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Do you have a block heater in your Explorer?

Discussion in 'Explorer Related Polls' started by Crankcase, November 22, 2003.

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    Do you have a block heater?

    1. Yes it does, I use it.

      40 vote(s)
      23.8%
    2. Yes it does, but I do not use it.

      23 vote(s)
      13.7%
    3. No it does not.

      79 vote(s)
      47.0%
    4. It was removed before I bought vehicle/does not work.

      2 vote(s)
      1.2%
    5. What is a block Heater?

      18 vote(s)
      10.7%
    6. Trucks come with Block heaters? I thought those were only in tractors.....

      6 vote(s)
      3.6%
    1. Crankcase

      Crankcase Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
      1992 XL Ex-Police
      Brrrr, Winter is here, so.....

      I was wondering if all Explorers came stock with block heaters....All 4 of my families first gens have them, and they are all XL models...

      So...did yours? Do you use it?
       
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    3. drmoore71

      drmoore71 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      i have one, but since i live in texas, i don't really use it. the truck was originally purchased in colorado, so that is why it has the heater. i do not believe that they all have them, because our previous '95 and '97 didn't.
       
    4. Nate1

      Nate1 All 4 wheels locked Elite Explorer

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      My old 92 XLT didnt have one, and my 99 Obviously didnt either.
      I voted 'What is a block heater' because I dont think I've seen one in my life.
       
    5. JDraper

      JDraper Somewhat Functional Moderator Emeritus

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      Actually most Explorers don't come with them. If I remember correctly, they only came in trucks sold in very cold climates (may actually have been a dealer option), or if you asked for one as an option. Both of my Explorers came from PA, but didn't have them.
       
    6. black99sport

      black99sport New Member

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      99 Sport
      we get very cold here in Edmonton. It's -25c tonight. Oh yeah we need to plug it in here.:p
       
    7. Redrig

      Redrig Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      I voted what is a block heater even though im pretty sure i dont have one. So, what is it?
       
    8. JDraper

      JDraper Somewhat Functional Moderator Emeritus

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      A block heater is a device that keeps the block and oil warm so the vehicle starts easily in very cold climates. Some of them go down the dipstick hole and have a heater element that warms the oil. Some are "blankets" for the motor, and some have a heater element up against the block. You plug them into a house electrical outlet.
       
    9. Redrig

      Redrig Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      :banghead:
      I guess if i put just a little thought into that i could have figured it out. :rolleyes: I was thinking of somekind of different heater in the cab.
       
    10. Crankcase

      Crankcase Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      1992 XL Ex-Police
      The stock ones in the OHV block go into a core plug (sometimes incorrectly called a frost plug), and have a cord running up by the battery....it is factory zip tied in the engine bay so the cord does not fly into the belt....
       
    11. 98BlackXSport

      98BlackXSport Active Member

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      I think all canadian X's come with one. Don't need it in Vancouver though, it sn't that cold.
       
    12. blue_97_v8

      blue_97_v8 Active Member

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      1996 limited 4x4
      both my x's have them along with my son's x...it's standered up here..you can't get one with out(new) unless it's from out of sate
       
    13. hvac man

      hvac man Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Mine came with one, 93 sport from CO. I use it because it was 5 degrees f here last night :)
       
    14. snocross1985

      snocross1985 Explorer-less Elite Explorer

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      My 1994 XLT doesn't have one and never did. I am the second owner and it was originally bought in northeastern Mass.
       
    15. VairKing

      VairKing Elite Explorer<br>Midwest-Xplorer Member Elite Explorer

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    16. glfredrick

      glfredrick Elite Explorer

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      Mine doesn't have one right now, but the minute I move back to Wisconsin it sure will have...

      That's about the only reliable way to get a vehicle started in less than zero degree weather. When it drops to -20* or worse block heaters are almost mandatory. Regular motor oil turns to the consistency of molasses at that temprature and gear oil is about like peanut butter... At least block heaters keep the engine temp up enough to allow them to turn over to start.
       
    17. EMG7895

      EMG7895 Well-Known Member

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      Could staring a cold engine in -20 degrees that does not have a block heater cause any damage?
       
    18. celly

      celly disturber of the peace Elite Explorer

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      Block heaters are standard fare up here in the "Great White North". I bought myself a brand new Isuzu Impulse AWD Turbo back in '90 or so. Loved driving that car until one very cold snap around Xmas time. Car froze up solid and I couldn't go anywhere for several days. I finally broke down and called the Isuzu dealer about buying a block heater. He told me that come standard on ALL the cars they sold up here. He told me where to find it ( was coiled up on the firewall, not hanging out of the grille like in most cases). I plugged it in, and about 1/2 hour later she started on first crank. Nice option to have in northern climes, and I know from one Xmas in Wisconsin that it can get VERY cold south of the border too.

