engine block heater installation

How To Install an Engine Block Heater

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Have you wondered and looked forward to a guide on how you can install an engine block heater in your vehicle? While it may seem like a huge hurdle for some, installing a block heater doesn’t seem difficult the way it seems at the first sight.

The role an engine block heater plays in a car engine is similar to what a workout plays in a sportsman’s body. A block heater excites your vehicle engine by heating its oil and internal fluids. Especially if you drive on cold days and in very cold regions, the engine oil can become thicker. This will reduce the power of the engine as well as the overall optimal performance of your car.

However, if you have an engine block heater, your vehicle engine would easily attain the needed power-up temperature. Also, you would not have to bother about putting the vehicle’s engine through much stress.

You don’t have to be an automotive expert or a professional repairman to install a block heater in your vehicle. In this article, you’ll learn the simple steps on how to install an engine block heater in your vehicle.

Let’s find out what an engine block heater is. This will lead us to a highlight of the guide on how to install this critical component of your vehicle. Overall, an engine will enhance a smooth driving experience.

What is the Engine Block Heater?

Whatever the make, model, or method of heat generation of an engine block heater, they all work on the same principle of using electricity to heat a part of the engine and its oil while the vehicle is at rest.

The term Block speaks of the lower parts of the engine where the oil remains when the car is motionless; thus, you can be sure the oil will get to a fluid state. It doesn’t matter if the engine body freezes.

The trick here is that the cooler the engine, the denser its oil becomes, eventually inhibiting smooth engine start-up. If the engine has to combat this hindrance, it will consume more battery power and set up a vicious cycle of negative feedback. The more the battery power consumed, the more time it takes for the oil to move through the engine, enhancing engine damages.

An engine Block heater not only heats the motor oil and the vehicle but also decreases the rate of fuel ingestion.

After automotive experts have installed the block heater, they connect the block heater to a steady electricity source. The block heater works by converting the electric energy into heat energy, and it sends this heat to the engine plate, which heats the oil needed for power generation.

Different Types of Engine Block Heater

Engine heaters come in different types and make. There are those that warm up the fluid while others warm up the block. It would help if you considered these differences before purchasing an engine block heater.

Drain Plug Heater

Like your freeze plug block heater, a drain plug engine block heater works the same way. The setup is also the same. But unlike the freeze plug, the drain plug block heater uses the engine’s drain plug.

Here’s how to set up the drain plug block heater:

  • Drain the coolant located in your vehicle engine
  • Wipe off the residual coolant on the threaded surface
  • With a seal tape, cover the thread of the heater against leak
  • Screw up the block heater through the drain port
  • Refill the engine coolant and inspect the heater for leakages
  • Connect the block heater to the car’s electrical system

Inline (Circulating) Heater

The inline circulating engine block heater warms up the coolant hose and the entire engine too. Regarded as the most reliable, efficient, and classic engine heating system, the inline-block heater offers great heat to your vehicle engine.  

Here’s how to set up the inline heater:

  • Slice the coolant hose in two using the aviator snips
  • Connect the input port of the block heater to one terminal of the hose and the output port to the other terminal of the hose.

Oil Pan Heater

The block heater is simple to set up and effective to heat up and excite your engine to action. It features an adhesive pad. This makes the heater stick on the oil pan of the engine; alternatively, it can connect with bolts and magnets that enable the pan to heat the oil.

Here’s how to set up the oil pan block heater:

With a brake cleaner, get rid of dirt from the surface of the transmission oil pan

Open the adhesive sheet by removing the block heater’s supporting paper

Attach the block heater on the external surface of your vehicle’s oil pan

Cartridge Heater

Easy to install, the cartridge block heater is one of the most effective engine block heaters. However, this block heater is suitable for cars that run on adjacent coolant tanks and metal casings. It operates the thermal conduction process to offer heat to your car engine coolant.

Here’s how to install the cartridge heater:

  • Trace the hole on the head of the engine
  • Glide the cartridge heater over the engine block
  • Prevent the block’s side clip from slipping out by snapping it
  • Supply the power cord for the car’s grill to offer easy access later on

Freeze Plug Heater

The freeze plug heats the coolant directly. It serves as a substitute for the vehicle’s core plug and unlike the drain plug block heater, the freeze plug replaces the drain plug. It is capable of increasing your car’s engine fluids very quickly but installation can be tricky.

Here’s how to install the freeze plug block heater:

  • Drain the engine radiator off the coolant
  • Take time to study the manual on how to remove the freeze plug
  • Keep the freeze plug higher than the coolant level.
  • Wipe the interior of the freeze plughole
  • Take away the heater’s O-ring and insert the heater through the hole.
  • Ensure the heater makes no contact with anything other parts
  • Mark the position of the heater and remove it
  • Replace the O-ring and the block heater with the hole
  • Refill the engine coolant and check for leaks
  • Connect the block heater to the engine electrical system

Final Thoughts

With this guide, you will not have any problem installing a block heater in your vehicle. With a block heater mounted, driving during winter comes with no threat again to your car engine. You will also don’t have to bother during snowfalls, rain, and extreme wet weather conditions.

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