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01' Forester Block Heater Usage


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4 replies to this topic

#1 subfan

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 07:02 AM

A block heater and trickle battery charger was installed in our 2001 Forester this Fall to cope with a short morning commute (1 mile).

The only usage information I've found say safe to use any time the temperature is below freezing and it warms the engine 50 degrees.

The Forester is parked in an unheated garage, Winter temperatures are usually just above freezing (34- 38) with drops to the 20s and even the teens in extreme cold as we had last Winter.

The plan was to plug it in ~2 hours before starting it.

Can anybody advise with more details on how the unit operates? Does it bring the engine temperature up to 50 degrees? Is it safe to use just above freezing, up to ~38 degrees? How long should the engine be heated under these conditions to keep wear to a minimum without engine damage?

Thank you in advance.

#2 mtsmiths

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 10:25 AM

You could hardly find any other way to shorten your engine life than to drive it one mile twice a day in winter. Hook it up, and leave it parked and WALK the mile each way. It'll do the car AND you a world of good.

Use the car on weekends.

#3 subfan

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 02:04 PM

The car needs to be at work and in the winter the roads are not clear enough to walk even that short a distance.

Given the parameters I am working within, I am looking for specific operational information on the Subaru OEM block heater. Any helpful information appreciated on this topic appreciated.

#4 gbhrps

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 09:32 PM

Subfan,
My 97 OBW and now my 02 OBW both sit outside here in Southern Ontario, Canada, and when I get home from work I plug the block heater in and leave it on all night long until I unplug it to go to work in the morning. Our winters are about the same as you describe, say 2-4 degrees colder on average. I've never had a problem through 300 000 kms total on the both cars. I haven't plugged it in yet this winter, as we've only had 4 or 5 nights of below freezing temperatures thus far. And in your case the trickle charge idea is a good idea. About all I'd be concerned about is your short drives each day. I'd halve your distance before oil changes, particularly during winter, because the automatic choke will be firing a lot of raw fuel past your piston rings into the oil, due to the lack of engine warmup.

#5 mjb

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 11:54 PM

why not just cruise around for ~20 miles before and after work? when there's snow it'd be extra fun. bring a big mug of coffee and your favorite music and enjoy the scenery...or go looking for some snow to bomb around in.

mjb




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