Do I Need an Engine Block Heater?

You know our Minnesota winters get cold, but did you know the average low in January hovers around 5 degrees Fahrenheit? It’s a chilly statistic, and it’s a good reason to talk to our Bloomington, MN auto service pros about your engine block heater options.

Why Install a Block Heater? 

Ask an expert mechanic about the advantages of installing an engine block heater. He or she will explain that it makes starting your car much easier during cold weather. That efficient start-up reduces general wear and tear, increases fuel efficiency, and lowers emissions. It helps to warm up the car’s interior more quickly, too.

How Does It Work? 

A block heater is a device that warms up antifreeze, oil, and internal engine components before you start the car. Not all engine block heaters are designed alike, and they’re not all simple DIY installation projects.

  • Electric Warming Blanket: Attaches to the inside of a car’s hood or installs on top of the engine.
  • Dipstick Heater: Installs in place of the oil dipstick and directly heats engine oil.
  • Oil Pan Heater: Attaches to the oil pan with magnets or bolts and indirectly heats oil.
  • Bolt-On Heater: Bolts to the engine’s exterior and heats through direct contact.
  • In-Line Coolant Heater: Installs in-line with the radiator hose to heat engine coolants.
  • Freeze Plug Heater: Replaces the engine block freeze plug and directly heats coolants.

Warming blankets and dipstick heaters are easy installs, and you can move them from one car to another. Installing an oil pan or bolt-on heater requires some DIY experience under the hood. Let your mechanic take care of in-line coolant and freeze plug heater installations.

Is a Block Heater Safe? 

With careful installation, a block heater should perform without safety issues. Make sure the attached electrical cord isn’t too close to moving engine parts. Never daisy-chain extension cords to the heater. If you need extra length, use an extension cord specifically designed for block heaters.

Does a Remote Starter Work?

Many new cars are equipped with remote starters that turn on the engine. Components warm up as the car idles, but be careful with this strategy; it can result in dangerous carbon monoxide buildup in a garage or enclosed space.

We Have the Answers

For more information about block heaters, call our Bloomington, MN shop. We’re ready to answer your questions. We’re here year-round with seven Kennedy Transmission locations and the best auto service in Minnesota.

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