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block heater

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by mcwlandscaping, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    I think my truck has a block heater on it and ide like to use it. How do i know if it is actually working? What exactly will be warm so i know i'm not plugging it in for nothing. Is there anything else this plug under the hood could be used for? it seems like it is factory. Is there a code that would tell me if this option is on the truck or not? lastly, what benefit does a block heater provide for a vehicle? I know this is probably more of a benefit for diesels but figured it would help the truck somehow or else it wouldn't be there!

  2. snowcan

    snowcan Member
    Messages: 52

    A block heater will save warm up time, it will also save engine wear because it starts up warm, thereby saving gas also, you will notice the heat come on a lot faster.Those things do suck electricity, so put a timer on it, usually a couple hours is good. The block heater should have three prongs on the cord, the round one is ground, clip your ohmeter to ground on the truck and the other end to the round part of the plug, there should be resistance. Then clip your ohmeter to both straight prongs and there should also be resistance.OR plug it in and check for heat where the block heater is installed in the block, keep that plug covered when not in use so the salt and crap doesn't rot it.

    RBRONKEMA GHTFD 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,592

    Mike it will keep your oil warmer in your truck, and it'll help with heat in the morning. I use mine, and it helps alot, also you might notice your temp. gauge showing how warm it is when you start it up in the morning, I know I do every now and then, depending how cold it is outside.

  4. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    Idk i used mine a few times this winter and i honestly didnt notice a difference. I just let the truck warm up 20-30 minutes every morning now. Besides I dont think my block heater works anymore ever since my dad decided he was going to borrow my truck and he never unplugged it dragging the extension cord down the driveway.
  5. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,163

    A gas truck does not need a block heater as much as a diesel, though when used, it is benifitial. I have one on my gas truck that I only plug in when it gets down around -10 to -20, just so it starts easy and I can jump in and and it is hot. Basically what it does is heats the coolant in the motor, this in turn makes the block warm and keeps the oil less stiff.

    You will not notice as much of a difference on a gas truck due to the fact they you guys run 4,5,or 6 quarts of 5w30 or even 10w30 were as in diesels we run 10, 12, or 15 quarts of 15w40. If you have ever heard a diesel start up that has not been plugged in in -20 degree weather, all that knocking and banging you heard is the lack of oil to the top side of the motor. (Not so good)

    So if you have a block heater cord on your truck and your truck starts just fine when it is cold out, i wouldn't even bother to use it, but if you don't have to pay the power bill and you like going into a truck that is warm in 2-5 minutes, use it.
  6. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Actually it depends on what type of block heater you have. Some heat the oil, others heat the antifreeze. I use mine when it gets under 10F, I use an outdoor timer set for about 3 hours. Never needed one on a gas motor to help start, never needed it. Not in NH anyway. I'm religious about warming it up first before driving. I'd recommend a remote starter to anyone. Mine is one of my favorite things in the world. Especially since my diesel has a gigantic cooling system capacity, it takes forever to heat all that coolant up and get any heat out of it.
    To check the plug you found, plug it in and check the truck every so often to see if it has caught fire due to electrical short. If not, after an hour go feel the oil pan. It should feel not hot but warmer than the surrounding metal.
  7. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239


    keep an eye on it ,when my 98 2500 i had was new with a block heater from the factory was new less than a year old it leaked and i never used it !