Block Heater Cord | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Block Heater Cord

BrianCanada

Member
Joined
November 8, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
7
City, State
Edmonton, Alberta
Year, Model & Trim Level
2020 Explorer ST Atlas Bl
Looking for suggestions with the block heater cord on my 2020 ST. I understand that each time I want to plug in my block heater, I have to open the hood, unclip the 6" long plug and plug it into an extension cord. The problem is I can't close the hood therefore the security system is not active but the doors are locked. The manual states to not close the hood on the cord or remove any of the fasteners securing the cord. This could just be something a first time Explorer owner has to deal with.
 



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Hey Brian. I never even thought to look to see if my Aviator has one. My previous Explorers did but I never used them.
The 5th gen owners encountered the same issue. Block Heater question?...

Peter
 






Thanks Peter,

My original thought was also to run a shorter cord from under the hood and locate the plug end where I can connect the extension cord. That might be the only option to avoid having to open the hood every time.

Brian
 






Yeah, best bet is to add another cord.
 












Looking for suggestions with the block heater cord on my 2020 ST. I understand that each time I want to plug in my block heater, I have to open the hood, unclip the 6" long plug and plug it into an extension cord. The problem is I can't close the hood therefore the security system is not active but the doors are locked. The manual states to not close the hood on the cord or remove any of the fasteners securing the cord. This could just be something a first time Explorer owner has to deal with.
Any other ideas to resolve this? I consider it a significant design flaw to provide a block heater and then no practical way to actually use it. Leaving the hood open/ajar is not reasonable at any time, but during a winter snowstorm it borders insane. Running a short cord could work, but then I'm left with something dangling in the engine compartment, and it would still require trying access it from underneath or inside the wheel well - not a fun winter activity. Cutting an access hole in the grill is major surgery that should absolutely not be necessary - I mean, we're talking about a factory-supplied device here, not some after market gee-gaw. There is no way that I should have to permanently deface my new car just to use it. I'm hoping that someone here has come up with a clever, practical work-around that they would share. Cheers.
 






I don't recall seeing a permanent solution to this. I have had block heaters on my older cars but when I used them it was with the hood partially open. I don't think my 2020 Aviator even has one. On my other Explorers that had them, I never did use them.

Peter
 






Yesterday was the first time I've spent any time under the hood of the Explorer.
Not sure how the cord is routed, but could you feed an ext cord through the wheel well & over to the plug? A bit of a pain, especially when it's cold enough to need the heater, but would allow you to close the hood.

The only cars I've owned with a block heater were early 80s Mercedes diesels, and the block heater plug was accessible from the outside of the front bumper.
Living in Houston, I can probably count on 1 hand the amount of times a block heater would've been useful in the last 37 years.
 






Oh, block heater cord, my brain was thinking blocked heater core...
My 1999 Ranger has a block heater. It makes me wonder where it was purchased new. (DSO).
 






I grew up in ND where factory and aftermarket block heaters were on every car in town. They always routed the cord through the grill or hanging down just under the edge of the bumper. Many folks plugged the car in both at home and at work. Most carried a heavy duty extension cord just in case the plug-in was too far away. You could easily tell the teachers parking lot at my high school because all the spaces had electrical receptacles.

Kind of hard to believe there is no possible solution for the Explorer that makes it accessible with the hood closed. Maybe someone needs to call a “Northland” region Ford dealer and ask how they install one.
 






Looking for suggestions with the block heater cord on my 2020 ST. I understand that each time I want to plug in my block heater, I have to open the hood, unclip the 6" long plug and plug it into an extension cord. The problem is I can't close the hood therefore the security system is not active but the doors are locked. The manual states to not close the hood on the cord or remove any of the fasteners securing the cord. This could just be something a first time Explorer owner has to deal with.
Surprised the new ones have such a short block heater cord! I'd get a dedicated, heavy duty extension cord, to stay permanently, long enough to route it down and under the grille, my 98 has it coming down between the 2 bumper levels. (OEM original cord) Zip tie to convenient location. It also has a nice cover on the plug to keep the dirt/water out. I'd think a 6' cord or 8' at the max.
 






There could be a reason Ford wants the hood open with block heater in use. One I can think of is underwood fire, which renders the hood release useless, and,if it does happen to pop hood, the emergency release is too hot to touch. Just a guess
 






Install a SPST switch to disconnect underhood alarm system switch.
 






There could be a reason Ford wants the hood open with block heater in use. One I can think of is underwood fire, which renders the hood release useless, and,if it does happen to pop hood, the emergency release is too hot to touch. Just a guess
Scary thought! My relative's Kia burned up with a under hood fire last year for no apparent reason. I'm going to experiment with using a metal tool to pop my hood. Just in case, (and don't get a Kia) I understand all the block heater does is heat the coolant?
 






My solution was to use a short, flat extension cord that I can route through a gap between the top of the headlight and the fender when I need it. This will let me use it without resorting to leaving the hood open (which I will NOT do). I still think that it is a design flaw - providing something with no reasonable or convenient way to use is either an oversight or laziness... akin to mounting a headlight switch inside the glovebox. Cheers.

block heater cord.jpg
 






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