# Electricity Usage for Engine Heaters

#### Shel_B

##### Site Donor 2022
When I was traveling through Alaska and Canada I saw instances where cars would be hooked up to electric heaters to keep the oil/water/block warm enough to allow easy starting in very cold weather. How much electricity do these heaters use? How does their use compare to charging an EV?

#### RooflessVW

My FrostHeater is 1000W. It's like \$0.12/hr.

#### atikovi

I put one of those in my 1972 Dart after coming home from an Alaska/Canada road trip back in the 80's. Not sure it did much good around here, but I thought the cord sticking out from the grille looked real cool. Got a lot of questions about it.

#### Number_35

When I was traveling through Alaska and Canada I saw instances where cars would be hooked up to electric heaters to keep the oil/water/block warm enough to allow easy starting in very cold weather. How much electricity do these heaters use? How does their use compare to charging an EV?
300 to 500 W is typical for my vehicles' block heaters over the years, and my present incremental cost of electricity is about C\$0.093/kW-h, so my cost of running a block heater is between C\$0.03 and C\$0.05/hour.

The rise in coolant temperature when heated by a block heater drops off with time - the gain is rapid at first, and drops off quickly, with 90% of the benefit occurring within 3 hours, and no additional benefit occurring after 4 hours.

Assuming one wants to run the block heater for maximum temperature increase, 4 hours will cost between C\$0.012 and C\$0.020.

It's false economy to not use a block heater in a cold climate; the few cents of electricity used is offset many times by reduced battery, starter, and engine wear, and greatly reduced fuel consumption.

There's also the comfort of having cabin heat much sooner, when the coolant starts at +20°C rather than -30°C.

To answer your question directly, the amount of energy used by a block heater would be miniscule compared to the energy used to recharge an electric car.

#### B1974

My F150's block heater is 400 watts and I have a 150 watt oil pan heater as well.

#### Number_35

My F150's block heater is 400 watts and I have a 150 watt oil pan heater as well.
Nice combo. Is the oil-pan heater magnetic?

#### RooflessVW

And the reason you need a 1000W engine heater in North Carolina is???

The cord sticking out from the grille looks real cool.
Not here. Hack installs aren't really my style.

#### atikovi

Not here. Hack installs aren't really my style.

View attachment 117227
But a cord hanging out tells the world you're a rugged outdoorsman from the great white north. No brodozer is complete without it.

#### RooflessVW

But a cord hanging out tells the world you're a rugged outdoorsman from the great white north. No brodozer is complete without it.

To you I say: "nah."

#### Shel_B

##### Site Donor 2022
But a cord hanging out tells the world you're a rugged outdoorsman from the great white north. No brodozer is complete without it.

And some guys stick a wadded sock down their pants ...

#### Number_35

Ack! My 4-hour run costs are low by an order of magnitude - I meant \$0.12 to \$0.20, not \$0.012 to \$0.020.

Twelve cents to 20 cents for four hours is correct.

#### Highboy

##### Site Donor 2022
I put a cartridge heating element in my Scion Tc. Toyota has a hole cast in the head/block to put it into. About 2.5- 3 hours gets me to about 70 degrees according to my UltraGauge even when it gets down to single digits.

#### Andrew1972

A 110v block heater is 400w to 1500w.

A slow EV charger using 110V is around 1300w.

#### Andrew1972

I have had no issues starting a vehicle down to -23F since 1988.

The reality is at those temps the issues I had an engine block would not help much as I stalled engine letting clutch out on a manual transmission in neutral.

#### Imp4

Not here. Hack installs aren't really my style.

View attachment 117227
Do you have to lay down to plug this in???
Or just kneel in the dirt?

#### RooflessVW

Do you have to lay down to plug this in???
Or just kneel in the dirt?
Neither. Just reach down, open the cap, and plug it in.

How low do you think it is?

#### Shel_B

##### Site Donor 2022
My F150's block heater is 400 watts and I have a 150 watt oil pan heater as well.
Do you run them together or separately, and what determines your choices?

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