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Explorer Related Polls Polls here are for Explorer related topics only... All other polls go in the "General Topic Polls" Forum located under the "More Topics" catagory.

Do you have a block heater in your Explorer?

View Poll Results: Do you have a block heater?
Yes it does, I use it. 37 24.34%
Yes it does, but I do not use it. 21 13.82%
No it does not. 70 46.05%
It was removed before I bought vehicle/does not work. 1 0.66%
What is a block Heater? 18 11.84%
Trucks come with Block heaters? I thought those were only in tractors..... 5 3.29%
Voters: 152. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-22-2003, 04:52 PM   #1
Crankcase
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CAN Do you have a block heater in your Explorer?

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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Old 11-22-2003, 06:00 PM   #2
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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.




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Old 11-22-2003, 07:00 PM   #3
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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.




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Old 11-22-2003, 07:03 PM   #4
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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.




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Old 11-22-2003, 07:07 PM   #5
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we get very cold here in Edmonton. It's -25c tonight. Oh yeah we need to plug it in here.:p
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Old 11-22-2003, 08:24 PM   #6
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I voted what is a block heater even though im pretty sure i dont have one. So, what is it?




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Old 11-22-2003, 08:28 PM   #7
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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.




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Old 11-22-2003, 08:31 PM   #8
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I guess if i put just a little thought into that i could have figured it out. I was thinking of somekind of different heater in the cab.




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Old 11-22-2003, 08:56 PM   #9
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CAN

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....




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Old 11-22-2003, 10:51 PM   #10
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CAN

I think all canadian X's come with one. Don't need it in Vancouver though, it sn't that cold.
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Old 11-23-2003, 01:16 PM   #11
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Mine came with one, 93 sport from CO. I use it because it was 5 degrees f here last night




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Old 11-23-2003, 01:27 PM   #12
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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.




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Old 11-23-2003, 05:30 PM   #13
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Mine doesnt have one, but I wish it did! It can get a little chilly here as well...
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Old 09-26-2004, 05:40 PM   #14
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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.




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Old 09-26-2004, 07:28 PM   #15
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Could staring a cold engine in -20 degrees that does not have a block heater cause any damage?
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Old 09-26-2004, 08:04 PM   #16
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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.




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Old 09-26-2004, 08:12 PM   #17
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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.




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Old 09-26-2004, 08:34 PM   #18
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Could staring a cold engine in -20 degrees that does not have a block heater cause any damage?
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.




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Old 09-26-2004, 08:52 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 09:00 PM   #20
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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.




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