      My wife is from Wisconsin (she lives up here now), and surprisingly she told me that block heaters are very rare, even down there. I'm fairly certain that they're a somewhat inexpensive option.
       
    19. LOGJOCKY

      LOGJOCKY Well-Known Member

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      if u live in canada and dont have one ur a fool. although i have forgot to plug it in a few times when it reached -45 and it still started in the morning. it didnt want to though.
       
    20. glfredrick

      glfredrick Elite Explorer

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      It's a funny thing... As celly said, lots of people never use one, even in areas where it is cold all winter -- and certainly cold enough to warrant a block heater -- but I attribute that to people being somewhat ignorant about cars no matter where they live.

      IMO, and as a professional ASE certified mechanic and life-long resident of Wisconsin until the last 8 years, -20 and below DO damage engines and other componets of automobiles. Your oil simply cannot circulate at that temprature - it will NOT suck up the pick up tube of the oil pump, and if it does get picked up, it is too thick to make it through the oil galleries of the engine until it begins to warm up. For that reason, I switched to synthetic oils in ALL the areas that took any type of oil or grease in my own vehicles and never looked back. The syntetics are NIGHT AND DAY difference in really cold weather. They flow normally until well below -50 which is going to handle most of the severe cold weather times that most people in most places in North America are going to face.

      I have watched people blow their oil filters right off the engine trying to "rev up" a slow starting engine or trying to get a cold car to move off the spot. Some engines are notorious for blowing out the oil pump drive shaft, and in the engines I built, I would replace the factory plastic type drives (in the engines that had them) with a better steel drive and/or a high performance part that was stronger than stock.

      I also ran at least a 1000 cold-cranking amp battery no matter what the car needed in the warmer months. Of course, block heaters were part of my plan as well, and my cars always got "plugged in" when the temps dropped below zero. I also have a magnetic oil pan heater that really helped all the neighbor's cars that didnt' start like mine did...

      My "winter kit" for all my cars and trucks consisted of:

      -Synthetic oils all around
      -1000 CCA battery and GOOD cables (Good meaning as heavy as I could find or make!)
      -Proper tune up
      -Jumper Cables in all the cars
      -A can of WD 40 (works great for drying out wires that have become sno-packed when busting drifts - but hardly anything else)
      -A can of starting fluid
      -"Red" Heat (or any ISO- alcohol gasoline dryer -- the "Yellow" Heat products and their kind don't really do much)
      -Keep the gas tank full as possible in very cold conditions - (top it off every day if you can - for a number of reasons - not the least of which being the ability to keep the car idling to stay warm in case you went off the road somewhere due to snow or ice conditions)
      -Some "traction adding" device - usually an old rubber/carpet car mat (the kind with the spikes seems to work well - and a 50# bag or 2 of cat litter in the trunk for weight and for spreading on snow/ice for better traction when stuck)
      -A Tow strap of some kind - even a cheapy tow ropw for cars
      -A blanket, extra hats, gloves, scarf, etc just for emergency
      -A lighter (carry it in your pocket for thawing frozen locks and keep a spare in the car)
      -A small shovel - preferably with flat blade - which works MUCH better than a pointed spade for snow or ice work
      -a GOOD window scraper
      -And in freezing rain conditions, ISOPROPYL alcohol in the windshield washer bottles straight up. It's the only thing that will keep up with a good dose of freezing rain - and then barely.

      If all that sounds rather severe, know that I was a professional driver and I drove between 500 and 700 miles a day - every day - no matter what, and I never missed a day for 11 years because I couldn't go when I needed to or wanted to -- unlike MANY of the other idiots that never did learn, even though it gets to be winter every year like clockwork.

      Feel free to ask me other questions about winter driving tips, etc. I have logged over 1.5 million miles without much in the way of major mishaps in some of the worst winter driving territory on earth and I know what works and what doesn't. Hope this helps someone else prepare.
       
    21. EMG7895

      EMG7895 Well-Known Member

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      I was just asking because last year I was skiing in New Hampshire and the temp got down to -18 at the base but the car started up fine. I always carry tow chains/straps, a jack, shovel, windsheil washer fluid, lock deicer, a good scraper, and a well stocked toolbox during the winter.
       
