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Old 01-14-2018, 03:48 PM   #1
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When to use block heater

Presently in Florida, going down to 37, will be starting out early in the morning. Should I use the block heater?
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:53 PM   #2
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You can for faster warm ups but not necessary. On the other hand leaving it on will not harm anything. If it were me I would leave it on all night. Warm oil is easier on the engine.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:59 PM   #3
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The only downside to leaving it on all the time, besides wasting electricity, is it it could attract animals to take a nap on the warm block. Not a good thing with that big fan blade twirling around when you start the engine.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:03 PM   #4
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I don't think the 'block heater' is necessary very often, if almost never for most folks, 'specially those in Florida! While you may think it's cold, your engine 'don't really care' so much... it would take a lot of days of very low temps and a lot of time sitting in that weather to even need anything more than the standard 'turn the key and wait for the little glowing light to go out' before cranking...

most folks up north use it to warm up the engine oil several hours before cranking, after the coach has sat for many weeks, or months.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:18 PM   #5
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Warming the oil is not what most block heaters do, it's mostly the engines water jackets that get warmed and kept in a temperature range that will also migrate that heat into the combustion chamber promoting easier combustion during that cold weather start.

Its actually useful in all temperatures due to it keeping the cylinders free of moisture, longer engine life.

But that's a little off topic, so to respond directly to the (OP)s question, Not really necessary until you get below freezing.

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Old 01-14-2018, 04:40 PM   #6
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My rule of thumb is to turn the block heater on if the temps will fall below 45.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:42 PM   #7
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Just remember to turn it off before starting the engine.
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:33 PM   #8
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This article about using the block heater was referenced in a iRV2 topic (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/cran...er-374572.html Post #8) two days ago. Seems to be a good all around article with a lot of relevant information.

RV Tech Library - Preheating Diesel Engines
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatChance View Post
Just remember to turn it off before starting the engine.
Wasn't aware there was an issue there...why?
Running the engine beyond startup...ok, an additional heat source on the engine that has too much heat already that requires a radiator to remove the heat...if that's the issue, understood.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:30 PM   #10
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At that temp it's not needed, but it can't hurt anything.
Use it if it makes you feel better.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:55 PM   #11
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Ok, that's what I thought. thanx
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Old 01-15-2018, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dav L View Post
Wasn't aware there was an issue there...why?
Running the engine beyond startup...ok, an additional heat source on the engine that has too much heat already that requires a radiator to remove the heat...if that's the issue, understood.
There is some thought that running the engine while the block heater is on can damage the block heater from the vibrations. Kind of like a light bulb filament. It is much weaker when it is on and producing light.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:22 PM   #13
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We turn on our Block Heater b-4 we go to bed when temp is below 45 deg. Had great results, engine goes to steady idle within 30 seconds, and can be set to manual high idle soon after that. We have started the engine as cold as -3 with the overnight heater mentality.

Good Luck!!
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:07 PM   #14
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I have a gas motorhome, but back when I had a diesel Ford F 250 pickup, I would turn the block heater on when in went into the 40s. Didn't have to wait as long for the glow plug light to go off, but the big advantage for me was that I didn't have to wait long for my heater to warm me up on the cold mornings because the water was already warm. That was a plus to me when I was leaving to go to work on some very early mornings.
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