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I have a pig tail plug under the hood that goes to the block so i'm guessing I have a block heater.
Can any one tell me when to plug it in to a power source, "example before going to sleep or several hour before starting up?" Can I leave it pluged in over night? And how can you tell if it's working? By touching the block?

Thanks
 

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If it starts fine without plugging it in now, DO NOT PLUG IT IN. It's like crack, do it once and you have to do it from then on.

But yeah just plug it in at night when you get home and leave it all night, thats what i do to mine. If you don't like to leave it put it on a timer or somethin.
 
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Depending on how cold it is it should warm engine to around 90*. It's just a heating element just like the one in a house in a electric water heater. You shouldn't need it unless it's below freezing. My 92 starts good 10-15* weather without it plugged in. You can touch the block around where it is an feel a little heat.
 

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You should also be able to hear it (kind of gurgles) when you plug it in.

I agree that how long it should be plugged in varies with temperature. Overnight is the answer for really cold nights. I don't agree that it is best to avoid plugging it in whenever possible...I think plugging it in makes the whole start-up process less damaging for many parts associated with start-up ware.

I would rather have mine plugged in <20*F...even if it is plugged in for only an hour. Of course, that is not what I always do.
 

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I need to plug mine in. It's -20 and dropping soon and it won't start and I never plugged it in before so how will I know if it works or not?
 

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Well, you will know the heater is working because you can hear it and after a while feel warmth down by the heater.

Cold temps work against any motor from starting. Battery efficiency and friction of all moving parts are working against you. And, that is for a gasser; cold is even more of a problem for diesels. Higher compression and fuel viscosity add to the diesel problem.

For these things to start when it is really cold, everything has to be right. Entire cold-start system working, correct oil viscosity, battery in good shape, anti-gel fuel additive, block heater plugged in. And, even then, there is a lower-temp limit for any specific truck.

I have friends in northern MN and ND and they add plug-in battery heaters and magnetic oil pan heaters.
 

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Plug it in at night, I plug diesels in starting at about 40 degrees. At that temp only needs and hour. A timer is best, after three hours you have reached the hottest it is going to get, the rest is just wasting power. Having block and head warm reduces the wear on the engine, the fuel doesn't go diown past the rings giving excess wear. And they don't get addicted to being plugged in, it starting on ether that they get addicted to.
 

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When it gets down to 30* or so i plug mine in after i get home from work "while it's still warm" and even when it gets down to 0 the temp gauge goes up alittle when i start it,

if i don't plug in my truck drags the starter, spits, sputers, blows smoke, rattles, when it's pluged in you just reach for the key and it's running, it's soooooooooooo much beter for the engine to start warm.

i agree 3 or 4 hours is all it takes but i just never picked up a timer.


Darwin
 

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40 degrees F!!

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the stock block heater to be 750w, with a 1000w HD version optional. Diesels should only be started if they are over 40 degrees F. Most people don't do this, but engine start-up wear goes up exponentially below this temp. Use a heavy-duty timer and set it to two(2) hours or so(depending on temp.) before you want to start it. Also, remember, all other fluids are still very cold, so go easy on her! :thumbsup:
 
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If I plug mine in over night it doesn't seem to do any good in the morning. Like it wasn't even plugged in. But if I plug it in about an hour or 2 before I start it then it works fine. Dont know why this is but it's how my truck works.
 

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take note of how fast your electric meter is spinning, go out and plug in your block heater... then watch how fast it spins now... lol i think two hours is good enough for me
 

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Agreed with above^^^, You will pay.
 

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I have mine on a timer, set to come on 2 hours before I leave for work. Any longer than 2 hours and it doesn't get any warmer. I use it at home so the truck warms up a lot faster in the mornings. No place to plug it in at work, so it just runs a little rough at first, and takes a lot longer to warm up fully.

:flag1:
 

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Old sparky, you say yours doesn't start good if it's not plugged in it sounds like your grid heaters aren't working.

I work 10 hr shifts and get off at 02:00 AM and it's cold in N Indiana. My truck will fire up and idle smooth on first crank and not plugged in. It does smoke for a little bit until it warms up some.
 

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Grid heaters work fine. I can tell a difference in between plugged in and not plugged in. Starts much easier when plugged in when the temp is zero, plus it warms up a lot faster. It still starts better than the semi when it is cold.

:flag1:
 

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The (school bus) fleet all have the block heaters and they remain plugged in even when not in use. That is not my policy, rather the older gent (Boss). I believe he is from the 60's, back when nothing would not start even if it was 40°F

I guess you never know when a bus would break down and have to use another, so if it is 45-40° they are plugged in. I have had to demonstrate that they will start at 25°F with the engine grid heat, but he just smiles and walks away.

My personal trucks are electrified for two- three hrs prior to start, simply to clear the glass with less idle time.
 

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i keep mine plugged in all night, when
it does get plugged in. if you do the
math, its hardly no cost at all. now if
you keep it plugged in all year long,
every night, im sure it will add up, but
just during the winter / colder few months
its not much.
 

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I think 2 hrs seems to be the optimum mark. I have a timer in the garage and Ive actually did a two week 'study', if you will, at changing the time in which my timer would come on. During these two weeks the temp never got below 0 and never really got above 25 during the day. And as I said before, 2 hrs seems to be the optimum mark.

I only plug my truck in under 20F so as to reduce the wear of starting but she has started from dead cold at -25F w/ about 3 grid cycles. My timer is set at 0530 and I start my truck at 0730ish and usually leave about 10 min later. Hope this helps.
 
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