A block heater serves an extremely important role especially if you live in a cold climate. When it is cold, and your engine is not running, coolants can become viscous. This can cause your engine not to run, or it might result in wear and tear. An engine block heater curbs this problem by simply heating the coolant when your car engine is off.
Engine block heaters are not very expensive. Installing one is not difficult too. However, you need to choose the correct heater according to your tastes. Again, it must fit. This means if you get that fancy magnetic block heater, it must be the same size with the freeze plug in your car engine.
Installing A Block Heater: What You Needs
You need to have the right tools. In other cases, you might be forced to install it from under your car.
- A jack
- Adjustable spanners
- Screw drivers
- Drain container
- A Hammer
Whatever block heater you install, whether a diesel engine block heater or any other heater, you always start by draining the radiator fluid. Trace the drain plug that is usually at the base of the radiator. Put a container below this plug and drain the radiator fluid into it. Ensure that the radiator fluid is drained fully.
The next step involves removing the freeze plug from the car engine block. There is no set of way of doing this, and all you have to do is use the most favorable method. A hammer would do you justice, provided it has a flat surface. This ensures you do not punch any holes in the freeze plug.
Installing the Block Heater
After loosening and removing the freeze plug, simply stick in your block heater. In most cases, heater blocks come with instructions on what freeze plug to remove. Follow these instructions carefully.
- You have to clean the freeze plug seating before installing the heating element. Carefully scrape off any dried paint, grease, damaged metal or any other obstructions that might cause damage to your engine O-rings.
- Lubricate carefully all the O-rings that come with the block heater kit. This is where grease is needed. After this, place the O-rings around the end of this heater device you install. Carefully screw it into the freeze plug seating. You should ensure the O-rings do not get damaged during the installation process.
- Use the appropriate tools to tighten the heater element in line with the recommended torque. The manufacturer should specify this, and if not, check the recent torque of the freeze plug. In case you cannot identify any, contact your engine manufacturer.
- Ensure that the heating element is strategically positioned to avoid touching anything else inside your engine. It is possible for it to cause electrolysis and you should be careful with this. You should also be careful that the block heater cord does not get into contact with anything that heats up.
- After you are through with all this, simply put everything back together and refill your cooling system. If your coolant is contaminated, you can change it.
Now that you have an idea on how to install the block heater, you can now do it by yourself and save some money rather than calling your mechanic and pay for their service.