    22. celly

      celly disturber of the peace Elite Explorer

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      My Ex starts fine in a lot colder temps than -18F as well but starts oh so much better when plugged in. I also have heat in no time.

      The whole issue re: thickened oil is definitely something to consider as well.
       
    23. glfredrick

      glfredrick Elite Explorer

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      I would say that for the occaisonal use, the truck will work in very cold temps. My stuff is for the person that lives in northern climates and expects a truck to stay the course for years of good service...

      I typically run my vehicles to an excess of 200K miles - once they are paid off, they start making me money... ;)
       
    24. AlaskanJack

      AlaskanJack Elite Cabin-Fever Captain Elite Explorer

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      All of mine came with block heaters and as I understand it up here in Alaska all new cars must have them. It helps with winter emissions as well.

      PLus its nice in the morning to go out and unplug and the rig fires up fast and warms up even faster so I can stay warm. Course having a remote start also helps. I hear Washington gets no snow so I guess I wont be using my block heaters anymore. :D
       
    25. Jefe

      Jefe Well-Known Member

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    26. glfredrick

      glfredrick Elite Explorer

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      You "fair weather" brothers are missing all the fun...

      Try the same trails in -25 temps with about 3 feet of snow - that'll make a real man out of you... :D

      Let me explain...

      The first thing you have to do is try to get your truck started.

      If you are successful, then you have to get it to engauge into 4 wheel drive. If all that goes well, you are half way home...

      The next step is to brush off all the snow that you have up to about your waist so that once the heater starts working you don't end up soaking wet when the heater starts working and being soaking wet with 4 layers on is no fun - trust me, long johns and doubled pants all wet can rub you in places you didn't even know you had - and getting to them to itch or anything else is about impossible.

      You also don't want to fog over the inside windows - becasue they will frost over and you can't see a thing - all day...

      Then, once you are inside the vehicle - it is running, all is good - you look out the windows and realize that you forgot to scrape them, so it is back out to do that. Then is when you discover that the ice is so hard that it will not give way. You chip and scrape for a while and finally get a hole large enough - right near where the defroster is starting to do its job - and you repeat the getting the snow off everything process...

      Finally, you are ready to drive away - and with your neck craned at an almost impossible angle you try to avoid hitting your wife's car in the driveway next to you becasue you can't see out any of your windows, except for that little spot you cleared on the windshield.

      You back up blind - and the tires spin - you rock back and forth in ever increasing frenzy and finally plow a path backwards so that you can get out of the driveway. Then you blast into the road - which has been somewhat plowed, but only enough to create HUGE ruts made of a curious mixture of super-frozen ice, snow, and slush from the gobs of salt that have been thrown down.

      On the way to the road, you get hung up on the huge pile of snow that the plow deposited overnight at the end of your driveway - and you discover that it is hard enough to high center the truck - so you go back to vigourous rocking and smashing the throttle only to break free and head right for the neighbor's mailbox - and now your can't stop becasue you have rocketed out on a surface that is slippery like snot and that only allows you to go forward at ever increasing speeds - no matter how hard the brakes are locked up...

      You say, "Oh well, just have to replace another mail box," (that is a regular thing anyway - if you dont' get it, the snow plow will) and you drive on only to have to fight with every other idiot in town that is trying to do the same things you are.

      Imagine a bunch of people all dressed in at least 4 layers of clothing, scarfs around their faces, windows all frosted over, slipping and sliding around, none being able to stop when they want, but each able to go forward at speeds too fast for conditions - sort of like bumper cars at the fair...

      Then, you finally make it to the trail head - after a couple of cups of coffee - and then you have to go... You know what I mean - you have to go NOW...

      You start peeling layers and unzipping stuff, all the while cursing your genetics for not allowing you to be built like John Holmes - it is difficult to get the proper equipment all the way through 4 variously aligned and stacked portals to make yellow holes in the snow and once you do find yourself succesful, you almost wish you hadn't - becasue that thing freezes easy and your fingers are COLD...

      Finally, your windows are cleared somewhat - and you head into the woods - all the while knowing that you should have just stayed home and watched the Packers on TV. You spend the day plowing through snow up to the top of your hood - glancing off trees - sliding forwards and backwards down hills that in the summer time are just bumps in the road - you decide not to do the rocks becasue you have already had to winch off the regular "easy trails" at least 10 times, and finally you make it to the other side - and head home for a bowl of hot chili...

      Now THAT is fun! :D :D :D (Guess you gotta be from up nort' to appreciate it...)
       

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