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  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Mountains of Utah

    Default Block heater advantages?

    My Burb is parked outside and used very little in winter....and even in warm weather it's tough to crank over....typical big block. Any real advantage to installing a block heater? Asked two said yes, would extend engine life ultimately...the other guy said no advantage if engine is run frequently. And if I were to install, what is the best heater to get? Oh, yeah. I live at 7000' and winter temps range from 40 above to sub-zero in Jan-Feb. Thanks for your input.
    Last edited by Taggart; 10-28-2007 at 04:36 PM. Reason: misspelled word
    1999 GMC K2500/454 CID which is used primarily to pull an 8000# travel trailer about 10K miles/year. 4WD w/eletronic transfer case.

  2. #2


    Block heaters vary. Some go in your lower radiator hose and heat the coolant in the block as well as the radiator.

    These are great for people who want a warm truck in the winter. It takes less time for the engine to warm up to normal operating temp.

    Now they also have one that replaces your dipstick and heats the engine oil, great for starting because the oil is already warm and makes starting easier. Less start up friction because the oil flows quicker.

    As far as if the make the engine last longer, who knows, but they do make life a lot easier when the temp goes below 0.

    When it’s -20 F and you need to start it you will be thankful you have it.

    Technology is great, when it Works,
    And one Big Pain in the Ass When it Doesn’t.
    Detroit Iron Rules, All the Rest are Just Toys.
    94 GMC Burban, 5.7L (350), 4X4, Auto
    86 GMC Burban, 350, 2 WD, Auto
    79 GMC pickup plow truck, 400, Full time 4X4, Auto
    86 Pontiac Fiero SE, 2.8L, Auto, only mid engine American car
    See a Pattern yet?

    15 year GM assembly line worker.

  3. #3


    You have a few choices, block core plug, hose or magnetic. For both price and ease of install I like the hose type, all you do is cut the bottom radiator hose and insert the heater. When I was stationed in Caribou Maine it was the best!!! Easy starting and instant heat, two great things in a place where the temps stay well below -0- for long periods. What makes any of these heaters work better is to drill a couple of small holes in the thermostat to allow the water to ciculate, I found that out a day or two after I put the one in up in Maine. The hose and the radiator was warm but then engine was not, the old guy next dooe said did you drill the stat I said Huh! Well a drill and another gallon of anti freeze I was in business, I could go to work without my parker. You can' beat having one, I had a timer the heater would go on at 4AM and the engine was warm enough by 6:30 when I left for work.

    Happy 2 Wheeler!

  4. #4
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Mountains of Utah

    Default Thanks for the responses

    Good ideas all. After a bit of research, maybe a simple solar (or other) trickle charger will work for me. Strong battery cures a lot of ills. Of the heaters, I like the magnetic idea. Maybe both. I 'll cogitate on all of this....still have a month or so b4 the nasty weather kicks in.

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