Temps will drop drastically tomorrow here-What type of engine heater do you use ?

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Reworked LMTV

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Dropping temperatures make me think about extreme cold starts at some point with my truck. TN is no North Pole, but if I start to travel, I'm I curious what people use to keep there CATs warm in severe cold. I know that block heaters have been known to cause a fire or two.

I have seen dipstick heaters, magnet oil pan heaters, freeze plug heaters, blankets, and radiator hose types. Quite a plethora of types to choose from.
 
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simp5782

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Fuel fired coolant heaters is what the military uses.

Also always park your truck facing the south if possible. Never park it facing north.
 

Reworked LMTV

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I think I recall someone was working on a DIY manifold that circulates the coolant with an inexpensive diesel RV heater, like an expensive Webasto or Espar.
 

Green Mountain Boys

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I have an 1998 M1078 and use a 1,000 watt engine block heater. I use it when temperature is below 32F. It is pretty standard practice around here to use an engine block heater with a diesel engine due to our cold winter weather. My truck will start without a block heater in the teens above zero F, but starts much, much better with the heater. I have not tested starting the truck at cold temperatures without the block heater. Without the block heater you get a big puff of smoke and slow starts. With the block heater it fires up like a warm summer day. I have started my truck twice at -26F and it fired right up with no smoke like a warm summer day. At those temperatures the block heater is plugged in all night long. When the temperature is milder it does not have to be plugged in as long. You can use a timer if you prefer. I really like the block heater's effectiveness, low cost and ease of installation.
 

Reworked LMTV

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Did you install it yourself? What brand did you use?
I have an 1998 M1078 and use a 1,000 watt engine block heater. I use it when temperature is below 32F. It is pretty standard practice around here to use an engine block heater with a diesel engine due to our cold winter weather. My truck will start without a block heater in the teens above zero F, but starts much, much better with the heater. I have not tested starting the truck at cold temperatures without the block heater. Without the block heater you get a big puff of smoke and slow starts. With the block heater it fires up like a warm summer day. I have started my truck twice at -26F and it fired right up with no smoke like a warm summer day. At those temperatures the block heater is plugged in all night long. When the temperature is milder it does not have to be plugged in as long. You can use a timer if you prefer. I really like the block heater's effectiveness, low cost and ease of installation.
 

Green Mountain Boys

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[Reworked LMTV Did you install it yourself? What brand did you use? /QUOTE]

I do not remember what the brand was. Just make sure the block heater diameter matches the freeze plug diameter. I would suggest a smaller block heater than the 1,000 watt unit I have, because your climate is warmer. Maybe try 500 watts? From my experience I think block heaters work best when plugged in for long periods of time (several hours or more) as opposed to using high wattage block heaters to try to warm an engine block quickly.
My truck was going into the shop for a state inspection and I was busy at the time so I just had them do it. It is an easy job.
 

simp5782

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I assume this is air current reduction?
It allows for the cab to defrost quicker and heats the interior on sunny days especially with the giant windshield. Plus it helps with warmups. If you are trying to run a truck and warm it up but its facing north with a 20mph wind it will never get warm. Southern winds always warmer and its sunnier.
 

Awesomeness

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I have the ZeroStart freeze plug style heater. It helps start the engine when it's below freezing, though the engine doesn't get particularly difficult to start (without the heater or ether) until it's in the teens or lower. You need to leave it plugged in for a couple hours and it will help get it started, but still be a little rough for the first 30 seconds or so. If you leave it plugged in overnight, it starts as if it were a cool summer morning. It costs about $2-3 in electricity to run it overnight. I don't generally use it unless I need to start the truck first thing in the morning, and it's going to be below zero overnight... otherwise it starts easy enough that it's not really worth the hassle to bother with it.

The install wasn't hard. Drain the coolant, knock the freeze plug out, install the heater. It takes 10 minutes, and then longer to carefully run the wire where you want it.

Overall, it's a worthwhile $100 piece of insurance to give you options when it's very cold. You shouldn't feel like you must get it though, unless you live somewhere like North Dakota, but I'm guessing if you live somewhere that cold you already know all about using block heaters.
 

simp5782

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You do not need to leave it plugged in all the time. Most of us didnt want the power meter to spin like a top at 1000watts pulling power like crazy.

You use a timer and the block heater comes on 2 hours before you intend to start your vehicle.

You apparently do not use your vehicle at all as you have stated that you had only driven it about 10mi since you have owned it. Your truck can sit during the winter with no issue. As long as you have good batteries it should start just fine with what we see here in TN. If you are worried about your batteries install a pad heater for them that pulls like 25watts to keep them warm. Other than that the truck is equipped with ether start for cold weather starting. Ensure your coolant is rated to handle the proper temperatures you intend to expect
 

coachgeo

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You do not need to leave it plugged in all the time. ...
amen..... you can even add a smart plug on the power source at house or shop end and keep vehicle plugged up. With your phone you can remotely turn it on from across town or across the world. (but you probably will need a way to extend/booste your home or garage wi-fi so its signal will reach the outdoor smart plug your using)
 
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