oil heater?

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,988
Location
Oakville, Ontario
It will definitely help out a lot! By giving the oil a head start on being warmer, it'll flow better on startup in the winter and it'll reach operating temp faster so that the moisture burns off faster. This is especially helpful if you're doing shorter trips that might not have normally heated up the oil as much.
 
Do we have any physics gurus out there? I could figure this out but it's been so long that it would take me longer than it would take for someone else to read this and then post the answer. Anyway, what I'm referring to is their claim that it can heat 6 quarts of oil from 66 to 160 degrees F in just 25 minutes. I know how the formula goes for heating water...so many CC's by so many degrees C by how many minutes equals calories etc etc. Well, what about oil? This ad says it will heat the oil to 160 in 25 minutes. It doesn't say what will happen if you leave it on longer then that. Will this thing end up cooking your oil if left on too long? Conversely, will it even be worth a crap if you live where it is commonly 40 below? I pose all these questions because I too am in the market for a heater of some sort for my Excursion. I'm debating the pros and cons of oil heaters and block heaters...or maybe even considering the use of both. If anyone out there has real world experience with either of these types of heaters, PLEASE speak up!!! Thanks! Mikie
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
I like the block heater and suitable light viscosity winter oil (5W-30, 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-40---whatever's suitable for your engine). The water jacket heater a) Gets your car's heater putting out heat in a block or two (best selling point to the Mrs.) b) Reduces air pollution by reducing the time the engine is running cold. c) Improves gas mileage for the reason above. d) Reduces engine wear because there's less thermal expansion size difference. e) Once the engine is running the oil heats more quickly from contact with the warm engine surfaces. Ken
 

Ira

Messages
13
Location
los angeles, ca
quote:
Originally posted by Weatherlite: This ad says it will heat the oil to 160 in 25 minutes. It doesn't say what will happen if you leave it on longer then that. Will this thing end up cooking your oil if left on too long? Conversely, will it even be worth a crap if you live where it is commonly 40 below?
500 Watts! I'd guess it will easily work at 40 below and cook your oil to boot if you leave it on to long. Looks like it's intended for race cars and dyno rooms. If you get it, I'd only use it with a timer that turns it off in 20 minutes. This one from JC Whitney is only 75 watts. http://www.jcwhitney.com/productnoitem.jhtml?CATID=53830&BQ=jcw2 And these are 125 or 250 http://www.jcwhitney.com/productnoitem.jhtml?CATID=53873&BQ=jcw2 And this one attaches with built in magnets and has a thermostat: http://www.jcwhitney.com/productnoitem.jhtml?CATID=53849&BQ=jcw2 Ira
 
Messages
342
Location
fairbanks, alaska
We use lots of oil pan heaters here in Alaska. For engine oil 75 to 150 watts is all that is needed and only $15.00. Many people leave them on for extended periods without burning the oil. Katts is the major brand up here, made in Canada.
 
Messages
951
Location
Loveland, Colorado
So this self-sticks to cover the bottom of the oil pan? I don't see a problem in cold weather, but can you remove it for non-winter driving & then reapply it later? I think there's only 3 mos out of the year I'd want my oil pan covered.
 
Messages
342
Location
fairbanks, alaska
Around these parts there are companys that have have oil fired boilers in vans. When a water or sewer line freezes they inject steam to thaw out the lines. They also can blow hot air through a hose to heat up frozen autos so they will start. But some folks will take the cheap and easy way out like burning charcoal under the engine, that's a fire hazard.
 

Jay

Messages
1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
It's a good idea to pre-heat the engine before starting it in cold weather, but I don't like the idea of stick-on oil pan heaters. First, they are very inefficient. Much of the heat they generate will radiate away from the pan. Second, they are a fire hazard. Oil can leak onto the elements and catch fire. They are also exposed to anything that you might run over on the road which can cause shorts in the wiring or element. A simple dipstick heater is a much simpler, cheaper, safer, more efficient way to heat the oil and engine. A block heater is best of all.
 
Wouldn't a combination of bloack heater and oil heater be best? A block heater only heats the coolant and engine block...not the oil. So, when first starting it the engine will be all warm and cozy but the oil will still be thick and unwilling to flow easily. Yes, once it touches those warm engine compnents it will warm quickly but by then it's still too late. I think I have the perfect solution though...kick the wife outside and let the car/truck sleep inside! [Big Grin] *what's that? Yes dear* Sorry guys...gotta go. I think I'm in trouble now. [Wink] Mikie
 
Messages
70
Location
plano texas
I thought all cars have block heaters and you just need to plug them in to an outlet with a cord???? I think my car is that way anyways. What if you live in texas where it doesnt get below 20 f? is it still good to heat the coolant and the oil in the summer or is it hot enough it wouldnt matter much?
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,988
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I could be wrong but your 94 Formula probably does not have a block heater since it's a US car. I know all Canadian f-bodies have them as standard issue, but I don't believe any US f-bodies got them. I haven't used the block heater in my 95 Formula once though. I just don't like the idea of leaving my hood popped open overnight.
 

Jay

Messages
1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
quote:
Originally posted by Giles:
How is sticking the element into the oil safer than being on the outside of the pan? I'm not familiar with either solution, just curious as why the dipstick is safe. How much heat does it generate? A dipstick heater is safer because the heater is always immersed in oil and can only get so hot. It doesn't generate much heat but nearly all the heat is given up to the oil. The stick-on type only heats the oil indirectly and wastes much of the heat it generates. It depends on good contact with the oil pan not to overheat. If it should become partly unstuck it will overheat.
 
Messages
718
Location
Central Texas
For those who feel the need to heat your oil. Try your friendly local farm supply or tractor dealer. Even though I doubt much of a need exists here in Texas. I see the magnetic type pan heaters often for less than $30.00.
 
Messages
403
Location
California
quote:
Originally posted by Jay: A simple dipstick heater is a much simpler, cheaper, safer, more efficient way to heat the oil and engine. A block heater is best of all.
How is sticking the element into the oil safer than being on the outside of the pan? I'm not familiar with either solution, just curious as why the dipstick is safe. How much heat does it generate?
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,988
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by 94 formula: Actually all the f-body's were made in canada to my knowledge, where would it be so I can check?
Yes, all f-bodies were made here, but I meant the cars destined for Canada, with metric gauges, get the block heaters, while those destined for the US with imperial gauges, don't get the block heater. Look under your hood on the left hand side near the battery, the block heater cord would be in that general area if it were there.
 
Messages
597
Location
Salisbury, MD
I had an '81 Datsun King Cab Diesel. I put a black heater in it (amazing it did not come with one). I would park it in the garage at night, pop the hood, plug it in to an extension cord on a timer, lay an old wool blanket on top the engine to better confine the heat, then let the hood sit on the blanket. Just needed to have the heat come on for two hours in the morning and she would start right up. Nice having heat right away on a cold morning. I think block heaters should be an option on every car. If you use them as above, there is a net savings cost wise as the more efficient engine at start-up pays for cost of electricity in fuel savings, there is less emissions and I have to believe there is some savings in longer engine life.
 
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