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#1 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 11:42 PM
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Default block heater or engine heater. Who has it?

Winter is coming... so I started thinking how to get a remote starter. Then I remembered that KIA had in accessories a block heater.
Does anyone have it, and if so how does it work?
Is there a way to add it to my Rondo?
Would you recommend it?

warm cheers (last night temp went below 35F (2C))

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#2 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by PLP View Post
Winter is coming... so I started thinking how to get a remote starter. Then I remembered that KIA had in accessories a block heater.
Does anyone have it, and if so how does it work?
Is there a way to add it to my Rondo?
Would you recommend it?

warm cheers (last night temp went below 35F (2C))
I've used block heaters for many years and, yes, I highly recommend them. I used a block heater timer to turn it on for a couple of hours before starting. It's an efficient way of helping cold starts and reducing engine wear during the warmup period. Your heater kicks in sooner, too.

As far as remote starters, I think they should be banned, They are bad for the environment, waste fuel and cause increased engine wear, as the engine takes longer to warm up on idle than while driving. Many cities have idling bylaws, too.
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 04:33 AM
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Block heaters are pretty much standard on Canadian vehicles, except for vehicles on the West Coast where the winters are relatively mild. Like everyone else, I took it for granted and never thought it was weird to have an electrical plug sticking out of the front grill and attached to an extension cord running towards the house--until I heard someone ask why there are so many electric cars in Canada.

To tell you the truth, I don't know how they really work or how to install one, but this wiki expands on what Yorkanuck was saying. I used to have a car that wouldn't start at all during the winter unless it was plugged in overnight (when I lived on the prairies, that is). Like what Yorkanuck (and the wiki) said, though, the block heater doesn't need to be turned on all night and a timer will save you money and save the environment. BTW, if it weren't obvious, block heaters will warm the engine but won't warm the interior of your vehicle.
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ;261302
I've used block heaters for many years and, yes, I highly recommend them. I used a block heater timer to turn it on for a couple of hours before starting. It's an efficient way of helping cold starts and reducing engine wear during the warmup period. Your heater kicks in sooner, too.

As far as remote starters, I think they should be banned, They are bad for the environment, waste fuel and cause increased engine wear, as the engine takes longer to warm up on idle than while driving. Many cities have idling bylaws, too.
I sgree 100%. You're my new hero, Yorkanuck.

Remote starters are the absolute worst invention ever.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 08:18 AM
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Winter is coming... so I started thinking how to get a remote starter. Then I remembered that KIA had in accessories a block heater. Does anyone have it..
I do have a block heater and took it as an option when I bought my car last year. I am using it usally below -15 celsius with a timer that will turn it on around 5am in the morning and shut it off around 8am.

It cost me around 120$ including installation. I think it is very simple to install.



That's funny because yesterday somebody on the "Front License Plate" thread noticed I had the electric plug comming out of my bumper and asked me what it was used for.




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#6 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Yorkanuck View Post
I've used block heaters for many years and, yes, I highly recommend them. I used a block heater timer to turn it on for a couple of hours before starting. It's an efficient way of helping cold starts and reducing engine wear during the warmup period. Your heater kicks in sooner, too.

As far as remote starters, I think they should be banned, They are bad for the environment, waste fuel and cause increased engine wear, as the engine takes longer to warm up on idle than while driving. Many cities have idling bylaws, too.
Yes I totally agree with you about the remote starters. It really annoys me in winter time when you see vehicles in these large parking lots locked up and idling while the owner goes into shop.
Its a fact that you only need a minute or two of idle before driving even on very cold days and the car gets up to full operation temperature much faster when you drive. Just checking in the owners manual and it states in the break-in period don't let the engine idle more than three minutes at one time. Besides, while you are waiting for the engine to warm up switch on the heated seats (I do that once its in motion).

I can't totally agree with you on the block heater. I used them all the time when we lived out in Alberta, but since moving back here to south eastern Ontario, I really haven't found the need for one. So I guess it all depends on your location, but definatly should be on a timer as it only needs to be on for an hour or two before use.
I remember years ago we used to just hang one or two 100w light bulb next to the engine and leave them on all night.
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 11:21 AM
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Thank to all of you
I see Canada only uses it
Do you know more details about the block heater?
Where is it located and can I add it to mine 2.7 with no problems?
What is its power consumption (wattage)? How much does it warm up the coolant?
As far as I know it heats the coolant, not the block itself, right?

How hot the coolant gets? Is it really warm, or just not freezing cold. We do not have such strong winters, but the car is driven on short distances pretty often, so I was wondering it this will make it warm up much faster.

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Last edited by PLP; 10-03-2009 at 07:58 PM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 03:37 PM
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Normally, they just replace a freeze plug. May be able to get one at an auto supply near you.
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#9 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 07:48 PM
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Thank to all of you
I see Canada only uses it
Do you know more details about the block heater?
Where is it located and can I add it to mine 2.7 with no problems?
What is its power consumption (wattage)? How much does it warm up the coolant?
As far as I know it heats the coolant, not the block itself, right?
While I don't have a block heater installed in my Rondo, since it is garaged and I now live in a moderate climate, when I lived in Ontario I used to install them myself. It's usually a simple operation to poke a hole in a frost plug and pry it out. The block heater slips in and is tightened with a bolt located in the centre. The seal is effected by a compressed O-ring. It's then just a simple matter to plug in the power cord and route it to a convenient spot on the exterior of the car, usually around the radiatior grille.

If you don't want to use a timer, there are extension cords specifically designed for block heaters. They have a temperature sensor built into them, so they only turn on below a preset ambient temperature. That way, if it's just cold when you plug it in at night, it won't turn on, but when it becomes bone-chilling, it will kick in.

Although a block heater may not be a necessity (to start the car), I used to take satisfaction in knowing that my engine was warming up quicker, thereby minimizing emissions, fuel consumption, engine wear and condensation in the oil. The fact that the heater kicked in sooner was an added bonus.

Yes, the heater warms up the coolant, which will circulate through the engine, to some degree, through convection. I don't remember the wattage, but it was something around 40 or 60W, as I recollect.
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 12:52 PM
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I too would highly recomend a block heater. I don't understand why they are not used more in the northern states as it gets cold enough to need one. It does require draining the coolant and rebleeding the system and may require removing other parts for access. KGIS would probably show the location. They are available aftermarket as well and usually have instructions that include which frost plug to use. even if you decided to take it in and have it done, it would probably be the same or less than a remote start system and will ad life to your car instead of robbing it. You will save gas as well. Most block heaters draw 400-500watts. My SG was showing W.T. of 1-3C on start up even at -25 to -30C,
and even though it doesen't heat the cabin, you will feel warm air almost right away. I always plug in if the forcast is anything below about -15C/ 5F.

Another valuable add on, I think, Is a grill block or winter front. Unfortunately, I have not found one for the Rondo to buy, but I made one up last winter and it helped. I've already got it on as It's been cold here too.
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