minus 50??? or what's the coldest temperature anyone has ever used their engine heaters in???

Thanks for your info!
They just convert electricity to heat, so they will work just fine. Being effective is another question...
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riku2
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by riku2 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:57 am

nazar1212 wrote:I am from Eastern part of Russia a place called Yakutsk. The average temperature in winter here is minus 45 and sometimes it gets well below minus 50. In winters we usually leave our cars running all day and night, because once you turn it off it won't turn on.
This reminds me of a week spent in Saskatchewan in January where they did the same thing, leaving their cars running outside the hotel for an hour or more to warm them up. charming.

You will find that in Finland people in blocks of flats have to pay for petrol but not for the electricity from the car park power sockets. So you would have a choice of free heating from electricity or pay for the petrol you use. Even if you have a detached house, then the cost of heating the car with electricity will be cheaper than running the engine and this does not include the cost of wear on the engine from idling.

I have had no trouble with my BMW when it's been -35 and warmed up with the engine block heater. In finland engine block power outlets normally have a timer but I think in Canada there is no timer so the power is on all night. Despite this my car has no trouble but no doubt they are designed for it and in the winter I'm always glad I ordered the heated steering wheel option.


Fitz
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:30 am

Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by Fitz » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:59 pm

riku2 wrote:
nazar1212 wrote:I am from Eastern part of Russia a place called Yakutsk. The average temperature in winter here is minus 45 and sometimes it gets well below minus 50. In winters we usually leave our cars running all day and night, because once you turn it off it won't turn on.
This reminds me of a week spent in Saskatchewan in January where they did the same thing, leaving their cars running outside the hotel for an hour or more to warm them up. charming.
Being from Regina, Saskatchewan, I have to wonder why you spent a week there, haha. (No one goes there unless they have family or are in an ESL program.) But yeah, some people are ridiculous about warming their cars up. I know people who warm their cars up for 25 minutes for just a 10 minute drive. When I first started driving, my dad would always tell me to let the engine warm up before I drive because it will be healthier for the car overall. He described it as like warming your body up before hardcore exercise or something. Personally, I only let it warm up for five minutes max, because gas is expensive and I'm really cheap.


DMC
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by DMC » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:46 pm

riku2 wrote:I have had no trouble with my BMW when it's been -35 and warmed up with the engine block heater. In finland engine block power outlets normally have a timer but I think in Canada there is no timer so the power is on all night.
Although to be fair I have had no problem starting cars at that sort of temperature with no heating at all. The heater makes a difference to passenger comfort, engine wear and fuel economy but if your car is in good shape a block heater is not essential for starting.

Having the heater on a timer is fine if you have a regular, predictable, timetable. I don't have such a routine so a timer is of little use to me. Instead I am currently installing a timer that will turn on the heater for a fixed period, so I will be able to start the heater shortly before I go out and not have to remember to turn it off again. The timer I have is capable of running the heater for 30, 60 or 120 minutes. I have everything in place, I just need to get an electrician to come and connect it up.


Bavarian
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by Bavarian » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:33 pm

riku2 wrote:You will find that in Finland people in blocks of flats have to pay for petrol but not for the electricity from the car park power sockets. So you would have a choice of free heating from electricity or pay for the petrol you use.
If you live in a block of flats, isn't the parking place something you pay for, either directly or in the hoitovastike? (Or is it the yhtiövastike? Either way, you're paying for it somehow, I'd assume.)


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Oombongo
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by Oombongo » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:37 pm

Yakutsk..wow! it is another world. I remember reading one interesting article
I ask if standing outside in such temperatures every day caused her any health problems. She looks confused: "Why would it cause any health problems? I'm fine."
That cracked me up
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riku2
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by riku2 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:54 pm

DMC wrote: Although to be fair I have had no problem starting cars at that sort of temperature with no heating at all. The heater makes a difference to passenger comfort, engine wear and fuel economy but if your car is in good shape a block heater is not essential for starting.
When I was working in Regina it was about -20 and I think I had a Toyota Corolla rental car but it had no engine block heater fitted, so each morning I would start it from cold like you said. Compared to being at home with my car and an engine block heater then the worst thing was the inside cabin also being -20 (my car has the extra internal fan heater that comes on with the engine block heater). That was the worst of it since my hands would get terribly cold and my breath would turn to ice on the windscreen making it hard to see out. So the whole thing was quite miserable, especially with it being quite windy.

I have the 30-60-120 minute timer, it's from a UK central heating controller. you can set normal times for it (eg 0600-0800) but also press the button for a 30-60-120 minute period as well
If you live in a block of flats, isn't the parking place something you pay for, either directly or in the hoitovastike? (Or is it the yhtiövastike? Either way, you're paying for it somehow, I'd assume.)
Yes, you pay a price for a parking spot. But you do not get a discount if you say you will not use the power socket and (illegally) run your car engine to warm it up instead.


DMC
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by DMC » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:25 pm

Perhaps it is what you are used to. I haven't had a heater for years and haven't found it much of a problem. I bought a new car recently though, which came with a block heater and internal heater, so I thought I would use them. That's why I am fitting an external mains socket, which I haven't had before. Ask me in 6 months time and I may be puzzled how I survived without them on previous cars.

The timer I have is designed for a UK immersion heater (i.e. to heat a domestic hot water tank). Since a conventional timer is of no use to me I opted for the simple option with the 30-60-120 minute runs but no time-of-day timer.


Upphew
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by Upphew » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:27 pm

Bavarian wrote:If you live in a block of flats, isn't the parking place something you pay for, either directly or in the hoitovastike? (Or is it the yhtiövastike? Either way, you're paying for it somehow, I'd assume.)
Yhtiövastike = hoitovastike + rahoitusvastike. And yes, the electricity ain't free (nor is the land the car is standing on).
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Pursuivant
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by Pursuivant » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:19 pm

I thought they started a fire under the car in Yakutsk to warm it up :mrgreen:
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Cory
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by Cory » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:48 pm

Fitz wrote: Being from Regina, Saskatchewan, I have to wonder why you spent a week there, haha. (No one goes there unless they have family or are in an ESL program.) But yeah, some people are ridiculous about warming their cars up
I think it's a general Canadian thing. I'm from northern BC. Drive past any truck stop, early enough in the morning, to see the 40 or more pick ups steaming up the air whilst their driver's are in having breakfast and shootin' the breeze with their mates. Some of these guys do keep their trucks going all day 'cause there ain't no place to plug in while they work. There have been cracked blocks if it's left outside unplugged in -40c for 8-10 hrs before starting it. Webasto (or the equivalent over there) is gettin' more popular.
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tuulen
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by tuulen » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:30 pm

Pursuivant wrote:I thought they started a fire under the car in Yakutsk to warm it up :mrgreen:
No joke! I have known older guys (most of whom are no longer with us) who worked in construction, who had big diesel-powered bulldozers and other big equipment, and in winter they had to light a wood-fueled fire underneath the equipment's engines before they could start them. BTW, the Yakutsk region of Russia is among the coldest places on all of planet Earth, with temperatures sometimes going below -100°C.


mccovey
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Re: Engine Block Heater

Post by mccovey » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:23 pm

As you might know, it is illegal to keep car idle for more than two or four minutes in the winter:
Or any other time for that matter!

(Kept car running overnite once in Albany, NY - about -15F - guess it's just something you have to do sometimes - you just hope someone didn't drive it off during the night)


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